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Media => Game Journals => Topic started by: Hathen on August 04, 2015, 11:23:40 AM

Title: FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World
Post by: Hathen on August 04, 2015, 11:23:40 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/1_zpszmgiou0t.jpg)

Quote
Table of Contents
Windurst Part 1: The Federation (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg373996#msg373996)
Windurst Part 2: Rapifafa's First Missions (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg374461#msg374461)
Windurst Part 3: The Book of the Gods (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg374879#msg374879)
Windurst Part 4: The Three Nations (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg375369#msg375369)
Windurst Part 5: Castle Oztroja (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg376254#msg376254)
Windurst Part 6: Journey to Jeuno (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg376445#msg376445)
Windurst Part 7: Magicite (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg377185#msg377185)
Windurst Part 8: A Red Mage's Story (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg378312#msg378312)
Windurst Part 9: The Shadow Lord (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg379025#msg379025)
A Minister's Life (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg379365#msg379365)
Windurst Part 10: Full Moon Fountain (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg380172#msg380172)
A Black Mage's Story: The Great Star Tree (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg380648#msg380648)
Windurst Part 11: The Lost Journals (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg381324#msg381324)
A Ranger's Story: The Sin Hunters (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg381641#msg381641)
Windurst Part 12: The Five Ministers (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg381910#msg381910)
A Summoner's Story: Secret of the Dolls (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg382468#msg382468)
Windurst Part 13: Doll of the Dead (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg382694#msg382694)
Windurst Part 14: Stars of Hope (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg382739#msg382739)
Windurst Epilogue: The Promise (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg382740#msg382740)
A Thief's Story: Atarefaunet's Band (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg385831#msg385831)
San d'Oria Part 1: The Tomb of the Dragon King (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg386038#msg386038)
A Paladin's Story: A Knight's Armor (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg386244#msg386244)
San d'Oria Part 2: A New Heir (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg386643#msg386643)
A Dragoon's Story: The Shifting Crest (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg386913#msg386913)
San d'Oria Part 3: Breaking Barriers (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg387236#msg387236)
A White Mage's Story: Pieuje's Decision (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg387515#msg387515)
San d'Oria Part 4: The Heir to the Light (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg387982#msg387982)
San d'Oria Epilogue: Peace for the Spirit (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg387983#msg387983)
A Beastmaster's Story: Man's Best Friend (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg388311#msg388311)
The Starlight Celebration (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg388376#msg388376)
The Archduke (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg388521#msg388521)
A Bard's Story: The Circle of Time (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg388879#msg388879)
A Dark Knight's Story: The Dark Legacy (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg389010#msg389010)
A Monk's Story: Ghosts of the Past (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg389426#msg389426)
Bastok Part 1: Crisis in the Republic (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg389648#msg389648)
Rise of the Zilart Part 1: The Warriors of the Crystal (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg389898#msg389898)
Rise of the Zilart Part 2: The Temple of Uggalepih (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg390398#msg390398)
Bastok Part 2: On My Way (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg390820#msg390820)
Rise of the Zilart Part 3: The Headstone Pilgrimage (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg391241#msg391241)
Bastok Part 3: The Chains That Bind Us (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg391512#msg391512)
Rise of the Zilart Part 4: The Chamber of Oracles (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg391513#msg391513)
A Ninja's Story: The Legacy (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg391867#msg391867)
Bastok Part 4: The Return (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg392225#msg392225)
A Warrior's Story: The Talekeeper's Gift (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg392462#msg392462)
Bastok Part 5: Where Two Paths Converge (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg392658#msg392658)
Bastok Epilogue: Do You Like Bastok? (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg392659#msg392659)
A Samurai's Story: The Mysterious Far East (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg392846#msg392846)
Rise of the Zilart Part 5: Return to Delkfutt's Tower (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg393173#msg393173)
Rise of the Zilart Part 6: Tu'lia, the Gate of the Gods (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg393511#msg393511)
Dynamis: The Shrouded Land (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg393796#msg393796)
Rise of the Zilart Part 7: Divine Might (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg393985#msg393985)
Rise of the Zilart Part 8: Awakening (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg394216#msg394216)
Rise of the Zilart Epilogue: A Whisper (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg394218#msg394218)
Good Deeds (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg394521#msg394521)

Chains of Promathia
   Intro (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg396440#msg396440)
   Chapter 1: Ancient Flames Beckon
      い: In the Baptism of Life (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg396441#msg396441)
      ろ: ROad Below the Arks (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg396442#msg396442)
      は: HAil the Crystal Which Births Us (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg396444#msg396444)
   Chapter 2: Isle of the Forgotten Saints
      に: NIlling Invitation Westward (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg398248#msg398248)
      ほ: HOmeland Forgotten (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg398249#msg398249)
      へ: HEed a Distant Belief (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg398250#msg398250)
      と: TO An Eternal Melody (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg398251#msg398251)
      ち: CHIliads-Old Vow (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg398252#msg398252)
   Chapter 3: A Transient Dream
      り: RIng of the Wyrmking’s Call (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg399980#msg399980)
      ぬ: NUbilous Voyage (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg399990#msg399990)
      る: The Road Forks: RUinous Line of Francmage (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg400000#msg400000)
      を: The Road Forks: WOman in Black and A Comedy of Errors (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg400011#msg400011)
      わ: WAtching Over Aged Wounds (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg400019#msg400019)
      か: CAlling Oneself a God (http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=15548.msg400027#msg400027)

I have no idea if there's any interest in a journal like this around here. I know only a handful of people around here played FFXI, and even fewer really got into the story and world building. I would like to think that due to the former though, there's a decent amount of people at least curious of the game since it's probably "that one FF I never played because MMOs are for OCD pack rats".

With this playthrough I mostly want to just present the story of the game (while re-experiencing it for myself since some of this content I played years ago), which is what really made me fall in love with it- there’s actually not a lot, if any, sites focused on just the story and lore of Vana’Diel (anymore at least- there used to be a couple but most are now defunct). It’s actually possible to do that now within a sane amount of time, because in recent years they’ve done a crazy amount of overhauls to the soloing experience of the game so that you don’t have to put your trust in total strangers not to suck at the game just to get to the next story section. I’ve wanted to do something similar to this for a while, but I imagine it’s a pretty big time investment even with all those changes- oh well, let’s see how long I’ll last. If there ends up actually being interest in this I’ll keep going.

In retrospect people reading this might not feel FFXI is really anything special in the world building department, but for me personally I feel like it went way beyond any of the JRPGs I had played up to that point, and it was also my first real MMO (the other online games I had played were things like Diablo and PSO)- I had never played Ultima Online or Everquest. The sheer size of the world was also amazing to me, though it probably helps that the game was not released stateside until nearly a year after it launched.

So let’s start grinding those pixel swords!

Windurst Part 1: The Federation

Players are first treated to a pretty CGI opening (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXqc6jPOnBs) which, while very cool, is also very misleading because the depicted area is basically only part of the background story and can’t actually be visited (Well, arguably it was a few years down the line, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

I should take a moment to mention that I think even people who don’t like MMOs can probably appreciate the music composed for FFXI, which was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Kumi Tanioka, and Naoshi Mizuta, the last of whom was a relative newcomer at SquareEnix when he was chosen as the main composer for FFXI. He would end up showing a great deal of improvement as he composed more and more music for FFXI and its expansions. That first song in the opening movie was composed by Uematsu, so the first introduction players would have to Mizuta would be the Vana’Diel March (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urX0y8qbl_8)- hard for me to comment on it because it instills a lot of nostalgia in me but probably not for anybody reading.

So time to create a character.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/2_zpshloaolqu.jpg)

I have a choice between a human- I mean, a “Hume”, an elf, a catgirl (no Japanese game is complete without them), a tall monkey/lion man thing, and a loli chipmunk gnome. Well, I know from the Fire Emblem Awakening thread that you guys love your lolis-who-are-actually-adults so let’s go with that last one. Surely she will strike fear into the hearts of her enemies.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3_zpsf5w0oz5m.jpg)

Considering where I am, her name will be Rapifafa (a lore-friendly name!) and she even has green hair- it was meant to be. Unfortunately there is no “Green Mage” class in the game, so she shall be a Red Mage- Rapifafa knows she’ll get a spiffy hat at level 60.

Next I get to pick one of the three major cities to start in. It’s a choice between French Elf Knights with bagpipes playing in the background all day, the industrial mining city filled with asshole humans (there are no other types of humans in fantasy worlds),  and the hippie mage city with giant trees. Rapifafa probably will be more comfortable living amongst her own kind, so the hippies it is (she also gets a bonus starting ring for choosing the “right” city- take that, cultural diversity).

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4_zpsq2lwkbka.jpg)

Music: The Federation of Windurst (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnP16Ypf4l4)

The intro informs us that long ago, starving wanderers were led to the fields of Sarutabaruta by a star, which then returned to the heavens and returned as their sage, the Star Sibyl, leading the Windurstians to prosperity. She brought them magic, which they practiced vigorously. Eventually Windurst formed five ministries and became a city known for its academics. With the cat-like Mithra from the south joining them, the city grew in size and influence.

With that out of the way, Rapifafa wanders into town, spying a pair of Tarutaru concerned about their missing minister of the Orastery, one of the five ministries. They gossip for a bit until they spot a Mithran Sibyl Guard.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5_zpslfe1o6kz.jpg)

The Tarutaru run off, apparently afraid her of wasting their time playing 20 questions. She instead stops Rapifafa, but she seems friendly enough, introducing herself as Semih Lafihna and telling her about the city. Their conversation is cut short, however, when Semih spots a Tarutaru in strange clothing running by. Apparently, she found whoever she was looking for.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6_zpsc6lmo8tq.jpg)

Now Rapifafa is left alone to explore the city. Windurst is probably the largest of the three starting cities- it was also the one I picked when I first started playing. Even now that I know my way around, it still took me a few hours to go around talking to everyone. One thing I really like about the major cities in FFXI is that the way they’re designed shows that there’s a Residential Area, which if you walk into just takes you into your personal house, but I do like that there’s the implication the city’s actually even larger than what they give to explore- it’s just one example of the verisimilitude the director emphasized during development.

Rapifafa’s conversation with the people around the city lets her quickly learn the present state of Windurst. During the war 20 years ago, Windurst was saved by a hero by the name of Karaha-Baruha. Since then Windurst made a peace agreement with the Yagudo, a race of bird-like beastmen. While the official stance is that Windurst is in a time of peace, some of the citizens don’t think that’ll last very long. Recently, Semih Lafihna has been seen around town a lot more often, though most assume it to simply be due to the activity of the local cat burglar. Generally things are as they seem though, most are going about their daily lives, and the local children even invite Rapifafa to join their little ragtag group known as the Star Onion Brigade- the “S.O.B.”s- at least they probably won’t run into naming conflicts with any local gangs I guess.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7_zpsrn4c0s2d.jpg)

Not before she agrees to go on a fetch quest though!

While running around town Rapifafa also runs into Doctor Shantotto, a highly respected (and feared- mostly feared) mage even amongst the Tarutaru. Some of you may recognize her from Dissidia or from some events held in FFXIV.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8_zpsrf9zutet.jpg)

Now familiar with the city, Rapifafa goes to a guard to see if she can find some work. She’s told that one of Windurst’s ministries, the Orastery, needs help with an experiment of some sort, probably since most are too worried about getting blown up to get close to the mage training academy. Upon entering, she immediately recognizes the two instructors- they were the two Tarutaru she had spotted when she first arrived in the city.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/9_zpsxl9yshv3.jpg)

They take some time out of their day blowing up dolls to tell her that the minister had already left long before she arrived, and to catch up with him in the nearby Horutoto Ruins to help him perform his experiment. She nods and leaves them to their work, but before she leaves she decides to speak with some of the staff at the academy- apparently, it has been almost 20 years since the last War Warlock has been born. With no talented youths to replace the aging army, Windurst cannot afford to have a large-scale conflict in its current state.

All Rapifafa knows is that a lack of new talented mages just means she gets more jobs like this one, so with her cheap sword in one hand and a dusty old spell scroll in the other, Rapifafa makes her way to her first adventure outside the city!

(Sorry for the huge post- tried my best to keep it short but I had to introduce the game and all that. Pretty sure any future entires won't be this long. I failed pretty badly on that promise, I suppose.)
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 07, 2015, 10:57:30 AM
Well, no idea if I have any potential readers yet, but I guess I might as well at least try to get the Windurst storyline done before I consider stopping.

Windurst Part 2: Rapifafa's First Missions

The areas outside each of the cities are relatively large, and they served as a nice introduction to the scale of the game. Outside Windurst is the steppe area of Sarutabaruta. The textures are laughably bad now (and it looked even worse on the PS2 since it had like a third the resolution I do) but at the time I thought it looked amazing, especially compared to other online games. The music in the area is also a personal favorite of mine from the game.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/1_zpszhylshf0.jpg)

Music: Sarutabaruta (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_uc_sw3rfQ)

Like many MMOs you’d begin your journey by watching your character do nothing but autoattack enemies. Exciting stuff. Red Mage tends to have a lot more to do though. Compared to when I first played the leveling speed is pretty crazy, enough so that I basically never have to rest. Unfortunately XI’s still stuck with the old MMO design where you spend lots of time killing bunnies and giant bees but there’s no adventure in that, so Rapifafa gets to take on plenty of the local Yagudo too.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/2_zpsj7qwlkqh.jpg)

Oh yeah, I guess I should post the battle music (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sgi4NBhL3GM), but personally I think it’s among the dullest battle themes I’ve heard (thankfully the game got a lot better at that as expansions came out).

Rapifafa gains more than enough experience just travelling to her destination, so she looks for the Orastery minister. After making her way through the grimy tower, she arrives at the room she was directed to, and spots two Tarutaru bickering. They appear to be siblings, and she recognizes the brother- he was the man that Semih Lafihna was in a hurry to chase earlier.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3_zpsxc8mcltv.jpg)

The brother, named Ajido-Marujido, is apparently seeking some form of forbidden magic, outlawed by the Star Sybil after the war ended 20 years ago. This is likely why the Sybil Guard was chasing him. It seems that the great hero Karaha-Baruha used this same magic back during the war, and it had killed him in the process. Regardless Ajido-Marujido is determined to pursue it due to the aforementioned dearth of new War Warlocks to replace the older, dying ones.

After the sister, Apururu, storms out in a rage, Ajido-Marujido tells Rapifafa that he is already done with his experiment, so he sends Rapifafa on a menial task of collecting a broken Mana Orb before returning to the Orastery, and asks that she keeps quiet about what she had overheard.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4_zpsmxchh8zn.jpg)

After returning to Windurst and returning the Mana Orb, Rapifafa receives her next task- she is to report to another one of Windurst’s ministries- this time it’s the Manustery, the place where Cardians- strange dolls used throughout Windurst- are created.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5_zpsobrlkkhq.jpg)

Rapifafa immediately recognizes the minister of the Manustery- it’s Apururu, but she must’ve been too angry when she stormed out of the ruins earlier to remember Rapifafa. She explains the importance of the Cardians and how they are made with materials from many sources, with the most important material, Mana Orbs, being an exception. It’s considered important enough so that only citizens of Windurst are entrusted with handling the recharge process, which involves another trip to the Horutoto Ruins.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6_zps4vt3qpsq.jpg)

Rapifafa completes her task quickly, only interrupted by some rogue Goblins, but as she exits the ruins, she’s confronted by a group of Cardians. They demand that she hand over the recharged Mana Orbs, and she capitulates due to the nearby guard suggesting to her that a fight with the Ace Cardians would be suicide.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7_zpskwi35hrm.jpg)

When Rapifafa returns to the Manustery, Apururu explains that some Cardians from the war went wild and began stealing Mana Orbs and attacking people. They do so to revive any of the other rogue Cardians who run out of juice, but apparently that’s meaningless because the Mana Orbs are only useful if there’s a mage to apply them.

With her task for the Manustery done, Rapifafa is sent on yet another task, this time for the Rhinostery, a ministry dedicated to the cultivation of plants. The Guard explains that the peace between the Yagudo and Windurst is kept through a tribute of food and water, and this time the Rhinostery has the task of preparing them, and Rapifafa has the task of delivering these offerings. After receiving the offerings from the Rhinostery worker Leepe-Hoppe, Rapifafa heads towards Giddeus, the local Yagudo camp (where I forgot to take screenshots at so have some concept art instead).

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8_zpsrbtycyn3.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/9_zpsuwncyxtl.jpg)

The Yagudo gives Rapifafa quite an attitude before taking the offerings. Not exactly the friendliest of truces, apparently. With her task done, Rapifafa returns to the Rhinostery. As she approaches, she overhears a conversation- it’s Ajido-Marujido again.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/10_zpsb0wthklc.jpg)

It seems Leepe-Hoppe and Ajido-Marujido both want to access the canal under Windurst, which have been off-limits for- you guessed it- 20 years. There’s something about a great beast, Karaha-Baruha’s laboratory, and someone called Rukususu, but Rapifafa can’t make all of it out before Ajido-Marujido notices and takes his leave.

Leepe-Hoope thanks Rapifafa for her service while noting how odd it is Ajido-Marujido is running around doing supposedly forbidden things while rumors continue to circulate all around the city. He then sends Rapifafa back to the Town Guard, who declares that for all the work she has done the past few days, she’ll be promoted to Rank 2. Hurray! Maybe if she keeps getting promoted someone will actually bother telling her what the heck is actually going on.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/11_zpsrdivxdjw.jpg)
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Rucks on August 07, 2015, 11:30:50 AM
This is a pretty good read. 
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 07, 2015, 02:15:44 PM
Thanks Glass. I just needed to know I wasn't being a crazy old man telling stories to the corner of the wall. =P
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Starmongoose on August 07, 2015, 02:57:48 PM
Quality post here mate. =3

I have very little MMO experience, but when I was a little kid, not quite understanding what an MMO was and just thinking FFXI was the sequel to FFX, I begged my dad to get me this game and subscription. I picked Tarutaru, so this starting area is a little nostalgic for me - though my disapointment that this wasn't anything that I hoped for eventually won and I quit FFXI :P
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 11, 2015, 08:55:25 AM
though my disapointment that this wasn't anything that I hoped for eventually won and I quit FFXI :P

Yeah, FFXI was probably a shock to the fans of FF who tried it back when it came out, since back then the biggest MMO around was Everquest (which heavily inspired FFXI), and JRPG fans probably didn't care to learn much about that one. WoW wouldn't come out and change everything and go on to basically become synonymous with MMO until like a year after the US launch of XI.

Generally speaking I'd say MMOs struggle the hardest to have strong characters because you play as a silent character and adventure with other silent characters played by other people. I've actually heard some JRPG fans say they don't like games like DQIX for the same sort of thing.
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 11, 2015, 09:11:36 AM
Windurst Part 3: The Book of the Gods

The Gate Guards have no missions for Rapifafa yet, so she decides to take the time to check up on the S.O.B.s. Recently they’ve been spying on the local cat burglar, Nanaa Mihgo, and they have found that she seems to like hanging around the abandoned House of the Hero in Windurst Walls. Formerly the residence of Karaha-Baruha, it’s been rumored to have become haunted since his death.

The Star Onions ask Rapifafa to bring them onions so they may make some stink bombs to ambush the Cat Burglar with, but luckily she already had some on hand from cutting down goblins around Windurst. With the stinkbombs ready, the Star Onions travel to House of the Hero, where they await the Cat Burglar on the roof. As she approaches the house, the Star Onions unload all their stink bombs. The Star Onions go downstairs to find the Cat Burglar knocked out.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%201_zpsgokjo0op.jpg)

Unfortunately, she isn’t out for long, so the Star Onions have no chance to tie her up. She isn’t too happy waking up to the smell of onions, so the Star Onions make a tactical retreat before she can kick all their asses. Back at the S.O.B. base, it’s revealed that one of the girls picked up something dropped by Nanaa Mihgo, a Mana Orb. Naturally the Star Onions assume that Nanaa Mihgo must have stolen it from somewhere, so they begin planning their next operation to capture her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%202_zpsjrowgyyx.jpg)

That will have to wait though, because the Gate Guards have another mission for Rapifafa, and this time they want her to go help the Optistery, the ministry dedicated to restoration and storage of magical books and documents, as well as analysis of Celestial bodies.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%203_zpslbxsuviq.jpg)

Here she speaks to Tosuka-Porika, who came into the position of minister after the death of Karaha-Baruha. He informs Rapifafa that for the first time since being named minister, he is facing a crisis. Of the Library of Magic, there exists a restricted section which contains books not allowed to be taken out or read. As per rule of fiction, one of these books disappeared- in this case, 20 years ago. It seems there is a rumor that Nanaa Mihgo has come into possession of this book, and to find some way to confirm the veracity of the rumor and reobtain the book.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%204_zpsdqpymt2q.jpg)

Rapifafa finds Nanaa Mihgo in her base in Windurst Woods, most likely planning her next heist. Before Nanaa Mihgo is willing to give any info to Rapifafa, she asks for something in return- she’s to travel to the Maze of Shakhrami, far from Windurst to get a piece of lapis coral for her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%205_zpss9yhzmfk.jpg)

After some preparation, Rapifafa again leaves Windurst, this time past the fields of Sarutabaruta  to the twisting Tahrongi Canyon, formed thousands of years ago from the rivers which ran through the region.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%206_zpsvpp6yrew.jpg)

Amongst the wildlife here she encounters large creatures called dhalmel. In the past people used to fight these things in groups- or not at all, since they generally weren't worth the risk. She’s not too put off by that, though.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%207_zps88bnhuer.jpg)

While travelling through the area she comes across a strange white construct.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%208_zpsca2mdrse.jpg)

While they are a mystery, it’s known that the crystals they hold can be used for teleportation, so she takes a shard for herself in case she needs it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%209_zps4xnjlhhy.jpg)

She finds the Maze of Shakhrami in the northeast of Tahrongi Canyon, and “maze”ť is appropriate, as it’s a rather large complex of underwater tunnels, with impassable chasms spread throughout. The fact she has no map to guide her here doesn’t help matters much.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2010_zpsey2xq9nj.jpg)

Rapifafa soon finds herself utterly lost, and she cannot find lapis coral on any of the rocks she checks in the cave. As she ventures deeper, she’s ambushed by multiple goblins who she knows are too much for her, and she hurriedly makes an escape. She’ll have to come back later (and maybe stop using a sword 15 levels below her).

She opts to travel to the Buburimu Peninsula in the east of Tahrongi Canyon instead. The area is ideal for a port town, as the area contains a rock formation called the Kibubu Lighthouse, which gives off a fluorescent light to guide nearby ships.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2011_zpshqcv20b0.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2012_zpsswl8oaba.jpg)

Rapifafa decides to train her skills off the local monsters for some time, and when night falls she even fights some Bogies, which have been known to wipe out entire parties in the past. However, since elemental magic is completely ridiculously broken at low levels now, Rapifafa has no trouble nuking them into oblivion.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2013_zpsekrwkhyj.jpg)

After some training, Rapifafa takes a break and restock items at the local port town, Mhaura. Here she meets some crazy old lady who says she’ll teach her some adventuring skills if she brings her some Dhalmel spit, a Bloody Robe from a Bogy and a Rabbit Tail. She already has these things on-hand from her adventuring, so she hands them over. The old lady teaches her how to use a support job, and claims the items were simply a test to see if Rapifafa was worthy of the skill. She doesn’t completely buy that, but she’s not sure she’d like to know what the lady actually has planned for the three items anyway so she decides not to look a gift horse in the mouth.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2014_zpsjq8umxmw.jpg)

Music: Mhaura (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJaFB4fk3dQ)

One thing that was kinda cool was that the boats in the game actually make scheduled dockings and departures based off the in-game clock, so it added to the immersion of the game. Of course, it also meant needing to wait like 20 real time minutes if you ever missed a boat so you better have a book ready or something.

Since Rapifafa doesn't need a boat, she makes some preparations and returns to Shakhrami to get her revenge.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2015_zpsl691d3uo.jpg)

By being a complete weenie and just casting invisible on herself so she can sneak past everything. She finds the coral she was looking for on a rock deep in the maze and quickly leaves the area with a warp scroll back to Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2016_zpsh6sme1xt.jpg)

Nanaa Mihgo is pleased with her new treasure and tells her that if she wants the forbidden book, she’ll need a more private area within the Horutoto Ruins to make the exchange.

Rapifafa makes her way to the appointed area, and Nanaa Mihgo enters the room with her two cronies, ordering Rapifafa to drop all her money and take off all her equipment (presumably in that order). Rapifafa takes a moment to reflect on why she fell for such an obvious ruse.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2017_zpsyvkgpxa7.jpg)

Unexpectedly, the Ace Cardians come to Rapifafa’s rescue, demanding that the Cat Burglar return them “the lifeforce of their leader”, and claim that she stole their lord’s belongings. Whatever they are, Nanaa Mihgo knows even she can’t stand up to an Ace Cardian, so she spills the beans- she has hidden the items in the House of the Hero.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2018_zps1pr3qgq1.jpg)

Unfortunately it seems the Aces were never intent on leaving anyone alive, so they ready their attack- until Rapifafa gets her second lucky break of the day and Ajido-Marujido shows up to ambush and defeat one of the Ace Cardians. In exchange for saving Nanaa Mihgo’s life, Ajido-Marujido demands to be handed the key to Karaha-Baruha’s residence, and Nanaa Mihgo is only too happy to give it up, if only to stop the Ace Cardians from pestering her again.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2019_zpsezhcwdya.jpg)

Rapifafa follows Ajido-Marujido back to the House of the Hero, where he predictably makes a straight dash for what he’s been looking for- a book by the deceased Karaha-Baruha. Ajido-Marujido can’t contain his curiosity and opens the book immediately- only to find the pages blank. It seems all the effort was for nothing. It seems the pages going blank is some kind of bad omen though, so Ajido-Marujido tells Rapifafa to report back to Tosuka-Porika immediately.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2020_zpstsnrcmjj.jpg)

Upon revealing that the Book of the Gods has gone blank, Tosuka-Porika responds by becoming Sheila Broflovski.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3%2021_zps5hdxe4cq.jpg)

Tosuka-Porika then commends Rapifafa on a job well-done, and tells her to keep quiet about the situation while he reports it to the Star Sibyl. Looks like Rapifafa's going to have a wait a bit again before she'll get any new orders.
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Dice on August 11, 2015, 10:58:10 AM
Quality post here mate. =3

I have very little MMO experience, but when I was a little kid, not quite understanding what an MMO was and just thinking FFXI was the sequel to FFX, I begged my dad to get me this game and subscription. I picked Tarutaru, so this starting area is a little nostalgic for me - though my disapointment that this wasn't anything that I hoped for eventually won and I quit FFXI :P

Lucky.  I begged my folks and just got a 'no'.  Hell I even got a 'no' when *I* wanted to pay for it (it sucks when your dad is a cop, he's all afraid that I was going to blurt stuff about my personal life and meet people and obviously get raped and killed...so eugh).
Ironically, these days I don't play because I'm worried it would be a huge time-sink that I'm too scared of and want to avoid.

I actually like the Tarutaru more than the falalala's of FXIV... I think it's because in general, FFXI was a bit more committed to cartoony appearances than 14 is (or the limited graphics made that happen).

I live vicariously though other MMO-ers. :P
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 12, 2015, 12:20:01 AM
I actually like the Tarutaru more than the falalala's of FXIV... I think it's because in general, FFXI was a bit more committed to cartoony appearances than 14 is (or the limited graphics made that happen).

I'd say both (in terms of the actual game) have that quasi-realistic anime style modern Final Fantasy games (bar IX) tend to have. I'd say the difference is that the XIV races just seemed like they went "let's go copy the XI races and make a new game" without all the imaginative concepts they came up with to create them in XI. The only difference is that they softened the animalistic features of the Galka, Tarutaru, and Mithra when they transferred to XIV (Roegaedyn have no tails at all, Miqote look a bit less feline, Lalafell have more normal child-like proportions) because generally audiences seem to respond better to more human-like races. I feel this removed a lot of the creativity that went into these designs in the first place.

Given the disaster of XIV's initial launch and how unpolished that whole game felt, I wouldn't be surprised if all the lore that people love from the game today was created under Naoki Yoshida's watch. They were basically stuck with the races they had though.

Here's some concept art of some of the ideas they went through while creating the races in XI.

(http://img1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110125203633/finalfantasy/images/0/0a/Galka_Concept3.jpg)
(http://img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100902164616/finalfantasy/images/9/94/FFXIraceconcept11.png)
(http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110125182748/finalfantasy/images/0/06/Tarutaru_Concept.jpg)
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 16, 2015, 03:06:29 AM
Windurst Part 4: The Three Nations

So far, Rapifafa has received a mission from every ministry in Windurst, except for one- the Aurastery, dedicated to teaching children. This time they have a job for her, and surely it’ll be important with what all the other ministries asked her to do.

One of the teachers at the Aurastery asks Rapifafa to gather some information for the children’s next school assignment.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%201_zpsxqukocex.jpg)

Well, they can’t all be exciting.

As soon as she’s back from her task however, she receives orders to go to Heaven’s Tower.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%202_zpsm0w7fp5h.jpg)

Music: Heaven’s Tower (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECG5u_eMWZw) (I like this song, kinda reminds me of the Zeal music from CT)

The secretary Kupipi doesn’t think she’s ready for the task ahead, but Semih Lafihna herself enters to review Rapifafa’s file, and approves of her assignment in light of her recent achievements.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%203_zpsaix4pikv.jpg)

Rapifafa is given the important task of travelling to two other major nations, Bastok and San d’Oria and speak with the consulates at each of these nations.  She is to gather information at each of these nations, but avoid anything that may be seen as aggressive. The quickest (and safest) route is to take the ferry in Mhaura, so she once again travels across Sarutabaruta, Tahrongi Canyon and Buburimu Peninsula to arrive there.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%204_zpsormayegz.jpg)

Music: Voyager (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jaKmkoy1r7o)

It is quite a long trip, as she is not only leaving Windurstian territory, but actually leaving the continent of Mindartia, travelling to the west end of the continent of Quon.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%205_zpswqj2ll2v.jpg)

After what feels like ages, Rapifafa sees the beaches of the Valkurm Dunes off in the distance.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%206_zpscd5p11f4.jpg)

Rapifafa arrives in the port town Selbina.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%207_zpsxsc0xnxw.jpg)

Music: Selbina (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiGxNFlOO5k)

Selbina is a small independent village which sustains itself through its harbor. Airships, however, are forcing Selbina to invent its own industries, which can’t be easy on such a small town. The local weaver, for instance, adopted a girl named Mathilde who was apparently orphaned 20 years ago during the war.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%208_zpsze4vxwg9.jpg)

Rapifafa cannot waste too much time here though, so she prepares for the long trip ahead by buying some magic from a local merchant- one even lets her put magic into her sword swings, like she always dreamed! With that, she sets off into the Valkurm Dunes.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%209_zpsqkqein0g.jpg)

Rapifafa decides to turn south towards Bastok for now, and past the sands of the Valkurm Dunes are the large grasslands of Konschtat Highlands, where Bastok has contructed many windmills to take advantage of the winds which often pass through this area.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2010_zpsnesgfumg.jpg)

Here she first encounters a Quadav, another race of beastmen which often pester the Bastokans. They’re not particularly friendly, so Rapifafa takes the chance to test out her new sword enhancing spells.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2011_zpsjhazilcn.jpg)

She also finds another massive structure which looks identical to the one she found in Tahrongi. It also contains a crystal for use in travel, so she pockets a shard.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2012_zpstv1wuquc.jpg)

Rapifafa continues south, and arrives in the desert-like region of Gustaberg, which, while devoid of plant life, is filled with large amounts of ore, which is perfect for the industrial city of Bastok.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2013_zpsz2wqbbij.jpg)

Music: Gustaberg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0rYk83Rt0A)

Past Gustaberg, she finally ends her long trek by taking her first steps into a foreign nation- Bastok.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2014_zpsoh7fgyzt.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2015_zpseitjf6e5.jpg)

Music: The Republic of Bastok (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iefGrRfDOPY)

Not wasting any time, Rapifafa travels to the Bastok Metalworks, where the President’s office and the various consulates are. There, the Windurstan representative Patt-Pott fills her in on the situation.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2016_zpss59k5ppo.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2017_zpsmonbqgay.jpg)

Patt-Pott is clearly tired of staying around Bastok, and Rapifafa soon sees why- many of the politicians in Bastok need to be buttered up considerably before they agree to anything, so Patt-Pott likely spends a great deal of his time kissing a lot of the bottom to get to the top. Thankfully Rapifafa only needs to get permission to travel to the nearly Palborough Mines to gather some ore- a pretext to give Windurst a chance to study Bastokan technology. It won’t be easy, however, since apparently lots of Quadav have moved in recently.

After gaining the permission and information she needs, Rapifafa runs into another adventurer on her way out, who introduces herself as Lion.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2018_zpsvlqgkuln.jpg)

Rapifafa already gathered from a few people in town that Bastok was far more aggressive against the Quadavs than Windurst is against the Yagudo, and Lion further informs Rapifafa that the Palborough Mines is actually a sacred place to the Quadav as opposed to just a mine of Bastok. The Humes of Bastok think that they are victims minding their own business, but the truth is that they are simply too apathetic to the world around them.

Rapifafa decides to spend some more time speaking with the locals before setting off for Palborough, and quickly confirms what she had only heard through rumor.  Bastok is a city established by the Humes, and the Galka were forced out of their home in the islands of Kuzotz long ago, escaping to Bastok. To this day they have been a great help to the nation by providing a great deal of the physical labor needed for their mining and forging operations.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2018.5_zpsocmpe1a6.jpg)

The Galka do not strictly speaking have any gender- when the time comes they embark on a spiritual quest as part of a reincarnation cycle. When this occurs, they lose all their memories and for all intents and purposes become a new individual. Occasionally there are Galka who keep not only their memories, but the memories of all their people for the past several centuries. These Talekeepers are recognized as the leaders of the Galka. However, since the disappearance of their last Talekeeper, Raogrimm, 30 years ago, there has not been one to replace him.  For this reason, the eldest of the living Galka, named Werei, had been their leader for the past few decades.

With the recent departure of Werei on his quest of reincarnation, there is unrest amongst the Galka, many of whom escape into their belief that their Talekeeper will soon return. It adds to tensions that exist by default between the Humes and the Galka. Like the Mithra in Windurst, the Galka largely live separately from the Humes in their own part of the city, though the Mithra are on much friendlier terms with the Tarutaru.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2019_zpslnz5uy2d.jpg)

Rapifafa also learns a little about the Mythril Musketeers, the elite guards of Bastok who are hand-picked by the president. She had met two members, Naji and Iron Eater, at the President’s Office earlier. A young Galka named Gumbah recalls a recent visit to his home to Rapifafa from Volker, the Captain of the Mythril Musketeers. In it, Volker asks Werei about the whereabouts of Zeid, a missing Galkan Mythril Musketeer.  It seems Zeid disappeared due to Volker being promoted to Captain over him, and Volker himself has his doubts if he earned enough merit for such a position.

Satisfied with her knowledge of Bastok, Rapifafa travels to the far northeast of Gustaberg, where the Palborough Mines are.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2020_zpsvc3vruga.jpg)

The inside is overrun with Quadav as she was told, but she goes through the process she was told, mining for some unrefined gravel and running through a machine to turn it into mythril sand.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2021_zpsngwkhf0v.jpg)

She makes her escape from the mines through one of the boats inside the mine. It cuts down on all the walking Rapifafa will have to do, and she’ll take any chance for that since she had to walk all the way from the Valkurm Dunes to Bastok just a few days ago. It takes her to the Zeruhn Mines, which are right next to Bastok.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2022_zpsvnnz7lq6.jpg)

As she exits the boat, she spots a Galka in black armor. This Galka tells Rapifafa that he is Zeid, a Dark Knight. Rapifafa recalls that Gumbah had mentioned that the Dark Knight arts were from the homeland of the Galka, and that Zeid had added some of his own touches to the art. Zeid senses that Rapifafa has felled many enemies and hands her a greatsword, offering to teach her the Dark Knight arts, but only if she bloodies the blade before seeking him out again. Rapifafa doesn’t have the nerve to outright reject an offer from such an intimidating man, so she slips the greatsword in her bag. Perhaps she’ll consider it later.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2023_zpszornxntl.jpg)

For now, Rapifafa returns to the consulate and gives the mythril sand she made to Patt-Pott. He informs Rapifafa that he’ll handle it from here and shoos her off to her next task- San d’Oria.

After a short respite, Rapifafa embarks on the long walk ahead. She backtracks her way north through the large wastelands of Gustaberg and the hills of Konschtat Highlands back to the Valkurm Dunes, where she travels straight north this time to the fields of the La Theine Plateau.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2024_zps32mpmjeq.jpg)

Here, she runs into Orcs, an especially violent race of beastmen, and another of those large structures she saw in both Tahrongi Canyon and Konchtat Highlands.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2025_zpsqm2n6863.jpg)

Travelling further north through the La Theine Plateau, she finally arrives in the Ronfaure forests surrounding San d’Oria.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2026_zpsanbzoqta.jpg)

Music: Ronfaure (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WAcS-1H3BM)

Feeling she was in the final stretch before a warm bed, Rapifafa quickly makes her way to the city of San d’Oria.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2028_zpsebfmjvso.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2027_zpsvhoynb2v.jpg)

Music: The Kingdom of San d’Oria (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaGaGqejQqI) (I wasn't joking about those bagpipes)

Despite her fatigue, Rapifafa first reports to the consulate. As she nears the consulate, she takes notice of the Chateau d’Oraguille, where the royal family lives, and the Cathedral of San d’Oria, where she sees excited crowds gathering. All of them speak praises of their religious leader, the Papasque Shamonde, who apparently is the leader of the nation more than the King is in many ways.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2029_zpsposudrti.jpg)

Rapifafa hurries to the consulate, where they don’t tell her much of her mission, and instead simply tell her to speak with Monarlais Halver in the Chateau d’Oraguille for her mission when she is ready. Rapifafa rents a room in the residential area of San d’Oria to get a good night’s rest before continuing.

The next day she goes to speak with Halver, who informs her that despite the Orcs being “quite stupid”, they have started to use more complicated weapons, including machine-like contructs. He guesses that somebody must be supplying them, and asks that Rapifafa investigate Ghelsba Outpost, the vanguard base of operations of the Orcs northwest of San d’Oria.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2030_zpsvvc5johk.jpg)

Before she leaves, Rapifafa tries to learn a little bit about the Elvaans. She first speaks with the leaders of their two major orders of knights- Curilla and Rahal.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2031_zps0pnfcows.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2032_zpsr88pc1sj.jpg)

It seems they have continued to battle the Orcs aggressively even after the Great War ended 20 years ago, contrasting with Windurst’s peaceful solution and Bastok’s defensive position. Because of this, the Royal Knights and the Temple Knights both still have bustling ranks. It reflects the strong emphasis on knighthood in the Elvaan culture, who are very chivalrous and pious, but also incredibly arrogant. Indeed, many of them turn their noses up at other races, especially Tarutaru like Rapifafa.

Rapifafa also learns that the Queen Leaute passed away many years ago, leaving behind her two sons, Prince Trion and Prince Pieuje, as well as a daughter, the Princess Claidie. The rivalry between the brothers Trion and Pieuje is well-known throughout San d’Oria. The former is well-known for his prowess in combat, whereas the latter is more known for his intellect and piety.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2033_zpsiz4vobrx.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2034_zpsvxqrqt9h.jpg)

The more aggressive nature of the Elvaan is a concern for Windurst, but for now, Rapifafa’s task involves investigating the Orcs, so she makes her way to the Ghelsba Outpost, sneaking her way past many Orcs to the top of Fort Ghelsba.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2035_zpsj5acm97k.jpg)

On the highest mountain above Fort Ghelsba, Horlais Peak, Rapifafa encounters something she had never seen before- a dragon, led by an ahriman.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2036_zpshcf2gvze.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2037_zpsw3nbhnny.jpg)

Thankfully, the dragon and its master seem to be distracted by a pair of Elvaan. San d’Orian agents, perhaps?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2038_zpshqbhkb1j.jpg)

The demons prepare to attack, so Rapifafa is glad the Elvaan are here to lend her assistance in the coming fight.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2039_zps9j6rrkpr.jpg)

Or maybe not.

Music: Tough Battle (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQZqteiV_SM&fmt=18) (Not a fan myself, but I heard some people like it, so I guess I'll post it)

It’s a rough fight, but Rapifafa manages to defeat both the floating eye and the dragon. Lion decides to pick this moment to show up, and while Rapifafa’s glad to see a familiar face, about two minutes earlier would’ve been even better. Lion seems shocked by the dragon, saying that they have not been seen since 20 years ago when the Shadow Lord was defeated, and even then they were generally only seen in the Northlands.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2040_zpsnwrz0h1t.jpg)

The ahriman, named Spotter, declares in classic bad guy fashion that he is only the vanguard for the return of said Shadow Lord before kicking off for good. Lion tells Rapifafa what she already knows, that she should probably take this information back to Windurst.

After reporting back to Kasaroro of the San d’Orian consulate, Rapifafa receives a report detailing everything she had seen in both Bastok and San d’Oria, and is told to take the report back to Windurst. Considering the long road back, Rapifafa momentarily wishes she had long legs like an Elvaan, or at least a country considerate enough to give her a personal chocobo on such an important mission.

Travelling through the forests of Ronfaure, the fields of La Thiene Plateau, taking a boat from Selbina on the sands of Valkurm Dunes back to Mhaura in the Buburimu Peninsula, and finally through Tahrongi Canyon and Sarutabaruta, Rapifafa arrives back home in Windurst. The trip took several days, but knowing the urgency of the message, she takes it to Heaven’s Tower immediately.

On the ground floor Rapifafa once again speaks to Kupipi, who says she’ll take the report up to the Star Sibyl. Rapifafa might’ve done a lot, but access to the upper parts of the tower is still only allowed to a small select few. Still, they do recognize all the work Rapifafa has done, so she’s given another shiny promotion. Hurray!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4%2041_zpsdt4k7quj.jpg)
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 21, 2015, 01:21:52 AM
Windurst Part 5: Castle Oztroja

It seems the Star Sibyl needs time to take in the report Rapifafa gave last time, so after spending some time making some money to buy new armor, she checks up on the Star Onions.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%201_zpsgegugc5h.jpg)

It seems since last time Nanaa Mihgo has demanded for the Mana Orb back, saying whoever after it is dangerous. Naturally the Star Onions don’t bother listening, and now Kohlo-Lakolo asks Rapifafa for the minister’s ring to open the door to the House of the Hero. Rapifafa of course knows that the ring was taken from Nanaa Mihgo by Ajido-Marujido, so the easiest way for her to find it would probably be to continue her investigations for Windurst.

The Gate Guards tell Rapifafa that Semih Lafihna wants to give the next assignment herself, so she makes her way to the Heaven’s Tower.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%202_zpsufgwzq9h.jpg)

This time, Rapifafa is being allowed access to the tower, a great honor.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%203_zpsfyilttaz.jpg)

On the second floor she meets the various ladies-in-waiting serving the Star Sibyl. One woman explains that once a year, the five ministers will gather here to hear the readings from the Star Sibyl to determine how the nation will move forward. Another woman explains that in order to become a lady-in-waiting and have the chance to view these divinations, one must be a female Tarutaru with no martial, magical training, or worldly desires- then follows it up by whispering that she would actually really love a mutton tortilla right about now. Rapifafa can only smile understandingly at her and move on, not wanting to ruin the good will she has built up to get this far.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%204_zpsexlbo6vd.jpg)

At the top of the Tower Rapifafa finds the entrance to the Vestal Chamber, where Star Sibyl resides, as well as the Star Spring, where the Star Sibyl performs her Star Readings. The Star Sibyl is believed by the Tarutaru to be the physical manifestation of the goddess Altana, so it’s no surprise that as she approaches, Semih Lafihna comes through to stop her before she can enter- no matter how much Rapifafa may have done the past few weeks, she’s far from being allowed to meet a living god. Even some of the ladies-in-waiting have never met the Star Sibyl despite devoting their entire lives to serving her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%205_zpszjx5mti9.jpg)

Semih Lafihna explains that the Star Sibyl had in fact already sensed the Shadow Lord’s impending return even before Rapifafa had delivered her report- she was simply asked to come here so that she can keep quiet about the affair to avoid widespread panic. She’s assured that the officials will handle the situation, and that she may return to her freelance adventuring.

As Rapifafa turns to leave, there is a commotion coming from downstairs- Ajido-Marujido runs up to the top floor of the Tower, somehow magically stunning any guard who tried to stop him. Semih Lafihna is not happy about this attack, accusing Ajido-Marujido has gone mad in his quest for Karaha-Baruha’s power.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%206_zpsigahly4z.jpg)

Ajido-Marujido is furious at this accusation, and reads the riot act to Semih Lafihna, criticizing the inaction of the WIndurstian officials while presenting the blank Book of the Gods as evidence. He demands that Semih Lafihna show the blank book to the Star Sibyl, and storms out, muttering about how he’ll be the one to save Windurst under his breath.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%207_zpstvxducz8.jpg)

Semih Lafihna isn’t about to just let this madman run around doing whatever he feels like, so she calls Rapifafa back and assigns her a new mission- she is to follow Ajido-Marujido and figure out what he’s up to.

Questioning the men at the Orastery tells Rapifafa that Ajido-Marujido has left for Castle Oztroja- the home base of the Yagudo, far away from Windurst. It seems Rapifafa has another long journey ahead of her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%208_zpsbudkgcil.jpg)

Travelling to the Konschtat Highlands, Rapifafa heads north to the Meriphataud Mountains, instead of east to the peninsula where she had previously traveled. The most striking feature of these mountains is a large bone-like structure known as Drogaroga’s Spine, said to have been left behind by the mythical dragon Drogaroga from the beginning of time. On the eastern end of these mountains was Castle Oztroja, the home of the Yagudo.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%209_zpsepnoxkys.jpg)

Castle Oztroja, like most of the other beastman strongholds, is one of the largest dungeons in the game, with enemies still threatening at higher levels. Thankfully, Rapifafa doesn’t venture too far in before she finds Ajido-Marujido leaning against a wall.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2010_zpsx5pudeqh.jpg)

Rapifafa rushes forward to see if he is okay.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2011_zpsibfxsd7x.jpg)

Ajido-Marujido only suffered minor injuries apparently, and is mostly just tired. He quickly deduces that Rapifafa is only here on the orders of Semih Lafihna. He explains to Rapifafa that while Semih Lafihna may have been raised amongst Tarutaru, she was still a Mithra and did not understand the seriousness of everything that has been happening. The Book of the Gods that he had handed to Semih Lafihna dates back to the founding of Windurst, when the first Star Sibyl had gained the powers of the stars at the Full Moon Fountain. The fact the Star Sibyl has remained silent despite the book becoming blank drove Ajido-Marujido to a desperate act- he came to Castle Oztroja to obtain information from the Yagudo King, as the Yagudo are also witnesses of time. He apparently gained some information, but he does not share it with Rapifafa before taking his leave.

With her mission accomplished, Rapifafa also prepares to leave the castle, but not before she notices that Ajido-Marujido had dropped something- the Minister’s ring, the key to the House of the Hero.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2012_zps3nst5pb9.jpg)

Returning to Windurst, Semih Lafihna commends Rapifafa on a job well-done, and assures her that Ajido-Marujido will receive a warning to the minister for breaking yet another one of their laws (because the last 10 or so warnings have worked quite well of course). She also tells Rapifafa that it seems she can’t be going back to her freelance adventuring as soon as she thought, as another mission will come soon.

With that in mind, Rapifafa knows she can’t leave the city for now, so the next day she goes to the Star Onions once again. With the ring to open the house now in their possession, they can enact another plan to catch the Cat Burglar.

At the House of the Hero, the Star Onions confront Nanaa Mihgo, and Rapifafa finally learns some information as to what Ajido-Marujido has been seeking. Nanaa Mihgo tells the children that if they’re so intent on stopping bad people in Windurst, they should be turning their sights on the minister of the Orastery, who is trying to bring back a type of magic long forbidden by the Star Sibyl- Summoning Magic. As Rapifafa contemplates this and the Star Onions quibble amongst themselves, the Cat Burglar slips out and locks the door.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2013_zpsykdh433v.jpg)

With no choice, they explore the house for an alternate exit despite rumors of it being haunted. Not long after, one child screams that there’s a dead body in the corner. As the Star Onions approach it, the Mana Orb begins to react, and the body rises out of its coffin- it’s a Cardian, who introduces himself as Joker. All questions directed at Joker come back with no answer, as his memory functions seem to be damaged. Thankfully he is able to free the Brigade from the locked house, and on their way out they invite Joker to join the Star Onions.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2014_zps4jtcvrji.jpg)

Rapifafa lets the children run ahead back to their base, as she receives word that the head lady-in-waiting, Zubaba, has a task for her, so Rapifafa heads for the Heaven’s Tower, conveniently located near the House of the Hero.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2015_zpslrendnm3.jpg)

After the persistently cranky Zubaba finishes her 5-minute rant about adventurers always being late, she tells Rapifafa a little story. Apparently the Star Sibyl had seen the war before it had occurred 20 years ago, and upon finishing that vision, she collapsed and lay in bed shivering for days.

When Ajido-Marujido brought the blank Book of the Gods, the Star Sibyl began gazing into the Star Spring every day until last night, when she collapsed, in the same manner as she did 20 years ago. Something has gone wrong in the Horutoto Ruins, where part of a talisman used to seal the Castle Zvahl is kept. Rapifafa is to investigate the room where it is kept.

Rapifafa travels to the Horutoto tower in the far east of Sarutabaruta, and descends to the deepest levels of the ruins. There, she finds a magical door which can only be opened with the combined efforts of a White, Black, and Red Mage.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2016_zpsmnflcwro.jpg)

She only fulfills a third of that equation, but after asking for some help from some fellow adventurers, she is able to break the seal and enter the hallway.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2017_zpssoieivib.jpg)

Inside, she finds the room with the talisman fragment. As she approaches, a voice tells her not to approach it- it’s Ajido-Marujido.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2018_zpsoa3cksjk.jpg)

The Cardians guarding the talisman will attack people who get too close, excepting the five ministers. Since they were built by Ajido-Marujido’s father, the inventor of the Cardians, it is safe to assume they are far too strong for Rapifafa to handle. Ajido-Marujido notes to himself that the fact they are still functioning mean his father is still alive before asking Rapifafa about why she has come here. Upon learning that the Star Sibyl has collapsed, he runs off, mumbling something about the Full Moon Fountain. For Rapifafa’s part, she has already confirmed that the talisman fragment is intact, so she returns to Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5%2019_zps7s5ip1s4.jpg)

Upon reporting to a Gate Guard, he congratulates Rapifafa on a job well done and prepares to give her a new assignment- he is visibly troubled when he hands Rapifafa the orders, telling Rapifafa he reconfirmed it several times. Rapifafa opens the orders- it’s a writ of summons with a white star emblem on it. The writ was nothing like she’d seen before, with writing which twinkled like starlight. More shocking, however, were the contents.

Rapifafa was being summoned to the Vestal Chambers of the Heavens Tower to meet the Star Sibyl in person.
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 22, 2015, 04:34:23 AM
Windurst Part 6: Journey to Jeuno

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%201_zpsjnnkgpde.jpg)

The Star Sibyl isn’t quite what’s expected- she doesn't look any different from any other Tarutaru, save her fancy robes and long flowing hair. The Star Sibyl tells Rapifafa she is to become an envoy to the city of Jeuno, quite an important task as Jeuno lies in the middle of the other three major nations, built on a bridge connecting Mindartia and Quon.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%202_zpsldradifq.jpg)

Rapifafa accepts the task, despite mentally noting that meeting the Star Sibyl was a little less breathtaking than one would assume when meeting a God. One thing’s for sure though, the Star Sibyl has a very nice room.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%203_zpsc7p6tgdn.jpg)

Music: Sauromugue Champaign (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buwyklWEARA)

The long trek to Jeuno involves running past Sarutabaruta, Tahrongi Canyon, and Meriphataud Mountains into the Sauromugue Champaign, another barren area, same as most of Mindartia barring Sarutabaruta.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%204_zpshuvbrjfh.jpg)

Her long journey over, Rapifafa arrives at the city of Jeuno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%206_zpslczsowwl.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%205_zpsknuditzc.jpg)

Music: The Grand Duchy of Jeuno (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-CEfMytkUg) (Not a big fan of this song. Probably had to listen to it way too much back when Jeuno was the place you formed parties/waited for one.)

She decides she doesn't have much time to speak with the locals and gets to work, traveling down the main road and up several flights of stairs to reach Ru’Lude Gardens, where the Archduke’s palace and the embassies are.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%207_zpssf3pazxt.jpg)

Music: Ru'Lude Gardens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4EFhDquyFA)

As luck would have it, the ambassador is investigating the Delkfutt’s Tower, located on Qufim Island directly under Jeuno. The receptionist tells Rapifafa if she wants anything done soon, she should probably go find him herself.

The first thing Rapifafa notices upon exiting into Qufim Island is a strange spine-like structure, similar to the ones attached to the telepoint constructs. She had also seen some spines like this earlier in Sauromugue Champaign, though far fewer in number.  Following the spine away from Jeuno, she arrives at Delkfutt’s Tower.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%208_zps3arzsviy.jpg)

As the name implies, traversing Delkfutt’s Tower involves a long, long climb, with plenty of nasty beastmen along the way. They’re not much trouble for her though.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%209_zpsvau0zfoj.jpg)

After going up (and down) more flights of stairs than she could count, Rapifafa finally finds the ambassador. He’s unconscious, but otherwise fine. After he comes to and has a moment to rest, he decides to run back to Jeuno, Rapifafa closely following behind.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2010_zps1yguxrvv.jpg)

Back in Jeuno, the ambassador rewards Rapifafa with the title of embassy, alongside giving her a promotion.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2011_zpsxw64nxco.jpg)

He informs Rapifafa may be needed for a mission soon, but for now she can only stand by for orders. Seems like the perfect opportunity to get to know this city.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2012_zpsftv8w6z1.jpg)

The biggest point of interest in Ru’Lude Gardens is the Archduke’s Palace. While she can’t get an audience with him, she is allowed to take a look around. An old man by the name of Maat senses that Rapifafa has reached the limits of her training, and offers her a way to break past this limit. She’s intrigued, and Maat sends her off to go find some items from the surrounding dungeons.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2013_zpsb6xgwwug.jpg)

She decides to explore Jeuno a little bit more first, walking downstairs to Upper Jeuno, mostly known for its bell tower and its cathedral, and also known for issuing Chocobo licenses, which Rapifafa would not mind having one of.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2014_zpskabjxba2.jpg)

Taking a moment to visit the cathedral, Rapifafa gets to once again hear the story known to all in Vana’Diel: That they were all created by the Dawn Goddess Altana, and that upon seeing this, the Twilight God condemned the races to eternal struggle. Rapifafa offers up a prayer and leaves for the Chocobo Stables.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2015_zpsl5btbbjp.jpg)

The owner, Brutus, is only too happy to offer Rapifafa a license, but like with anything, there’s a price- instead of simply allowing her to buy it, she is to nurse a wounded chocobo back to health.

She tries several times to feed the chocobo a clump of Gauzebit Grass, but it seems whoever had previously owned the chocobo abused it in some way, leaving it distrustful of humans. The stable boy suggests that it simply needs some time, so Rapifafa decides to instead spend some time finding one of the items Maat had asked for.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2016_zpsxxekx3jx.jpg)

Music: Batallia Downs (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNbWyBUMD6s)

She exits to Batallia Downs, known for many historic battles during the Great War, leaving the place as essentially a giant graveyard. Here, she once again finds one of those strange spines. More importantly, she finds several entrances which lead down into the Eldieme Necropolis. While previously a simple burial ground built by the Elvaans, the large scale of death which had taken place during the war has left the place full of undead- exactly what Maat wanted Rapifafa to find.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2017_zpsi1ksovef.jpg)

The dungeon consists of several hallways, many of which have been blocked off, and many requiring switches demanding multiple travelers, so it takes a long while for Rapifafa to get what she needed. With her treasure in hand, she returns to Upper Jeuno, where the stable boy tells her that the chocobo she was to nurse back to health had started eating again. Over the next few days, Rapifafa feeds Gauzebit Grass to the chocobo. As it nears recovery, its owner, Dietmund, comes to demand for it back, but neither Rapifafa nor the stable boy was going to have that after what he had done to it. Brutus, satisfied with these events, rewards Rapifafa with a Chocobo License. Hurray, no more walking!

Rapifafa spends a little more time speaking with the locals. It seems many decades ago, Jeuno had been a very simple fishing village, until a fisherman saved two boys, one of whom became the current Archduke. Under his leadership, Jeuno grew into the massive city it is today- one that attracts merchants of all races, even including a Goblin store which is found in Lower Jeuno. After gathering this infromation, Rapifafa decides to give her new chocobo license a spin by taking one out of Lower Jeuno into the Rolanberry Fields.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2018_zpsn9rg0ky6.jpg)

Music: Rolanberry Fields (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUWw0qpwmqE) (This one's really nice IMO)

While travelling through Rolanberry Fields, Rapifafa once again notices another place where the strange white spines coming out of the ground. She ignores them and takes this opportunity to find the next item Maat asked for, found inside the Crawler’s Nest in the south end of the fields, known for its winding passageways and abundance of crawlers (naturally). This time, it doesn’t take too long for her to find what she needs.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2019_zpszpptwzhg.jpg)

Her last destination is the Garlaige Citadel, in the south of the Sauromugue Champaign she had passed earlier on the way to Jeuno. Like the Necropolis, the former military fortress is also a graveyard to many from the Great War, and contains several gates which normally can only be opened by at least 4 people. Thankfully, there are other ways past these doors, so Rapifafa finds the treasure she was sent here for, and returns to Jeuno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2020_zpsq0fzwim7.jpg)

Maat is pleased with the three items Rapifafa has found, and teaches Rapifafa how to expand her abilities. It seems Maat has plans to teach Rapifafa even more when she reaches her limits again, so she makes a mental note to come visit Maat every now and again.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2021_zpsawtk8en3.jpg)

For now, it seems the Ambassador finally has Rapifafa’s next job for her, so she travels back to the embassy.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6%2022_zpsb14sjjbl.jpg)

It seems Rapifafa has another big meeting ahead of her- this time, it’ll be with the Archduke of Jeuno.
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 28, 2015, 09:42:09 AM
Windurst Part 7: Magicite

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%201_zps2h0owvgf.jpg)

The Archduke Kam’lanaut tells Rapifafa of her mission (while his brother keeps butting in)- the beastmen are digging up strange stones called Magicite within their home bases of Davoi, Beadeaux and Castle Oztroja, and she is to investigate. This is supposedly linked to the return of the Shadow Lord, which is enough of a reason to undertake the mission, but as an extra incentive, Kam’lanaut also offers an airship pass as a reward when the task is finished. The first part of the mission involves gathering information from the underground organization of smugglers known as the Tenshodo, who have their bases in Lower Jeuno.

Their leader, Aldo, tries giving Rapifafa some clues on how to enter the deeper parts of the beastman strongholds, but the conversation is interrupted by Aldo’s sister Verena and her goblin friend Fickblix.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%202_zpshvgynwls.jpg)

Verena pleads with Aldo to not assist me in fighting the beastmen as some of them have learned to be peaceful, and Aldo gives her some excuses before sending both her and Rapifafa off.

Rapifafa gathers all the info as per Aldo’s instructions, including some from the local Goblin shop. There, she meets Fickblix again, who tells the store manager he’ll be taking a break so he can travel to Castle Oztroja to try to calm down the beastmen causing trouble.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%203_zps1whpooxv.jpg)

Rapifafa herself starts by taking a chocobo from Lower Jeuno out past Rolanberry Fields into the Pashhow Marshlands.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%204_zpssc56drog.jpg)

Past that is the nest of the Quadav, Beadeaux.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%205_zpshyn0iwpb.jpg)

Travelling through Beadeaux requires passing by multiple structures, called either The Mute or The Afflictor.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%206_zps6epgvccj.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%207_zps6ta7h7kc.jpg)

As the name implies, the former kind causes Silence, but it is required if Rapifafa wants to avoid the effects from The Afflictor, which causes a curse that lowers HP, MP, and movement speed significantly. Silence heavily cripples a Red Mage like Rapifafa, but thankfully she has brought a couple Echo Drops with her to solve that problem once she makes it past The Afllictors.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%208_zpstvadrl3t.jpg)

Inside Beadeaux Rapifafa finds the strange stone she’s been looking for. As she collects a piece of the magicite for part of her report, it gives her a vision.

Rapifafa sees a discussion between the Galka of Bastok about their recent excavations. Amongst them is the Galkan Talekeeper she had heard of, Raogrimm. From this, Rapifafa knows this is a vision of events from more than 30 years ago. Some of the younger miners tell Raogrimm they tried to stop the progress of further excavation into Quadav territory, but none were willing to listen.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%209_zpsj7vq613r.jpg)

Music: Hopelessness (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6GXng0t3_c)

Rapifafa sees another vision of the former Mythril Musketeers Ulrich, Cornelia, and Raogrimm, killing numerous Quadav. After the battle Raogrimm surveys the area and confirms his suspicions- that the Quadav were only defending their eggs.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2010_zpsqvj8irik.jpg)

Finally Rapifafa sees one more vision, one of a confrontation between Raogrimm and Ulrich near the Castle Zvahl which ends in tragedy.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2011_zpskpfj4lab.jpg)

With the first piece of Magicite in hand, Rapifafa travels once again to Castle Oztroja.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2012_zpsh48u1vuz.jpg)

Rapifafa ventures deeper into the castle this time, where she finds a collapsed Fickblix.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2013_zpsp8ytwsyi.jpg)

Unfortunately there’s nothing Rapifafa or Verena can do for him, and he dies. Before leaving the castle to return to Jeuno, Verena reminds Rapifafa to remember there were beastmen who thought like Fickblix did.

For now Rapifafa can’t worry about that though, so she ventures further in, finding what she came here for.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2014_zpscrrrszsx.jpg)

Once again, the Magicite shows Rapifafa a vision.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2015_zpsr2iytfjs.jpg)

Music : Repression Memoro de la S^tono (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_x25AiIsUw)

Karaha-Baruha is telling the Star Sibyl about the summoning magic he learned from ancient texts. The Book of the Gods depict the Star Sibyl commanding a great beast, and Karaha-Baruha believes he has unlocked the meaning of the Horutoto Ruins and the Full Moon Fountain which lies below.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2016_zpst2ze2eja.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2017_zpsqffd1lrw.jpg)

Rapifafa sees another vision of Ajido-Marujido’s meeting with the Yagudo Avatar. The Yagudo tell Ajido-Marujido that the towers of the Horutoto Ruins are evil, they drain the areas around Sarutabaruta of their magic- contrary to what the Tarutaru think, the barren wastelands that surround Sarutabaruta are not the result of the Yagudo, but the towers. The Tarutaru only have themselves to blame because they activated those towers. The Avatar further tells Ajido-Marujido if he wishes to see the truth, he must travel to the deepest part of the central tower of the ruins himself.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2018_zps0nucrlos.jpg)

She sees one more vision, this time of the Star Sibyl. She is clearly under great duress, and asks for the assistance for one man: Karaha-Baruha.

This only seems to raise more questions about what's going on in Windurst, but for now there are more pressing matters at hand. Rapifafa travels to the final beastman stronghold. Past the Battalia Downs is the Jugner Forest.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2019_zpshqlayll7.jpg)

Past that is the Orcish base. The Orcs are actually not from Quon originally- they came from a faraway land to the north. Since the takeover of the Elvaan Monastery of La Vaule however, it became the main base of the Orcs in Quon and was renamed Davoi.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2020_zps4ltzkwpq.jpg)

Compared to Oztroja and Beadeaux the Magicite didn’t feel as deep inside the stronghold, and perhaps it was because of this Rapifafa now noticed that all the Magicite that she had seen up to this point was surrounded by the white cermet structures she had seen used to construct the telepoints and found in spines near Jeuno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2021_zps9szgrcxf.jpg)

Touching the Magicite, she once again receives a vision.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2022_zpsycbefhh2.jpg)

Music: Anxiety (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOqUMiEmVt4)

A man named Francmage is in an audience with the King Destin and the former Papasque Muchavatte. He is carrying the news of the Bastokan’s investigation to the Northlands, and Francmage is ordered to join in the investigation to see what their plan is.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2023_zps2quk4ute.jpg)

The vision flashes forward to the expedition itself, and Francmage is speaking with the representatives from Windurst, Iru-Kuiru and another from Kazham, Yow Rabntah. Francmage notes that there’s nothing here as he expected, and that they should probably return home soon. The other two are not sure about that, as Iru-Kuiru senses something wrong with the area, and Yow Rabntah notes she smells nothing, which is odd for a Mithra.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2024_zpscxjubpyk.jpg)

They don’t have much time to discuss the issue however, as Ulrich interrupts them, telling them that Raogrimm and Cornelia were attacked by beastmen. Despite a long search, they were unable to locate the two, and agreed they had to return home to avoid any further risks.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2025_zpsxzonb8jz.jpg)

A final vision shows Francmage taking a walk through the dungeons of San d’Oria. Soon after he leaves the sight of a nearby guard however, he lets out a scream- the cause of it however, is unknown to both the guard and Rapifafa.

With the vision over, Lion shows up, late as she always is. She wonders aloud what the beastmen could possibly be doing with these stones, when a shadow appears before both of them.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2026_zpsqmguicbt.jpg)

Music: Shadow Lord (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8m2uRA_-vM)

The Shadow of Darkness tells them that they are too late, and all the rage, cowardice, envy, arrogance and apathy which runs through the races will be the undoing of Vana’Diel- The Shadow Lord has returned.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2027_zpswvvjfwsr.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to the Archduke with the three shards of Magicite, as well as the news of the Shadow Lord’s return. The Archduke hands Rapifafa her reward and notes that the seal within Castle Zvahl should prevent the Shadow Lord’s return, so the time has come to stop the beastmen threat.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2028_zpstyv4aodm.jpg)

The conversation is interrupted by one of the guards, with the message that all three nation leaders were attacked by beastmen- it seems they are one step ahead of the nations. Kam’lanaut instead tells Rapifafa that she should return to her nation and assess the situation.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2029_zpse8casffe.jpg)

On her way out, Rapifafa runs into Eald’narche, the Archduke’s little brother. He seems to hold some strange powers, apparently reading Rapifafa’s mind and seeing how Verena was able to become close with the beastmen. He then asks one of the guards to bring Verena to him so they can play together. Seems like a good idea, Verena could probably use a friend right now.

Rapifafa wishes she could have that luxury herself, but for now she prepares for her return to Windurst. Before she leaves the consulate, they tell her to use her new airship pass for the fastest way back to Windurst, and promote her another rank.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7%2030_zps4yegivrv.jpg)

Hopefully, the Star Sibyl will be okay.
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Rucks on August 28, 2015, 10:04:24 AM
I read this every time. I don't usually comment though because I've never really played an MMO.  Kind of wondering what your end game is since you can't really "beat" XI.
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 28, 2015, 11:07:22 AM
For the most part, I'm only presenting the main story quests of XI (In November of this year, they'll be releasing the final story quest of FFXI so the story will be as "complete" as it will ever get) along with a couple side quests which tie into the main story (The Star Onions storyline for example, is a sidequest). I'm actually trying to target any folks who had never played this game or even just MMOs in general, because I do think XI's story is pretty nice. Any feedback is welcome too, believe it or not I try to keep my posts as short I can while still keeping all the plot points in. That's why I actually haven't said too much about the gameplay.

Good to know you're still reading by the way! I actually lurk a couple of the journals around here but now that I'm writing my own I guess I should try commenting more often in said threads because now I know it's nice to get some assurance people are reading. =P
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: D-Rider on August 28, 2015, 10:27:43 PM
Man, is the game really that soloable these days, or are you just cutting out the grind for narrative's sake? :P

Keep in mind, I haven't played in...uh...whenever it was we were all playing around here.
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on August 29, 2015, 06:01:39 AM
Yeah, these days the game is practically all soloable. There's a couple things that require a party but there's probably less than 10 major story missions that fall under that category. The major story missions also no longer have level caps so you can simply outlevel them.

I do do some grinding in between the story missions that I'm not showing, but I've been doing it all solo. Back when RPGFan had a couple people playing at the US launch, it would take weeks to reach level 30, even in groups. I can do that in a few hours now. Back then you'd earn like 75 EXP for killing an Decent Challenge monster. Now I can get like 1000 each depending on what I'm doing.

Another huge boon is that I can summon NPC helpers which act as party members. You can see them in a couple of the screenshots I took, I do try to leave them out of the shot though.
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on September 06, 2015, 09:09:01 AM
Windurst Part 8: A Red Mage's Story

Travelling to Port Jeuno, Rapifafa travels to docks with the airship bound for Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%201_zpsmicrkliq.jpg)

As the consulate told Rapifafa, the airship was a far faster mode of transportation back to her home country than by foot or chocobo.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%202_zpsxrhn3bbh.jpg)
(One of the cool things about boat/airship travel in this game is that they bothered making the landscape when you look out the side look roughly like all the areas you had traversed on foot. It's one of those details that helped reduce the immersion break from having zoned areas.)

Music: Airship (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-if85nnGWMg)

Back in Windurst, Rapifafa is relieved to find that the Star Sibyl is fine. However, during the attack on Windurst, the talisman Rapifafa had seen in the Horutoto Ruins had been stolen. The Star Sibyl was also visited by a strange “bearer of darkness”- an agent of the Yagudo, perhaps?

The Star Sibyl tells Rapifafa that they will go check on the seals in Bastok and San d’Oria, while she is given a different task. Rukususu, the minister of the Rhinostery, explains.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%203_zpsa2dbsxth.jpg)

Rapifafa is to travel to the northlands and enter the ruins of a lost city called Fei’Yin. Rukususu explains that long ago, another race inhabited Vana’Diel, called the Zilart, and that these ruins were likely left behind by this civilization. Thirty years ago, a group of representatives from the three nations of Windurst, Bastok, and San d’Oria were sent to investigate Fei’Yin and the strange powers which emanated from below. The expedition was a failure. After the Great War, however, the ruins were successfully investigated, and it was chosen as the place for a fourth seal.

Needless to say, they want Rapifafa to investigate this very seal.

Rapifafa accepts the task. She travels to San d’Oria by airship and takes a chocobo to the northeast of the Ronfaure forests, where she enters the Ranguemont Pass.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%204_zpswt0l3igj.jpg)

The pass is sealed off because of the danger beyond- if Rapifafa wishes to venture further, she will need to find her own way back.

The Ranguemont Pass is filled with enemies far beyond Rapifafa’s capabilities, but fortunately she can still cast those sneaking spells and makes her way past them. On the other side of the pass was the northlands.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%205_zpsmhsia1mx.jpg)

The Beaucedine Glacier is a massive series of passageways and cliffs too high to scale, so Rapifafa needs to make her way through the passageways.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%206_zpshvsnpmbg.jpg)

Near the bottom were the ruins of Fei’Yin, which Rapifafa instantly recognized as being made of the same white cermet which also constituted the Delkfutt’s Tower and numerous other structures she had seen throughout the continent.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%207_zpsgamwxtwt.jpg)

Inside, she runs into Lion and Zeid, apparently doing an investigation of their own.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%208_zpsqfjmj8qh.jpg)

Zeid recounts a story, which Rapifafa recognizes as being the visions she received from the Magicite- 30 years ago, an expedition travelled to the northlands, consisting of Raogrimm, Cornelia, Ulrich, Francmage, Iru-Kuiru and Rabntah- all known as great heroes in their homelands. After the loss of Raogrimm and Cornelia in the northlands, the other four returned to their homelands, only to suffer mysterious deaths one by one.  Zeid speculates that perhaps they had awoken some curse in these lands, prompting Lion to tell him about what we had seen under Davoi. To this, Zeid recites the lyrics of an old song.

Quote
The great bane will devour the fair land of Vana’diel.
The ancient seal will be broken, awakening nightmares of ages past.
The blood of innocents will soak to earth, and the world will fall into fear and despair.
But as one bright star shines through the clouds at night, and as one song rings clear above the roar of beasts, we hold to one hope in these darkest of times.
That they will come, with the wisdom of ages and the strength of thousands, to deliver us from our plight. We await the awakening of the Warriors of the Crystal.

Zeid apologizes for the tangent, saying it’s just an old song he thought of before running off. Rapifafa also couldn’t stay here much longer- she had to go check on the seal.

As Rapifafa approaches the seal, she is attacked by numerous undead.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%209_zps4chyan1n.jpg)

They put up quite a fight, but soon they all fall to Rapifafa. Taking cues from Lion, Zeid decides to show up after the fight is all over.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2010_zpsr2x9xcyj.jpg)

Zeid asks Rapifafa what she’s doing here, and upon her answer he promptly tells her that the seal will no longer be of any use, as the Shadow Lord died 20 years ago. Rapifafa knows what she saw with her own eyes however, and completes her task before returning to Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2011_zpsgunyvjmn.jpg)

The Star Sibyl seems concerned as all four seals were displaced, so she tells Rapifafa to stand by for her next mission as she calls for the five ministers to discuss the situation.

Rapifafa doesn’t expect a quick answer given what's been happening in Windurst, and she knows she will need to prepare for the journey ahead, so Rapifafa instead decides to trace a rumor about a powerful Red Mage she had heard in San d’Oria. She passes through Jeuno on the way to San d'Oria by airship, so she pays another visit to Maat who sends her on another task.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2012_zpsmxtoffyo.jpg)

In the Lion Springs Tavern of Southern San d’Oria, the Elvaan Sharzalion tells Rapifafa  he will give her the information she wants if she’ll run an errand for her in Davoi.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2013_zps1mpi2e2x.jpg)

Rapifafa has little trouble in completing the task, and return to Sharzalion.

Sharzalion is happy to tell Rapifafa the recent rumors that a ghost had been sighted in the church. He even confirms that he had seen the ghost himself- it was the ghost of Rainemard, a powerful Red Mage from the days of the Great War. There is not much else to the story, but the bartender and Sharzalion gossip about how he had a daughter-they take some time to remember her name, but they finally spit it out- Curilla, the Captain of the Temple Knights.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2014_zpsrubs8q8p.jpg)

Curilla is troubled by the rumors of her father’s ghost, but she is not comfortable being around the church despite being a believer. Rapifafa has no problem fulfilling this request, so Curilla hands Rapifafa her father’s old watch in case it comes in handy. Rapifafa then travels to the lower floor of the church she had heard about in the rumors, and proceeds to pray.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2015_zpsusz3q7nv.jpg)

She soon feels a strange presence behind her, creeping close. Just as Sharzalion had described, she could not move her body.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2016_zpsdwxtzo7o.jpg)

The ghost asks if Rapifafa is Curilla, and then drops a pair of boots in her hands before leaving.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2017_zps44hknvmw.jpg)

When Rapifafa awakens, the priest nearby tells her she seemed to be in pain as she prayed. Just then, the papasque walks in- quite the occasion, as many San d’Orians would be honored to meet the holy man.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2018_zpsgxbgt01i.jpg)

Shamonde asks Rapifafa why she is here, and Rapifafa answers truthfully. The papasque is very disturbed by this, cursing Rapifafa as a blasphemer and telling her that she should pray to Altana for forgiveness before leaving the room. The priest joins in the condemnation, and tells Rapifafa to reflect on her sins.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2019_zps3py2ow9u.jpg)

Upon return to Curilla, she is shocked at Rapifafa’s story, and attempts to put the boots on. It seems they are cursed in some way, and the nearby Prince Trion pipes in, saying that such boots could probably be exorcised if they were buried in a place where light shines in the Crawler’s Nest. Curilla says for all her work, Rapifafa may do with the boots as she pleases, but to return to her if she has clues of her father’s death.

Traveling back to Jeuno and then out to Crawler’s Nest, Rapifafa has little trouble finding the strange area in the lower levels. Soon, she walks away with what she assumes were the Red Mage Rainemard’s boots.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2020_zpsry0ufknk.jpg)
(To put the item in perspective in gameplay terms, back when these came out the majority of equipment had nothing but defense on them, so getting these felt like a really big reward)

Returning to Jeuno, an armorer named Guslam spots her new boots and tells her of the legendary hands of Borghertz, each one unique. He tells him one of them may be found in the nearby Eldieme Necropolis, so Rapifafa decides to take a look.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2021_zpsujn6yugp.jpg)

It takes her a while to find a treasure coffer containing the gloves she was searching for in the mess of the Necropolis, but she soon takes her prize back to Jeuno. After tracking yet another rumor, she meets the spirit of Borghertz, who is willing to repair the old gauntlets if she brings some Shadow Flames from the Castle Zvahl.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2022_zpsqerod7jn.jpg)

It is the perfect opportunity for Rapifafa to scout the area, as well as complete the task that Maat asked her to perform, so she flies back to San d’Oria and travels back to Beacedine Glacier. Travelling to the very top of the Glacier, Rapifafa arrives in the heart of the northlands- Xarcabard.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2023_zpsr7qg38le.jpg)

Music: Xarcabard (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alTXxxxXnFE)

She first completes the task Maat had given her, involving killing three powerful monsters and obtaining the stones they guard.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2024_zpspgnviuoi.jpg)

Afterwards, Rapifafa travels into the Castle Zvahl at the far end of Xarcabard, home to the demons which fall under the Shadow Lord’s direct command.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2025_zpsqd05yd38.jpg)

There, she scouts the area preparing for her mission ahead, as well as fights the powerful Dark Spark, after which she obtains the Shadow Flames she needs. With that, Rapifafa returns to Jeuno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2026_zpsjuzyoxfs.jpg)

With his work done, Borghertz returns to his rest.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2027_zps6nwbyrqq.jpg)

After Maat finished teaching Rapifafa the new techniques he promised, Rapifafa decides to follow some other rumors she had heard about lost armor pieces, finding them in the coffers of Castle Oztroja and Garlaige Citidel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2028_zps0i6iokay.jpg)

With that, Rapifafa returns to Curilla wearing the boots she had exorcized earlier. She notes that since the boots were created for Red Mages, it was very likely to have been owned by her father. She is closer to being convinced that the ghost is indeed her father, but she has no further leads.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2029_zpsuvipcdex.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to Sharzalion to see if he has anything else to tell her. Upon seeing her boots, he thinks aloud that the rumor seemed to be true after all- when pressed further, Sharzalion tells Rapifafa and the bartender that there is a rumor that Rainemard was murdered for knowing too much about something. However, he is unwilling to say much beyond that. The bartender pipes in and tells Rapifafa that if she wishes to speak with the dead, there’s another rumor that throwing an antique coin into a fountain in Fei’Yin will allow for this. It's an adventurer's job to follow rumors, no matter how stupid, so Rapifafa sets off.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2030_zps27o5a0uf.jpg)

Traveling to Fei’Yin, Rapifafa procures an antique coin from a ghost nearby. It’s in no way an easy task- it nearly kills her multiple times. Upon throwing the coin into the fountain, Rainemard ghost appears- he doesn't seem particularly chatty however, and only mutters something about being trapped in darkness before disappearing.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2031_zpsas9kucpo.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to the Lion Springs Tavern to see if there’s any new information, but Sharzalion is not willing to divulge any more information. Thankfully, a nearby Galka gives Rapifafa some information- or at least, the only thing fitting the description Rapifafa can give. There’s a chest in the Garlaige Citadel that he was unable to open.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2032_zpss2sofofl.jpg)

Like with most anything else in Vana’Diel, there’s always something defending anything even slightly important.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2033_zpsbzaar7fx.jpg)

This particular Guardian drops a nail puller for Rapifafa to open the box with. To Rapifafa’s dismay, it didn't contain something particularly pleasant, let alone any treasure.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2034_zpsnyvwdvgs.jpg)

Rainemard, however, is thankful for Rapifafa’s assistance, telling her that someone had killed him a long time ago and hid his remains in the box. He claims he still has something he needs to do before disappearing. Rapifafa knew where he was likely to go.

Returning in San d’Oria, Rapifafa noticed there was a commotion at the church. The Temple Knights arrive at the church, but Rainemard simply wishes to speak with Curilla. He first thanks Rapifafa for all her work by handing her one last item, and tells her to be careful of the church. He laments that he is incapable of giving any details before bidding his final farewell to Curilla.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2035_zpsb36tzpuu.jpg)

It seems Curilla is satisfied despite not knowing how exactly her father died, and she thanks Rapifafa for her help.

As they all leave the church, Rapifafa turns and takes one last look.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2036_zpsysmorply.jpg)

Rapifafa has little reason to investigate further, nor did she think she had any more time to waste. Rainemard's armor should be the edge she needs for the task ahead.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8%2037_zpsfzeldqim.jpg)
(She finally got her spiffy hat too)

As soon as she returns to Windurst, Rapifafa receives another Star-crested summons. Rapifafa is asked to return to the Star Sibyl’s Vestal Chambers.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/b0c7b7fe-2ab8-4b08-8475-58d647b5940b_zpsvf6x7vdv.jpg)

The Star Sibyl gives Rapifafa terrible news-the ministers have decided Windurst will not be taking any military action against the Shadow Lord. A sudden mobilization of their army would destroy the peace they had worked for with the Yagudo, and there simply wasn't enough information to make that sacrifice. Instead, the Star Sibyl tells Rapifafa that she is the alternative: she must travel to the Castle Zvahl and prevent the resurrection of the Shadow Lord alone.
Title: Re: Final Fantasy XI: Experience Without the Grind
Post by: Hathen on September 13, 2015, 08:30:05 AM
Windurst Part 9: The Shadow Lord

Rapifafa again travels back to San d’Oria, through the Ranguemont Pass, past the Beaucedine Glacier into Xarcabard.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/1_zpshb0embzw.jpg)

Before Rapifafa had only entered the outer bailey of Castle Zvahl, and now she must venture deeper in.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/2_zpszuam1g93.jpg)

Music: Castle Zvahl (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYHjqIVgzs4)

The keep of Castle Zvahl contains of a maze of hidden passages and many teleporters, filled with beastmen of every race Rapifafa has seen, as well as many Ahriman like the one she had fought on Horlais Peak.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3_zpsxuo0xd6e.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4_zpswdmh0ytz.jpg)

The most formidable enemies though, are the personal soldiers of the Shadow Lord- Demons.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5_zpsobwstjvb.jpg)

It takes the better part of an entire Vana’Diel day for Rapifafa to reach the other side of the Keep.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6_zpsqzivohjb.jpg)

Before her was the Throne Room of the Shadow Lord. It was said that it was here the Mythril Musketeer Volker delivered the final blow which ended the Crystal War 20 years ago.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7_zpsclqldm6j.jpg)

The bridge across is marked with the familiar symbol of the Beastmen- Rapifafa had seen it on Horlais Peak and other areas occupied by Beastmen.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8_zpsse3oko3w.jpg)

Now that Rapifafa had arrived, she had to figure out how to stop the Shadow Lord’s resurrection.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/9_zpszm0ztkck.jpg)

Inside she finds a familiar sight- Magicite.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/10_zpspk7sodfj.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/11_zpswqp4lzca.jpg)

For once Zeid enters close behind Rapifafa. From his reaction, it's clear this isn't the first time he's been here.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/12_zpsajdkgfwr.jpg)

Before they can take any action, the Magicite begins to react- they have come too late.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/13_zpsr1ckpeml.jpg)

The Shadow Lord has returned.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/14_zpsctveonss.jpg)

He seems familiar with Zeid- it appears that it was Zeid who had defeated the Shadow Lord 20 years ago, and not Volker. Zeid is confused how the Shadow Lord could have survived that encounter, to which he responds that he cannot die until he has eradicated them.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/15_zpslfodrisc.jpg)

This statement makes little sense to Rapifafa, but this confirms the suspicion Zeid has- the Shadow Lord used to be Galka. In fact, he used to be Raogrimm, the lost Talekeeper, who had traveled to the northlands on an expedition 30 years ago, only to be betrayed by one he trusted with his life. When Ulrich killed Cornelia, somehow the rage within Raogrimm had transformed him.

It is doubtful the Shadow Lord has regained all of his power so soon, so Rapifafa and Zeid prepare to destroy him before he has a chance to recover.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/16_zpsuwuk3znk.jpg)

Zeid is bound with a spell, so Rapifafa won't have his help in the fight.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/17_zpswgg4iutk.jpg)

Music: Awakening (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pSw7RbcAcs)

The Shadow Lord constantly alters between physical and magical immunities. Luckily, Rapifafa has no trouble doing either one.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/18_zpsegj230yw.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/19_zpssezdsqyh.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/20%201_zpswyazm8s6.jpg)

It is not an easy battle, but the Shadow Lord eventually falls.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/20%202_zps51bayiru.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/21_zpshovo3txc.jpg)

If something isn’t done, however, he can just as easily come back in the future as he had this time. Zeid calls out, attempting to contact any part of the Shadow Lord which may still be Raogrimm.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/22_zpsgmecjvze.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/23_zpswmkjdov7.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/24_zpsjtntqhrk.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/25_zpsokykqnj2.jpg)

Raogrimm has returned, but Zeid is still not sure how any of this could have happened. Raogrimm explains that as the Talekeeper, he not only had his own rage, but the rage from centuries of his race's memories. Something in the northlands caused him to lose control and become what he was.

What happened next is a blur to Rapifafa. For some reason she cannot remember it clearly, she only knows that they had to escape the Throne Room in a hurry, and that the Shadow Lord was once again defeated.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/26_zps3mbfcgvn.jpg)

When Rapifafa comes to, she finds herself at the entrance to Castle Zvahl, and sees Lion and Zeid before her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/27_zpsqaqag81s.jpg)

After a brief conversation, Zeid and Lion both turn to leave. Lion leaves behind a mention of her homeland, however. Rapifafa has plenty of questions about what just happened, but for now, it is more important that she reports her success to the Star Sibyl.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/28_zpsiasemdya.jpg)

Upon her return to Windurst, Rapifafa receives a personal thank you from the Star Sibyl.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/29_zps56nfcncw.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/30_zpsszgp8zxi.jpg)

With the immediate threat of the Shadow Lord gone, Windurst can once again place its focus on internal matters.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/31_zpsap37hbcm.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: ironmage on September 13, 2015, 11:19:10 AM
I played a bit of FFXI closer to its initial release (back when partying was mandatory, and grinding inescapable), but I had to quit before I got very far into the story.

So, I'm finding this thread a pretty interesting read.  Thanks for the work!
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on September 16, 2015, 08:05:41 AM
Glad you're enjoying it!

I’ve decided to start making some posts between the main story posts around a couple of the side quests in the game. Don’t worry, I won't bore you guys with any “gather 10 goblin eyeballs for me” quests, but rather quests or questlines that have some kind of relevance to the story or expand on the characters etc. This one's going to be pretty short.

A Minister’s Life

Being a Minister in Windurst is not a lifelong position, and many of these retired ministers decide to spend their retirement living in the Windurst Walls, near Heaven’s Tower. Currently, there are three such Professors, with a nice house for each of them, though The House of the Hero, also near the Tower, is a constant reminder that it should actually be four Professors if not for Karaha-Baruha’s sacrifice 20 years ago.

The Three Professors are Koru-Moru, Yoran-Oran, and Shantotto, former ministers of the Aurastery, Rhinostery, and the Orastery respectively.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Ministers201_zpsca7l3b5d.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/617fbc19-e203-4194-a7a3-b74dca75bd34_zpshympw4ad.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Ministers203_zpsuskgmj0y.jpg)

Whereas Koru-Moru still continues some work due to the disappearance of the current Aurastery Minister, and Yoran-Oran spends his retirement in mostly private research, the Professor Shantotto is well known for her borderline insane experiments with her matching evil laugh and compulsion to constantly speak in rhyme.

Shantotto once asked Rapifafa to help her with casting of a curse on a Peeping Tom. Unfortunately it didn't exactly turn out the way she expected it to.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Ministers%204_zpsesakxjk6.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Ministers%205_zpsy9fziaop.jpg)

Thankfully, that was eventually resolved (by Rapifafa of course), and this time Shantotto asks Rapifafa to take a message to the current Rhinostery minister, Rukususu, up in the northlands. Rapifafa had met Rukususu once when she was given the task of checking the seal in Fei’Yin, but otherwise anytime she visited the Rhinostery, Rukususu was off somewhere doing field research. The Northlands are a long way from Windurst, but at least the odds of accidental homicide are much lower with this task.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Ministers%206_zps2onn7rlc.jpg)

Strangely enough, Rapifafa finds Rukususu not studying plant life as expected of a member of the Rhinostery, but rather studying the magic golems found in the ruins of Fei’Yin.

When Rapifafa returns from her delivery, Shantotto sheds some light on the issue. She reveals that Iru-Kuiru, the man who had participated in the multinational expedition 30 years ago, was a former minister of the Rhinostery, before Yoran-Oran. He had mentored Rukususu personally in her youth, and now she is determined to find out why her mentor disappeared.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on September 22, 2015, 07:12:48 AM
Windurst Part 10: Full Moon Fountain

With the Shadow Lord defeated, Rapifafa returns to her service for Windurst. A mission soon comes from a rather unlikely source- Ajido-Marujido.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%201_zpstr4cddum.jpg)

He doesn’t bother going into much detail before dashing off, but it seems the task is a relatively simple one- Ajido-Marujido just wants Rapifafa to help him press a switch to activate the towers in Sarutabaruta.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%202_zps9aettstb.jpg)

Rapifafa enters a different tower than Ajido-Marujido, so she is unable to confirm whether the task was successfully completed after activating the switch.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%203_zps6dcodekh.jpg)

Upon her return to the Orastery, Ajido-Marujido is nowhere to be seen, and the two instructors don’t look particularly comfortable. Apparently Semih Lafihna had come along soon after Ajido-Marujido had left, asking for him, and the instructors were now concerned for his safety. They ask Rapifafa to try to find him before Semih Lafihna can.

Rapifafa again travels past the Three Mage Gate of the Horutoto Ruins, but doesn’t find Ajido-Marujido near the magic seals, so she assumes Ajido-Marujido had set off for the Full Moon Fountain further in.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%204_zpsezjc7fh7.jpg)

Deep underground, Rapifafa finds the Toraimarai Canal, a large underground complex which supplies water to the Star Tree.

Deep into the Toraimarai Canal is the Full Moon Mountain, where Rapifafa finally catches up with Ajido-Marujido.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%205_zpslpoecfts.jpg)

He’s slightly annoyed at Rapifafa’s persistence, but figures she’s no threat and allows her to tag along.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%206_zpsnzvd9gi8.jpg)

Ajido-Marujido was not happy at the sight of the fountain. Apparently, this is what the Yagudo King had sent him to find- the Full Moon Fountain has lost its radiance. Before Rapifafa can ask what exactly that means, they are interrupted by a voice behind them.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%207_zpsi0vsmlco.jpg)

Apparently Ajido-Marujido has finally crossed a line even the Star Sibyl is unwilling to forgive, and Semih Lafihna has arrived with a team of guards and declares that he is under arrest. Ajido-Marujido quickly casts a warp spell on Rapifafa, allowing her to escape.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%208_zpsyl5kkcxb.jpg)

Back in Windurst, Rapifafa cannot find Ajido-Marujido- she can only assume that he was unable to escape in time.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%209_zpsnomjsj2e.jpg)

After some investigation a gate guard informs Rapifafa that Ajido-Marujido had been arrested, and she is to report to the Star Sibyl. Rapifafa figures it is probably best for her to do so instead of attempting escape.

As Rapifafa enters the Vestal Chambers, she overhears a conversation between the Star Sibyl and Apururu.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2010_zpse8sevcis.jpg)

The Star Sibyl explains that Ajido-Marujido has been imprisoned for his crimes for tampering with a power too dangerous. Apururu questions the decision, citing the use of this same magic 20 years ago, but the Star Sibyl is unwilling to budge on the issue, and Apururu storms out.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2011_zpswyxkdkql.jpg)

The Star Sibyl is straight to the point with Rapifafa- she was seen with Ajido-Marujido at the time of his arrest, so she is asked if she agrees with Ajido-Marujido, that Windurst should no longer pursue a peace with the Yagudo. With all her experiences, Rapifafa cannot answer anything but yes.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2012_zpsdxugthj0.jpg)

The Star Sibyl is surprisingly understanding of her position, but she once again reiterates that Windurst simply does not have the strength to fight.

Nevertheless, that was not why the Star Sibyl asked Rapifafa to come- she is to atone for her crime by participating in a sparring contest held in Giddeus. If she loses, Windurst will increase her offerings to the Yagudo.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2013_zpsndm6yief.jpg)

Rapifafa travels to the west of Sarutabaruta, where she enters Balga’s Dais in the deepest parts of Giddeus.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2014_zpsbbfogcpm.jpg)

The Yagudo attack her in a group, but Rapifafa has no trouble putting them all to sleep and defeating them one by one.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2015_zpsvzzhabjo.jpg)

With the match won, she is to travel to Castle Oztroja to receive the official documents for this event.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2016_zpsqh1k2ny1.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2017_zpsotlpbsjn.jpg)

Previously, Rapifafa had not strayed far from the entrance to the Castle, but this time she had to climb to the top. The climb requires her to make her way past numerous traps and puzzles.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2018_zpso0mznof1.jpg)

Among these puzzles are several structures along the way which each contain a password required to open the door at the top of the castle. The Yagudo reset the password each day, so the climb must be performed in a hurry.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2019_zps9xbjtvet.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2020_zpshdizfxx8.jpg)

Past the trap door was the throne room of the Yagudo. Rapifafa wasn’t here to meet the king however, and she enters one of the gates in the room to meet with the Yagudo she was directed to.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2021_zps1ofkolgy.jpg)

Upon returning to Windurst, Rapifafa returns to the Star Sibyl, who declares her crimes forgiven. However, she reminds her that she is to keep everything she had seen under Windurst a secret.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2022_zpsbmp7byyk.jpg)

Rapifafa needs some rest, so she decides to visit The Star Onion Brigade.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2024_zpsxbhdorqt.jpg)

The Star Onions are happy to see Rapifafa, but it seems they aren’t doing so hot themselves, as a merchant called Honoi-Gomoi came to their base demanding for his lost Mana Orb. The Mana Orb was in Joker now, so they couldn’t just hand it back. They figure Rapifafa may be able to convince him to relent given her position, so they ask for her help.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2025_zpshkx72kbb.jpg)

Honoi-Gomoi’s not hearing any of it though, because he paid Nanaa Mihgo a fortune in star spinels to find the orb.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2026_zpsgb8v5ack.jpg)

Nanaa Mihgo suggests that they should simply return the orb, but Rapifafa wasn’t going to abandon Joker, and she figures the only way to solve this is to reimburse Honoi-Gomoi his Star Spinels.

Star Spinels were found somewhere in the Zepwell island near Bastok, but most passageways to the island had been sealed for a long time. Thankfully, the passage through Zeruhn Mines in Bastok had recently been opened for adventurers, so Rapifafa takes the opportunity to travel there.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2027_zpseid1bcn8.jpg)

The passage led to an undersea cavern called the Korroloka Tunnel, which connected Bastok to the Kuzotz region.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2028_zpsvab7f8ae.jpg)

Past the tunnel was where the vast Altepa Desert was found.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2029_zps9wvpv7hv.jpg)

Music: Altepa Desert (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgwFCz54ABM)

Below the desert were the Quicksand Caves. Rapifafa had heard a lot of the once-metropolis of the Galka, now in ruins because of its infestation by the beastmen known as the Antica.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2030_zps02j6x85b.jpg)

It’s not an easy place for Rapifafa to traverse, as the structures within the ruins were designed with Galka in mind. The switches on the floor respond to weight, and Rapifafa was too light to activate them- it would take the equivalent of 3 Tarutaru to equal one Galka.

Eventually Rapifafa is able to find a Star Spinel in the ruins however, and returns to Honoi-Gomoi in Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2031_zpsfil57w5j.jpg)

He’s clearly not interested in Rapifafa’s offer, and shows off his collection of jewels and precious metals to emphasize his point- he’s in no need of riches, and to him the Mana Orb is priceless.

Rapifafa brings the bad news to The Star Onions, and they hold an “emergency strategy meeting”.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2032_zps3yvijwne.jpg)

Several suggestions fly around. One of the children suggests they tell Honoi-Gomoi that a dhalmel ate the orb. Another suggests they say the orb fell into the sea. One child, however, reminds them that the Star Onions were formed just to fight such behavior, so they decide together that it’s best they simply tell the truth.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W10%2033_zpsijzbxykt.jpg)

At Honoi-Gomoi’s house, he listens intently to the children before coming to his conclusion- he demands that take Joker apart so the orb can be returned to him!
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on September 26, 2015, 12:23:09 PM
This is one of the Artifact Armor questlines in the game (I brought up the Red Mage one in an earlier post). It's actually kind of crazy how much of the game's story was put into these sidequests, because back when these came out it took a great deal of time to get to level 50 when these quests were offered, and then usually required parties of anywhere from 6-18 people to complete, meaning only a fraction of the people playing the game would ever see it- I doubt any MMO would do something like that today. Even after the game became a lot easier many people stuck to playing a handful of the jobs instead of branching out, and even if they did a lot of the rewards from these quests became obsolete which meant a lower chance of them bothering to check them out.

A Black Mage’s Story: The Great Star Tree

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%201_zpskeodexqk.jpg)

Baby Star Trees, the offspring of the Great Star Tree, are appropriately cultivated within the basement of the Great Star Tree- that is, the basement of Heaven’s Tower. Their growth has stopped in recent times, however, and the Three Professors of Windurst Walls are asked to help solve the problem.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%202_zpsmpzjwgrk.jpg)

Koru-Moru guesses the soil is the problem, Yoran-Oran thinks the water is the issue, and Shantotto insists that they’re both idiots (and that the lights are broken). Arguing gets them nowhere, however, so the gardener Chumimi just tells all three of them to test their theories. Shantotto’s never one to do the work herself, however, so she asks the nearest Black Mage available to help her out. In this case, that's Rapifafa.

Rapifafa is instructed to drain all the energy from a crystal, and then fill it with the lights found around Castle Zvahl in the northlands. Rapifafa knows better than to reject a request from Professor Rhymesalot, so she does as she’s told, and brings the glowing stone she creates back to Heaven’s Tower.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%203_zpsrn953c0p.jpg)

A few days later, the Star Trees show no signs of improvement. Yoran-Oran concludes that if none of the above is the issue, then they must examine the point in time when the trees’ growth began to retard. When Chumimi tells the professors that the trees have had trouble growing since the war 20 years ago, Koru-Moru seems shocked, and begins muttering something under his breath. When questioned, he says that he might have some idea what happened, and takes Rapifafa aside to explain in private.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%204_zps2ylmr28s.jpg)

Koru-Moru tells Rapifafa that 20 years ago, he travelled to Jeuno to help solve the hunger problem the war had brought to Vana’diel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%205_zpsmrtsbegj.jpg)

It was there he fell in love with a woman named Rasusu, and in his desperation to help her solve the problem, he had stolen a bag of the Star Tree’s seeds. Koru-Moru believes this might have something to do with the problem they are facing now, so he sends Rapifafa to retrieve the seeds from Rasusu.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%206_zpskn1hsawq.jpg)

Rapifafa’s search takes her to a man in Jeuno, who recalls that during the war, crawlers had consumed most of the crops in the Rolanberry Fields, and Rasusu had joined an adventurer’s expedition to the Crawler’s Nest to kill the queen. Unfortunately, she never returned from the journey, and the man didn’t have the heart to tell Koru-Moru what had happened.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%207_zpsmv465s9y.jpg)

After some searching in the Crawler’s Nest, Rapifafa manages to find the bag of seeds off an elemental.

Upon her return, Chumimi seems thankful, but also puzzled. She tells Rapifafa and Professors that many seeds had gone missing 20 years ago when the tree had flooded- the missing seeds had nothing to do with the Star Trees’ growth, apparently. The Professors have no choice but to go back to remembering what they were doing 20 years ago.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%208_zpsuuup9nuc.jpg)

This time, Shantotto has thought of something, and asks to speak with Rapifafa.

20 years ago, she was leading the War Warlocks in a battle within Castle Zvahl. The battle wasn’t going well, so Shantotto produced a talking doll to offer suggestions to her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%209_zps2mkezscc.jpg)

Unfortunately, the doll’s suggestions weren’t terribly helpful.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2010_zpsu3gw0qwt.jpg)

Shantotto wasn’t very fond of the doll, but it helped her think of a plan: She bound the doll to the room so that it would continue jabbering on, giving her unit a chance to escape.

The last thing she heard was the doll cursing her, so she sends Rapifafa to retrieve the doll, thinking that the curse is what caused the trees to stop growing.

Rapifafa travels to Castle Zvahl, but finds the room Shantotto pointed to locked, so she searches the Castle until she finds what she needs.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2011_zpszjxjeref.jpg)

Rapifafa finds the doll, still bound in place as it was 20 years ago.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2012_zpsmscysd0i.jpg)

She takes it back to the Professors, her task finished.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2013_zpsmtbqlpsr.jpg)

The Professors reward Rapifafa for a job well done, but somehow Rapifafa doubts that the doll is the true cause of the problem.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2014_zps43yz9zcd.jpg)

Rapifafa returned to her adventures, finding other pieces of Black Mage armor around Vana’Diel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2015_zpsjadbtxvc.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2016_zps37atbnnj.jpg)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2017_zps8yykjlgx.jpg)

In a few days, Rapifafa’s suspicions were confirmed- the Star Trees weren't getting any better. The Professors conclude that Rapifafa needs to go down to the Toraimarai Canal, closed off to most since the Great War. They fix the talking doll Rapifafa had retrieved earlier to help her find any anomalies in the canal.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2018_zpshvv0qvli.jpg)

Down in the canal, the doll helps Rapifafa to find several anomalies it describes as “magic stagnation”. There are enough of them that eventually Rapifafa needs to supplement the doll’s capacity using her own Black Mage abilities.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2019_zpsw2tfuxde.jpg)

After cleaning up the stagnations, Rapifafa returns to the Professors. Shanttoto is absent, but the others speculate without her. Yoran-Oran believes that because the towers stopped functioning 20 years ago, the flow of magic in the canal was disrupted, causing the decreased growth. It’s likely cleaning out the stagnation will be necessary on a regular basis from now on.

As soon as Yoran-Oran finishes, Shantotto returns, and he voices concerns that Shantotto had paid a visit to Karaha-Baruha’s laboratory. Shantotto blows him off and starts complaining about how her hat got covered in mildew, before handing it to Rapifafa. Apparently, this was to be her reward.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2020_zpsxymu4qt1.jpg)

Koru-Moru is still concerned what might be happening behind the Earthen Door of the Horutoto Ruins, so they all head for the Three Mage Gate.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2021_zps2lhhwyi5.jpg)

Past the Earthen Gate, they find that the Great Star Tree has begun to grow buds, meaning the Great Star Tree is aware that it is in danger and is desperate to survive. It seems the regular cleansing of the stagnation can only be a temporary solution, and a more permanent solution will need to be found. That is much easier said than done, however. It doesn't seem like any of the living Windurstian Professors will be able to solve the problem.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BLM%2022_zpseqpyrs8k.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Agent D. on September 26, 2015, 07:56:21 PM
Boring. Call me when you get to bastok story.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on October 03, 2015, 07:31:06 AM
die

i am happy to inform you that i won't get to the bastok story until after both the windurst and san d'oria ones, assuming i even go that far

Windurst Part 11: The Lost Journals

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The children go home upset at Honoi-Gomoi's declaration, and Rapifafa tries to convince him to reconsider. Honoi-Gomoi tells Rapifafa that if she cares for the children, she’ll go and disassemble Joker herself, because it’s not likely that Joker will simply sit there quietly if the children are forced to take him apart.

Rapifafa has little choice, so she travels to The House of the Hero, where she expects to find Joker.

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Joker was already expecting Rapifafa to come disassemble him, but he pleads that Rapifafa first help him find something in Toraimarai Canal. He claims he was brought back to life for a reason, and this would help shed light on that purpose. The Toraimarai Canal is right under Windurst, so it would not be an unreasonable delay, and Rapifafa agrees.

Before she leaves, a Gate Guard informs her she has received a new mission, apparently a minor one from the Optistery.

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Tosuka-Porika informs Rapifafa that the mission he sent to the Gate Guards was actually just a front. He’s been feeling uneasy about The Book of the Gods going blank as well, and he wants Rapifafa to investigate.

He gives a short explanation of what exactly the book is. The book was written by the first Star Sibyl as a “true history”, and was passed down for the benefit for all who would succeed her. Because of the danger contained in this knowledge, it was sealed with powerful spells which could only be broken through the use of the Diza Star, a jewel which hangs from the neck of the Star Sibyl.

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Somehow, the previous minister of the Optistery was allowed to open The Book of the Gods and learn the true history. This minister, of course, was none other than Karaha-Baruha. He was allowed to build a laboratory under Windurst, which became a “sixth ministry” of sorts: The Animastery. A venture into this laboratory may reveal some clues. Tosuka-Porika gives Rapifafa the Optistery Ring to open the door to the Animastery, and asks for her to search for it in the Toraimarai Canal.

Rapifafa again travels past the Three Mage Gate of Horutoto Ruins into the Toraimarai Canal. During her search for the Animastery, she finds something curious- a Joker Card. Cards are used to control the Cardians, so it is odd one would be found down in the canals like this.

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Rapifafa continues her search in the canals, eventually finding a magically sealed door. It was likely this was the Animastery. She enters using the Optistery Ring.

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The room is filled with books of all kinds, scribbled notes littered the floor and there was even a bad in the corner- was this where Karaha-Baruha had spent his final days?

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The books contain a wealth of notes from Karaha-Baruha concerning the Horutoto Ruins, the first of which contains the old legend of a wondrous star leading the Tarutaru to the Ruins, which then bound a beast of some kind to the Full Moon Fountain. His notes go on to say that the Optistery records indicate the ruins had indeed been around since the time of the first Star Sibyl, but that the technology within them seemed to point towards the existence of another civilization in the area.

As Rapifafa approaches the last of the tomes, she feels a strange sensation, as if someone were whispering to her.

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Before she can touch it, someone behind her warns her not to touch it- it is the Star Sibyl.

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She’s puzzled why Rapifafa is here until she spots the Optistery Ring in her hands. The Star Sibyl considers for a moment, and decides that perhaps Rapifafa was guided to this room by the stars, and decides to explain the function of the room.

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As Tosuka-Porika had mentioned, the Animastery was built for the previous Optistery minister, Karaha-Baruha, about 25 years ago. He had declared that the ability to draw magic from nature was limited, and so he was looking into drawing magic from living creatures- not normal creatures however, as that would not be sufficient. Karaha-Baruha was trying to draw power from something far more powerful, and that was what saved Windurst during the Great War, the result of which Rapifafa had seen in the Full Moon Fountain.

The Star Sibyl tells Rapifafa that she will not be punished for her trespassing, but that she return to Windurst at once and forget the matter. With nothing left to see here, Rapifafa returns to the Optistery.

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Naturally, Tosuka-Porika is distressed at learning that the Star Sibyl was in the Animastery. Fearing any impending punishment, he hands Rapifafa the blank Book of the Gods, asking Rapifafa to use it to secure his freedom should he be imprisoned.

With the mission finished, Rapifafa takes the Joker card she found earlier to the House of the Hero.

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With the card in his possession, Joker seems to have found a new clarity, and asks that he be allowed to leave. Rapifafa never really wanted to take him apart to begin with, and this would probably take the problem out of the hands of the children, so Rapifafa agrees.

The next day Rapifafa is given another mission, this time from the Rhinostery.

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It seems that Iru-Kuiru, the Tarutaru who was part of the Multinational Expedition 30 years ago, may still be alive, and the Minister Rukususu had run off to the southern continent in pursuit of this rumor.

The Elshimo islands can only be reached by airship, so Rapifafa travels to Jeuno to find a flight to the village of Kazham.

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Music: Kazham (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqL9Mef6NIM)

Kazham is a self-governed fishing village largely populated by Mithra, a home away from home of sorts for any who had left their homeland to the south.

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Rapifafa decides to begin her search by speaking with the local chieftainess, Jakoh Wahcondalo.

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Jakoh remembers Rukususu, but since all she asked about was from a time from before she was chieftainess, she instead sent Rukususu to their former chieftainess- Romaa Mihgo.

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The mother of the famous Cat Burglar is rather stoic by comparison, but she gives Rapifafa the information she needs- Iru-Kuiru had been banished to the Temple of Uggalepih a long time ago, so that’s where she should begin her search.

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Much easier said than done, as the temple lies deep within the jungles of Elshimo, which have a maze-like layout, and the available map isn’t much help.

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It takes her some time, but Rapifafa finally finds the Temple of Uggalepih.

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The temple is inhabited by large amounts of beastmen known as Tonberries. They’re certainly not pleasant to fight, as a well-placed throat stab from their weapon is enough to almost instantly kill any adventurer.

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Thankfully Rapifafa’s search is soon over, and she finds Rukususu in what appears to be a study.

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Rukususu explains she was trying to follow up on Iru-Kuiru’s work, who was also investigating the truth behind the legends of Windurst’s origins. His work generated a great deal of controversy, and most preferred to continue believing the Tarutaru were led to Sarutabaruta by a wondrous star. Iru-Kuiru did not give up on his work however, and something in his journey to the Northlands led him to Elshimo.

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Apparently whatever it was was right in this room, as Rapifafa and Rukususu are confronted by a spirit of some kind, who introduces herself as Grav’iton of the Kuluu. Grav’iton addresses Rukususu as the Star Sibyl and asks if the Tarutaru have lost the power of the Horutoto. When Rukususu explains that the ruins had ceased to function 20 years ago, Grav’iton seems shocked- the towers are responsible for harnessing the power of the moon, and without the towers the power would instead roam the land in the shape of a fiend.

Grav’iton soon notices that the Book of the Gods has lost its magic. She explains the book was written by the first Star Sibyl using that same power and promptly returns some power to the book, hoping it will help guide them as the Kuluu guided the Tarutaru so long ago. With that, Grav’iton disappears.

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Rukususu tells Rapifafa that she will need to take the book back to the only person who can read it- Ajido-Marujido.

Before Rapifafa leaves, she decides to read some of the tomes in the room, apparently full of notes left by Iru-Kuiru. Many of the entries recount his journey to the Northlands and his subsequent return. He felt the Northlands were cursed in some way, and his suspicions were only confirmed when he received word of the death of several other members of the expedition. Of particular note, Iru-Kuiru left a note about the ruins of Fei’yin- based on his observations, an ancient race once inhabited those ruins, but were wiped out by some sudden calamity.

With her task done, Rapifafa returns to Windurst with Rukususu. Rukususu asks that Rapifafa not yet reveal what they discovered in the temple, as it’s likely the citizens are not yet ready to know the truth.

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For now, Rapifafa was more concerned with just how she was going to get the book to Ajido-Marujido.

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Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on October 07, 2015, 07:14:44 AM
When starting the game, players are only given access to 6 of the 22 jobs. These are the classic Final Fantasy 1 jobs: Warrior, Thief, Monk, White Mage, Black Mage, and Red Mage. The others must be unlocked- here’s the questline for one of them, alongside some backstory for a character seen in the Windurst story.

A Ranger’s Story: The Sin Hunters

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The Mithra are not native to Windurst, but are rather from a continent far to the south. They have their own home away from home in the Windurst Woods however, where their chieftainess, Perih Vashai, resides.

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There are some rumors that the aging chieftainess plans on passing her position onto the Sibyl Guard Semih Lafihna, but they are just that- rumors.

Many of the Mithra who live in Windurst now only came during the Crystal War, and a great deal of them lost their lives in the Meriphataud Mountains during the war. These days, the Mithra of Windurst Woods often ask any adventurers who pass through the mountains to bring back any twinstone earrings they might fight there, so that they may honor the Mithran warriors who left them behind. Rapifafa herself had come across a few of these in her adventures.

The Mithra are known for their dexterity and their tracking abilities. On one of Rapifafa’s trips to the Mithran community, Perih Vashai senses that Rapifafa potential in learning these skills, and is willing to teach her some of them. First, she tells Rapifafa that she must be accepted by nature as the Mithra are, by watching nature take its course. Rapifafa asks some of Perih Vashai’s followers to shed light on these words, and they tell her that she must travel to the Sauromugue Champaign to witness the death of an old tiger as part of the learning process.

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Rapifafa finds the home of these tigers, and finds the oldest sabertooth within. The sabertooth does not attack her, but rather spends its final moments near the bones of other tigers that had come before it. After it dies, Rapifafa takes one of its teeth as proof of her deed.

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Upon her return, Perih Vashai explains that the fangs of a hunter are the same as its life, for without the fangs it can no longer live. The fang, however, is left behind. Perih Vashai fashions the fang Rapifafa took into a necklace for her, telling her that as a Ranger, she must live by the fang and die only leaving the fang behind.

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Some time after Rapifafa starts her training as a Ranger, Perih Vashai gives Rapifafa another task. She hands Rapifafa a strange earring and tells her she is to take it to Semih Lafihna, who is on an investigation in the Ranguemont Pass.

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Rapifafa questions one of the guards in the pass, who tells her that he had seen Semih Lafihna pass through. Apparently the guard had seen some strange creature of darkness wrapped in robes.

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When he tried cutting into it, it did not spill blood, but light. With the break of dawn, the creature disappeared. He told the story to his captain, but he would not believe him. However, Semih Lafihna traveled here seeking the creature as soon as she heard the rumor. She told the guard it was a “bearer of darkness”, and searched the pond where he had spotted it for some of the sand that fell from the creature. She could not find any, but the guard tells Rapifafa that perhaps she could find some.

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It takes Rapifafa some time, but she finds some of the glittering sand that fell from the creature after a lengthy search. She takes it back to the guard, who asks her to take it to Semih Lafihna. There was another merchant who claimed to have spotted the bearer of darkness in the Jugner Forest, so it was likely Rapifafa would find Semih Lafihna there as well.

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Rapifafa finds the merchant, who tells her that he saw the strange shadow near a tree during a full moon.

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Rapifafa finds the tree- it has a hint of sparkling dust on it, resembling the glittersand.

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As she was told, Rapifafa also soon found Semih Lafihna. Semih Lafihna says she can’t reveal much about the shadow due to security concerns, but Rapifafa tells her that’s not what she came for, and hands her the earring.

Semih Lafihna seems excited at first to see the earring, comparing it to a similar one she keeps herself, but just as quickly changes her expression to disappointment, and then confusion. Their conversation is soon interrupted by someone in the shadows.

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The mysterious Mithra introduces herself as Shikaree M, a Mithran Tracker. She has come from the Mithran homeland to the south, tracking a sinner who lives amongst the tribe in Windurst. 20 years ago, the sinner and her daughter were both hunted down by another Tracker. However, that Tracker lied- before her own death, she confessed her own sin, that she let the daughter live- Shikaree M believes Semih Lafihna is that daughter.

The Sibyl Guard is quite an anomaly- while most Mithra orphaned by the war were simply sent back to their respective homes, the few which would form the guard were taken in by Heaven’s Tower. Of these orphans, only Semih Lafihna’s parentage is not recorded- Shikaree M declares that a sinner must be punished, regardless of memory, and takes out a handful of king’s tear moths to judge her sin.

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Semih Lafihna does not carry the scent.

Shikaree M apologizes for her mistake, and turns to continue her hunt. Semih Lafihna, however, actually looks somewhat disappointed by the ruling- she once again does not know her own origins.

Rapifafa returns to Perih Vashai to report, but they are soon interrupted by Shikaree M.

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Perih Vashai assures the hunter that they are seeking evidence of the daughter’s demise, but Shikaree M bluntly states that she does not trust the chieftainess, that she in fact struck a deal with the sinner. Aside from the fact that Perih Vashai lost a Mithran treasure called the Bow of Light long ago, she also assumes that Vashai sympathized with the sinner’s plight because her own daughter was of a similar age. Shikaree M reiterates that she will not return home until she has hunted down the sinner before leaving.

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Semih Lafihna arrives just as the Sin Hunter leaves, saying she is here as a peacekeeper of Windurst. She asks the chieftainess if the sinner’s daughter is truly dead, and Vashai repeats the claim she made with Shikaree M. Lafihna is a bit puzzled at Vashai’s concern for her given the claim, but Vashai only answers with silence. Lafihna doesn’t pursue the inquiry further and returns the earring. As she turns to leave, she takes tells Vashai that she has no interest in becoming chieftainess after her.

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Vashai turns to Rapifafa, assuring her that such conflict amongst the Mithra are a rarity, but this incident was unlikely to be over.

Rapifafa returns to her Ranger training, but a few days later Perih Vashai tells Rapifafa that the Mithra who knows the fate of the sinner’s daughter has been found in Mhaura. The Tracker had already set off in search, so Vashai asks Rapifafa to follow.

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Rapifafa finds the Mithra called Koh Lenbalalako. It seems the Tracker had already spoken with her, and she gives Rapifafa the same information.

A Mithran tribe called the Fire Tribe lives on the southern continent. About 30 years ago, the chieftainess of that tribe committed the sin of killing a fellow tribe member. She spent a decade atoning for that sin, before escaping from prison with her daughter in tow.

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At the time, Lenbalalako was an escort for people and supplies between Jeuno and Windurst. It was during that time a woman and her child slipped into her company. There was no shortage of refugees during the war, so she thought nothing of it.

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As luck would have it, that same supply run was attacked by Yagudo in the Meriphataud Mountains, and they were all taken to Castle Oztroja. One by one, the Mithra were taken away from their prison, until only Lenbalalako and the sinner’s daughter were left behind. Perih Vashai arrived in time to save the two of them, but despite Lenbalalako’s efforts the child died from her grief, and was interred in the Eldieme Necropolis.

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Shikaree M interjects- clearly she's not a very trusting person. She wishes to confirm the veracity of the story, but the Eldieme Necropolis isn’t a place to be ventured into alone, so she asks Rapifafa to meet her there.

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At the Necropolis, Rapifafa and Shikaree M search each of the tombstones, eventually finding the name  Syu Befrathi- the sinner’s daughter.

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Shikaree M uses her moths on one of the nearby graves to confirm the story- it seems the daughter was indeed interred here, and she even finds a correct twinstone earring. With that, Rapifafa and Shikaree M return to Perih Vashai.

Shikaree M is still not satisfied however- she wants to know where the other half of the earring is. Vashai tells her that the mother’s body was never found, because she perished in Castle Oztroja. The Yagudo King forced the prisoners to fight his soldiers, and then tossed the bodies into a large pond near the top of the castle. Shikaree M asks Rapifafa to search Castle Oztroja for the earring.

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Rapifafa travels to the Meriphataud Mountains, and then to Castle Oztroja. She finds the pond as instructed, and after wading through the remains, finds an earring similar to the one she saw in the tomb. With that, she returns to Perih Vashai.

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Shikaree M compares the two earrings, and seems satisfied. However, it seems she has one more question, about the “Bow of Light”. Shikaree M had questioned one of the witnesses to the rescue Perih Vashai led at Castle Oztroja, and this witness mentioned that the prisoners at Oztroja were saved by a bow loosing arrows of blinding light. Apparently, this was also how Vashai lost her eyesight.

Shikaree M demands that the bow be returned to the homeland, but Vashai does not answer. Shikaree M tells Vashai that she will give her some time to think on the matter, and turns to Rapifafa and rewards her for her help before leaving.

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Rapifafa’s returns to her Ranger training, finding other pieces of a Ranger’s armor.

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A few days later, Semih Lafihna pays another visit to the chieftainess.

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Vashai guesses she intends to ask about the Bow of Light, but Lafihna instead asks about her past. All the talk about the Bow of Light made her realize that all the Sibyl Guards were prisoners in Castle Oztroja 20 years ago- the Sibyl Guards were taken in by Heaven’s Tower to prevent the secrets of the Bow of Light from spreading. Yet somehow, all the other Sibyl Guards remember being saved by the Bow of Light, and she does not. What’s more, Lafihna has a clear recollection that her twinstone earring was switched with another one during the Great War.

Vashai clearly knows the answers to all of Lafihna’s questions, but instead of directly answering, she instead hands her the twinstone earring that she had asked Rapifafa to give her a few days past, and directs her towards Koh Lenbalalako in Mhaura- whatever the truth is, she doesn't feel comfortable revealing it in public. Rapifafa decides to follow Lafihna to Mhaura.

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Semih Lafihna is a bit annoyed that Rapifafa decided to tag along with her, but she soon gets over it. Lafihna asks Lenbalalako about the mysterious earring, and she is told that the earring is the same one she had swapped out when she was a child- it is her original earring. It was done at Lafihna’s mother’s request. When the sinner and her child arrived in the central lands, Perih Vashai was deeply troubled over whether to send them back to the homeland or not. In the end, Vashai approached Lenbalalako, and they decided to report to the homeland that both the sinner and the daughter had perished in Castle Oztroja. To complete the deception, they swapped Lafihna and her mother’s earrings with the sinner and her child’s earrings. They were not aware that the Sin Hunters would have other methods of detecting a Mithra’s sin, which was why Vashai gave that initial task to Rapifafa to swap Lafihna's earring.

Lafihna accuses Vashai and Lenbalalako of doing this so they could have the Bow of Light for themselves, and Lenbalalako answers by saying that at this point, it’s doubtful Lafihna would trust anything she would have to say. Instead, she tells Lafihna that the second earring that forms a pair with her original earring is in the Northlands, where Lafihna’s was told her mother died. Lafihna is not terribly excited at the prospect the mother who abandoned her continues to survive in the northlands, but she cannot simply let this matter go, so she leaves.

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As soon as Lafihna leaves, Lenbalalako tells Rapifafa the real story.

When Lenbalalako and all the other Mithra were trapped in Castle Oztroja, the Fire Tribe chieftainess, Nhev Befrathi, managed to escape alone. With her daughter Syu Befrathi still in the clutches of the Yagudo, she went to plead with Perih Vashai to save her. It was then Perih Vashai used the Bow of Light to defeat the Yagudo, but at the cost of her own sight. In that same battle, Nhev Befrathi lost her life. With the child Syu Befrathi and the Bow of Light left over, they were forced to tell one lie after another to safeguard both.

With her story complete, she asks Rapifafa to take a gold earring and travel to the northlands to give it to Syu Befrathi.

Rapifafa travels to the north of Quon past the Ranguemont Pass and arrives in Xarcabard, and soon catches up with Semih Lafihna.

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Lafihna is glad to have some company this time, and tells Rapifafa that she found a broken arrow glowing with a strange light. Lafihna tracks the arrow to a cave near Castle Zvahl, where they find the woman they have been looking for.

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Semih Lafihna is surprised to see Syu Befrathi, but Befrathi is aware of what Lafihna is searching for, and decides to give them the information they seek.

The Bow of Light is a famed Mithran weapon, but it was not originally what the Fire Tribe chieftainess carried. About 30 years ago, Yow Rabntah found a strange stone in the northlands, and took it back to the homeland, where she used it as a base for constructing the bow’s shaft. It far exceeded the power of the Bow of Fire the chieftainess of the tribe originally used, and was named the Bow of Light. Contrary to the name, however, it did not bring light, but stole it. Nhev Befrathi believed that the bow was cursed, and that it should’ve been returned to the northlands, but the tribe was already divided over whether or not to keep the bow.

Before the issue could be resolved, the strange stone summoned a fiend which killed Yow Rabntah, and Nhev Befrathi was blamed for the death. Ten years after her imprisonment, Nhev learned that the fiend was, in fact, the Shadow Lord, and she escaped from prison, hoping to exact revenge for her people. The rest of the story was as Rapifafa had heard before. While Nhev Befrathi failed in her task, Syu decided that she would instead carry on her mother’s legacy, hunting in the northlands for the rest of her days.

With her story complete, Syu Befrathi hands the Bow of Light to Semih Lafihna- she has already removed the strange stone- the Magicite- from it, so it can be returned to the Tracker to take back to the homeland without concern. She also takes off her earring, telling Semih Lafihna that it was given to her by Perih Vashai to conceal her identity. At that, Semih Lafihna takes out her original earring and compares- they are a perfect match.

Rapifafa hands the gold earring to Syu Befrathi, giving her a new identity, and travels back to Windurst with Lafihna.

Shikaree M is thankful to Semih Lafihna and Rapifafa for their work finding the Bow of Light, and rewards Rapifafa with something appropriate of a Ranger.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/RNG%2035_zpsmuibrxmx.jpg)

With that, the Tracker leaves for her next hunt.

Perih Vashai comments that it was likely that the Tracker’s primary objective was to destroy the Bow of Light, with the sinner was only a secondary objective. Magicite is able to awaken feelings of envy and jealousy within the Mithra. The Befrathis were able to resist its influence, but many others were not able to. In Vashai’s case, she had closed her eyes to the power of the bow as she drew it, and lost her sight forever.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/RNG%2036_zps3u8jkdoi.jpg)

Even decades after the defeat of the Shadow Lord, the stones that lie beneath his castle continue to destroy the lives of his foes.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/RNG%2037_zpstfeqdrce.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Dice on October 07, 2015, 09:10:46 AM
lol that last shot he almost looks literally high as a butterfly.

I'm really enjoying this, I have little comment on since I never jumped on the "XI train", but I do enjoy the visuals and write ups very much. :)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on October 09, 2015, 11:37:50 AM
She*! Rapifafa is one of RPGFan's resident adults-stuck-in-loli-bodies!

I actually tried to do some fancy pose using the Ranger emote, but I guess I probably should've taken a screenshot of Rapifafa using a bow at least once, because she apparently didn't draw a bow a single time in her whole Ranger career. Whoops. =P

The Windurst story is actually nearing it's conclusion now-wondering if any readers are interested to see me keep going after that? I'm having fun doing this so far, but there's no point if I'm boring everyone.

Windurst Part 12: The Five Ministers

Rapifafa spends a few days playing with the Star Onion Brigade. They seem to still be concerned about Joker, asking Rapifafa to go on numerous pointless tasks so they can find some way of helping him escape Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%201_zps3rk235ub.jpg)

Upon her return from one of these tasks, Rapifafa is confronted with an unpleasant sight.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%202_zpsldxjcfvz.jpg)

The Ace Cardians have come to demand for the “life of their king”, by which Rapifafa can only assume they mean Joker’s Mana Orb. Thankfully, Joker soon arrives to call off the Ace Cardians, saying that the children are to thank for his return to life. The Ace Cardians seem satisfied with Joker in their possession, so they leave.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%203_zpset94xzps.jpg)

Rapifafa has no time to waste on Joker, however, because she receives a task from the Aurastery to search for its Minister Sedal-Godjal, who had disappeared four years ago. While the previous Minister Koru-Moru did reassume his position as Principal to help the school, he lacks the leadership his successor had displayed during his short tenure.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%204_zpspl2hjrcp.jpg)

One of the instructors, Moreno-Toeno, gives Rapifafa a doll (Which looks suspiciously familiar- consistent world building, or lazy modelers? You decide!) capable of tracking the power of the moon and stars infused into the Minister’s ring, and it tells Rapifafa to travel north.

Rapifafa travels far north to the Meriphataud Mountains, where the doll tells her to turn northeast, into the forest known as The Sanctuary of Zi’tah.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%205_zpsbb99qtki.jpg)

Music: The Sanctuary of Zi’tah (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3TnSMXcp2Hg) (A fan-favorite track from the game...a fan-favorite area, actually)

Past the forest, Rapifafa finds another structure she can only assume is of Zilart origin.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%206_zpsehq2basi.jpg)

Rapifafa continues following the directions of the doll, arriving at a fountain.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%207_zpsjkqzlyes.jpg)

The doll announces that she has found the source of the power, but she finds nothing searching the ground around her. The doll announces the power is far too concentrated, and Rapifafa looks up to search for the source-

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%208_zpsvm6gejw3.jpg)

-the strange creature disappears as soon as she notices it, and the doll has no answers for her. It only tells her that now the energy is emanating from the southwest, and Rapifafa has little choice other than to follow its instructions.

The doll’s directions guide Rapifafa off Mindartia past Jeuno, finally pointing her in the direction of Davoi.

Past the Monastic Caverns under Davoi, Rapifafa arrives at the inner sections of Davoi, where she finally finds Sedal-Godjal.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%209_zpswt91x3xe.jpg)

He insists that he’s here on an important task with the San d’Orians, and he will be unable to complete the task anytime soon with his wand taken by the surrounding Orcs. Before sending Rapifafa on her way, he drains the magic from the doll.

Rapifafa’s went through way too much trouble finding him, unfortunately "smack him upside the head and drag him back to Windurst" is not a choice in this case, so she decides to force Sedal-Godjal’s hand by solving his silly Orc problem for him.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2010_zps3cptij57.jpg)

Sedal-Godjal’s surprised Rapifafa is able to retrieve his wand, but he persists in his claim that he cannot leave Davoi, but at least this time he’s willing to tell Rapifafa the real reason. Sedal-Godjal had taken up the fake name Mojiji and wrote multiple fake love letters to Koru-Moru, attempting to retrieve a large sum of money Koru-Moru had embezzled from the Aurastery, a little bit at a time. Eventually Sedal-Godjal couldn’t look at Koru-Moru without feeling sick, and he left Windurst to find some solitude. He asks Rapifafa to help him explain this situation to Moreno-Toeno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2011_zpsssxjvzym.jpg)

Moreno-Toeno isn’t particularly happy about the news, but he is understanding, so he decides that the situation will have to be left alone for the moment. Before finishing her mission, Rapifafa mentions the false directions to the Ro’Maeve ruins the doll had first given her, but Moreno-Toeno is unable to give her a clear answer, only speculating that whatever caused the reaction must have been a stronger source of the same energy in the Minister’s ring.

Rapifafa quickly receives her next mission- the Gate Guards inform her that Apururu asked for her to travel to the Manustery.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2012_zpsl4tej5st.jpg)

It’s what she was waiting for- Apururu has asked for Rapifafa to request her help in breaking Ajido-Marujido out of prison.

Apururu tells Rapifafa that the Dark Dungeon is sealed using the power of the moon and stars, so the Minister Rings should also be able to open the door. Apururu had tried to open the door using her own Manustery ring, but she was unsuccessful.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2013_zpsndwd05xb.jpg)

What’s more, the Professor Shantotto followed her, since going around town asking about the Dark Dungeon isn’t a terribly subtle way of signaling what your next course of action is.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2014_zpswwaryefx.jpg)

However, Shantotto wasn't interested in seeing her star student and successor to the Orastery having all his magic powers drained by the dungeon, so she decides to give Apururu the information she needs. The Horutoto Ruins lost much of its power during the war, and it’s unlikely that a single ring would be able to open the door.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2015_zpsacw1yiux.jpg)

Apururu hands Rapifafa the Manustery ring, and asks her to gather the other rings.

Tosuka-Porika of the Optistery has little sympathy for Ajido-Marujido after all he did, but he knows that he is probably the only one who can read The Book of the Gods, and he gives Rapifafa the Optistery ring to help him satisfy his academic curiosity.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2016_zpsjzizviqx.jpg)

Next, Rapifafa travels back to Davoi to find Sedal-Godjal, who is all too happy to give Rapifafa his Aurastery ring once he is informed that it was what allowed Rapifafa track him down.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2017_zpspgrzrjnb.jpg)

Finally, Rapifafa returns to the northlands, where she knew she would find Rukususu in Fei’Yin continuing her field work. Rukususu is more sympathetic to the siblings’ plight, so she willingly hands over her Rhinostery ring.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2018_zpsq3fyvqul.jpg)

With four of the five minister rings in hand, Rapifafa returns to Apururu, who tells her that the final ring she needs was Ajido-Marujido’s ring, which was confiscated by the Heaven’s Tower when he was imprisoned. Rapifafa tries to see if she can call in a favor with the Tower’s secretary, Kupipi.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2019_zps3arrwcrz.jpg)

Kupipi tells Rapifafa that she can’t give her the ring, but is still willing to help her considering all she’s done for Windurst, so she tells her that SemihLafihna is carrying the ring, and she had gone off to the Horutoto Ruins to deal with the rogue Cardians.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2020_zps7zzmndyv.jpg)

Rapifafa follows in SemihLafihna’s steps, and she is attacked by Cardians upon arriving- its likely SemihLafihna is in danger.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2021_zpsttddo5hm.jpg)

Deeper in the ruins, Rapifafa finds SemihLafihna, captured by the Ace Cardians. The Ace Cardians declare that they have found their king, and together they will build their future. With that, they prepare to attack Semih Lafihna and Rapifafa. Before they are able to, however, they are stopped by another Cardian voice.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2022_zpslkjzzvrm.jpg)

It appears Joker has accepted the position as the King of the Cardians. It seems he is still on Rapifafa’s side though, and he demands that both Semih Lafihna and Rapifafa be let go, but only if Semih Lafihna hands Rapifafa the Orastery ring. He seems to have some ulterior motive, saying something about becoming whole again. He’s also a complete cocktease and decides to remain cryptic and give a form of the “all will be revealed soon” speech.

Rapifafa returns to Windurst, where Shantotto uses the five rings to create a powerful magic glove.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2023_zpsoiwj5dqk.jpg)

With the power glove on hand, Apururu and Rapifafa travel back to the Dark Dungeon to do some so bad things.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2024_zpsutlqhcku.jpg)

They successfully break into Ajido-Marujido’s cell, who seems none the worse for wear, still able to detect the magical energy emanating from Rapifafa’s bag- he demands to see the book immediately.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2025_zpsjvszqden.jpg)

With Ajido-Marujido knocked out, Apururu carries him back to the Manustery while Rapifafa rechecks the area for anything left behind. Rapifafa later goes to the Manustery to check with Apururu on the situation.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2026_zps9mtqond7.jpg)

In retrospect, it probably wasn’t a very good idea to let a guy who was having his magic power drained the last few weeks to then immediately attempt opening the most powerful magical artifact ever.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W12%2027_zpsr3kuvsyb.jpg)

(Next weekend- the exciting conclusion! Well, the mildly entertaining at least conclusion, hopefully)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on October 15, 2015, 03:40:48 AM
A Summoner’s Story: Secret of the Dolls

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%201_zpstgdzgyim.jpg)

On one of Rapifafa’s adventures, she came across a strange ruby unlike any other she had seen. She had once taken it to Ajido-Marujido to help her identify the stone, who told her there was a voice coming from the stone, and she would be able to hear it too if she would only focus.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%202_zpspswbenvd.jpg)

Rapifafa heard a faint voice from the stone, telling her to gather seven colors which covered the sky.

Rapifafa continued her travels across Vana’Diel without letting the ruby leave her side. The ruby gathered strength from the colors of the sky, a different color based on how the weather changed. One for clear skies, one for dry heats, one for sandstorms, one for cloudy winds, one for rain, one for blizzards, and one for thunderstorms.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%203_zpspgddy6iu.jpg)

You may think the powers come together to form Captain Planet, but instead of coming together to form a blue creature, the lights came together to form a blue creature.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%204_zpsuzqhw79l.jpg)

The mysterious creature told Rapifafa to travel to the La Theine plateau to find the answers to her questions.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%205_zps2bdlhkbd.jpg)

Rapifafa followed the Ruby’s instructions to a strange stone monument, the subject of many rumors.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%206_zps0o8ofvib.jpg)

The creature again appeared before Rapifafa, introducing itself as Carbuncle, a creature of legend Rapifafa had heard many times before in the Tarutaru poem, “The Canticle of Carbuncle”. Clearly it was more than just a legend, and Carbuncle tells Rapifafa that long ago, it had become a crystal and its power was spread throughout the world. Sensing that Rapifafa needed its assistance, Carbuncle decided to lead Rapifafa here so that it may lend her a fraction of its powers.

Carbuncle also asks Rapifafa to seek other ancient beings, which sleep in faraway lands across Vana’diel, where Rapifafa will be able to see the “true Vana’Diel”.

With that, Carbuncle disappears into a rainbow in the distance, and Rapifafa feels a newfound power coursing within her- she has gained the power to summon.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%207_zpsa5izj8j7.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%208_zpsoha6efu7.jpg)

Rapifafa continued her adventures, not knowing where to start searching for the other ancient beings Carbuncle had asked her to find. Eventually, Rapifafa heard of an expedition by members of Windurst’s Rhinostery to faraway lands researching the elemental Protocrystals.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%209_zpsjzglp9pt.jpg)

Apparently, each of these Protocrystals contained a Celestial Being, each known to the people of Vana’Diel through an associated legend and a constellation in the sky named after each of them. (http://ffxiclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Legends_of_the_Constellations) (Don't poke around the wiki too much if you don't want spoilers!) Each researcher used a special tuning fork tuned to their respective crystal, and each was able to awaken the creatures within. However, all of them were forced to retreat after a short engagement, and they each hand Rapifafa their respective tuning forks, asking to help them complete their research by confronting the creature within.

Following the instructions each researcher gave her, Rapifafa makes her way to each of the Protocrystals in the far reaches of Vana’Diel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2010_zpskieaqzvn.jpg)

Each time Rapifafa enters one of the crystals, she hears a voice speaking in riddles.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2011_zpsk8wxwpgz.jpg)

Despite only using a portion of their power against Rapifafa, each Prime Avatar poses a unique challenge, being masters of their respective element.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2012_zpsbngepnyz.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2013_zpskovlvu4f.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2014_zps46fdzzpv.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2015_zpscf5rrluv.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2016_zpson8fikjk.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2017_zpsyxsetyp0.jpg)

Upon defeat, each Avatar returns to their slumber.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2018_zpswd06z2t8.jpg)

Each time Rapifafa defeated an Avatar, she returned to the associated researcher, but each time a strange force caused the researcher to lose their memories of all that transpired.

With a fragment of power from each of the six elemental Avatars, Rapifafa’s power as a summoner expands. Eventually, Carbuncle reappears before Rapifafa and informs her that a thief is stealing energy from the Avatar, pointing her towards Bastok.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2019_zps1czdwmzo.jpg)

With no other leads, Rapifafa approaches one of the Rhinostery’s researchers positioned in Bastok.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2020_zpsvpheuuyn.jpg)

With her memory wiped she isn’t much help, but another Tarutaru named Ildy-Goldy happens by, explaining they are attempting a new experiment on the Protocrystal. This may be the lead Rapifafa leads, so she agrees to help.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2021_zpsobgtvl37.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to the Earth Protocrystal, where she is attacked by a monster. It seems this was a dead end, so she returns to Bastok.

Ildy-Goldy has information for Rapifafa however- he had been chasing after a powerful mage named Uran-Mafran, and apparently he is the person causing the researchers to lose their memories. Ildy-Goldy asks Rapifafa to speak to Principal Koru-Moru to learn more, and Rapifafa agrees- it’s likely their goals overlapped.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2022_zpskkrwgq83.jpg)

Unfortunately, Koru-Moru being Koru-Moru, tells Rapifafa that he has no recollection of the name Uran-Mafran, and asks her to give him some time to remember before returning.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2023_zps40xpcmel.jpg)

Carbuncle tells Rapifafa they have no time to waste, and gives Rapifafa one of its tears to restore Koru-Moru’s memories (Of course the power of rainbows is intimately tied to restoring memories, don’t be silly).

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2024_zpswn3b4bym.jpg)

With his memories returned, Koru-Moru proceeds to do what he does best- run his mouth for a long, long time. He explains Uran-Mafran was an incredibly bright student from back when he was the active Principal of the School of Magic, and earned the nickname “Puppet Master” amongst his peers for his skill in using magic dolls. At that time, the Manustery Minister Zonpa-Zippa had disappeared, and Uran-Mafran was one of the students being considered for the job. However, soon after securing the job, he himself disappeared and also used a strange doll to erase any memories of him from the people of Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2025_zpssazq6cs5.jpg)

Ildy-Goldy soon joins the conversation, alongside his boss, the Rhinostery Minister Rukususu. With their testimony of Uran-Mafran’s recent actions, Koru-Moru decides that something must be done. He tells Rapifafa to seek three of Uran-Mafran’s former classmates, while taking Rukususu and Ildy-Goldy to perform a different task.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2026_zpsmd1fvq9a.jpg)

Rapifafa has little trouble finding two of the classmates, who give a part of the story. Uran-Mafran and Ildy-Goldy had been involved in some kind of incident involving the Dark Dungeon below Windurst, and Ildy-Goldy was left permanently injured. One of them offers the possibility that Uran-Mafran left Windurst to find a cure.

Unable to find the final classmate where he worked at the Orastery, Rapifafa followed the only other lead she had- that this classmate was a fan of Shantotto.

The Professor doesn’t have much info to give Rapifafa other than that Sunny-Pabonny had left for San d’Oria about a month ago to find some kind of armor.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2027_zps1jxt1chb.jpg)

Rapifafa runs into the Rhinostery researcher at San d’Oria, who informs her that Sunny-Pabonny had stolen one of her experimental tuning forks.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2028_zpss2jdnroq.jpg)

Rapifafa chases Sunny-Pabonny to the Ice Protocrystal, but he isn’t particularly cooperative until the experimental tuning fork drags them into the Protocrystal, where Rapifafa is forced to save them from Sunny-Pabonny’s pet sapling going gaga from the crystal.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2029_zpsq9qdodsi.jpg)

Now that Sunny-Pabonny is more willing to share his part of the story, Rapifafa learns that Uran-Mafran and Ildy-Goldy were trapped in the Dark Dungeon after losing the Charm of Darkness. However, despite being in the dungeon the same amount of time, Ildy-Goldy lost all of his magical abilities, whereas Uran-Mafran did not.

Rapifafa returns to Koru-Moru with this information, and Ildy-Goldy decides along with Rukususu that they will need to track Uran-Mafran down to figure out what exactly he’s up to.

Koru-Moru is a bit concerned with what may be coming, so he gives Rapifafa a piece of armor to help her out.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2030_zps67pykmxf.jpg)

With nothing to do while Ildy-Goldy and Rukususu hunt down Uran-Mafran, Rapifafa returns to her adventures.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2031_zpsoqb6wvcl.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2032_zpslahugwbh.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2033_zpsd9jorgwd.jpg)

Soon Rapifafa hears a voice, and returns to Koru-Moru. Whatever information they had at this point will have to do.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2034_zpsxnh6vstd.jpg)

Koru-Moru tells Rapifafa that there was another incident with one of the researchers, so Rapifafa travels to Mhaura.

The researcher directs Rapifafa towards the Lightning Protocrystal.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2035_zpsmxnayye5.jpg)

Rapifafa rushes to the crystal, and within she was confronted with a none-too-pleasant sight.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2036_zpsnn2jnjlg.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2037_zpsrij6grbz.jpg)

Uran-Mafran harnesses the power of the nearby crystal to hurl fiends at Rapifafa, but she has little trouble defeating them.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2038_zpseqs4xlal.jpg)

With the creatures defeated, Ildy-Goldy arrives to demand an explanation from Uran-Mafran.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2039_zpseomkglmg.jpg)

Uran-Mafran’s reason for disappearing is quite simple- he left his job at the Manustery when he could no longer gain anything from it. He further explains that he had “lost” the Charm of Darkness on purpose after convincing Ildy-Goldy to study the Dark Dungeon with him as part of their graduation thesis. Uran-Mafran had never been in the Dungeon at all- his specialty had always been dolls, and he had used one in place of himself in the dungeon. With the leading candidate for the Manustery position out of the way, he easily gained the position himself.

With his evil speech finished, Uran-Mafran uses another one of his dolls to take control of Ildy-Goldy, and escapes the crystal.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2040_zpslnuvwjdy.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to Koru-Moru to explain what had happened, and Rukususu arrives soon after with more information- when Uran-Mafran was the Manustery Minister, it was only time its budget was not in the red- it had received large donations from the trader Honoi-Gomoi.

With Honoi-Gomoi’s involvement, whatever Uran-Mafran is trying to do with that Mana Orb cannot be good, so Koru-Moru tells Rapifafa to immediately depart to search for him, and gives her a charm to break the spell on Ildy-Goldy.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2041_zpsptdpfq5c.jpg)

Questioning the Rhinostery researchers eventually points Rapifafa towards the Wind Protocrystal, and she hurries to catch up with Uran-Mafran.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2042_zpsln7ycubs.jpg)

Rapifafa attempts to use the charm Koru-Moru gave her, but it has no effect. Uran-Mafran explains to Rapifafa that he has simply been following in the steps of Karaha-Baruha, who had nearly succeeded in controlling living beings. Unlike Karaha-Baruha, however, he does not seek complete control the way he did, and only uses suggestions to nudge actions towards what he desires, so he will not be destroyed the same way Karaha-Baruha was.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2043_zps7i7id7z4.jpg)

Uran-Mafran sends another creature to fight Rapifafa, and while she has no trouble defeating it, Uran-Mafran seems to have few limits on this ability thanks to his Mana Orb, whereas summoning Avatars to fight for her drains Rapifafa’s magic significantly.

Before Uran-Mafran can summon another creature, however, his Mana Orb is snatched from him.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2044_zpsdc4vdhsa.jpg)

Ildy-Goldy was never under his control, and had simply been waiting for the right moment to strike. When Uran-Mafran robbed Ildy-Goldy of all his magical abilities, he simultaneously doomed his own plan by making it impossible for Ildy-Goldy to be affected by any magic.

Despite all Uran-Mafran has done, Ildy-Goldy sings his praises, telling him how much he looked up to him when they were both students, and attempts to dissuade him from whatever he is trying to do and to return to Windurst.

Uran-Mafran almost seems moved by the speech, but just as soon casts a spell to escape, telling Ildy-Goldy he can keep the Mana Orb. Despite the lack of answers, there is no more immediate reason to pursue Uran-Mafran now that he lacks the source of his power, so Rapifafa and Ildy-Goldy both return to Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2045_zpsnznxy8gv.jpg)

With the orb in hand, Koru-Moru explains that he senses energy powerful enough to bring someone back from death- apparently, if the creator of a magic doll died, restoring life to that doll would also bring back the master. It’s likely Uran-Mafran learned of this legend during his short tenure as the Minister of the Manustery.

It’s unlikely Uran-Mafran will give up so easily on his goal, so Koru-Moru tells Ildy-Goldy that he must remain vigilant, as he is the only one who can resist his spells. With Rapifafa’s role in this matter complete, Koru-Moru rewards her with something he had been working on- completing a piece of experimental armor invented by Karaha-Baruha.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2046_zpszax9ll8w.jpg)

Rapifafa is left wondering who exactly Uran-Mafran was trying to resurrect, as Koru-Moru is decidedly tight-lipped for once, and Rapifafa is left with no answers.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SMN%2047_zpsc01qsssy.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on October 17, 2015, 09:36:27 AM
Windurst Part 13: Doll of the Dead

Some time passes after the jailbreak, and Rapifafa receives a private message that Apururu had gone to fetch Ajido-Marujido’s wizard clothing, and she was now asking for her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/1_zps6nmb1fq9.jpg)

Ajido-Marujido seems all better, and he seems to have gained some important knowledge from the Book of the Gods despite the fact it looked more like it exploded all over his face.

Before the conversation can get much further, Semih Lefihna appears.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/2_zps2had89wr.jpg)

Music: Buccaneers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEFjeL92VYw)

Contrary to everyone’s suspicions, she is not here to arrest Ajido-Marujido- the strange bearer of darkness Lafihna had been chasing recently has reappeared in Windurst, and now the Star Sibyl’s doors were magically locked, leaving Ajido-Marujido one of the only options to get in.

The party hurries to the Heaven’s Tower to save the Star Sibyl.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3_zpsg7sqronk.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4_zps1k9elbjz.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5_zps6mzowj3z.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6_zps9ozwlzel.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7_zpsxtb1jclx.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8_zpsf3laq0kf.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/9_zpsbg2netse.jpg)

The rescue efforts don’t go particularly well, but the bearer of darkness only manages one more grunt before disappearing.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/10_zpswpgblbgm.jpg)

Semih Lafihna apologizes for sucking really badly at her job, and vows to catch the creature. Ajido-Marujido stops her, saying that the creature possesses a power far beyond what any of them can defeat- the power of the Stars and the Moon, the same power that fills the Horutoto Ruins, the Mana Orbs, and the Minister Rings- the power of Fenrir, a great beast which once resided in the Full Moon Fountain.

Ajido-Marujido declares he has read the deeds of the first Star Sibyl from the Book of the Gods, and demands that the Star Sibyl reveal what happened in the Full Moon Fountain 20 years ago which caused Fenrir to disappear from the fountain.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/11_zpsgok98xko.jpg)

It seems as if the Star Sibyl knew this day was long coming, and begins her tale.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/12_zpsec961w1m.jpg)

Long ago, the first Star Sibyl performed the first Moon Reading at the Full Moon Fountain, creating a prophecy which foretold hundreds of years.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/13_zpsdlgd551w.jpg)

The Star Spring in the Heaven’s Tower was infused with the prophecy. The subsequent Star Sibyls used that prophecy alongside the Star Readings to guide Windurst to wealth and prosperity.

When it came time for the current Star Sibyl to perform her Star Reading, she saw something completely different- destruction. Windurst was consumed by disaster, and the Tarutaru would die by the thousands. The Star Sibyl decided that she needed to seek the counsel of Fenrir itself to avoid this disaster.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/14_zps3mrfwwl4.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/15_zpsbainjgqs.jpg)

The Star Sibyl knew in her fear that Fenrir was right- the Tarutaru were destined for destruction.

However, the Star Sibyl had one ally who would not accept this fate- Karaha-Baruha. Developing his magic of summoning, he attempted to completely take control of the beast Fenrir.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/16_zpsjvbfoclh.jpg)

So the legend was born, Karaha-Baruha exhausting his own lifeforce to unleash a power which destroyed the beastmen forces invading Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/17_zps1fy1bti3.jpg)

Fenrir, with his life bound to Karaha-Baruha’s, passed from the world alongside the summoner. With that, Windurst lost the protection of the Stars and the Moon, causing the events in the decades that followed, including draining the Horutoto Ruins of its power and causing the Star Tree to begin its withering. And, of course, without that power, it means the Star Sibyl has been giving false readings to the people of Windurst for 20 years.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/18_zpsj08gwxmm.jpg)

With the story finished, Ajido-Marujido knows that Windurst must move forward regardless, and he requests the use of Karaha-Baruha’s research and his Animastery. The Star Sibyl grants Ajido-Marujido this privilege, and pardons him of all his crimes. Semih Lafihna clearly has her doubts about the decision, but strives forward in her task to find the bearer of darkness.

Before leaving, Ajido-Marujido asks Rapifafa to tell Apururu all that has transpired.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/19_zpsj5d9tkmw.jpg)

Apururu is relieved to hear about Ajido-Marujido’s pardon, and that all seems to have fallen into place. Yoran-Oran soon interrupts with news of his own however- he has come across a letter containing handwriting very familiar to both him and Apururu. It seems Apururu and Ajido-Marujido’s father, Zonpa-Zippa, is alive, and is being held by the mandragora inside the Boyahda Tree. Naturally, Apururu turns to the closest adventurer to help her solve this problem, as she believes Ajido-Marujido shouldn’t be disturbed as he works on his menial task of saving Windurst from destruction. Apururu herself apparently isn’t too interested in seeing her father, in fear of growing to hate him even more.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/20_zpst13c3uxq.jpg)

Rapifafa accepts the task on the basis of the But Thou Must rule of adventuring, and Apururu asks that if Rapifafa finds Zonpa-Zippa to take the chance to ask about the mysteries surrounding the Cardians. Rapifafa gathers her equipment and travels far north of Windurst back to the Sanctuary of Zitah.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/21_zpsqwzniru3.jpg)

The largest tree in Zitah, the Boyahda Tree, is said to have lived for thousands of years.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/22_zpsvehk1rkb.jpg)

Rapifafa finds the Mandragora prison within the tree, guarded by numerous Mandragora.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/23_zpsuisgimcz.jpg)

Thankfully, bribes seem to be a universal language- mandragoras just prefer humus over gil.

Rapifafa soon finds the former Manustery Minister, the  famed inventor of the Cardians. He is mentioned surprisingly little, even by his children, despite his great accomplishments.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/24_zps4zshzs1k.jpg)

Can’t imagine why.

Rapifafa decides to cut straight to the point and begins asking Zonpa-Zippa numerous questions. Luckily, Zonpa-Zippa isn't the quiet type.

Rapifafa asks why the Cardians rose up against him. Zonpa-Zippa explains that when he was requested to create a Cardian army during the war, instead of setting every Cardian to follow his orders, he created an hierarchy and only made the Ace Cardians set to obey him. Apparently there was some kind of flaw in this system. At some point Karaha-Baruha came to Zonpa-Zippa with a request for several powerful Cardians to aid in his research.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/25_zpsubvmu7sx.jpg)

Zonpa-Zippa reprogrammed the Ace Cardians to treat Karaha-Baruha as their master. Karaha-Baruha then created Joker using the Ace Cardians as a template, and set the Aces to follow Joker as their master. When Karaha-Baruha died, Joker was lost with him, and the Ace Cardians were faced with the dilemma of existence without a master, and they put all their efforts into retrieving their master. In the course of that task, they locked Zonpa-Zippa in The Boyahda Tree.

Rapifafa tells Zonpa-Zippa that Joker has come back to life, and he seems shocked. When Rapifafa inquires further, Zonpa-Zippa explains that since inanimate objects brought to life will die alongside their master, there is an unwritten rule to not revive these dead objects to prevent the opposite from occurring. It requires an outlawed ritual to place part of a mage’s life into an inanimate object, so it is not something that always happens, nor is it a recipe for immortality. However, given Karaha-Baruha’s history, it isn't unlikely that he has returned to the living alongside Joker.

Finally Rapifafa asks a personal question- why does Ajido-Marujido and Apururu hate him?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/26_zpsehkp1ryt.jpg)

Somehow she’s not too surprised at the answer, but Rapifafa has no more time to waste- there will be time to save Zonpa-Zippa after the issue has been solved, so she takes the information back to Apururu.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/27_zpsqbeviidl.jpg)

As luck would have it, Ajido-Marujido shows up while Apururu asks about her father, and Ajido-Marujido demands to be brought up to speed. The information shocks him so much, he decides to mug at the camera.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/28_zpslvuq9skk.jpg)

Ajido-Marujido is confused as to why Karaha-Baruha would plan all this, until he considers what he doing- he wasn’t just attempting to summon Fenrir, but rather attempting to completely control its will. Ajido-Marujido seems panicked at this fact, and tells Rapifafa that they needed to stop the Star Sibyl from traveling to the Full Moon Fountain.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/29_zpsz0upsrqy.jpg)

Even as Rapifafa and Ajido-Marujido rush to the Fountain, they are too late. The Star Sibyl decided now was a good time to take a trip down memory lane, reflecting upon what Windurst lost 20 years ago, and the lies she had told the people of Windurst since then. Semih Lafihna, ever the loyal guard, reassures that the Star Sibyl has done absolutely nothing wrong.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/30_zpsewmbnzb7.jpg)

Music: Fury (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8NGGs6_R-s)

Joker interrupts their nice conversation, declaring that he had been waiting for the Star Sibyl to come. He assures her that he is not here to seek vengeance, but rather to help guide the star of hope she called forth. Joker explains that in the same way the first Star Sibyl made a prophecy using her first Moon Reading, the current Star Sibyl too entrusted a wish to the Stars and Moon.

That wish was the one Rapifafa had seen in her vision from the Magicite, when the Star Sibyl asked for the help of Karaha-Baruha at the Star Spring.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/31_zpsmctymnf4.jpg)

Now that this star of hope has arrived, Joker declares that the time has come for the miracle the Star Sibyl wishes for.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/32_zpsxqyj9uib.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on October 18, 2015, 12:51:46 AM
Here we are at the ending to the Windurst story. Hope you enjoy it.

Windurst Part 14: Stars of Hope

Rapifafa and her party have no choice but to make a temporary escape. Semih Lafihna explains to Rapifafa that when Ajido-Marujido had reactivated the towers, he had broken one of the most important clauses in the peace treaty between Windurst and the Yagudo, and they did not sit idly by these past few weeks. Semih Lafihna takes Rapifafa to the Animastery, where everyone has regrouped.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%201_zpsrmm0ec3f.jpg)

Ajido-Marujido reexplains the plot to everyone, that Karaha-Baruha dragged Fenrir to death alongside him after taking control of him, and it was likely that the strange bearer of darkness which has been wandering around is the resurrected spirits of both Karaha-Baruha and Fenrir, brought back when Joker was reactivated. Now Joker has requested that they bring the bearer of darkness to the Full Moon Fountain. While Joker’s purpose in this is unclear, they have little choice in the matter, with the Star Sibyl captive.

Ajido-Marujido forms a plan. He orders Rapifafa to travel to Ro’Maeve, the Chamber of Oracles, and the Temple of Uggalepih to gather three verses of a Kuluu song. Ajido-Marujido learned from the Book of the Gods that the Kuluu had made some kind of pact with the avatars long ago, and this song would be able to lure the bearer of darkness to the fountain. He asks Semih Lafihna to go to the chieftainess Perih Vashai to explain the situation- should the Star Sibyl lose her life in the coming conflict, the Tarutaru would enter a state of panic, and the Yagudo would choose that moment to attack. The Mithra must be ready to defend Windurst in that situation. Finally, he asks Apururu to find some way to disable the Cardians.

With the plan laid out, everyone leaves the Animastery to perform their tasks, while Ajido-Marujido continues his studies of Karaha-Baruha’s notes.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%202_zpsoleibgcz.jpg)

Rapifafa travels past the plains of Sarutabaruta, the cliffs of Tahrongi Canyon and the Meriphataud Mountains, and into the forests of the Sanctuary of Zitah. Past there, she returned to the ruins of Ro’Maeve, returning to the same fountain where she had first met the bearer of darkness.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%203_zpsfzs9q1xj.jpg)

As she approaches, a haunting song plays.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%204_zpsa7o4vwv5.jpg)

Music: Moongate (Memoro de la S^tono) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siAvkOQ4sRE)

With that, she finds the first verse she is looking for.

Rapifafa continues her task, traveling back to the Meriphataud Mountains so she could reach Jeuno past the Sauromague Champaign, then taking an airship to Bastok and traveling past the Korroloka Tunnels to the Altepa Desert. The Quicksand Caves below contained ruins known as the Chamber of Oracles, possibly unearthed by the incessant digging by the local Antica.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%205_zpsem8btjhx.jpg)

Here, she once again hears the same song as she did in Ro’Maeve, and she finds another verse of the song.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%206_zpssmksjlqt.jpg)

Returning to Jeuno, she boarded a flight to Kazham, and traveled to the Temple of Uggalepih past the Elshimo Jungles.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%207_zpsozcpsn0n.jpg)

Here, she hears the strange song one last time, learning the final verse Ajido-Marujido asked her to obtain.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%208_zpsklooyrpz.jpg)

Rapifafa rushes back to the Star Sibyl’s Vestal Chambers in Windurst as fast as she can, where she finds Ajido-Marujido and Semih Lafihna waiting for her. Apparently, the King of the Yagudo has announced the imminent abolishment of the peace treaty with Windurst. Ajido-Marujido adds that it’s likely the lifeforce Karaha-Baruha dumped into Joker is soon to run out as well, so there is a ticking clock on both ends.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%209_zpsc9qtcst4.jpg)

From these two facts, Ajido-Marujido comes to the conclusion that the Yagudo and the Cardians have likely hammered out some kind of deal- after all, the door to the talisman used to seal the Shadow Lord could only have been opened by a Minister, a Heaven’s Tower representative, or a Cardian. It is likely that the time limit given by the Yagudo King and the time left on Joker’s life is identical.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2010_zpskw4iruzz.jpg)

Soon, Apururu enters the room and declares that her work is done as well, meaning the time has finally come to confront the Cardians at the Full Moon Fountain.

The group descends below Windurst to the Toraimarai Canal, and travels through the sewer until they reach the Full Moon Fountain.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2011_zpsz6s8ixaq.jpg)

Ajido-Marujido tells Joker that the group has brought the song to draw the bearer of darkness to the Fountain, and demands the release of the Star Sibyl. Joker, however, says he only be satisfied if he hears the song first.

Ajido-Marujido tells Rapifafa to protect the Star Sibyl at all costs before letting her go. She approaches Joker, playing the song for all to hear.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2012_zps2lap6epo.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2013_zps91qpsr5l.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2016_zps8yf3bb1x.jpg)

Whatever ritual has begun, it has caused the Cardians to go berserk, and they attack the party!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2017_zps5mlxdlqx.jpg)

Music: Tough Battle #2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hF_ph62fo_Q)

Rapifafa has the (mis)fortune of finding herself going toe-to-toe with the Ace Cardians themselves!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2018_zps5pl1dtbl.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2019_zpsgo7ldiiv.jpg)

Rapifafa has a rough time, but she is able to emerge victorious. She turns to help the others face the remaining Cardians- and finds them all taken care of thanks to Apururu.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2020_zpszreaufyh.jpg)

It seems the fight isn’t over however, as the bearer of darkness himself decides to send a few fiends to confront the group.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2021_zpsuazyfg3x.jpg)

Considering the power Karaha-Baruha held on top of Fenrir’s power, it’s no surprise the fiends are incredibly powerful. But Rapifafa has much less difficulty with them with Ajido-Marujido, Semih Lafihna and Apururu fighting at her side.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2022_zps9cwpfjd1.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2023_zpsbcwovt1c.jpg)

With the battle over, Joker is able to complete the ritual.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2024_zpsheveqdrn.jpg)

As the spirits of the Cardians merge, Joker asks for the Star Sibyl to make a new wish when the Stars and Moon return.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2025_zpsupwq8llu.jpg)

Joker collapses, and the Star Sibyl makes her wish- for the return of Fenrir, and for his blessing to protect this land as he had in the past.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2026_zpsesg5ss37.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2027_zps2tccpw5i.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2028_zpsickra3nk.jpg~original)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2029_zpsoay61uld.jpg)

-----

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Back in Windurst, Ajido-Marujido speaks with Rapifafa as the Star Sibyl rests. It seems that any leftover power of the Stars and Moon from the Mana Orb, the Fountain, and the Star Sibyl’s Diza Star were all consumed to revive the Great Beast. That strength came together to allow the Star Sibyl to perform the second Moon Reading in Windurst’s history.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2031_zpsq81zwyre.jpg)

Semih Lafihna returns from her short trip to inform Ajido-Marujido that with the Great Beast back and the loss of their Ace Cardian allies, the Yagudo called off their attack. It’s likely the Yagudo won’t be trying anything anytime soon.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2032_zpsjxrokqiw.jpg)

Ajido-Marujido muses that perhaps Karaha-Baruha was brilliant enough that he had predicted a mage like him would come into being to follow in his footsteps and set off this chain of events, and at this Apururu shows up to crap on Ajido-Marujido a little bit before handing him his Orastery ring- it seems things have finally returned to the way they were. They all turn to return to their work, but Semih Lafihna notes to Rapifafa that the Star Sibyl wishes to meet her once more before she departs for any more adventures.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2033_zpsjkxdpgrk.jpg)

The Star Sibyl once again thanks Rapifafa for her service, and shares with her something that she had not considered.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2034_zpshlhhmeb3.jpg)

Whatever the future of Windurst will be, it will no longer be set by the stars in the sky, but rather by the stars of hope the citizens themselves represent.

Music: Vana’Diel March #2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoBzBjbaT4Q)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2035_zps11dq8wzf.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2036_zpshigyy9sx.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2037_zpsju5h9agq.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/W14%2038_zpsojgcua6d.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on October 18, 2015, 12:55:56 AM
Windurst Epilogue: The Promise

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WE%201_zpsr2eh81n7.jpg)

Soon after the second Moon Reading, Carbuncle asks Rapifafa to collect the six whispers of the six Avatars once again. Through this, one of the Rhinostery researchers is able to change a Carbuncle’s Ruby into a Moon Bauble, which calls Rapifafa towards the Full Moon Fountain.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WE%202_zpszouem0mc.jpg)

The whole coming-back-from-the-dead thing makes Fenrir a bit hard to reach, but the power of the six Avatars allows Rapifafa to meet the great beast once again.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WE%203_zpse5edcbt5.jpg)

Carbuncle asks Fenrir to lend Rapifafa to fraction of his power the same way the other Avatars have, but like the others, Fenrir is interested in testing Rapifafa before he is willing to grant such a power.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WE%204_zpsim9ng27o.jpg)

Rapifafa passes Fenrir’s test, and Fenrir grants her a fraction of its power. He also senses something from Rapifafa, and passes a dark orb to her, asking her to give it to “the children”.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WE%205_zpsvkrudtau.jpg)

Rapifafa had put it off long enough, so she returns to the Star Onion Brigade and hands them the darkened orb.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WE%206_zpsrvfsyqve.jpg)

Rapifafa tries to explain to the children what has happened, but they’re unwilling to believe that Joker is gone.

Music: Prelude (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FuZ-ibx6tM)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WE%207_zpsavqblahz.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WE%208_zpsrirjbjze.jpg~original)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WE%209_zpslkwo7wgx.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Dice on October 22, 2015, 02:12:16 PM
Whoever comes up with FF online names need an award.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on October 24, 2015, 09:57:33 AM
If it's any consolation, only the Tarutaru and Mithra in the game have funny sounding names all over the place, and Windurst is filled with mostly those two. The other races have high fantasy sounding names but at least you have a good chance of pronouncing them correctly on the first try. Maybe I'll get to those other nations later but whether or not I do I'm going to take a break from doing XI for a short bit. It ended up taking a lot longer to type up these summaries than I thought it would, heh.

Oh yeah, I guess I should write some thoughts about the game itself since this Journal seemed to have ended up being more just a summary of the game's story (Here's your warning to skip the rest of this post!). Was a bit tired when I posted those entries earlier so I guess I'll take some time now to rant a bit.

Windurst is actually my favorite nation storyline in the game. The San d'Oria storyline would start the tease about something that players would never get to actually see, and the Bastok storyline had about one part I liked and the rest of it just kinda bores me- but I guess I'm getting ahead of myself again. Hopefully it came across in the entries but a lot of the story in FFXI isn't just about going through the plot, but rather a lot of it is told by the areas themselves. Most players I knew actually ran out to Tahrongi Canyon and beyond way before they ever reached the part of the story that told you to go there, so to have dozens of hours of wandering/adventuring around the wastelands of Mindartia under your belt, only to learn there was actually a pretty big plot reason all that was the case (instead of just "the developers wanted to make cool-looking areas"), was an interesting experience. Basically, I would say it offered a similar experience to a well-constructed open world game like Morrowind, where the history of the world you were playing in slowly came together as you explored around, except with the Final Fantasy aesthetic we all love.

So for any of you that bothered listening to the music while reading through this picture book, you might have noticed the latter part of the Windurst story started using lots of music from the first expansion to the game, Rise of the Zilart. Pretty much everything after Rank 6 (the mission where you beat the Shadow Lord) is considered expansion content. The expansion's own story also got some foreshadowing in Vanilla content, so I'm under the impression that either they had already planned all the story including the first expansion before the game released, or even that at some point in development, they were a single game.

The fact that this game wasn't released in the US until it had a year's worth of content updates and the Rise of the Zilart was probably a huge help for it, because aside from that meaning that all the nation storylines were actually available for completion, it also meant they weren't getting a game that was actually mechanically broken in many ways. The early life of the game naturally had people running around in the six basic jobs, but that by itself wasn't an issue except for the fact that Thieves had a really terrible backstab ability, Red Mages were a crappy in-between of White and Black Mages with no unique spells (something that's Final Fantasy tradition but quickly makes it clear its a bad idea for an online game), and Warriors had a competent enough Hand-to-Hand skill so that they could just punch things in the face in place of a Monk if you actually found yourself up against something weak to blunt attacks (which was not common to begin with). So basically, having 3 out of 6 of the starting jobs be crappy is not a very good starting point. By the time of US release, Thieves had a really beefy Sneak Attack, Red Mages had some of the most important unique spells in the game, and Monks were a popular job to take to some high level dungeons. Of course, XI still had its share of balancing issues and it would continue to be infamous among MMOs for how horribly balanced its jobs are, but probably nothing quite like those dark early days of the game.

Also, Rise of the Zilart let people play as Samurais and Ninjas. Why else would you buy a Final Fantasy game if not to be a weeaboo?

Anyway, San d'Oria's story is up next whenever I feel like getting off my ass and writing it up (in case it wasn't already obvious, I write some of these entires ahead of time and post them on some insane schedule that only makes sense to me).
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on November 25, 2015, 06:10:09 AM
Look at all these responses, I'm sure people have been waiting for me to continue with bated breath.

So the FFXI story reached its conclusion about 2 weeks ago, but that's still a ways off for Rapifafa. If anybody reading hasn't played XI before, I'd say not to let your curiosity to get the better of you and going off to read wiki summaries, because I do think everything that happens in the final story means a lot more if you experience it in the order of release, which is basically how I'm going through it here.

Time for Rapifafa to enter the San d'Oria story, and the perfect way to bridge that from the Windurst story is with

A Thief’s Story: Atarefaunet’s Band

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%201_zpspyf5h4ea.jpg)

The obvious place for any budding thief to go is to Nanaa Mihgo, the famous Cat Burglar of Windurst.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%202_zps7otm3iyj.jpg)

Rapifafa has spent some time practicing thieving skills, so Nanaa Mihgo decides to tell her about a call for able thieves. They are to travel to Jeuno to meet the Tenshodo.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%203_zpsp7keoikh.jpg)

Rapifafa travels to Jeuno to find herself surrounded by a lot more Thieves than she expected, many of whom she had met on her adventures to other nations.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%204_zpsuqaxxsgn.jpg)

Soon after her arrival, their host Vauderame calls for their attention.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%205_zpskmpvysdl.jpg)

Long story short, the Tenshodo wants help assessing the motives of the leftover members from a group of thieves known as Atarefaunet’s band. They had terrorized merchants for decades until 20 years ago, when Atarefaunet was killed by a traitor. Rapifafa is recognized as an adventurer, so she’s given one of the most troublesome members of the group to deal with. She is handed an envelope and sent off to find the man known as Sneaking Tiger.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%206_zpso3lrnler.jpg)

Rapifafa finds her target in the fishing village of Selbina.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%207_zpsjt59rytf.jpg)

Sneaking Tiger is amused by the Tenshodo’s offer, but he wishes to see how good Rapifafa is at the whole thieving thing, so he sends her on a task to steal a bowl of stew from one of the Quadav in Beadeaux.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%208_zpsorkuelap.jpg)

Sneaking Tiger is satisfied with this display of skill, so he signs the paper and shoos Rapifafa back off to Jeuno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%209_zps912rlkra.jpg)

With the job finished, Rapifafa collects a handsome payment from the Tenshodo and goes home satisfied.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2010_zps9ficu0w3.jpg)

Nanaa Mihgo doesn’t seem satisfied herself despite the disproportionately high reward. She had momentarily held Rapifafa’s letter before she handed it to Vauderame, and she was able to tell through that alone that the signature Sneaking Tiger gave was a simple letter “V”. She tells Rapifafa that something similar happened with the signature she collected, so she thinks she's onto the scent of a greater treasure. Nanaa Mihgo gives her followers and Rapifafa forged Tenshodo letters and the whereabouts of the members to Atarefaunet’s band to collect the signatures once again.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2011_zpseajagzmb.jpg)

Rapifafa is first pointed towards the towers in Sauromague Champaign. Nanaa Mihgo’s underlings advised her to take all her armor off before climbing the tower, so she leaves her belongings on the bottom and makes her way up.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2012_zpstvutcom6.jpg)

She finds a Tarutaru woman named Linzaza on top of one of the towers, and after some exchange of subterfuge, Rapifafa is able to get Linzaza to sign the forged letter.

Rapifafa’s only clue for the other member is a Goblin merchant in Jeuno, who leads her around on a task of playing dice with a bunch of Goblins to get the information she wants.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2013_zpsdcfmi1cf.jpg)

Turns out it was nice practice though, since the next member of Atarefaunet’s band also has a strange personal obsession with dice.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2014_zpsp8tb07tq.jpg)

Rapifafa takes the two signatures back to Nanaa Mihgo, who adds them to the other ones gathered, giving her the letters V, Z, A, N, A, T, A, and I. Nanaa Mihgo gives Rapifafa a reward for her efforts and asks for some time to solve the riddle.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2015_zpsrreqnqul.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2016_zpshsjc2gop.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2017_zpsclbutsk7.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2018_zpsyfqau0ss.jpg)

When Rapifafa returns, Nanaa Mihgo reveals she was able to crack to code: The letters were an anagram for “Tavnazia”, the nation that was obliterated by the beastmen during the Great War.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2019_zpsxrzl660w.jpg)

Nanaa Mihgo did some more digging, and found that before the nation was swarmed by the beastmen, some of the Tavnazian Knights carried away some kind of royal treasure, and the word is that Atarefaunet’s band attacked and stole this treasure. Nanaa Mihgo suspects that Vauderame is looking to gain this treasure. She still needs more information before she can act, however, and she thinks the key lies in the signature of the sender on each letter, so she sends Rapifafa to find two of the thieves the Tenshodo invited. The letter Rapifafa delivered had a blank spot where that signature should’ve been.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2020_zpsy6plkeyy.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2021_zpsgmyshrgu.jpg)

Rapifafa finds the thieves, but as expected neither of them are willing to give out information for free, so Rapifafa performs their silly thieving tasks and obtains the two letters “O” and “D” for her troubles.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2022_zpsvszdxpa6.jpg)

Nanaa Mihgo combines the letters together to get D, L, E, L, O, R, and E, and quickly deduces that this is an anagram for “Ordelle”-Vauderame used the thieves he hired to tell Atarefaunet’s band to gather at Ordelle’s Caves, so Nanaa Mihgo and Rapifafa race there to see if they can reach the treasure first.

Past the Ordelle’s Caves was an unmapped region in the La Theine Plateau, where Nanaa Mihgo and Rapifafa unearth a suspicious-looking treasure chest. They were the first here, and now the treasure was all theirs!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2023_zpsutdenhiv.jpg)

Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be much inside, some dusty old armor and a golden scepter is all they find. Of course, with the sound behind them, it probably wouldn't matter what treasure they found.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2024_zpsaus2d0wk.jpg)

The situation isn’t looking very good for Nanaa Mihgo and Rapifafa, as Atarefaunet’s band isn’t too keen on letting them go after they’ve unmasked more than half their members.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2025_zpsybzcsaju.jpg)

Rapifafa isn’t given the chance to escape, as it seems Vauderame has planned for this sort of situation, and Rapifafa soon feels all the strength draining from her body.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2026_zpstfnaam2v.jpg)

Rapifafa soon wakes up to the sound of Vauderame’s voice. The arrows they used to shoot Rapifafa and Nanaa Mihgo apparently had some kind of memory-erasing poison, but clearly it didn’t have much effect on Rapifafa. The band discusses killing Rapifafa and Nanaa Mihgo instead of leaving loose ends, but Vauderame says that it’s unlikely that a Mithra would lack allies willing to come after them should she perish.

Vauderame apparently isn’t done with Rapifafa, and she closes her eyes as he approaches.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2027_zpsljx6eflg.jpg)

Rapifafa loses consciousness again.

She wakes up to Nanaa Mihgo standing over her. Apparently she thinks that they were knocked out by some trap within the chest, and she proceeds to divvy up the treasure in the chest, consisting of several gems and a pair of boots. Mihgo thrusts the boots into Rapifafa’s hands and runs off with the gems, assuring her that the boots are quite valuable.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2028_zpsr41hkax8.jpg)

Rapifafa doesn’t mind walking away with the Rogue’s Poulaines Vauderame left behind, but there’s one thing left over she can’t figure out- she could’ve sworn she had met Vauderame before in the past, but she just can’t figure out when or where.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/THF%2029_zpsikr0uple.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on November 29, 2015, 01:21:47 AM
It's probably worth noting here that in the context of the game, your character's memories are wiped whenever you switch nations. Obviously it's just a way for the story to explain gameplay, so I'm going to move forward assuming that doesn't happen- it also makes it so that I don't have to act like Rapifafa fought the Shadow Lord another 2 times somehow. It does it make it so that some parts of the story are a bit hokey when you aren't actually a citizen of that nation, but I don't think it's too big of a deal.

San d’Oria Part 1: The Tomb of the Dragon King

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When Rapifafa had traveled to San d’Oria as an ambassador, she had learned from one of the guards in San d’Oria that recently, there has been a mysterious man asking about the late Queen Leaute. The odd thing about the man was that even though he seemed to know the queen personally, he was somehow not aware that the queen had lost her life to an illness fifteen years ago.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%202_zpsmmh0woci.jpg)

Rapifafa’s adventures around San d’Oria took her to the tomb of the great King Ranperre, hailed for his role in extinguishing a civil war 200 years ago.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%203_zps5xffyck3.jpg)

Music: Elvaan Male (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_G7E9SOuuM)

King Ranperre was known to his subjects as the Dragon King and was hailed as the greatest monarch to ever come from the d’Oraguille family.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%204_zpswxqxzszw.jpg)

Ranperre was able to end the civil war taking place between West and East San d’Oria, expel Orcish hordes from Ronfaure, and freed the kingdom of marauding black dragons.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%205_zpsjniybusy.jpg)

Rapifafa paid a visit to the tomb of the great Dragon King, and there she ran into a man going by the name of Rochefogne. Rapifafa’s eavesdropping gained her some information- Rochefogne is apparently looking for a sword of some kind.

When Rapifafa returned to town, she learned that the queen’s chambers had been ransacked, rather odd choice for a burglar considering all the other treasures the royal family owns. Rapifafa traveled to the Chateau d’Oraguille to find Halver and Curilla discussing the matter, and they revealed that a copy of the castle’s floor plans had been circulating on the black market, so it would've been hard to narrow down suspects in an investigation.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%206_zpst2xhaznx.jpg)

The papsque Shamonde soon arrived, demanding to know what had been stolen from the queen’s chambers. He seemed unusually upset over the matter, apparently concerned that perhaps that the queen had something hidden in her chambers the thieves were looking for. Halver decided to placate him by telling him that he will send him a report following an investigation.

Rapifafa had decided to help with the investigation, and she was pointed towards the gardener of the Chateau, Chalvatot. He told Rapifafa that he had saw two suspicious-looking Elvaan men in the Chateau, who ran off when he yelled out at them. He further noted that one of them looked familiar to him.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%207_zpspgi7hdvd.jpg)

The Princess Claidie had joined that meeting, also curious about all the unrest in the Chateau, and when she was informed of the situation, she told the Chalvatot that she had found her mother’s diary in a strange place, and asked him to meet her at her chambers later.

Rapifafa was thanked for her help in the investigation, and she returned to Windurst soon after that.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%208_zpsvordfhsb.jpg)

With the threat of the Shadow Lord removed and the issues in Windurst solved, she now returned to San d’Oria. Halver still recognizes her, and decides that an adventurer of her skill should be suited for a dangerous task, one that apparently comes from the late Queen herself.

Rapifafa asks for some details, and Halver is only too happy to sing the praises of the late Queen Leaute. Originally a Princess of the faraway nation of Tavnazia, she had married into the royal family before the Great War began. Unfortunately, Tavnazia was obliterated during the War, and the Queen’s brother- Marquis Altedour’s son- had disappeared. Halver finishes his story by telling Rapifafa her task is to fulfill a task in the Queen’s will-she wanted a dreamrose to bloom by her side, even in death. It’s a very rare and delicate flower, however, only blooming in remote areas of Vana’Diel.

Rapifafa knew she would have a better chance of finding the flower in the outlands of Vana’Diel, and her search eventually takes her to the Altepa Desert, where she finds one such flower still in bloom.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%209_zps9wuflydx.jpg)

Upon her return to San d’Oria, she is told to plant the flower in the garden near Leaute’s grave.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%2010_zpsopsvkuv8.jpg)

Rochefogne appears he’s ready to ask some questions of his own, but soon both Rochefogne and Rapifafa see a strange vision.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%2011_zpsvexo8vfv.jpg)

Flustered, Rochefogne excuses himself from the garden, while Chalvatot arrives to help Rapifafa plant the dreamrose. Chalvatot laughs at Rapifafa’s story, telling her that it’s likely a combination of fatigue and the strange pollen the dreamrose is rumored to contain. Rapifafa finds this explanation reasonable enough, so she leaves for her rented room to get some rest, but not before finding a strange note by her feet.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%2012_zps49d0ehqw.jpg)

Soon Rapifafa is asked to meet Prince Trion to be given an important task.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%2013_zpsmmxlo69s.jpg)

The Kingdom wishes to find the lost treasure of King Ranperre, and they believe an adventurer of Rapifafa’s stature can be useful. Rapifafa is told to travel deeper into the tomb of King Ranperre to find his true resting place- the monument that Rapifafa had once visited was built long after the king had passed.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%2014_zpsnpcnvf9p.jpg)

Rapifafa travels through the tomb of Ranperre and eventually finds the lost tomb. She finds an indecipherable book near the tomb and prepares to return to San d’Oria, but it seems she was followed.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%2015_zpsnvu7jc4k.jpg)

Fortunately it doesn’t seem Rochefogne bears any malicious intent, instead kneeling before the true tomb of Ranperre and asks for protection. Rapifafa sees little reason to remain, so she returns to San d’Oria to deliver the book.

The ancient San d’Orian language in the book is soon translated, and Rapifafa is granted an audience with the King Destin.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%2016_zpsmidgb4uo.jpg)

The king reveals that the royal family of San d’Oria has been seeking the treasured sword of the long dead Dragon King known as the Lightbringer. However, the book contained no clues to the whereabouts of the sword. Despite that, finding the true tomb of King Ranperre is something worth celebrating in its own right, so the King decides to visit the tomb himself.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%2017_zpsrf8bmefe.jpg)

As soon as they arrive, they are greeted by a knight in strange blue armor. He seems to bear no ill will, but the papasque Shamonde immediately casts a spell to fend off the knight, and the King’s knights are ordered stand guard while the King completes his visit.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S1%2018_zpsdegblta4.jpg)

Curilla is confused by what she had just seen, and Rahal notes that he had no trouble recognizing the armor the man wore. The knights who had served King Ranperre were led by a Dragoon- the last known one, in fact. Rapifafa’s unable to inquire further however, as Shamonde soon comes to assure everyone that it was likely an outlaw and shoos Rapifafa off. She's going to have to get her information at another time.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on December 02, 2015, 08:59:33 AM
I guess I'll bring up the fact that in the Japanese version of the game, this job is simply called Knight, which makes a lot more sense as far as how it fits into the game's lore, but I guess if you're going to have to have a job system in a Final Fantasy game, you'll need to pop those FF4 fan boners.

A Paladin’s Story: A Knight’s Armor

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The most important thing to any San d’Orian is honor, and there is no path more honorable than that of the Paladin, a path followed by the Crown Prince Trion himself. The instructor Balasiel offers Rapifafa the opportunity to follow this path as well and hands a Book of Tasks to get her started.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%202_zpskzm2tjmx.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%203_zps1bxrs0yf.jpg)

She has little trouble figuring out the book is pointing her towards the knights in the guard towers of San d’Oria, and she collects the two clues to what her task is.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%204_zpsrmht0ksc.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%205_zpscex5ugeq.jpg)

The Book of the East clearly refers to the stream running south out of Lake Mechicume in Jugner Forest. Thus, Rapifafa journeys to where the stream leads- Davoi.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%206_zpslf30dyi5.jpg)

The clue in the Book of the West was harder to decipher, but Rapifafa soon realizes that the Book is making reference to the constellations of Vana’Diel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%207_zps8nhsnp8k.jpg)

By consulting the stellar map, Rapifafa is able to figure out that she is to travel to the southwest of Davoi to find the Knight’s Soul.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%208_zpsq7dlyazl.jpg)

With the Knight’s Soul, Rapifafa returns to Balasiel to be knighted.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%209_zpsgnuofxwx.jpg)

In the course of her Paladin training, Rapifafa comes across a young boy separated from his father.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2010_zpsgx96857w.jpg)

It seems a menial task, but Rapifafa helps the boy find his father, a Royal Knight. Rapifafa finds the boy’s father spending an inordinate amount of time in weapon and armor shops on the other side of town, and informs him of his lost son.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2011_zpsjmv5yybx.jpg)

The boy’s father, Exoroche, is none too pleased with the boy’s reliance on a total stranger for such a minor problem, however, and gives him a good scolding.

Rapifafa returns to her training, but is soon approached by the boy again. Ailbeche wishes for help finding a whetstone to sharpen a sword, and the best place to find such stones is in Ordelle’s Caves.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2012_zpsb3zy19t8.jpg)

Once again it’s a menial task, but a Knight will help any in need. Upon obtaining the stone, Rapifafa returns to Ailbeche, who is pleased enough that he gives Rapifafa one of the numerous swords his father keeps at home. Apparently, he wishes to use the whetstone for a special sword of some kind.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2013_zpsvcw46jx2.jpg)

A few days later Rapifafa runs into the boy once again, but this time he is speaking with another man- also a knight, apparently.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2014_zpsyypjtfzt.jpg)

Vilbert is apparently temporary acting as a Captain in the Royal Knights in place of Exoroche. At the moment though, he is simply listening to Ailbeche spreading the rumor of a massive fish. Vilbert mentions that there are legends of Knights obtaining treasure from the belly of such fish, and suggests that a giant shell bug should be able to lure them. With that, Ailbeche runs off to ask his father for assistance.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2015_zps6xxws4xy.jpg)

As usual, Exoroche is found in the arms shop in Southern San d’Oria. Exoroche quickly dismisses Ailbeche’s request, saying he’s busy with his work. Ailbeche leaves the shop disheartened, and explains to Rapifafa that his father was not always this way- after his mother was killed by Orcs, Exoroche started obsessing over the quality of his armor and weapons, believing they are what led to his failure. Without his father's help. Ailbeche enlists Rapifafa’s help instead, telling her that she may be able to find a giant shell bug in the Crawler's Nest.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2016_zps6swya6d2.jpg)

Rapifafa finds the bug in the belly of one of the crawlers in the nest, and quickly bring it back to Ailbeche, who is unwilling to take the bug for himself. He believes that Rapifafa go and fish up the big one herself, and points her towards Castle Oztroja.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2017_zpsxwnrm6rs.jpg)

After finding and slaying the fish, Rapifafa drags it with her back to Ailbeche, who tells Rapifafa there’s an expert fisherman in Selbina who be able to gut it for her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2018_zps74qph3p8.jpg)

To Rapifafa’s surprise, the fisherman Zaldon is actually able to find something in the fish’s belly- an old pair of boots.

They look strangely familiar, so Rapifafa takes the books to Exoroche, who informs Rapifafa that the boots are the ones worn by some of the Royal Knights, and asks her to take them to Prince Trion.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2019_zpspneokada.jpg)

Trion quickly discerns that the boots belonged to a knight named Chusarlaud. Trion recalls that Vilbert was familiar with the man before his disappearance, but Vilbert doesn’t seem to know much more about his disappearance than Trion does.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2020_zpsgecsfvdw.jpg)

Upon dismissing Vilbert, Trion turns to Rapifafa and informs her that he had some suspicions that Chusarlaud was a spy before his disappearance, but he needs the objectivity of an outsider to complete the investigation, and sends Rapifafa to search Chusarlaud’s house in Southern San d’Oria. As a further incentive, Trion rewards Rapifafa with a pair of the same boots she had found for her service up to this point.

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Rapifafa travels to Chusarlaud’s house, but his father is not very coorperative.

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Rapifafa’s instead investigates around town and learns that Chusarlaud had a personal interest in painting. In particular, he appreciated the works of Mique, the court artist of King Ranperre.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2023_zpsr9arfso9.jpg)

Chusarlaud had always wanted to try painting with the artist’s paintbrush, but it was rumored to have been hidden in Castle Zvahl. Rapifafa figures it’s the only way to get Chusarlaud’s father to coorperate, so she goes treasure hunting. On the way, she finds more pieces of the Knight’s armor.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2024_zpstcaxvpip.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2025_zpsxay8hr1p.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2026_zpsrlzmewix.jpg)

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Vemalpeau is shocked when Rapifafa presents the paintbrush, and tells Rapifafa to search his room upstairs if it means she can help him find his son.

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Rapifafa is unable to find much of interest in the boy’s room. Aside from several paintings, Rapifafa finds an envelope. Oddly enough, it contains blank sheet of paper. Upon questioning, Vemalpeau says his son would often read letters from his commanding officers, but they were blank every time he tried to look at them. Rapifafa feels the best person to answer this question would be Exoroche.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2030_zpsn2fjkwps.jpg)

Rapifafa finds him in a quarrel with his son. Ailbeche had heard Vilbert had just left the city, so he came to his father to wish his unit luck in their expedition. He had been sharpening his father’s old sword for such an occasion, but Exoroche only reacts with confusion at the offer, and Ailbeche runs off in anger.

Rapifafa had no time to concern herself with this, and asks Exoroche about the letter. He tells Rapifafa that the special ink on the paper would be revealed using water from a certain well in Davoi. Unfortunately, whatever water they had stored from that well from back when it was an Elvaan outpost have long since run dry, so Rapifafa has no choice but to go to the source.

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Rapifafa fights her way past numerous Orcs before arriving at the well, where she is able to reveal the contents of Chusarlaud’s final letter.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2032_zpsydumfwgy.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to San d’Oria to find Ailbeche gone, apparently having left for a fishing trip with Vilbert. Rapifafa quickly informs Exoroche of the betrayal, but he is unwilling to listen. With little time to waste, Rapifafa decides she needed to pursue Vilbert to Jugner Forest.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2033_zpszv6zmgoo.jpg)

Rapifafa arrives a bit too late, and Vilbert holds the boy hostage. She has little choice but to give into Vilbert’s demand- she hands the incriminating letter over.

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Vilbert is not a man of his word, however, and prepares to finish off both Rapifafa and the boy.

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It seems some of Rapifafa’s words did reach Exoroche however, and he arrives in time to save his son.

Ailbeche takes this opportunity to once again present to his father his old sword. With some words from his son, and his old sword in his hand, Exoroche once again realizes the true source of a knight's strength.

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With the day saved, the knights return to San d’Oria to report to Prince Trion.

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Trion is delighted to have one of his Captains back, and presents him with a surcoat to mark the occasion. Exoroche declines the reward, however, explaining he does not need any more swords or armor, but simply wishes to regain his honor. He instead asks that the surcoat be given to Rapifafa, as without her the matter would not have been settled. Rapifafa thinks honor is great and all, but she is more than happy to accept such fine armor on top of that.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2039_zpsyzb9dw0t.jpg)

Rapifafa only has one last responsibility to fulfill before she completes her journey as a Paladin.

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/PLD%2041_zpswrspnh7b.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on December 06, 2015, 10:07:24 AM
San d’Oria Part 2: A New Heir

To Rapifafa's dismay, she recieves a task from the papasque of the San d'Orian Church.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S2%201_zps0huwcloa.jpg)

Music: Sometime, Somewhere (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuqJ9m35Ulo)

Of course, Rapifafa can't really afford to deny a request from the man at this point. The Church of San d'Oria and its worship of Altana alongside its promise of Paradise to its followers has lasted hundreds of years. It was now easily the largest religion in the Central Lands, with their priests traveling all over the land. Worship of the Star Sibyl mainly stays in Windurst, whereas Bastokans largely spent their time tinkering with machines rather than nurturing any faith.

The papasque wishes for Rapifafa to help in the search for the Lightbringer. Rapifafa is to investigate a possible lead hidden beneath the dungeons of San d’Oria, in the Bostaunieux Oubliette and bring it back to Shamonde. It would be disastrous if the Orcs were to get their hands on the sword, so finding it is in the interest of everyone. Still, it’s clear from the orders that Shamonde also wants to help Prince Pieuje gain favor in the eyes of his father by being the one to find the sword.

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A trap door in the prisons below San d’Oria leads Rapifafa to the Bostaunieux Oubliette.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S2%203_zpslvlrogri.jpg)

Past a secret exit far into the dungeon, Rapifafa finds a strange tablet with writing similar to the book she had found before, but as she was warned, she runs into an Orc doing his own investigation into the sword. Rapifafa has little trouble putting a quick end to him.

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Without much else to see in the area, Rapifafa returns to San d'Oria.

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The papasque is pleased to see Rapifafa return. He immediately sets his scholars to deciphering the tablet and once again sends Rapifafa away. Just as well, since one of the guards told Rapifafa she was asked to visit the Queen’s garden.

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Princess Claidie is there waiting for Rapifafa, wishing to thank her for bringing her the dreamrose before. She’s clearly troubled by the recent actions of the Orcs- 20 years ago their mysterious weapon had destroyed the Tavnazian peninsula and tore it from the mainland. Rapifafa doesn’t have much time to stay around and chat, however, as she's soon dragged off to assist in an investigation into some mysterious Orc activity in the Yughott Grotto.

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Rapifafa finds a group of Orcs using a strange device, searching for something which “worked in the Great War”, but she’s unable to hear all of it before they spot her and attack. With her Sleepga spell handy, Rapifafa has no trouble picking them off one by one.

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As is traditional with any fellow adventurer, Rochefogne and a youth in golden armor named Eideialc appear before Rapifafa once there was no actual fighting left to be done.

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They’re both searching for the Lightbringer in the hopes of finding it before the Orcs do, though seemingly for different reasons. Rapifafa’s not too interested in hearing them sum up the blindingly obvious, so she pockets the Crystal Dowser device the Orcs left behind before running off back to San d’Oria.

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Nobody in town is currently interested in continuing the search however, as Princess Claidie’s coming-of-age ceremony is drawing near. Everyone is preparing for the festivities and both princes are busy trying to select a gift. Rapifafa herself is given a task to find some special water for the ceremony in the Quicksand Caves.

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Rapifafa returns to the Quicksand Caves found beneath the Altepa Desert, though this time she takes a different route and finds the Fountain of Kings. With the Drops of Amnio, Claidie can complete the ceremony for her first steps into adulthood.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S2%2012_zpsbjiqe73m.jpg)

With the preparations complete, the ceremony is held just a few days later, and crowds of citizens attend. Unfortunately for Rapifafa most of those citizens are Elvaan. It’s a hassle, but Rapifafa is able to shove her way to the front of the crowd.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S2%2013_zpsnewk1xin.jpg)

With the parade in vision, Rapifafa soon sees that she wasn't the only one to go through that trouble.

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The Knights draw their swords, whether to arrest or kill Rochefogne, Rapifafa wasn't sure, as he begins his speech before anyone has a chance to silence him.

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Before the citizens of San d’Oria, Rochefogne reveals his full name, Rochefogne I Tavnazia, the sole surviving heir of the Tavnazian throne, and brother to the late Queen Leaute. He simply declares that finding the Lightbringer is his destiny before running off, along with several Temple Knights in pursuit. Rapifafa can only assume that he wishes to publicly shame the d’Oraguille family with this act, otherwise it’d be monumentally stupid. Trion orders in a not-so-friendly voice that the entirety of San d'Oria is to be searched for the man.

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With the coming-of-age ceremony complete, Rapifafa is to continue helping in searching for the Lightbringer. King Destin makes a declaration- the tablet Rapifafa found stated that only the true heir of San d’Oria would be able to unsheathe the Lightbringer, and thus whichever prince is able to unsheathe the sword will be crowned king after Destin. Teams are dispatched to all over the Central Lands, and Rapifafa is told to investigate the Temple of Uggalepih.

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The search ends with Rapifafa finding nothing. Rapifafa returns to San d'Oria empty-handed, but it seems Curilla was able to find the sword on her search. Soon, the future of San d’Oria would be decided.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on December 09, 2015, 09:45:34 AM
A Dragoon’s Story: The Shifting Crest

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Rapifafa hears many rumors about the Dragon King Ranperre while travelling through San d’Oria. This particular day she overhears two men holding a conversation about him while passing through the warehouses of The Brugaire Consortium, one of the largest businesses in the Middle Lands.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%202_zpsk37eytwy.jpg)

Their topic turns to the former King’s top vassal- rumors say he was a Dragoon, a rare sight in these days. However, supposedly a new Dragoon has recently appeared, and people say it’s a man named Cyranuce locked in the San d’Oria dungeons, the Bostaunieux Oubliette.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%203_zpsyqunho2y.jpg)

Rapifafa decides to check the rumor out, and the guards in the dungeon inform Rapifafa that Cyranuce is long dead, crushed by a beast called forth by his beastmaster cellmate. One of the inmates, however, claims that Rahal, the leader of the Royal Knights, had been jealous of his close friend Cyranuce, which is why he had him imprisoned. There are rumors that Rahal himself is a Dragonslayer, in many ways diametrically opposed to the Dragoons. Rapifafa is told that if she wishes to learn more, she should seek out the archeologist Oiheaurese.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%204_zpslmvyte5e.jpg)

Oddly enough, Rahal shows up halfway through Rapifafa’s conversation with the archeologist, claiming he is looking for “suspicious characters”. Oiheaurese denies seeing anything of the sort, so Rahal returns to his duties. The archaeologist explains to Rapifafa that both holy and evil dragons in the world exist, so he wishes that Rapifafa would follow the rumors that a wyvern egg is hidden within the Maze of Shakhram, in the hopes that she will protect it from any Dragonslayers from killing it while it is still young. Dragons are now an incredibly rare sight around Ronfaure since Ranperre destroyed most if not all of them during his reign, and it would be a shame for such a creature to be extinguished before it has a chance to prove its loyalties.

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Rapifafa spends some time excavating areas within the maze, and soon finds the egg the archaeologist pointed her to. She brings it back to the cathedral, but the archeologist is nowhere to be found.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%206_zps6s1goklr.jpg)

Instead, his student Yachemidot tells Rapifafa that she should be able to hatch the egg if she takes it to the Drogaroga’s Spine in the Meriphataud Mountains.

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Rapifafa finds an area on the spine where the air is warmer than the surrounding area, and as she sets the egg down, it begins to hatch.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%208_zpsbaxupxdg.jpg)

Unfortunately, it seems she was followed by the archaeologist's "student", Yachemidot.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%209_zps6taslpq5.jpg)

This was what Yachemidot had been waiting for, announcing that with the blood of the young Wyvern, he can complete his transformation into a dragon- Yachemidot is in actuality Cyranuce, and the cellmate was who was crushed underneath his own beast.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2010_zpsw3djleka.jpg)

Rahal attempts to stop Cyranuce, but he quickly makes his escape using his Dragoon abilities, jumping far beyond either Rahal or Rapifafa could reach.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2011_zps7xezve2a.jpg)

As the newborn wyvern lays dying, Rahal explains to Rapifafa that this particular newborn has no Holy or Unholy crest on its bodies like most do. Yet this is not the first time he has seen this phenomenon- long ago he had seen another uncrested wyvern, which soon bound its will to a man- his old friend, Cyranuce. As the days passed, the unholy symbol appeared and Cyranuce was consumed by the power of the dragon, and he was forced to imprison him for his protection.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2012_zpsd7fobu7h.jpg)

Despite knowing the wyvern had committed no sin, Rahal prepare to act against how most knights would, declaring that he must stop another tragedy from occurring.

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He stays his hand however, believing that the wyvern can assist in finding Cyranuce once again. He insists that that will be the only thing the creature will be used for, and it will be put to death as soon as the task was complete.

It takes some time to nurse the Wyvern back to health, but Rahal quickly learns from it that Cyranuce is within the Ghelsba Outpost. Perhaps if they travel quickly, they can still prevent Cyranuce from being consumed by the dragon’s blood.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2014_zpsdw7g804o.jpg)

But they are too late- Cyranuce has already lost the rest of his humanity, and Rapifafa is forced to kill him.

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With his dying breath, Cyranuce thanks his old friend for his undying faith, and asks him one last favor- to take any of his remaining faith and to put them into the dragons, so that the legacy of the Dragoons can be kept alive.

Despite his friend's words, Rahal is still unable to put the loss of his friend behind him, and moves to slay the remaining Wyvern.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2016_zpsjdb7fxwq.jpg)

As the Wyvern approaches Rapifafa, it begins to glow- it is the Holy Crest, symbolizing the birth of a true Dragoon.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2017_zpsvxs4ukdg.jpg)

Rahal recognizes that this is the legacy his friend had left behind, and sheathes his sword, asking Rapifafa to name her new companion.

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Rapifafa has many travels with Khocha as a Dragoon, and at one point comes across a woman named Miaux. She is seeking to have her late father’s breastplate repaired, and asks that Rapifafa help her obtain a polishing stone from the Altepa Desert.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2019_zpssujjy5pn.jpg)

Rapifafa has little trouble locating the stone for the woman, and returns it to her. Rapifafa continues her travels once again, and soon comes in contact with Brugaire, one of the wealthiest (and greediest) men in Vana’Diel.

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He had recently attended father’s funeral, and while he seems to have cared much for the man, he was all too happy to accept his inheritance. Unfortunately for him, he was attacked soon after the funeral ended, and the armor was stolen. He offers Rapifafa the opportunity to retrieve it for him with 20% of the selling price as a reward. His only lead was that an Elvaan woman was nursing him back to health when he awoke from the attack.

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Miaux has little to tell Rapifafa herself, saying that all she knew was that she spotted a suspicious woman at the funeral and found an earring lying nearby Brugaire.

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Rapifafa travels by airship to the Goldsmith’s Guild in Bastok to have the earring identified, and one of the craftsman points Rapifafa towards a woman named Esca, who wished to have a similar earring made just a few days ago.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the woman is one of Brugaire’s very own workers. She agrees to tell Rapifafa where to find the armor as long as she keeps hush-hush about the whole whacking-her-boss-across-the-head thing.

Rapifafa returns the armor to Brugaire, just as he is paid an unpleasant visit by Rahal.

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Oddly enough, whatever Rahal said seems like it actually struck a chord with Brugaire, who decides then and there to give up selling the armor, rewarding it to Rapifafa for her work in retrieving it.

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Rapifafa returns to her travels, finding more armor pieces left behind by previous Dragoons.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2026_zpseiylqfyq.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2027_zpsopdxuzvb.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2028_zpsvbbkbada.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRG%2029_zpsn2s7hcru.jpg)

Eventually Rapifafa pays a visit to Rahal, who informs her that recently the Royal Knights have been being attacked by an unknown assailant. Rumor has it that this assailant is the forgotten Dragoon General himself, Erpalacion.

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When King Ranperre had finished quelling the strife within the Kingdom, he immediately sent Erpalacion on a meaningless expedition. Many believe Ranperre feared Erpalacion’s power, and simply wished to be rid of him. When Rapifafa brings up the incident where someone attempted to steal the brais of the last Dragoon, Rahal asks that she investigate further.

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Brugaire has little information for Rapifafa, but does point her in the direction of the helm of the last Dragoon, rumored to be hidden in the Kuftal Tunnel, far away from San d'Oria on Zepwell Island.

Rapifafa travels far to reach the tunnel, but it seems someone else had already arrived before her.

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Rapifafa brings the challenge back to Rahal, who seems to recognize the handwriting, but is oddly tight-lipped about the matter.

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Rahal points Rapifafa towards Balasiel, the instructor.

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Balasiel quickly recognizes the handwriting as that of one Ancolain B Feulart, the former second in command of the Royal Knights. Ancolain was relieved of command many years ago due to his inability to comprehend the tragedy involved in taking up the sword- he would sacrifice men to gain victory at any cost. Balasiel tells Rapifafa that Khocha may be able to track the man using the letter, and Rahal points Rapifafa towards the southern lands as a possible starting point.

Khocha leads Rapifafa to the Temple of Uggalepih, where they are attacked by shadows.

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Rapifafa is able to defeat them, but Ancolain soon appears.

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Ancolain spent the days he had after his dismissal mastering the arts of necromancy, and using the helm of the last Dragoon, he plans on resurrecting the spirit of Erpalacion- together they would take their vengeance on the homeland that betrayed them.

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Erpalacion’s reaction isn’t quite what Ancolain expects, however.

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Ancolain is devastated by his failure, and with the arrival of Rahal, he has nowhere to run.

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All that is left is the mystery of the last Dragoon, Erpalacion.

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Erpalacion explains that in his final years of service to King Ranperre, he had slain many who had no sins to answer for. As he continued this senseless slaughter, the crest on his Wyvern slowly turned to an unholy one.

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For this reason, he asked to be dismissed from service so he could spend the rest of his life in quiet solitude. He further requested that he be declared dead, as any need to defend himself from assassins would only further stain his lance with blood. Erpalacion spent his late years fighting any evil within him, unlike Ancolain who had embraced it. Rapifafa too had to take care not to lose this conflict within herself, or she would lose more than she realizes.

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Erpalacion asks Rapifafa to allow him some time alone with Khocha in his final moments of existence, and as he fades into oblivion, he leaves behind his helmet to continue the legend of the Dragoon.

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Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on December 13, 2015, 07:44:40 AM
San d’Oria Part 3: Breaking Barriers

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Music: Chateau d’Oraguille (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaTmeeQLFZ0)

A strange barrier was placed around San d’Oria after the Coming-of-Age Ceremony. The papasque believes that the barrier resembles the one used by Tavnazia during the Great War, so it’s likely Rochefogne is behind it. His motives are still unclear, because the barrier has not posed any actual threat. Nevertheless, Rapifafa is asked to dispel the barrier, as there's no telling what could happen if the Lightbringer is unsheathed while it is up. To do so, she has to find the three mediums used to maintain the wall, and Shamonde seems to have a decent idea of where they might be buried.

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The papasque points Rapifafa towards the regions of Vollbow, Valdeaunia, and Norvallen before leaving to conduct his own business. Rapifafa prepares to take her leave when the Princess arrives with some things to say herself.

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Claidie has done some reading since the incident at her coming-of-age ceremony, and is all too willing to reveal the ugly secrets of the Royal family- the San d’Orian army led the beastmen armies to Tavnazia during the Great War as a distraction. Tavnazia was lost, but the battle was a large blow to the beastmen forces, representing a turning point in the war. With this in mind, she firmly believes that Rochefogne should be reasoned with rather than killed. The princes assure their sister they will do what they can within reason to capture the outlaw alive, and sends Rapifafa off to her task.

Rapifafa must deactivate the barrier’s mediums in order, so she sets off for the Vollbow region. The quickest way to the region is actually by travelling through an underground passageway on the north end of Zepwell Island, so Rapifafa once again flies to Bastok to reach the Altepa Desert.

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To reach the Vollbow region, Rapifafa travels through the Kuftal Tunnels underneath Zepwell.

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Past the tunnel was Cape Terrigan, found on the western coast of Quon.

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On the east end of Cape Terrigan was the Valley of Sorrows, rumored to be home to the legendary Adamantoise creatures- thankfully, Rapifafa doesn’t run into one of them on this visit, and quickly finds the medium before leaving.

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Next Rapifafa had to travel to Valdeaunia. Travelling back north past San d’Oria, Rapifafa returns to Xarcabard and finds the medium hidden amongst a group of trees.

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The final medium was found in the Batallia Downs of the Norvallen region, so Rapifafa travels southeast of San d’Oria. As the papsque suggested, the medium was hidden well, and Rapifafa finds it on a secluded island which could only be reached by traveling underground through the Eldieme Necropolis.

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No sooner than when Rapifafa collects the last medium is she confronted by Rochefogne, along with another familiar face- the thief, Vauderame.

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Seeing them together, Rapifafa now remembers where she had seen them both before- these were the two men she saw escaping when she had defeated the Ahriman and Dragon on Horlais Peak, where she first learned of the Shadow Lord's return. They don’t seem interested in running this time- Rochefogne claims they had set up the barrier to stop the Orcs from stealing the sword. Rochefogne orders Vauderame to check on the other mediums before drawing his sword. It seems a conflict was unavoidable, so Rapifafa prepares to draw her own.

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Eideialc jumps between them, attempting to stop the fight. Rochefogne doesn’t seem too interested in chatting, but Eideialc insists on finding a peaceful solution to the problem. Eideialc likely didn't expect that she, too, was followed.

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The men introduce themselves as the “Cadavres des Corneilles”, a group of select prisoners from the Bostaunieux Oubliette who have traded their lives for service as assassins. Clearly, the princes’ assurances to Claidie weren't worth very much.

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Eideialc doesn’t plan on letting the men kill Rochefogne, but it’s apparent she doesn’t really understand who she’s dealing with.

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All the assassin finds in the aftermath is Rochefogne’s armor, so it’s unlikely he survived the attack. With his task done, he spares the Princess but it doesn't seem she will be finding any of the answers she seeks.

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There’s nothing left they can do, so Rapifafa and Claidie return to San d’Oria.

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The Princes do not regret their decision, believing it was for the good of their Kingdom, and make thinly veiled threats against Rapifafa should she decide to share the tale of what occurred in Batallia Downs- the Cadavres des Corneilles is a highly secret group, so their list of suspects would be rather short if word got out about them.

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Having failed in her task, Claidie shuts herself within the Queen’s gardens, unwilling to see any visitors. However, she is soon paid an unexpected visit.

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Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on December 16, 2015, 11:00:22 AM
A White Mage’s Story: Pieuje's Decision

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Narcheral has recently heard disturbing rumors of the citizens of the lost city Tavnazia returning from the dead. Rapifafa is sent to the Valkurm Dunes, where many Tavnazians met their end 20 years ago, to investigate this rumor. Rapifafa finds little in her search until night falls, and she is attacked by a shadow.

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Banishing the spirit leaves behind a now-rare pass which was issued by the Marquisate, confirming the rumors. Rapifafa returns the pass to Narcheral, and a few days later, Narcheral goes to visit Prince Pieuje. He asks that the Prince seize this opportunity to improve his standing with the people and the King, but Pieuje would rather understand what is going on first.

The shadow Rapifafa had defeated was a messenger- the Tavnazian dead are planning on rallying to restore the Marquisate. A great shadow which was seen travelling through the Ranguemont Pass a few days ago was identified as their leader, the former Tavnazian Marquis Altedour. Pieuje is skeptical of the claim, so he asks for a larger investigation before taking any action. Narcheral believes that the threat is dire, so he sends Rapifafa to obtain a canteen of holy water from the Yagudo to prepare for what lies ahead.

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Narcheral uses the holy water to bless a pair of moccasins for Rapifafa.

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As the priests wait for Prince Pieuje’s orders, Rapifafa spends the time gathering other pieces of armor to fight the undead.

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Rapifafa returns from a trip to the Prince Pieuje’s room to find Prince Trion storming off.

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Pieuje explains he was simply discouraging Trion from deploying his troops, but Trion was acting his usual hardheaded self. He then surmises that Rapifafa is here on Narcheral’s behalf, but he himself believes Narcheral is overreacting.

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Pieuje is clearly hesitating, perhaps even remoreseful- he recalls what San d'Oria had done 20 years ago to doom Tavnazia, and speculates Marquis Altedour would've never imagined such betrayal. The Marquis fought valiantly even as he fled his city towards his supposed allies, and met his end near the Eldieme Necropolis.

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Narcheral doesn't have time to think about Pieuje's hand-wringing, and decides it’s best if Rapifafa went to investigate the dead in the Necropolis and retrieve one of the bells they are rumored to carry, then make her way to Fei’Yin where the Marquis’s shadow was spotted heading.

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The Eldieme Necropolis has no shortage of undead, so it takes some time for Rapifafa to find a spirit still carrying what she was looking for. With a Tavnazian Bell in her hand, she hurries to Fei’Yin.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WHM%2012_zpssfmmwhyw.jpg)

Instead of Narcheral, Rapifafa runs into Prince Pieuje there, who tells Rapifafa he has brought many priests from the cathedral to assist in cleansing the area. Rapifafa is asked to help quell the rage of Marquis Altedour himself.

Jeronne pulls Rapifafa aside to explain how this operation came to be- Pieuje had organized this operation in secret, as Prince Trion’s wounds from previous skirmishes had not been healing as well as he let on. If it were up to the church, they would probably never try stopping Trion from doing his duty day after day, and hope for some unhappy incident to occur. Though whether Pieuje did this because he had spent much time thinking about the betrayal of Tavnazia, or genuine care for his brother, Rapifafa was not sure. Jeronne asks that Rapifafa not judge Narcheral too harshly- like Jeronne, he had lost the cathedral he was raised in to the forces of the Shadow Lord. It wouldn't be far-fetched to assume many other members of the church have similar stories.

Regardless, Rapifafa had a job to do now. She travels deeps into Fei’Yin, ringing the bell to attract the shadow of Altedour Tavnazia to her.

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With the spirit defeated, the Marquis of Tavnazia finally returns to his rest.

Upon returning to Narcheral, he is glad that the dead have been vanquished, but is disappointed that Pieuje was unwilling to take credit for the deed. Nevertheless, he recognizes Rapifafa’s service, and rewards her with something fitting of a White Mage.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WHM%2015_zpszqjb31zj.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WHM%2016_zpslpfeliz4.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on December 20, 2015, 10:46:25 AM
San d’Oria Part 4: The Heir to the Light

The time for the Rites of Succession had finally come, and Rapifafa was allowed to observe the ceremony in the San d’Orian cathedral.

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The two Princes approach the Altar- whichever Prince unsheathed the sword Lightbringer on this day would become the next King of San d’Oria.

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As the elder brother, Prince Trion is allowed to step forward to attempt the task first.

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Before he can begin, however, the ceremony is interrupted.

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Rochefogne had little trouble turning the tables on the assassins sent to kill him. With their existence a secret, there were no family nor friends to notice their absence. With the princess in his hand, he offers an exchange of her for the sword. With little choice, Trion gives him the sword.

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Rochefogne has a plan, and he readies for his escape.

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The Princes were not as foolish as Rochefogne expected. The d’Oraguilles were fully expecting that Rochefogne still had more up his sleeve when they could not find his body.

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Music: Battle Theme #2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TPdHGliHHA)

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The late Queen Leaute had left some dreamrose pollen behind precisely for this occasion, and Claidie had stumbled upon in as she went through her mother's possessions. While the immediate crisis was averted, however, Rochefogne was not the only uninvited guest to the ceremony.

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With everyone still stunned by the light released by the sword, the guards react too slowly to stop the Orc's escape.

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Seeing the sword stolen, the papasque gives out a cry of despair.

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Everyone still seems stunned about what had just happened, and Trion breaks the silence.

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Had Trion fully drawn the sword, it surely would have consumed Trion, resulting in a catastrophe of a similar scale to that which happened 20 years ago. The explosion that had destroyed Tavnazia was not some secret Orc weapon, but the legacy of the Dragon King.

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There was now no time to waste. The Knights had to make haste to retrieve the sword from the Orcs if they wished to avert another disaster.

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A few hours later, the leaders of San d’Oria gathered in the Chateau d’Oraguille.

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After some questioning, the papasque admitted to having lied about what was inscribed onto the tablet Rapifafa retrieved. The true inscription instead said that the Lightbringer was never to be drawn. Somehow, the papasque got it in his head that the Lightbringer was the key to opening the so-called Gates of Paradise mentioned in the San d'Orian religion. He claimed this information came from the brother of the Archduke of Jeuno- Eald’narche.

There was no time to sort that out now, as it is time to retake the Lightbringer. Scouts had seen the Orcs taking the Lightbringer to Qu’Bia Arena in Beaucedine Glacier, and the King orders the army to pursue.

Rapifafa follows the army past the Ranguemont Pass to enter the Northlands once again, and there, Trion gives a rousing speech to his men.

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He's no William Wallace, but he does pretty well. With their spirits high, the Elvaan begin their attack on the Qu’Bia arena.

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Rapifafa takes her own route into the Arena, and is soon confronted by a pack of Orcs led by a Warlord named Rojgnoj.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/S4%2024_zpstfnreydw.jpg)

Music: Battle in the Dungeon #2 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enfdJyJ4l_w)

The Orcs make the mistake of underestimating her, and Rapifafa has little trouble dispatching the small fry sent at her.

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Rojgnoj doesn’t take this lightly, however, and prepares to join the battle himself. Luckily for Rapifafa, help soon arrives.

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With the Prince at her side, even an Orcish Warlord is no match for them.

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Strangely enough, the Warlord dies with no words of hatred to throw at his enemies.

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With the Lightbringer retrieved, the army returns to San d’Oria, triumphant.

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Rochefogne soon recovers from his wounds, and the King requests that he tells his story of what happened in Tavnazia.

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The Dragon King Ranperre had entrusted the Tavnazian Marquisate with the Lightbringer long ago. All of the Tavnazian royalty would learn of this duty when they came of age, which is why the Queen Leaute knew of the blade and prepared the Dreamrose pollen to neutralize its power should the need arise.

On the day the Orcs attacked Tavnazia, Rochefogne’s family made an attempt to escape to San d’Oria. Rochefogne, being young and brash, could not stand by and watch his homeland burn, so he seized Lightbringer from his father and headed back to the castle. Along the way, he saw some dreamroses, and thinking of his beloved sister, placed one of the flowers in his pocket.

He was not able to reach the city before he was surrounded, and as Orcs surrounded him, he removed the Lightbringer from its sheathe.

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With the sword in his hands, he had felt what Trion had described earlier- a feeling of absolute power over Vana'Diel, and no regard for any of the life within it. When he came to, the Lightbringer had disappeared, and the entire Tavnazian peninsula was gone.

It is clear that the Lightbringer holds a power not meant for mortals, so the decision is made to return it to the tomb of the Dragon King.

Returning to the tomb, the group is greeted by an apparition which could only be King Ranperre himself.

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Ranperre explains that using the blade, he was able to tame the beasts that wrecked havoc in the kingdom, but he was aware that it could also be devastating in the wrong hands.

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With Ranperre and the royal family to help guard the sword, hopefully this power will be forgotten for good.

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Upon returning to San d’Oria, the King announces his decision to prolong the Rite of Succession indefinitely.

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He announces that the arrogance of the Elvaan has been holding back the Kingdom for decades now, and there is much the people of San d'Oria, including the Princes, need to learn before the future can be decided. Should both his sons not be up to the task when the time comes, he will be willing to abdicate the throne to whoever is worthy...of course, that includes the possibility of an adventurer.

For now, San d'Oria had a lot of work ahead of her.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on December 20, 2015, 10:53:18 AM
San d’Oria Epilogue: Peace for the Spirit

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There is still one more man Rapifafa wishes to meet in San d’Oria before she moves on, and it seems Prince Pieuje has some business with him as well.

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Music: A Road Once Travelled (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AoBJJgd1x4)

The papasque makes no excuses for himself. The tragedy that befell Tavnazia convinced him that the only way to bring salvation to the people of Vana’Diel was by opening the Gates of Paradise, using every resource he had to find what information he could. Just as he was about to give up, he was contacted by Lord Eald’narche of Jeuno, and he focused his efforts into finding the Lightbringer. Rapifafa could not help but think of Rainemard and the late Queen Leaute.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SE%203_zpspfdmoqak.jpg)

Shamonde declares that he plans on spending the rest of his days repenting for the sins he had committed against the kingdom. Rapifafa isn’t sure that’s going to be enough, but this wasn’t something for her to decide. Prince Pieuje takes this opportunity to excuse himself from the papasque’s instruction, saying that he will find his own path to Paradise.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SE%204_zps0trdluye.jpg)

Elsewhere in San d’Oria, Claidie was searching for Rochefogne. It seems he disappeared soon after the King had made his announcement earlier.

Claidie doesn't have the opportunity to find Rochefogne before he leaves San d'Oria, but Rapifafa runs into him as she prepares to leave herself.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SE%205_zpspahes7jx.jpg)

Rochefogne feels that he no longer has any right to stay in San d’Oria, and Vauderame, ever the loyal Tavnazian, will follow his lord wherever he decides to go. Like Rapifafa, it’s unlikely his travels will end anytime soon.

For now, they go their separate ways, but Rochefogne feels that perhaps their paths will soon cross again.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Now with Stol- Borrowed Contents idea (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on December 23, 2015, 07:28:24 AM
A Beastmaster’s Story: Man’s Best Friend

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%201_zpsual6hd5h.jpg)

Upon returning to Jeuno, Rapifafa decides to visit the chocobo she once nursed back to health in exchange for her Chocobo’s License. Back then, everyone at the stables had chased away his former master, Dietmund, for his cruel treatment of the creature, but this time Rapifafa hears a rumor that the man had only pushed his chocobo as far as he did because he was desperate to save his son.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%202_zps6okdisbq.jpg)

Rapifafa pays a visit to the man, and he confirms the story. The man spends little time speaking with Rapifafa before running back inside to tend to his son, but he pleads with Rapifafa to help him save his son by finding a certain glowing flower in Qufim Island. The flower only blooms at night, but the roots may cure his son’s fever.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%203_zpscxmpo1n9.jpg)

Rapifafa finds the flowers hidden near the beach, and Dietmund soon arrives as well, saying he rushed after Rapifafa when his son finally fell asleep.

While the flowers are in plain view, digging up the roots will be a challenge as they are difficult to locate.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%204_zps57f401cl.jpg)

Luckily for them, Dietmund’s old chocobo followed him here, but to Dietmund’s surprise it was here to help, and soon finds the roots and even carries Dietmund back to Jeuno (Rapifafa, though, is stuck walking back like a chump).

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%205_zpsvmrej9yl.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to Dietmund’s house to see his son awake and looking much better, but his father is nowhere to be seen. Domingart tells Rapifafa that he went out on an errand of some kind.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%206_zpsvkkisefo.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to the Chocobo Stables to find Dietmund visiting his old chocobo. He thanks his old partner for coming through for him despite how he had treated it. Brutus tells Rapifafa that Dietmund is a Beastmaster, which may explain the bond that exists between himself and his pets. He suggests that by watching Dietmund, Rapifafa herself can attempt to hone this skill to speak with animals.

Brutus continues to help Rapifafa understand the way of the Beastmaster, sending her on many tasks to soothe the souls of dead animals. On one of these quests, Brutus asks Rapifafa to travel to the ruins of Fei’Yin and pray for the souls of beasts sacrificed in battles 20 years ago.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%207_zps0algtrnv.jpg)

Of course, this was Fei’Yin, so even something like a prayer wouldn’t be a simple task.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%208_zpscsaxoy36.jpg)

While praying at one of these fountains, a ghost appears to Rapifafa.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%209_zpsom1ikbx7.jpg)

The spirit tells her that the only way to appease the dead is to avenge them. He asks for Rapifafa’s help in achieving this goal, and expects her answer the next time they meet.

Rapifafa returns to Brutus, and while he doesn’t know much about the ghost Rapifafa met, he does know there were rumors of the ghost of an Opo-opo wandering Castle Oztroja.

Rapifafa searches the Castle Oztroja, and eventually finds a beast collar in one of the Yagudo’s Treasure Chests. It was unlikely it belonged to any Yagudo, so she takes it with her. On her way out, she runs into the Opo-opo Brutus told her about.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2010_zpsbectvkh0.jpg)

Rapifafa instinctively hands the collar over, and the Opo-opo disappears after taking it, seemingly satisfied.

With her task done, she returns to Brutus, who spent some time making something for her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2011_zpsosunksu9.jpg)

With no clues on where to find the strange ghost she had met before, Rapifafa returns to her adventures.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2012_zpskh0uhu0z.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2013_zpskkgdyuyq.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2014_zpsvc50ltdo.jpg)

Eventually she hears a rumor from Dietmund, that the beasts inhabiting the Eldieme Necropolis have begun acting strangely, as if they were under someone’s contro.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2015_zpsbxyrkisb.jpg)

The beasts have already attacks and killed several people, and people were beginning to blame the Beastmasters, so it would be good for both of them if Rapifafa went investigating.

Rapifafa is attacked by numerous beasts as she descends the Necropolis, and as Rapifafa suspected, she finds the spirit of the Beastmaster Balpah waiting for her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2016_zpsqbjac0pj.jpg)

He once again asks for Rapifafa’s help, saying that like all beastmasters, Rapifafa has sacrificed beasts under her control before to save her own life- this was her chance to make amends for those acts. Before Rapifafa can give her answer, the spirit of the Opo-opo she had helped before appears.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2017_zpslxhn27bi.jpg)

Balpah is surprised to see his old friend, and realized that with all the time he had spent in his death wishing to avenge his old pet, he had not sought him out the way his friend Tebhi had searched for him.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2018_zpssyg7a2zu.jpg)

Memories come flooding back to Balpah, and he begins to remember the days he had spent performing alongside Tebhi. Balpah realizes that he had lost sight of what was important a long time ago, and is finally able to move beyond this life. He thanks Rapifafa for helping him reunite with his friend, and together they leave the Necropolis, never to be seen again.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2019_zpsyiu25hhr.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to Dietmund to deliver the good news, and Dietmund is glad to hear it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2020_zpsjkxespkh.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BST%2021_zpsr12g4vjm.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Bah Humbug Edition (Warning, lots of pictures)
Post by: Hathen on December 24, 2015, 06:35:55 AM
The Starlight Celebration

Rapifafa knew something was different as soon as she returned to Jeuno. There was nothing physically different about Jeuno, but the atmosphere was undeniably festive.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%201_zpslw9bcocn.jpg)

Music: Jeuno –Starlight Celebration- (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4m8w9xkelw)

As Rapifafa saw other adventurers run past her in that a blur of red and white, she remembered what time of year it was- how could she have forgotten?

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%203_zps0yg9sr9y.jpg)

The Starlight Celebration had always been associated with time spent with friends and family, and stories of the Smilebringers delivering bringing presents to the children of the world. Rapifafa felt it was appropriate to drop what she was doing so she could go home for the celebration.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%204_zps8voiko7q.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%205_zpspt7fp3ai.jpg)

During the trip back Rapifafa’s excitement mounted as she thought of the Starlight Celebrations of years past.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%206_zpsgo2tl60j.jpg)

She still remembers being dazzled when she first walked the streets of the Windurst Woods during the Starlight Celebration- it was completely different from celebrating it at home. The colors, the lights, the treats and the presents! It was partially the knowledge that adventurers could see amazing sights like this all the time that made her decide to live a life of adventure rather than live out a safe and secure life in a Mog House.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%207_zpsebfghhfi.jpg)

Just a few years ago the Moogles had mistakenly brought Treants into Windurst for decoration. If Rapifafa hadn’t been an adventurer, there was no way she would’ve been allowed to help stop the rampaging plantoids and save that year’s Starlight Celebration. Rapifafa had once heard that in the Far East, they use bamboo ornaments instead of trees- maybe if Windurst did that they could’ve avoided that whole situation.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%208_zpsc2kdsizt.jpg)

As she finishes reminiscing, Rapifafa spots the Great Star Tree off in the distance, but something was wrong-there were no lights!

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%209_zpscduuhykr.jpg)

Upon alighting, Rapifafa runs into a familiar face- the leader of the Star Onion Brigade, Kohlo-Lakolo. The other Brigade members were busy hanging lights and lighting fireworks. He quickly brings Rapifafa up to speed.

“The most wickedest of grown-ups! It’s all their fault!”

Apparently somebody decided that presents were the only things needed this year, and nobody had been putting up decorations, lighting lights, or baking treats. Rapifafa couldn’t let this stand either, and went off to find the moogles in charge of this travesty.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2010_zps6s0blpse.jpg)

The Moogles were already recruiting adventurers to help them save the celebration. It wasn’t that somebody didn’t want to decorate the town- the inhabitants of the city had become so used to adventurers doing all the work that they thought everything could just be handled for them this year.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2011_zpsllf5qmo1.jpg)

The Moogles assure Rapifafa that there were already people hard at work putting up decorations around town as they hand Rapifafa a festive hat and ask her to assist in handing out presents.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2012_zpsjmnp6nmx.jpg)

Alongside other adventurers, Rapifafa delivers presents to the inhabitants of Windurst, whether they be cheerful, apathetic or complete grumps.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2013_zpsxrrkkdnq.jpg)

She also helps things become livelier by participating in numerous games and events.

Rapifafa and other adventurers gather some materials, and manage to cobble together several ochestrions. Soon, music filled the air.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2014_zpsuduxjlxv.jpg)

Before she knew it, the town had transformed around her. There were lights hanging off The Great Star Tree, Cardians rolled and spun through town decorated from head to wheel, music radiated from every house and people walked the streets eating several make-shift treats the Star Onions invented in a hurry.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2015_zpsss8np72s.jpg)

The moogles worked to create presents for the children, and adventurers helped to hand them out.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2016_zps5yrrtn5e.jpg)

With this year’s Starlight Celebration saved, the Star Onions help themselves to a much-deserved reward.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2017_zps3k2wvrfu.jpg)

Rapifafa herself received plenty of presents for helping out, and with her airship pass, this year she could travel fast enough to enjoy the celebrations in all three nations.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2018_zpsxlnu2bof.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2019_zpselxizm8d.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2020_zpsktgxl05e.jpg)

After all is said and done, Rapifafa returns home for a rest. The life of an adventurer means Rapifafa doesn't have much of a family waiting for her at home, but somehow she gets the feeling she isn't alone in spirit as she celebrates this year.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Starlight%2021_zpsaiypo7sw.jpg)

Merry Starlight to all, and thanks for continuing to read! I assume you folk exist since the thread's view count still goes up.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Filler Episodes Before Bastok Story Edition
Post by: Hathen on December 27, 2015, 05:06:10 AM
The Archduke

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Archduke%201_zps8zqyyppr.jpg)

Old man Maat is constantly paid visits from Adventurers everywhere when they want to break the limits of their training (as in raise their level cap). Rapifafa eventually completes enough tasks for Maat and she is given the hardest task he can think of- to fight a one-on-one battle with an 80 year old man who probably has osteoporosis.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Archduke%202_zpsriqcccsv.jpg)

Maat adapts the fighting style of whoever he fights with, so he's a special kind of asshole when fighting as a Red Mage. Aside from being way better at fusticuffs than any Red Mage has a right to, he has access to most of a Red Mage's spells and ability, including their SP Ability Chainspell, which does exactly what you think it does. Basically the only thing that can be done is for Rapifafa to pop Chainspell herself and then see who's better at taking a bunch of Aero IIIs to the face.

When Maat is defeated, he tells Rapifafa a little story. Many decades ago, the town of Jeuno had not been the center of trade it was today, but rather just a simple fishing village. On one fateful day, one of the fishermen (as Maat calls him) had saved two young men from drowning. The two youths gave their names as Kam’lanaut and Eald’narche.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Archduke%204_zpsuj9zv0fy.jpg)

Kam’lanaut was unlike any man the fisherman had met. His past was shrouded in mystery, but he claimed they were pupils of a sage deep in the mountains, where they had studied until his death. With their teacher gone, they had decided to travel to Windurst, but their ship capsized and left them adrift.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Archduke%205_zpsh4lv5vny.jpg)

Kam’lanaut decided to teach the people of Jeuno the ancient art of crystal synthesis, and soon he became a household name in the city. Kam’lanaut gained many followers and crystal synthesis quickly made Jeuno one of the richest cities on the continent. There were close to not objections when Kam’lanaut was selected to lead Jeuno.

His first action as Archduke was strange- he decided to share the art with the three great cities of San d’Oria, Bastok, and Windurst. While the citizens of Jeuno were displeased with this decision, he took that opportunity to reveal his plan to construct a tower in Jeuno, making the city larger than ever.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Archduke%206_zpsdagnkvaf.jpg)

When the Shadow Lord rose to power during the Crystal War, the Archduke personally led the charge in several battles. Without him, it’s unlikely the Allied Forces would've been triumphant.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Archduke%207_zpsqzitk3hc.jpg)

It’s expected that much like how the Archduke's appearance has mysteriously remained almost identical for 50 years, that the city of Jeuno will also continue to prosper.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Filler Episodes Before Bastok Story Edition
Post by: Hathen on December 31, 2015, 06:35:11 AM
A Bard’s Story: The Circle of Time

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%201_zpslfosi76j.jpg)

It’s no surprise that as a rapidly growing city, Jeuno attracts young artists of all kinds, and the Merry Minstrel Meadhouse in Lower Jeuno in particular is a popular spot for fledgling bards to gather.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%202_zpsewx42trp.jpg)

Though on this particular day, Rapifafa doesn’t sense very much merriment pervading the air.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%203_zpsv8dgn5v6.jpg)

Rapifafa figures since she’s here, she’ll have a drink so her visit won’t be completely wasted. Thankfully, the bartender at least seems to be friendly enough, telling Rapifafa a story of song runes somewhere on the Buburimu Peninsula which tell the story of two lovers. She probably figures Rapifafa is an adventurer, since she drops a not-so-subtle clue that maybe the lyrics would be able to bring up the mood in the place.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%204_zpsiu9odca5.jpg)

Rapifafa finds the runes on the beach near Mhaura, but she wasn’t alone on this visit. The cloaked man introduces himself as Lewenhart, a wandering bard in the most traditional sense, caring little where his daily meals come from- if they come at all- as long as he is able to let his song be heard at each tavern. Such a life of romance does have a certain allure for Rapifafa, but for now she had a task to do, so she copies down the runes onto a piece of parchment and heads back to Jeuno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%205_zpsytpinzms.jpg)

Rapifafa isn’t surprised that a broken heart wouldn't mend so easily, but she would’ve preferred to not be yelled at, either. Thankfully, Lewenhart soon shows up to help Rapifafa get out of this predicament.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%206_zpsrep5uefh.jpg)

Lewenhart gives the younger bard some words of encouragement, but Mertaire would rather wallow in his misery for the time being.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%207_zpsa6o80h1q.jpg)

Rapifafa decides to chat up the bartender once again, and she tells Rapifafa about another set of song runes on the opposite beach of the Valkurm Dunes with the opposing set of lyrics.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%208_zpsn0giztqh.jpg)

Apparently on some level, Lewenhart’s speech worked on Mertaire, since he bothered to get off his ass and come visit the Song Rune.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%209_zpsqry5fai1.jpg)

Perhaps Lewenhart knew this would happen as well, but it’s also possible he was also simply here to visit the Song Rune, as he explains that these two song runes encompass everything a Bard is about, and he often comes to visit them when he needs new inspiration. No matter how much time passes, people will never change- the two separated lovers who wrote these lyrics did so wishing for their feelings to cross the sea, and in so doing had their feelings immortalized. He encourages both Mertaire and Rapifafa to simply allow their feelings to guide them in writing songs, and the rest will fall into place. Mertaire is all too happy to accept advice from the legendary bard he had admired since childhood.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2010_zpsho8913t4.jpg)

Rapifafa and Mertaire both work at improving their skills, and eventually Mertaire asks Rapifafa for a favor- for her to help throw away the bracelet of his lost love. Mertaire wishes for it to be conclusive, so he asks Rapifafa to throw it into the Water of Oblivion in the Ranguemont Pass.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2011_zps30a52exs.jpg)

Mertaire arrives just before Rapifafa finishes the job, deciding that it would be best if he was to throw the bracelet away himself. As the bracelet sinks, Mertaire muses about what people a hundred years from now may think if they found the bracelet- was it possible the memories of its past owners would come through just like the song runes? Rapifafa had to restrain herself from telling Mertaire that he was a hack and whoever found it would probably be momentarily disgusted before casting it back into the water.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2012_zpso1lnmxsa.jpg)

After some time, the bartender asks for Rapifafa- the bards at the tavern have always taken turns performing a certain task, and now it was her turn. One of the men interred within the Eldieme Necropolis had been a bard in life, but he was executed in San d’Oria for his crimes. The bards had respect for the man, however, and now Rapifafa had to go pay her respects. Visiting the Necropolis was always a frightening experience for Rapifafa, but this time Rapifafa tried to block her fear out by focusing on singing the requiem.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2013_zps8u0e5kio.jpg)

Of course, the song isn’t so effective when a ghost materializes right in front of Rapifafa. Thankfully, the spirit doesn’t seem to be malevolent, and simply gives Rapifafa an old ring before disappearing.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2014_zps155areqf.jpg)

The bartender thanks Rapifafa for performing the praying by giving her a new pair of boots, but isn’t too willing to believe her story about the ghost, thinking Rapifafa might have simply met a graverobber.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2015_zpsqfizeiav.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2016_zps8mcrm6qd.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2017_zpsflfj65fj.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2018_zps2niddrg7.jpg)

Eventually Mertaire tells Rapifafa to simply take the ring to an appraiser instead of lugging the thing around constantly. Rapifafa does so, but the appraiser tells her that the ring is too old, and its best if she washes it off using a special patch of snow in the Northlands.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2019_zpsfetcpdkm.jpg)

It’s a long trek, but Rapifafa manages to clean the ring and finds a strange inscription. Upon returning to the appraiser, he tells Rapifafa that the script is in elder San d’Orian, so it may be best if she took it to aElvaan of suitable age in the Chateau d’Oraguille.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2020_zpsirpjxdoy.jpg)

Old man Chalvatot is willing to share the tale behind the ring, but asks that Rapifafa keep the story a secret.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2021_zps6gxsdbdi.jpg)

The ring belonged to a travelling minstrel whose skills eventually allowed him a private concert for the San d’Orian king of that time. The king was so moved by his music that he did everything in his power to keep the bard in his palace.

Of course, this only allowed the bard to capture the heart of the young queen, who was many years the king's junior and had not married for love. Soon, the king discovered her infidelity, and the bard was put to death by poison.

The queen did not forget her lover, secretly ordering the creation of many San d'Orian ornaments to be buried with him in the Eldieme Necropolis- the tomb was soon picked clean by graverobbers. When the king passed away, the queen left the palace for a convent to spend the rest of her days. Before she left, she had left her own ring to Chalvatot’s forefather, perhaps in the hope that someday an adventurer like Rapifafa would come and reunite the two rings. Chalvatot asks that Rapifafa perform the queen’s final wish and place the two rings upon an altar in the Monastic Cavern under Davoi.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2022_zpsjlemymcy.jpg)

With that, the two lovers may pass into the world beyond together. Chalvatot has little to offer Rapifafa for her service, but decides to give her one of the burial ornaments meant for the bard as it is no longer necessary.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2023_zpsq7wng9gy.jpg)

Though perhaps as a bard, another timeless story of star-crossed lovers is more valuable than all the jewels and treasures in the world.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BRD%2024_zpsrbailqsk.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: "I'm on the Bastok Story now, D" Edition
Post by: Hathen on January 02, 2016, 10:06:55 AM
A Dark Knight’s Story: The Dark Legacy

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%201_zpspswerbw8.jpg)

On Rapifafa’s trip to Bastok, she had been given a strange sword by the wandering Mythril Musketeer, Zeid. Zeid promised to teach her something of the Galkan Dark Knight arts if she bloodied the blade, so she attempted completing the task on the occasion she felt she could actually lift the thing.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%202_zpszma6y2em.jpg)

As promised, Zeid met Rapifafa in Beadeaux, and there, he passed onto her some of the knowledge required to be a Dark Knight.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%203_zpsobbsxv8o.jpg)

At one point Rapifafa runs into the engineer Raibaht, who wishes to know more about the ancient Galkan methods of darksteel-working, and asks her to find one of the books detailing the process.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%204_zpsflsbv9qn.jpg)

Rapifafa decides to ask around the Metalworks of Bastok to see if anyone has information on the book.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%205_zpsddnaylls.jpg)

One of the other workers in the Metalworks informs Rapifafa that the book in question had been donated to a library somewhere, and no records exist of the donation. No wonder, considering how back then, Bastok built most important things with mythril and any research being done was for the strange material found in several ruins called cermet. Upon hearing the word “library”, however, Rapifafa instantly knew where to check first.

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Rapifafa returned home to Windurst and found one of the librarians at the Optistery knew of the book Rapifafa spoke of. But as luck would have it, when he actually got around to reading it, he knew Bastok was the best place to learn more and prepared to travel there with the book. He was attacked by Yagudo as he set off, and he could only assume that the book was in Giddeus now, in the hands of one Vaa Huja.

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By asking one of the few harmless Yagudo in Giddeus, Rapifafa is able to find Vaa Huja’s hiding spot, as well as a hint on how she could irritate him into showing himself.

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With a Yagudo Cherry, Rapifafa has no trouble smoking Vaa Huja out of his hiding hole.

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Rapifafa finds the books amongst the Yagudo's belongings, and returns to Bastok.

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Raibaht’s happy to get his book, but his boss and chief engineer of Bastok, Cid, decides to take a peek himself, finding the author’s name, “Gerwitz”, sounding strangely familiar.

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The next day, Cid manages to remember where had had once heard the name- Gerwitz was the man who had forged Zeid’s armor. Cid spends a moment reminiscing about the days he fought alongside the now-leader of the Mythril Musketeers Volker and his comrade Zeid, until they are interrupted by Raibaht, who brings up the fact that he has a letter from Zeid.

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Zeid’s found some kind of strange phenomenon involving Gerwitz and some of the weapons he had created, but there’s not much that can be done considering how Zeid is not one much for return addresses- Bastokan officials have been unable to bring him back home for decades now. The only thing he can do is ask Rapifafa to help Zeid if she ever runs into him.

Rapifafa returns to her adventures, eventually meeting Zeid in the Ordelle’s Caves.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%2013_zpsuw3vsnkl.jpg)

Aside from making Rapifafa think he really needs to work on his social skills, Zeid also tells her about Evil Weapons- Rapifafa had seen them before, weapons being animated by some cursed magic and enslaving kobolds to take advantage of their telekinetic powers. A popular belief is that they originated from the strange cermet spines they are usually found near. The cursed weapons that have appeared in Ordelle’s Caves in particular seem to be ones made by Gerwitz, bearing his insignia. Zeid attempted to lure them out, but it seems to be avoiding him- Zeid had hoped the letter he sent to Cid would eventually bring Rapifafa here, and now he wishes for her to try finding them.

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Gerwitz had left for his journey of reincarnation over 30 years ago, so normally he would’ve already been reborn and be walking around as new Galkan child already, creating new memories. Instead, his spirit stays in Ordelle’s Caves for some reason.

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The adventurer that had stumbled across the weapons before had accidentally dropped a darksteel ingot onto the floor, so Rapifafa figured the only way to get anywhere was to try to bait the creature using an ingot, as odd as it felt.

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%2017_zpsvrwfjssh.jpg)

The plan works, and Rapifafa defeats the weapons of Gerwitz, and following the trail she is able to come into contact with the spirit of Gerwitz as well.

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Rapifafa hears a voice calling for her as the spirit falls, and upon exiting out to La Thiene Plateau, she is greeted by Gerwitz.

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Gerwitz thanks Rapifafa for releasing his soul- he had wanted to move on, but he feared losing his memories, and with it, one of the last craftsman who knew how to work darksteel- his life’s work. His fear turned into rage, even directing it towards his leader, the Talekeeper. His hatred gained a will of its own, and one of his reanimated weapons was travelling the Crystal Line, seeking the source of its power.

Zeid asks Rapifafa to meet him where she had first become a Dark Knight to prepare for the battle ahead, then informs Gerwitz that his spirit had lost track of time- 30 years had already passed, and even the Talekeeper who he so hated was gone from the world. With his rage dissolved, Gerwitz only asks Zeid one final question.

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As a final act, he leaves behind one of his last works to help Rapifafa.

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As part of her preparation, Rapifafa finds other pieces of Dark Knight’s armor hidden around the world.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%2022_zpsqzn2huyv.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%2023_zps2weqmyxf.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%2024_zpsyahcnsho.jpg)

With her preparations complete, Rapifafa travels to Beadeaux as instructed by Zeid.

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Upon arriving, Zeid informs Rapifafa that coming here was not merely symbolic- the newly formed evil weapon would almost certainly begin seeking blood, and using the blood of one of the Quadav should be able lure the creature out.

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With a vial of Quadav Mage Blood, Rapifafa travels to the center of the Crystal Line’s power- Delkfutt’s Tower.

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There, she lures out Gerwitz’s cursed weapon.

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Rapifafa manages to defeat the blade of evil, but unfortunately it had already taken the lives of two innocents. Perhaps if Zeid told Rapifafa to use blood that didn’t have a god awful drop rate that wouldn’t have happened.

Upon exiting the room, Rapifafa finds a box with a helmet and another one of Zeid’s cryptic messages within.

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Rapifafa keeps the helm, but throws away the letter. Rapifafa can’t help but think that if Bastok ever manages to bring the guy back home they’ll be wishing he was wandering the land again 10 minutes later.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/DRK%2030_zpsuw69nxh7.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: "I'm on the Bastok Story now, D" Edition
Post by: Hathen on January 07, 2016, 04:42:24 AM
A Monk’s Story: Ghosts of the Past

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Rapifafa has once again arrived in Bastok, and a good place to start seeking information is at the Steaming Sheep, a popular restaurant in the Bastok Port area.

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While speaking with some of the patrons, President Karst’s rebellious daughter, Cornelia, bursts through the door, looking for one Oggbi. She has taken an interest in helping the Galka with their problems, and part of that journey has led her to find out more about Cornelia- that is, the former Mythril Musketeer who was lost in the Northlands 30 years ago alongside Raogrimm. Oggbi happened to be Cornelia's former instructor in the bare fistfighting Monks are known for.

The Galka seems a bit bitter about his former student, saying something about her abandoning him. He is unwilling to speak of her until Cornelia finishes the same task his former student had completed- to go deep into the haunted Gusgen Mines and taking a miner’s pendant from the Wandering Ghost. Cornelia is clearly in way over her head, so it's obviously just a way to make her go away, but Rapifafa is curious enough to look into performing the task herself.

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The Gusgen Mines was once full of workers, but after several collapses and just about all the ore being mined dry, it is now nothing but a graveyard.

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Rapifafa finds Wandering Ghost, and takes its pendant.

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Oggbi is shocked Rapifafa actually bothered to get the pendant. After all, even when his student underwent the test over 30 years ago, there were still hundreds of workers in the Gusgen Mines. Cornelia spent 3 days and 3 nights trapped in the mines, looking for the supposed ghost, but the task was a trick question- “Wandering Ghost” was a Hume-given name of one of Oggbi’s friends. Nevertheless, he was impressed with Cornelia’s stubborn attitude, and agreed to train her.

With the pendant in hand, Oggbi asks that Rapifafa allow him some time for himself, so he may drink to his old friend’s memory.

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A few days later, Rapifafa sees Oggbi speaking with an Elvaan girl. Upon seeing Rapifafa, Oggbi asks that she help the girl look for her father, who was another one of his students- he apparently traveled north to Fei’Yin.

Rapifafa travels far north to Fei’Yin in the Beaucedine Glacier, where she’s surprised to meet the girl’s “father”.

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Dalzakk figures Rapifafa must be a student of Oggbi’s as well, so he asks that she help him finish the task while he goes home to comfort his daughter.

The task involves retrieving a stolen martial arts scroll of some kind from the Orcs in Davoi. Since the Orc base was only a bit of a detour from the road back to Bastok anyway, it’s not as big of a bother as Rapifafa imagined the task would be.

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Upon bringing the scroll back to Oggbi, he invites Rapifafa to listen to his tale over a drink. He had once gone on a similar task with Cornelia, but it was at the behest of the former San d’Orian abbey found in Davoi. For a long time, the priests of San d’Oria trained themselves in hand-to-hand fighting skills, and Oggbi accepted the task in the hopes he would learn some of the secrets of those monks himself. These days any who call themselves Monks use a mixed style of fighting, combining San d’Orian styles with those from the Far East. Though perhaps more importantly, it was on this task that Cornelia had her first unpleasant meeting with a certain man.

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Soon Oggbi stops reminiscing, and thanks Rapifafa’s willingness to hear an old man’s story with a similar pair of boots he once gave to Cornelia.

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With thoughts of the San d’Orian Monks in the back of her mind, Rapifafa figured there had to be some of their treasures hidden around the land.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/MNK%2011_zpsmdpzcgtb.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/MNK%2012_zpsadjxi2vg.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/MNK%2013_zps0u5u7bf2.jpg)

Rapifafa soon hears of trouble brewing in Castle Oztroja. A certain Yagudo has apparently returned to life, and the Mythril Musketeers need an experienced Monk to challenge him.

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Apparently this Yagudo only has an interest in fighting other Monks, and many years ago Cornelia wished to kill this Yagudo herself to avenge the death of her brother. Oggbi was concerned Cornelia’s lust for revenge would put her in great danger, but she ignored her master’s wishes and ran off to Castle Oztroja. Even with her emerging victorious, Oggbi seemed disappointed in her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/MNK%2015_zps73l7q1im.jpg)

Regardless, the Yagudo was returning now, and another Monk is needed to defeat him once again. With Dalzakk off performing tasks of his own, and Oggbi no longer able make the climb himself, the only Monk qualified to challenge him would be Rapifafa.

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Rapifafa travels to the top of Castle Oztroja, and places an offering of challenge on the brazier Oggbi pointed her towards.

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Huu Xalmo is no pushover in a one-on-one fight, but Rapifafa manages to defeat him, plucking one of his feathers to bring back as proof of her task.

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Ayame is impressed with Rapifafa, presenting her with her reward- she had been prepared a different reward beforehand, but Oggbi insisted that she receive this instead. Though there was apparently no need to ask Ayame to hand it out for him, since Oggbi soon appears in person to finish telling Rapifafa Cornelia's story.

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When Cornelia returned from defeating Huu Xalmo, Oggbi had asked if she had gained any peace. Cornelia could only reply that she felt the exact opposite- that she felt part of herself dying when she finally avenged her brother.

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Soon after, Cornelia joined the ranks of the Musketeers. Oggbi believes that after that day, Cornelia strived to restore that part of herself, up to the day she disappeared in the Northlands. It is not known if Oggbi will ever get over the loss of one of his pupils, but perhaps through sharing this story, he can avoid losing another one.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/MNK%2021_zpsde4vzvej.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: "I'm on the Bastok Story now, D" Edition
Post by: Hathen on January 10, 2016, 08:01:53 AM
Bastok Part 1: Crisis in the Republic

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When Rapifafa last travelled to Bastok, she had learned that the community leader of the Galka, Werei, had suddenly disappeared, leaving the Galkan community in disarray. A young Galka named Gumbah, who had been a friend of Werei’s in one of his past lives, was particularly troubled by his departure, although he didn't seemed to be as panicked as the rest of the community was. Apparently he shared a special understanding of some kind with Werei.

More relevant to Rapifafa's interests was meeting the important personnel of the Republic, namely the Five Mythril Musketeers: Iron Eater, Ayame, Naji, their leader Volker, and the missing Zeid.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B1%202_zpsznbhym5r.jpg)

Music: Hume Male (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESrwtO42Q_k)

She also learned the Chief Engineer of Bastok was doing some research into the strange teleportation crags found around Vana’Diel- the giant constructs she had passed by several times in her adventures.

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Rapifafa had sneaked a peek at one of the reports Cid had written.

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Near the report was a collection of crystals brought back by adventurers, but unlike most crystals around the world used for crafting, these had been completely drained of their power when they came in contact with the crags.

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Now that she returned to Bastok, the rumors of a new Talekeeper appearing amongst the Galka were louder than ever.

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Rapifafa travels to the Bastok Mines, where many of the Galka lived. There she meets the supposed new Talekeeper of the Galka.

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The young Galka Povall tells the community to cease their search for their leader Werei, as he is the Talekeeper and their rightful leader. He claims that in his previous life, his position as an adventurer allowed him access to the ancient homeland of the Galka in the Altepa Desert, where he completed his rite of rebirth. Upon beginning his new life, he was in possession of an Altepa moonpebble and knew he had to “lead the stray sheep from the land of oppression”. The moonpebbles are found past powerful monsters, so the young man’s story could only be true if he was telling the truth.

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Many of the Galka are frustrated with their lot in life and are willing to believe in any chance of the return of their ancient leader, but Iron Eater has his doubts. He requests that Rapifafa go to the Altepa Desert and attempt to find a moonpebble of her own in order to verify the young man’s story.

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There are some nasty monsters guarding the spot with the moonpebbles, but Rapifafa has no trouble clearing them out and grabbing one for herself.

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The pebble Rapifafa brings back is clearly different than the one Povall is holding, but unfortunately that isn’t quite enough to prove anything- the Galka have always stuck together and they're not ready to believe an outsider. Thankfully, Gumbah arrives to praise the young new "Talekeeper" for his courage- most of them had lived surprisingly short lives due to their position. Gumbah is good enough at spinning his yarn to the point where Povall gets spooked and admits the whole thing was a hoax. With the deception revealed, Iron Eater is able to take care of the rest. Despite the revelation however, it was unlikely the tensions between the Humes and Galka were going to cease so easily- this was only the latest example in a series of disturbances.

Gumbah admits that usually he tried to be level-headed when it comes to this sort of thing, but in this case he wasn't going to sit by while everyone was being told to call off the search for Werei.

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The next day, Rapifafa learns from Naji that Ayame has been thinking about returning to the pirate town of Norg to restart her Samurai training. Unlike the other nations, Bastok had a close working relationship with the Tenshodo and the pirates of Norg, so it wouldn't be out of the question for Ayame to get an assignment to travel there. Naji wants a promotion more than anything, but he doesn’t want it to happen because Ayame decided to quit her job, so he asks Rapifafa to help Bastok complete some negotiations in Norg- that way, Ayame will have no excuse.

Just as well, as it was about time Rapifafa travelled to Norg- she had promised Lion some time ago. Rapifafa returns to the Elshimo Islands via airship from Jeuno, then travels south deep into the Yuhtunga Jungle.

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At the end of the Jungle was a tunnel into the Sea Serpent Grotto, where the Sahagin made their home.

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The Grotto consists of a large number of passageways, but thankfully she’s able to easily reach Norg simply by following the right wall.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B1%2015_zpsda7mccqc.jpg)

It had been some time since Rapifafa had seen Lion, but hopefully she's not off on some adventure of her own yet and they can meet up there as promised.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Obligatory FF Evil Prettyboys
Post by: Hathen on January 13, 2016, 08:13:08 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z1%201_zps9ylczpov.jpg)

Guess I’ll do a little intro today.

Rize of the Zilart was FFXI’s first expansion, coming out in April 2003, just a bit over a year after the game launched (and just a few weeks after Square officially merged with Enix). As I mentioned a bit before, SE’s release schedule for the RoZ story ran concurrently with the Rank 6+ Missions of the Three Nations (Everything following the defeat of the Shadow Lord) in the Vanilla game, but as the story unfolds it’ll probably be clear that most of the story in it was already planned out before they released the game. Of course, it would take another half a year after the Japanese release of RoZ before English speakers got XI at all, so appropriately enough English-speaking players got to take in the Vanilla game and RoZ as one large package.

Gameplay-wise, the most notable addition was that RoZ added three jobs to FFXI’s already large job list- Ninja, Samurai, and Dragoon. Summoner technically was added during the same patch Zilart service began, but since you could unlock Summoner using just Vanilla areas it generally isn’t really considered a Zilart job- though, if you wanted to be able to summon more than just elementals (which all kinda sucked) and Carbuncle (who has a low MP cost but is generally pretty weak) you needed to have the expansion. With those four jobs added, there were now 15 jobs in the game.

Also starting today I guess I’ll try to have more comments on the game itself, because it seems all I ever post about is the story anymore, and also because starting with the first expansion the boss battles started to become more unique. I’ll stick gameplay comments to the end of my posts in case you don’t want to hear me nerd out about XI’s game mechanics too.

By the way, today’s post is going to be a bit different- you have the option of watching a voiced version of most of it! Famitsu/Dengeki created three videos of important cutscenes in XI as part of the events surrounding the official end of XI’s storyline in 2015, and today is the first one they made. All you need to know is that they got Norio Wakamoto to voice Raogrimm, so if you happened to have a dream of watching Charles zi Britannia voice a Galka, here you go.

Oh yeah, it contains minor spoilers for an upcoming storyline but it’s pretty a really minor one ultimately. Just don’t give yourself the big spoilers by watching the related videos, heh (if you care about that that is).

Rise of the Zilart Part 1: The Warriors of the Crystal

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Rapifafa is accosted by one of the Ninjas of Norg as she enters, but she’s quickly saved by a familiar face- Lion’s.

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Lion would love to spend time chit-chatting with Rapifafa, but she believes there's no more time to waste, and it's about time that they took care of Kam’lanaut.

Kam'lanaut...Hearing the Archduke’s name stirs memories within Rapifafa’s mind, and the events that transpired at Castle Zvahl came flooding back to her, along with the strange poem Zeid had once recited to her in the ruins of Fei’Yin.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z1%204_zpsofnee6bz.jpg)

(Famitsu video starts here. Read on if you're not interested.) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOlZLWG_Lok)

Music: Bloody Promises (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uKnELSjqzA)

Quote
It all began with a stone, or so the legend says.

In ages past, a sentient jewel, enormous and beautiful, banished the darkness. Its many-colored light filled the world with life and brought forth mighty gods.

Bathed in that light, the world entered an age of bliss until, after a time, the gods fell into slumber. That world was called Vana'diel.

The legend goes on to say...
 
From the darkest depths of the earth the Warriors of the Crystal rose...

The great bane will devour the fair land of Vana'diel.

The ancient seal will be broken, awakening nightmares of ages past.

The blood of innocents will soak the earth, and the world will fall into fear and despair.

But as one bright star shines through the clouds at night...

And as one song rings clear above the roar of beasts...

We hold to one hope in these darkest of times.

That they will come, with the wisdom of ages and the strength of thousands, to deliver us from our plight.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z1%205_zpscwtjlg0g.jpg)

The Shadow Lord had fallen after a long battle, and Raogrimm temporarily regained a fraction of his sanity. That was when they appeared.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z1%206_zps6aixmmkc.jpg)

The Archduke of Jeuno, Kam'lanaut, and his brother, Eald'narche, had been waiting for this moment. They had apparently waiting for a long time- they revealed they are survivors of the ancient race known as the Zilart. The Zilart brothers had wished to restore the Crystal Line running to Jeuno and to open the supposed Gate of the Gods, but the "noise" caused by the Shadow Lord’s existence had prevented them from doing so for many years. His defeat 20 years ago in the Great War had weakened it, but it wasn’t until now that the "noise" was completely gone.

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Without the "noise" of the Shadow Lord in his way, Eald’narche was able to hear the voices of the Minions of the Crystals calling to him.

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They declared that they intend put an end of Vana'diel as it now exists, and as a demonstration of their power, the Zilart brothers used their newfound clarity to call forth the Warriors of legend.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z1%209_zpsntb4qcxo.jpg)

Quote
We await the awakening of the Warriors of the Crystal.

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Zeid knew it was the time for action, so he ceased his questions and attacked the Archduke.

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Unfortunately, Zeid had little luck striking back at the Zilart brothers, and they soon left Rapifafa and the others to meet their fate at the hands of the warriors from the crystal.

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Rapifafa was quickly taken out of the fight, and the Hume-like warrior rushed towards Zeid.

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It was clear that this was not a fight they were going to win, and they had to escape.

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In his final moments in this world, Raogrimm made a sacrifice to buy time for the group and for Vana'diel.

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As Rapifafa returns to reality, she hears Lion calling her name.

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Lion seems to recognize that Rapifafa seems to have a few screws loose at the moment, so she allows her some time to gather herself, telling Rapifafa where to find her when she’s ready.

Rapifafa reorganized her thoughts and proceeded inward to the pirate town of Norg. She knew she had a large task ahead of her.

Gameplay Comments

No battle in today's story, so I guess I'll talk a little bit about some of the core mechanics of the game and how some of the jobs I've posted about already actually play.

If you've ever played FFXII, XI is somewhat similar in how it plays. Battles occur in real time, and your character will autoattack as long as you're engaged onto an enemy. Effectively it's not really any different from an ATB system, it just skips the part where you have to repeatedly press X to select "Attack" on the turns you don't actually want to do anything special. Any input you do is if you want to use a skill or magic spell, but ideally (as in, if you're playing a version of the game that's actually balanced halfway properly) you won't just fire off a skill whenever you want, you have to time them properly. In the case of spellcasters, you want to time your spells so that you won't get hit while casting which would interrupt you, or you want to time your cast so you can hit a Magic Burst. On a physical job you'd want to time your Weapon Skills so that you can create skillchains. Guess I'll get a bit more into Skillchains and Magic Bursts next time since that just talking about that would take a while.

So now some jobs. I'll start with some of the more straightforward jobs. One of the great things about XI is that generally, almost every job in the game would had something unique to contribute. FFXI also had many true hybrid classes, something many MMOs seem to be incredibly scared of creating these days. Many of them have solidified on the holy Tank/Damage/Healer trinity and as a result, classes feel less unique. Granted, XI has never been balanced that well (and probably never will for as long as the game runs), but personally I find myself preferring that over something like FFXIV: ARR which has jobs that are way more balanced, but at the cost of making jobs feel somewhat homogenized.

Monk is the probably the simplest job you can start out as. Punch stuff in the face and shoot kamehamehas. The first noticeable thing about Monk is their huge HP pool and relatively high attack frequency- pretty faithful to Monks from the FF series. Their SP Ability, Hundred Fists, does exactly what it says on the tin. More importantly, Monk was one of the only straight damage classes that regularly dealt blunt damage to enemies, so anytime you had to fight a bunch of skeletons or something Monk was a great choice to take along. Later on in the game Monk offered a rare ability to change their attacks to nonelemental magic damage for a short time. Monk's unique combination of high longevity in a damage class, damage types, and ability to fight barefisted would find them different opportunities in the game's content. Their biggest downside was that their max damage potential was much lower than many other damage classes.

White Mage, as per FF tradition, is the most powerful healing class in the game. However, WHM also had a respectable club skill so if someone really felt like it, they could put on a set of meleeing armor and go to town. They even had a unique Weapon Skill that was much stronger than any other club Weapon Skill at the time. Though this option was mostly limited to mid-level content- you didn't want to be meleeing Fafnir or something. Naturally, even at its worst point in the game White Mage always had a use.

Black Mage probably also needs no introduction- save all your MP until you're at the boss and blow it up in 2 turns! Well, maybe in a single player game, but Black Mages generally had to be pretty conservative with their spells in XI, acting as "artillery" in a party. If they went too wild with their spells they would likely draw attention to themselves and then die horribly. Unfortunately for Black Mage, depending on which version of the game you were playing it ranged from the one of the best damage classes you could have, to a complete waste of a party slot. The playerbase was really creative though, and Black Mages soon found alternate ways to progress, either by killing certain things solo, or by grouping solely with other Black Mages to form manaburn parties. At the time of this writing though, it is without a doubt one of the most powerful jobs in the game. Vivi would be proud.

That ended up a lot longer than I thought it would (Sorry!). Well, until next time!
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: The Totally Original Ancient Advanced Race in an RPG
Post by: Hathen on January 18, 2016, 05:12:22 AM
Rise of the Zilart Part 2: The Temple of Uggalepih

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Appropriately enough, the pirate town of Norg is full of surly locals, so Rapifafa doesn't run into a lot of pleasant conversation.

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Following the instructions she had received earlier from Lion, Rapifafa takes the stairs to her right and travels to the end of the hallway, where Lion was waiting to introduce Rapifafa to her father.

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Gilgamesh hasn't let his crew sit by idly while Rapifafa was out sorting out the problems of the Three Nations. In fact, he has had suspicions of the Zilart brothers for years, which is why he had sent Lion to travel across the Central Lands for the past few months, gathering information. Whatever the Zilart brothers has planned, it wouldn’t be good for anyone, so Gilgamesh was preparing for a expedition to the Temple of Uggalepih.

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Several years ago, Gilgamesh had made his way to the ruins in the hopes of finding treasures left behind in such an ancient structure, but instead he found himself confronted by a strange old woman.

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He didn't learn much about the woman before she vanished, but Gilgamesh has a suspicion that perhaps the inhabitants of such an ancient ruin will have some knowledge of the Zilart. Gilgamesh asks Rapifafa to travel to the Chieftainess in Kazham, saying the Mithra should be able to provide some help accessing the Sacrificial Chamber in the heart of the temple. As Rapifafa turns to leave, she spots another familiar face entering the room.

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It’s only natural that the leader of the Tenshodo would have connections to Norg, but it seems Aldo isn’t here on a business venture. His sister Verena has disappeared, and it’s likely this is also the work of the Zilart brothers- Rapifafa recalls what Eald’narche had mentioned back when she was gathering Magicite for the Archduke, so she is able to confirm the suspicion. Whatever needed to be done, it was now important that they moved quickly.

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The Chieftainess of Kazham is more amused than anything when Rapifafa informs her of their planned expedition to the temple. The name Gilgamesh is enough to convince her however, and Rapifafa receives the key needed to enter the deeper sections of the temple.

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In the deeper sections of the temple, Rapifafa finds numerous strange texts, but none of them seemed to be of any importance.

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Rapifafa eventually finds herself in a hallway with several paintings lining the wall. After clearing the area of Tonberries, Rapifafa stops for a moment to study the paintings.

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While she could not gleam much meaning from them, she was particularly intrigued by one canvas, which was completely blank.

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Since its unlikely the Zilart had invented modern art yet, Rapifafa reached into her pockets and pulled out a strange paintbrush she had picked up in another room. As some of the texts she ran into advised, Rapifafa attempted to project an image onto the canvas by focusing her energies into the paintbrush. Soon, a door opened at the end of the hallway, which led to the Den of Rancor underneath the Temple.

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Much like the Temple of Uggalepih, the Den of Rancor was filled with Tonberries, and the only way Rapifafa could find her way to the deepest parts of the area was by using one of the Tonberries’ very own lanterns to light several torches.

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Soon enough, Rapifafa is able to open the gate leading to the Sacrificial Chamber.

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To her dismay, Rapifafa finds herself confronted by who she can only assume is the leader of the Tonberries.

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Rapifafa needed to avoid several close encounters with throat stabs from the Tonberries, but she emerges victorious. As the fight ends, the leader of the Tonberries is replaced with a face Rapifafa had seen once before.

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Music: Grav’iton (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3NrqQonuWw)

This time the woman formally introduces herself: her name is Grav’iton Berisacci, a scholar of the lost civilization of the Kuluu. She is not an individual, but rather a collective consciousness of what remained of the once great people. She seems to understand what Rapifafa is searching for, and she proceeds to tell the story of her people.

Deep beneath Vana’diel rested five enormous crystals, and the race known as the Zilart wished to tap into this power by constructing the five arks, known to adventurers as the crags.

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The strange cermet spines Rapifafa had seen numerous times on her journey which converged onto Jeuno were known as the Crystal Line, the system used to tie the arks together.

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The structure known as Delkfutt’s Tower was found at the center of the five arks, and was used by the Zilart to control the flow of this energy.

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The Zilart had hoped that with the power of the crystal, they would be able to open the gate to the heavens, transforming the world of Vana’diel into a paradise.

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However, the Kuluu, alongside the followers of the Goddess known as the Dawnmaidens were against such a blasphemous plan.

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The Zilart deemed their voices unimportant and continued with their work, constructing The Gate of the Gods- a floating islands known as Tu’Lia. With this, the Zilart put their plan into motion.

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Energy was drained from the crystals and focused into Tu’Lia- it was then the Kuluu chose to attack the northernmost ark. While the Zilart plot was stopped, the energy released engulfed the world in a blinding light, destroying the Zilart race. Their Zilart homeland sank beneath the sea, while the lands north of San d'Oria were forever scarred to by the power of the crystal, leaving them a frozen wasteland.

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The surviving Kuluu escaped to the Elshimo Islands, but as time passed, the mark of the crystal decayed their minds and bodies.

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They had become what were now known as the Tonberries.

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Grav’iton states that the Kuluu do not regret their actions, and in fact wish for Rapifafa to help them continue- they knew that when they saw the Delkfutt Tower remained unchanged, the fight would continue someday. Grav’iton asks that Rapifafa gather the eight fragments of light found in monuments in remote areas of Vana’Diel and take them to the temple in Zepwell Island. There, Rapifafa will gain further assistance from the Dawnmaidens.

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Before Grav’iton once again returns to her slumber, she warns Rapifafa of the elder Zilart brother- his connection with the crystals allows him magic close to that of a God. With that, she bestows the Dark Fragment upon Rapifafa.

Rapifafa now had to find the other seven fragments, but she had no idea where to even begin.

Gameplay Comments

Back when this content was released, a trek through the Temple of Uggalepih was not a safe one. Like in every other FF game they appear as an enemy, Tonberries are incredibly dangerous. This comes in the form of two different attacks, both true to the series' history: Throat Stab, which reduces the target's HP to 5%, and Everyone's Grudge, which does damage based on how many Tonberries the target has killed before. While the former can be dodged as long as the player is paying attention, the latter meant that fighting Tonberries at all had be carefully weighed- was it actually worth killing one and building your Grudge? There were ways around it, of course, but those were figured out later down the line.

Grav'iton in particular has a beefed up version of the move, and it was a bit of a joke amongst XI players to see how high people could pump the number up when they did this mission. The highest I personally ever saw was around 50000 (For reference, a Galkan Monk at the 75 level cap probably had about 1800 HP).
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Adults in Children's Bodies Stick Together
Post by: Hathen on January 23, 2016, 04:04:28 AM
Had a bit of a busy week so didn't update during the weekday this time. And now the continuation!

Bastok Part 2: On My Way

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When Rapifafa had spoken to Gilgamesh, he had mentioned wishing to strengthen the working relationship between Bastok and Norg. To this end, he wanted Rapifafa’s help in obtaining a special rock in the Ifrit’s Cauldron none of his men were able to acquire. Upon finishing her expedition into the Temple of Uggalepih, she felt this was as good a time as any to head north of the temple through the Yhoator Jungle to find this stone for Gilgamesh.

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Rapifafa finds the spot Gilgamesh had mentioned, where she throws in a chunk of adaman ore as she was instructed to.

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She makes quick work of the monsters spawned by the ore and obtains the rock that Gilgamesh asked for. Before she leaves the Cauldron, however, she notices something interesting on her map- she follows her gut instinct, traveling deeper into the Cauldron to finish the task before heading back to Norg. Apparently she hadn't finished her task fast enough, because Ayame had already traveled here as well.

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Ayame simply hands Gilgamesh stacks of official papers before blowing off his offer for her to stay- it seems Naji’s concerns were unfounded. Rapifafa had to make it back to Bastok now, so she travels back to Kazham via chocobo. There, she takes an airship back to Jeuno, where she makes a stop to travel to Qufim Island- she had a strange suspicion that she would find something she was seeking here as well. After finishing this task, Rapifafa takes the Jeuno airship back to Bastok.

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Rapifafa prepares to go around town learning what had happened with the Galka situation since she was last here, but she's stopped by Cid on her way out of the Metalworks.

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Cid wants to know more about the Zilart, so he wishes for Rapifafa to help him find some special reinforced cermet found in the Ro’Meave ruins past the Sanctuary of Zi’Tah. Rapifafa figures any information about the Zilart would be good at this point, so she agrees to the task.

As Rapifafa passed through the Sanctuary of Zi’Tah on the way to the ruins, she once again noticed another strange spot on her map like the one she noticed in Ifrit's Cauldron. After exploring the area, she hurries to Ro’Meave to complete the task Cid gave her.

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Rapifafa returns to Bastok to find the Galka in a frenzy- the search for Werei was becoming a larger effort. Rapifafa reports to Cid, where she finds him speaking with the President Karst's daughter, Cornelia.

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Cornelia seems to be in a bind of sorts. Like most young people, she is hopelessly idealistic. She’s very much sympathetic to the plight of the Galka in Bastok, but she is unwilling to use her position as a way to help the Galkans gain more power in the Republic, as she thinks it wouldn’t be ethical. When she told Gumbah about this stance, he didn't take it particularly well.

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Gumbah apologized for his behavior, but Cornelia continues to be troubled by it. Upon hearing this story, Cid decides to go into full cranky old man mode, telling Cornelia a story of how her father came into power in Bastok.

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Cornelia had a lot to think about, but Rapifafa simply shook her head at these ridiculous Hume politics and shoved the cermet Cid asked for into his hands before running off to join the search for Werei.

The guards recognize Rapifafa and direct her back to the Bastok Metalworks, where she meets the Bastokan President, Karst.

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Karst briefly explains the situation of the Galka to Rapifafa. Instead of asking her to help directly however, Karst wants Rapifafa to follow rumors that an adventurer had recieved a letter from Werei. To get her search started, Karst takes Rapifafa to ask one of the people closely involved with the Galkan community- his daughter. At first Cornelia is tight-lipped, but some convincing from her father makes her reveal what Rapifafa needs to know- a certain woman named Hilda at the Steaming Sheep Restaurant will know more about the situation. In exchange for this information, Cornelia seeks advice about the conflicting emotions she now feels.

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Rapifafa travels to the Restaurant, where she learns that it’s likely that the adventurer she was seeking had traveled to the Palborough Mines.

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Rapifafa travels north to the Palborough Mines, and as she enters the upper levels of the mines she hears a scream coming from the Waughroon Shrine.

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The Quadav attacking the adventurer are numerous, but aren’t much of a problem for Rapifafa to handle.

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Hani thanks Rapifafa for her assistance, but he doesn’t have much to offer at the mention of the name Werei other than a letter he had forgotten to deliver, addressed to Gumbah.

Rapifafa did the only right thing and delivered the letter to its rightful recipient.

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Music: Recollection (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2U6x2yj3GM)

The letter is enough to let Gumbah know that Werei set out on his journey completely of his own volition, so it’s likely with this letter there could be a convincing reason to call off the search for Werei. Beyond that, however, it seemed Werei knew a lot more about Gumbah than he had suspected.

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In his letter, Werei recognizes Gumbah’s autonomy and his decision to avoid responsibility, but simultaneously encourages Gumbah to take up the mantle of the leader of the Galka. It wasn't simply because he had the memories of his people, but also because there were things Gumbah were capable of that others were not. If Gumbah was willing to make this decision, perhaps he could inspire others in the community to take responsibility as well.

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Gameplay Comments

Not much to say in terms of the battle as with most of the Nation Mission battles, this one's just a fight against a group of high level Quadav. I'll save talking about the final battles from each Nation when I get to the Bastok one, so I guess I'll pick up where I left off last time, talking about the Skillchains and Magic Bursts.

First, Weapon Skills- when you autoattack in FFXI you gain TP, and you spend TP to use Weapon Skills. So basically, they're kind of like limit breaks, but you use them pretty often so I don't know if that's an appropriate way to describe them. They're also usually not as flashy as a limit break, but don't mistake that to mean they aren't flashy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eI4ksXb6_hI).

If you've ever been in a conversation about XI, it's likely someone at some point will talk/post about a chart that looks like this (https://cdn.bg-wiki.com/images/c/c1/Aden%27s_Renkei_Chart.jpg). Skillchains are probably the most unique thing XI's combat has over other MMOs, though there are similar systems in other games. Contrary to what the chart might suggest, it's actually not that complicated. Skillchains is exactly what it sounds like- most Weapon Skills have an elemental "property" and by chaining properties in a certain order, you would get a special skillchain effect that did extra damage. The damage from the Skillchain is based on the damage done by the person ending the chain, so certain Jobs which had abilities that beefed up their Weapon Skills were way better suited to being closers.

Naturally, since Mages generally weren't using their Weapons, they have a different way to participate in Skillchains. As you probably figured, since skillchains have an elemental property, a magic spell casted at the right time corresponding to the skillchain's element will gain a damage bonus. One nice thing about FFXI is that unlike a lot of MMOs, it kept elemental attributes relevant to gameplay instead of being meaningless fluff stats like many MMOs seem to do now.

Since Weapon Skills take all your TP when used (but the more TP you have, the stronger your WS will be), generally it was difficult to be able to make one on your own, so the Skillchain/Magic Burst system was a nice way to reward party coordination and teamwork. But as is the rule of XI, balance was wonky all throughout its history so there were long stretches of the game where people didn't bother doing it at all. Thankfully that's fixed nowadays- Skillchaining is now key to winning fights quickly (or at all in some cases).

Guess I'll end it there for now, but before I go today, since he appeared again, I feel like talking about FFXI's Cid. Aside from being an important character in much of XI's story, he's notable for being, as far as I know, the only XI model which has really well-defined teeth. I can only assume it's because of Cid that they never really bothered to model teeth in XI characters after him, because his teeth are fucking horrifying.

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Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Thou Musteth Gather The Ancient Power Crystals
Post by: Hathen on January 28, 2016, 02:45:20 AM
Rise of the Zilart Part 3: The Headstone Pilgrimage

When Rapifafa was in the Ifrit's Cauldron, she became curious why many parts of the map had been left unexplored. She soon deduced that it was because several parts of the volcano were blocked off by impassable walls of lava. There are rumors that certain items can be used to pass these walls, but Rapifafa had nothing of the sort on her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%201_zpswtafaog5.jpg)

Rapifafa had no choice but to find other paths, but when that wasn't feasible she had to wait for the flow of lava to cease. She soon found herself in an unmapped section of the Cauldron, and there was an exit out to the Jungle above.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%202_zpsdgmqw2qb.jpg)

She could not recognize what part of the jungle she was in, but after exploring the area, she could see a strange monument off in the distance. Here, she was confronted by two aggressive Opo-opo creatures.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%203_zpsrhgsnkdy.jpg)

Music: Battle Theme #3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNR6yf-WYwk)

With them defeated, however, Rapifafa could take a closer look at the strange monument, and concluded it had to be one of the cermet headstones Grav’iton had asked her to find.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%204_zpssrojoqwy.jpg)

Aside from obtaining the Fire Fragment, she now knew what the headstones looked like. She had some vague recollection seeing other similar monuments in her travels, so she begins chasing these leads. When Rapifafa returned to Jeuno, Rapifafa took a detour from her return to Bastok to Qufim Island. She had recalled seeing a passage on the island which was unmarked on the map much like the one in Ifrit's Cauldron. Following this passage led her to the Behemoth’s Dominion.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%205_zpsdlq1dadx.jpg)

Her gut instinct was correct- there was another headstone here, but like the previous one, it was also being guarded by monsters.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%206_zpstugr7lsu.jpg)

She quickly dispatched the Evil Weapons and obtained her prize- the Lightning Fragment.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%207_zps0ol0hxyb.jpg)

After Rapifafa returned to Bastok, she was given a task that sent her past the Sanctuary of Zitah. This area also had unmarked, explored regions on its map, and as suspected, there was another headstone here, as well as another monster to guard it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%208_zpsnuyi8wqn.jpg)

With the undead creature defeated, Rapifafa collected the fourth fragment- the Light Fragment.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%209_zpscrll3ioi.jpg)

Rapifafa searched her memories for other unmapped areas of Vana’Diel on her adventures, and remembered one such place in her adventures with the thief Nanaa Mihgo, down in the chasms found in the La Thiene Plateau. She travels back to the continent of Quon to return to this area.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%2010_zpsissvobqj.jpg)

There, she finds the headstone holding the Water Fragment, likely undisturbed for centuries- there were not even any monsters guarding it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%2011_zpsagzeerc6.jpg)

Rapifafa also remembers that she once saw a strange structure during her time as a Summoner, when she had gained Shiva’s powers at the Ice Protocrystal deep under the ruins of Fei'Yin. Rapifafa take the long road back to the Northlands, and her recollection rewards her- this headstone, of course, held the Ice Fragment.

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Rapifafa now only had two fragments left to collect, but she could not remember seeing any other similar structures. Since she lacked the Wind and Earth Fragments, she decided to try her luck searching Cape Terrigan, where she had once traveled to gain the powers of Garuda.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%2013_zpsxyxhmlze.jpg)

Here she finds a hidden passageway unmarked on the map, and a shadow awaited her here.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%2014_zpsur76nxoo.jpg)

With it out of the way, she finds her seventh fragment- the Wind Fragment.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z3%2015_zpsboybeoy2.jpg)

With only the Earth Fragment left, Rapifafa had confidence she could find it near where Titan slept- the Altepa Desert. Since Zepwell Island can only be reached by passing through Bastok, she decides that she will be taking a rest stop there- running all over the Central Lands the past few days has made her exhausted.

Gameplay Comments

I'm sure I made it obvious above, but this part of the game is a bit harder to appreciate if you've never played the game back when it came out, since some of that feeling of exploration came from discovering something new in an area you had been to dozens of times before. I should clarify that when I say that these areas were unmarked on the map, that is not me trying to fancy up XI's story- the in-game maps actually did not have these areas mapped out, so the only way you would find them without a guide is by stumbling into them. Bonus points for Ifrit's Cauldron since people really didn't like going there due of how dangerous it was, on top of how inconvenient all the lava spouts in the area are (you could trade a certain item to make them disappear or sit there and wait like 15 minutes).

Most of the area around the headstone were places people didn't really go to because of how inconvenient they were to reach, or because they had little else of interest near them. Well, most of them anyway- the Behemoth's Dominion one had plenty of people running around relatively near it since that was near the place Behemoth appeared. Out of the rest of them though, some of them had people regularly running through them like Cape Terrigan being a common exp area and La Thiene Plateau being an area new players would run through at least once, so it was cool to return to these areas and discover a hidden monument in them.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Thou Musteth Gather The Ancient Power Crystals
Post by: Rucks on January 28, 2016, 12:26:58 PM
what, no gifs?
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Thou Musteth Gather The Ancient Power Crystals
Post by: Hathen on January 28, 2016, 01:58:31 PM
Funny you bring that up- I've actually been thinking about doing gifs for this, but first I have to figure out how to actually make them. If I'm getting this right I'd have to record gameplay to get the "raw footage" or whatever, but FFXI is unlike any other PC game (in other words, it has terrible optimization) so I'll have to see if I can do that without my computer exploding. =P
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Thou Musteth Gather The Ancient Power Crystals
Post by: Hathen on January 31, 2016, 03:55:05 PM
Alright, figured out the gif thing- might not be using them too often for a while though- already wrote a couple of these out. Though I don't think there's been too many instances so far where things would've been improved much from me using gifs (would've made getting a couple of the screenshots way easier though).

Bastok Part 3: The Chains That Bind Us

An official investigation into the Galkan homeland has finally begun, and Rapifafa is asked to assist in searching the Quicksand Caves. First, she is asked to speak with Iron Eater.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B3%201_zpseun8gzxs.jpg)

Captain Volker is there as well, and the two Mythril Musketeers reveal why they have chosen now to start an investigation- Iron Eater received an anonymous letter saying that it was time to “unlock the past and step forth into the future”. He might’ve thrown it away if Volker had not recognized the handwriting of the missing Musketeer Zeid. Zeid had asked for Rapifafa by name- Volker would love to tag along as well, but Volker knows Zeid would be a no-show if he goes. Rapifafa makes her preparations and once again travels underground to reach Zepwell Island.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B3%202_zpsvzayzcep.jpg)

The letter told Rapifafa to find the statue of the Talekeeper, but the Quicksand Caves are a maze of collapsed hallways and one-way falls, so it takes Rapifafa hours to find the elusive statue.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B3%203_zpsmqgzhwky.jpg)

Rapifafa waits for Zeid to arrive, and he soon makes his entry much like he did last time- by skulking up behind Rapifafa and scaring the crap out of her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B3%204_zpsizbb5ffb.jpg)

Zeid spends some time musing about the Talekeeper’s status among the Galka and the burden of his race’s memory. Zeid wishes for Rapifafa to better understand this burden, so he asks her to meet him again in a mural within the ruins. Thankfully, Zeid gives Rapifafa directions of where to go this time instead of just asking her to wander the hallways aimlessly. Getting there was still a pain though- Rapifafa could not activate the weight-sensitive switches on her own like Zeid could.

The good news was that the murals are hard to miss.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B3%205_zpsyax1g3gc.jpg)

Music: Hidden Truths (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a91IF-7UWoo)

Zeid begins to explain the murals that line the wall- they are the history of Altepa, and he explains that while the derelict status of the ruins may lead adventurers to think otherwise, they are not actually ancient. The Galkan city was still in use as recent as three generations ago, but by then the Galka were already fighting a losing battle against the Antica.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B3%206_zpsm2tjow8f.jpg)

The Galka could overpower their foes, but the Antica simply outnumbered them with their amazing reproductive ability.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B3%207_zpsq3tarvvg.jpg)

The next part is the most well-known piece of Galkan folklore- when a Galka sense his death is soon to come, he will embark for a mountain where he awaits his final moments, and will soon be given new life in a burst of magnificent light. Strangely enough, even though it is so well known, the actual event has never been witnessed. All that has ever been seen is a Galka disappearing from a camp, only to be replaced by another child soon after. For all intents and purposes the child is a new individual- except, of course, for the Talekeeper.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B3%208_zpsp0xrotjn.jpg)

Galkan tradition dictates that this individual will be the leader of the Galka, a heavy burden- not a single Talekeeper has ever safely made it to his journey of rebirth. One Talekeeper was completely consumed by his fear that he would lose his memories someday. Another simply could not handle the responsibility and disappeared, never to be seen again. One allowed the rage within the memories to twist his heart until he was reborn as the Shadow Lord.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B3%209_zpsljtj3w5u.jpg)

Zeid asks Rapifafa to send a message to Iron Eater, that the Galka do not need to be chained to this endless cycle. Iron Eater needs to take care of the new Talekeeper, who will soon come forth. When that time comes, the Galka must face their problems with the Humes head-on, and Zeid must face his old comrade, Volker.

Before Rapifafa delivered this message however, there was something more important she needed to take care of.

Gameplay Comments

Once again not much to say on this part, aside from the Quicksand Caves being a real pain in the ass to travel through if you're not playing as a Galka.

Guess I'll talk a little bit about the jobs again- should probably talk a bit about Red Mage since that's what Rapifafa is and all. I've mentioned this before, but Red Mage started off as a mediocre job in XI, being an in-between of White Mage and Black Mage along with some mid-level swordplay, following in the footsteps of its FF1 incarnation. Red Mages also had shorter cast times than other mages to emulate its DoubleCast ability in other games. Over time, Red Mages were given unique spells and its position was solidified- Red Mage kept its flexibility, but also gained the ability to act as an MP battery for other mages and excelled at debuffing.

Thieves have the highest evasion and can backstab enemies, as per rule of fantasy games. They were generally okay for dealing damage, but it was their Treasure Hunter ability that guaranteed them in a spot in almost every event in the game. Having a class exist for the sole purpose of making items drop more often probably wouldn't cross the mind of any sane MMO designer nowadays, but the XI designers were just a bit crazy, I'd guess. Thieves could also pick locked chest and doors, but this was sadly underutilized by the developers.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: I Put Ruins Under Your Ruins So You Can Explore While You Explore
Post by: Hathen on January 31, 2016, 03:57:22 PM
Rise of the Zilart Part 4: The Chamber of Oracles

As Rapifafa suspected, the final headstone was in Altepa Desert as well, and she comes across it while traveling through the Lost Galkan Capital.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%201_zpslxd3kghw.jpg)

With the 8 fragments in hand, Rapifafa now had to the Chamber of Oracles as Grav’iton had directed. As she had mentioned, the chamber was found beneath the Galkan city. It was clearly built of the same cermet material as the other Zilart and Kuluu structures, but with how many Antica crawled in the desert above, it seems this place was no exception.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%202_zpsddaqbpcn.jpg)

Music: Battle in the Dungeon #3 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxZJqv21bW4)

With the Antica out of the way, Rapifafa finds herself in a strange shrine of some kind.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%203_zpsjgfcya9g.jpg)

It was immediately clear to her what she needed to do.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%204_zpsl1fbht5c.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%205_zpslgjdh0ud.jpg)

Zeid arrives as well, with his usual impeccable timing.

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%207_zpsni7vvb6d.jpg)

Images of strange women soon appear on each receptacle of the shrine. They introduce themselves as the Dawnmaidens, servants of the Goddess Altana. Addressing Zeid and Rapifafa as children of the crystals, they explain that much like how the people of Vana’Diel were born from the force of the crystals beneath the surface of Vana'Diel, so too were the Crystal Warriors created by the Zilart to guard their five arks. The five races of Vana’Diel, however, were only exposed to a fraction of the power of the crystals, which had was relased when the Zilart caused the crags to meltdown 10000 years ago. The Crystal Warriors, on the other hand, had far greater exposure to the crystal- in some ways, the purest form of the five races that now walked the world.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%208_zpstyjs3wvl.jpg)

At Delkfutt’s Tower, the elder of two Zilart princes made some kind of connection with the crystal. With his powers, he broadcasted a vision of the gods and eternal paradise to the Zilart race.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%209_zpso6vrwfri.jpg)

The vision showed that people had once been cast out of Paradise, but if they harnessed the light of the crystals, they could return to this Paradise.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%2010_zpsftrdv1cb.jpg)

By joining the lights of the five crystals as one, the Gate of the Gods would open.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%2011_zpsjl16kyy6.jpg)

The Kuluu of the Northlands and the Dawnmaidens opposed the idea, but the Zilart were already obsessed with it and ignored these pleas.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%2012_zpsjcigj8ix.jpg)

The Zilart continued their plan, constructing a floating island above one of their temples- this would become their Gate of the Gods.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%2013_zps7b4edm1b.jpg)

The Zilart were now putting their plan into motion once again, and if the Gate of the Gods opened, it may mean Vana’diel will be lost forever.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%2014_zpsri4drvyn.jpg)

The Dawnmaidens now leave the task of stopping the Zilart Princes to Rapifafa and Zeid. With a burst of light, the Dawnmaidens leave behind a strange prismatic crystal.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%2015_zps99xadifd.jpg)

Zeid and Rapifafa both take a shard of the crystal, figuring the Dawnmaidens must have left it for a reason. (Also because it's real purty)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z4%2016_zpsglrvbbil.gif)

They now had to find the Zilart brothers, but they had no idea where to start. Rapifafa figured at this point the only choice is to wait for news from Lion and Aldo, as their resources could find information much faster than either of them could on their own.

Gameplay Comments

Not much to say here either, so here’s some more ranting about jerbs.

For all the different kinds of melee damage jobs in the game, there’s only ever really been one good one for ranged damage- naturally, it’s Ranger. The most notable thing about the job is that for a while, it was easily the most broken damage class in the game, gaining TP incredibly quickly and firing off very powerful weapon skills, at the cost of breaking your bank from all the arrows high level you’d fire off. Then SquareEnix decided to nerf Rangers so hard they became one of the weakest jobs in the game instead. Nowadays Ranger’s a lot better off, but it’s still generally a job you only take along if you really don’t want to get close to something.

Paladin is the premier tanking job in FFXI, and a somewhat different one than I’ve seen some other MMOs do. Naturally, they use a sword and shield, but the most interesting part of playing Paladin was how aggro worked in FFXI- many times simply using the game’s provided taunt moves weren’t enough to hold anything on you, and many times Paladins had a hard time hitting anything, so to compensate Paladins would self-cure a lot of the damage they received instead of relying on whatever mages were in the party. Because of this, Paladins loved having a Red Mage around…or a Bard, but I’ll save that for next time. Gonna stop here before I write a novel for you folks. =P
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Can You Beat My Ninja Technique
Post by: Hathen on February 04, 2016, 09:27:49 AM
A Ninja's Story: The Legacy

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%202_zpsrjlxdett.jpg)

Kaede wants to use a katana like her big sister, the Mythril Musketeer Ayame. Her father, Ensetsu, is against the idea. Kaede explains to Rapifafa that her father had trained Ayame, but for some reason he does not do the same for her. She knows that her father has recently been visiting Kagetora, who works for the Black Market of Vana'Diel, the Tenshodo. She pleads that Rapifafa help her solve this mystery so that she can become strong like her father and big sister.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%203_zpsfkkopp5a.jpg)

Kagetora usually isn’t one to divulge secrets, but he doesn’t seem to care much for Ensetsu, so he reveals that the man has been having some money troubles lately. He also laughs when Rapifafa asks about Ensetsu's combat abilities, saying Ensetsu's about the farthest thing from a warrior there is.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%204_zpsusgbwwdn.jpg)

With the cat out of the bag, Ensetsu figures it wouldn’t hurt to ask an adventurer for some help. He wishes to buy back something he sold to the Tenshodo, but since he had no money, he promised a special coral from the Korroloka Tunnel. His claims echo Kagetora's, that he isn’t much of a warrior himself, so he asks Rapifafa to obtain it for him if possible.

Rapifafa agrees and travels down the Korraloka Tunnel, where some leeches stand between Rapifafa and the coral. A few pokes with her sharp stick is enough to send them down.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%205_zpsdy8ml2uq.jpg)

Ensetsu is thankful for Rapifafa’s help, but asks her for one more favor- to take the coral to Norg and exchange it for his lost item.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%206_zpse5tfiujp.jpg)

Apparently Kagetora wasn’t the only one of the Tenshodo who had a problem with Ensetsu, since Ryoma of Norg decides to spend some time bad mouthing the man before finishing the transaction. With that finished, he asks Rapifafa to help him smack Ensetsu upside the head a few times for him.

The item is a strange one- it’s clearly a eastern styled Tanto, but its blade is stuck inside its sheathe and cannot be removed. Rapifafa brings it back to Ensetsu, who was greatly thankful for her help. He explains he had once sold the sword to support his family, but now realized that his daughter needed it more.

Kaede jumps out from behind the wall, angered that his father bought yet another sword for Ayame. Ensetsu tells his daughter that he had never bought any swords for Ayame, in a tone that suggests that he has gone through this speech multiple times with her. Since he can no longer hide the sword, Ensetsu decides that perhaps now Kaede is old enough to know the truth.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%207_zpsvmdmcv7j.jpg)

Ensetsu's claim was true- he is no warrior. It was Ayame and Kaede’s mother who was a ninja, and the sealed tanto belonged to her. Ensetsu had always only been a lowly crew member on a pirate ship, but his wife Yomi was a master of ninjutsu. When Yomi discovered she was carrying Ayame, she traveled to Bastok to live a simple life with Ensetsu. Even then, she knew she was not long for this world, and after ten years of a quiet life she gave her life when bringing Kaede into the world.

Ensetsu didn’t want either of his daughters to take up a katana, for fear that they would meet the same end. He reluctantly agreed when Ayame left to learn the way of the Samurai, if only because it meant she would not be a Ninja. Kaede, however, resembled her mother more and more with each day that passed, and Ensetsu felt he needed to protect her. However, he now passes Yomi blade onto Kaede, and tells her that she will decide on her own future.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%208_zpshi1vn3tr.jpg)

Ensetsu thanks Rapifafa by presenting her with a scroll of ninja arts left over by Yomi. If Kaede chooses to walk the same path, she will travel to Norg, and will not need the scroll.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%209_zpsexhgzlfx.jpg)

With the scroll in hand, Rapifafa begins to learn the ninja arts herself, learning some skills from the few Ninjas in Norg. Soon enough, Rapifafa is asked to test her skills by assisting in the deciphering of an old scroll.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2010_zpsblf8hzfi.jpg)

Almost 20 years ago, Yomi had used the scroll on her last job for Norg. She didn’t share her secrets before she left, however, so now the Tenshodo were stuck trying to decipher it on their own. Kagetora suggests that Rapifafa go and rough up Ensetsu a little to learn more about the scroll.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2011_zps2jmufbjb.jpg)

Ensetsu doesn’t have much useful to add. He had taken a glimpse of the deciphered scroll many years ago, and it said to seek out an area where rations were stacked upon another in the desert. Since Yomi had already visited the area however, it was unlikely Rapifafa would find anything there now.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2012_zps0poxfecz.jpg)

Rapifafa is ambushed by a couple spiders upon reaching the area, and manages to fend them off. Stranger however, was that there was a trick box there- exactly what Ensetsu claimed Yomi had brought back after her final mission. It appears relatively new, however, so perhaps something more was going on. Rapifafa takes it back to Norg to learn more.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2013_zpszhuv2mmy.jpg)

Some study of the box tells them that the box looks very similar to the work of Mitsunari the Poisonclaw, one of the greatest pirate inventors who ever lived. The man left Norg over 20 years ago, and was probably dead by now, so the relatively new condition of the trick box made little sense. Once again, the Tenshodo had to go ask the Ensetsu they so loathed.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2014_zps43pyjixv.jpg)

Ensetsu seems concerned Rapifafa was attacked by poisonous spiders at the location he gave her, as that is exactly what happened to Yomi. Regardless, he has little information left- Yomi received the assistance of Mitsunari’s grandson to decipher the scroll 20 years ago, and he was somewhere in the Altepa Desert.

Rapifafa searched the desert, and finds Mitsunari’s grandson in the village of Rabao.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2015_zps04uivkqc.jpg)

Leodarion has spent many years trying to master the same skills as his grandfather. He had read through his grandfather’s journal, and discovered that he left behind a trap even stronger than the one that eventually took Yomi’s life- one which could call a spirit of the dead. He helps Rapifafa construct a staff to call forth the spirit, and tells her the trap should be sprung if she travels west on the Bastore Sea.

It’s a long road, but Rapifafa travels back east towards her home, and eventually arrives in Mhaura to take the boat westward towards Selbina. Just as Leodarion decribed, a ghost soon appeared and attacked Rapifafa.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2016_zpsbjpu5ius.jpg)

Rapifafa defeats the ghost, but she finds no treasure like Leodarion implied there would be.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2017_zpsc6spsd9a.jpg)

Leodarion is already waiting for Rapifafa at the Selbina docks as she arrived. He, too, is confused at the lack of anything left behind by the ghost, but Kagetora and Ensetsu soon arrive with their own explanation.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2018_zpscfk7t8ju.jpg)

The Tenshodo had searched the area after Rapifafa defeated the spirit, finding a piece of paper within the leftover rags. In it was Mitsunari’s final message to his grandson.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2019_zpsujirthmm.jpg)

Mitsunari’s final message makes little sense to Leodarion, but Ensetsu knew exactly what it meant, as the old man had once given the same message to his late wife, Yomi.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2020_zpskbruu6sg.jpg)

Only a few years after that conversation would Yomi meet Ensetsu, soon after which she would give up her way of life to raise her children.

Kagetora’s ready to retch at all the schmaltzy stories flying around, and he assumes Rapifafa’s feels the same way, so he rewards her with something far more practical for all her troubles.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2021_zpsfdv2mhno.jpg)

Even so, the search for Mitsunari’s treasure continues.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2022_zpscct8lidt.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2023_zpsgeehewti.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2024_zpss8dbszlx.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2025_zpskfkketob.jpg)

Ryoma soon has information- some of the Tenshodo’s men had found one of Poisonclaw’s old trick boxes, but they were attacked by Sahagin and had it stolen. It’s unlikely they left Elshimo Island, so Ryoma advises Rapifafa to search the jungle.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2026_zpsszirnoz7.jpg)

Rapifafa soon spots her target, and moves in for the kill.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2027_zps2eolgjwc.jpg)

She takes the old trick box back to Ryoma, but knowing what they do now about Mitsunari’s boxes, they figure its best they take it to the expert to open for them.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2028_zpsqofe1eay.jpg)

Leodarion has no trouble opening the box, but there is nothing to be found within. As he marvels at the box, Leodarion explains that while it was easy to open, its craftsmanship is likely far beyond anything he could accomplish. Ryoma himself is not too amused with the treasure just being some dirty old box, and accuses Leodarion of trying to pull a fast one on him.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2029_zps0ew1hbkd.jpg)

Ayame has been following Ryoma for some time now- Bastok keeps a close eye on the activities of its "allies". The family reunion is not a particularly pleasant one, and Ryoma soon storms off.

Since there was no treasure in this box, Leodarion thanks Rapifafa by helping her locate another one of Mitsunari’s boxes, and allows her to take what he finds within.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2030_zpsh1uoahfr.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/NIN%2031_zpsh5zi6kxc.gif)

Gameplay Comments

Most people who played XI would end up choosing one job to focus on mastering- for me, that was Ninja. Rather than bore you with gory details of a metagame you'll probably never play though, I'll instead talk about the more interesting part of Ninjas in XI, which is that it's the prime example of how players of XI could sometimes end up influencing how the designers of the game acted.

Ninja was first designed as another hybrid class in the long list of hybrid classes in XI. In Ninja's case, it was designed to be able to do multiple damage types (slashing damage in melee with dual wield to beef it up, ranged throwing attacks and magic damage from ninjutsu) and debuff enemies. Besides all that, they had shadow copy spells and high evasion- that along with a movement speed bonus on their Job-specific boots built up Ninja to be a great scout/puller.

Of course, that's not how players ended up using the class. Their Shadow Copy spell, Utsusemi, was soon found by players to be ridiculously broken against most enemies, and combining that with their high evasion allowed them to main tank in many parties and almost never take damage (as long as the Ninja knew what he was doing). Instead of relying on self-curing to hold aggro like Paladins did, Ninjas could simply do it by doing moderately high damage through a combination of their damage types as mentioned above. This same strategy was used by Ninjas to solo things in a game where soloing was generally discouraged.

Of course, Ninjas had a weakness- area attacks like -ga spells will just destroy all their shadows at once. Square-Enix probably always intended Ninjas to do some tanking on the side, but they didn't intend for them to be main tanks in parties, so for it while few adjustments were made to help Ninjas. In fact, some were made to make them harder to tank with (along with giving numerous buffs to Paladin), though apparently they didn't find it enough of a problem to just nerf Utsusemi itself or something. Anyway, the players persisted in their behavior, so at some point SE probably just gave up and decided that the players were right, and started creating more tank-centric equipment for Ninjas and designing fights specifically targeted towards Ninja tanks. Instead of the hybrid damage/debuffer role it was formerly, it became more a tank/damage hybrid role.

Funny enough, despite SE's insistence that they still try to make it one, these days Ninja's not a very popular tank due to a combination of factors. They did, however, make some adjustments so that they're more like what Ninjas are usually like in the FF series- specifically, they throw shuriken a lot now. You're not allowed to be called a ninja in fiction unless you're dressed in black 24/7 and throwing kunai and ninja stars, of course.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: This is Totally Not Another Fetch Quest
Post by: Hathen on February 09, 2016, 01:25:04 AM
Chinese New Year over the weekend and stuff. Don't worry, I'll make up for it.

Bastok Part 4: The Return

Rapifafa continues assisting the Bastokan investigation into Zepwell Island, and she receives a task from Iron Eater after delivering Zeid’s message to him.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%201_zpsq08lulcz.jpg)

The investigation needs to make some progress soon, as the citizens are getting restless, and rumors of conspiracy travel the streets as the discontent of the Galka grows. Iron Eater wants Rapifafa to travel to the Kuftal Tunnel to find any signs that Werei had been there, and bring it back to Drake Fang.

Rapifafa once again travels back through the Korroloka Tunnel and crosses the Altepa Desert to arrive at the Kuftal Tunnel. She searches through the tunnel, eventually finding an strangely out-of-place piece of driftwood- it was a message from Werei.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%202_zpsmi1vq7r0.jpg)

In his message, Werei states that the Galkan homeland is one of sorrow- the Galka were driven from their homelands, but they set out for new land searching for a new life. He hopes that his message will find its way to his people, and he advises them not to look back to the past with envy.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%203_zps2aqhfgdh.jpg)

Rapifafa hurries back to town with this finding, but it might be too late- a gathering of Galka have forced their way to the entrance of the Zeruhn Mines, and they seem about ready to start rioting.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%204_zpsy5vjli65.jpg)

It’s unlikely that any public announcement would be able to calm the mob now, regardless of its veracity.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%205_zpsfmnlr1mk.jpg)

Gumbah has finally made his decision. He tells everyone a story that happened 100 years ago, when he and Werei snuck past the guards as children, determined to see the homeland for themselves. There, they found nothing but a ruined city buried in sand and thousands upon thousands of Antica soldiers ready to kill any Galka who returned.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%206_zpsj5yp7dea.jpg)

The Galka are shocked silent at the return of their leader, but Gumbah insists that he has not revealed this out of a desire to lead, but simply to guide the Galka on a new path.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%207_zpslpemg1xn.jpg)

Soon, the mob disperses, and the calmed locals return to their homes. Later, Rapifafa goes to visit Gumbah, who tells her things have become a bit strange for him since his announcement- people weren’t really sure how to speak to him. Their conversation is soon interrupted, as one of the Senators has asked for Rapifafa’s help. It’s an odd time to be sending adventurers out on tasks, so Gumbah decides to go see this Senator as well.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%208_zpsixb3rdwx.jpg)

Senator Alois isn’t known as a particularly ethical man, and the tasks he asks Rapifafa to do- retrieve a special salt from Vollbow- doesn’t sound as important as important to national security as he makes it seem. Before Iron Eater decides to change the "Iron" in his name into "Flesh", Gumbah arrives to proclaim that it’s an excellent idea, and encourages both Iron Eater and Rapifafa to go along with the task. Gumbah seems to know the salt Alois speaks of- miraclesalt- and they travel to the desert village of Rabao in the Altepa Desert.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%209_zpszr5amr7t.jpg)

Music: Rabao (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzzEdU_vDFQ)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%2010_zpsdhpiur8v.jpg)

The groups meets with Dancing Wolf there, and Gumbah explains that he remembers Werei talking about miraclesalt many years ago. It is found in the Gustav Tunnel, and there are rumors it has the ability to extend life. Gumbah himself doesn’t quite believe the Galkan legend tells that Galka used to search for miraclesalt to postpone their rebirth, but he does think that the obsession with this salt is perhaps what led to the Galka’s long history of mineworking. Whatever the case, he was not satisfied with the message on the wood, and wanted to see if he could still find Werei.

Rapifafa travels past the Kuftal Tunnel into Cape Terrigan, where she finds one of the entrances to the Gustav Tunnel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%2011_zps4diw7kaf.jpg)

There, Rapifafa finds a chunk of strange salt in a pool where salt and fresh water meet.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%2012_zpsxqbwdkxe.jpg)

Upon her return, Dancing Wolf recognizes the chunk of salt- he had seen it some time ago, being carried by a child who seemed to have little recollection of anything. As luck would have it, that boy was still in Rabao.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%2013_zpscizzioo9.jpg)

After a short conversation, the young Galka leaves, leaving with the caravan he was travelling with. Whoever this Galka was, he had no plans on staying still- he wanted to travel the world. Even as the boy leaves, Gumbah isn’t completely sure if the boy is Werei or not, but it seems his desire to continue searching has finally died off.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%2014_zpsmvzscdgj.jpg)

With the search for Werei finally over, the group returns to Bastok. Rapifafa takes the miraclesalt she finds to the Senator’s office, where she finds out what Gumbah’s scheme had been.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B4%2015_zpsdpgvyhqz.jpg)

There was still lots of work to be done, but it seemed the Galkan Crisis in Bastok had drawn to the close. Iron Eater tells Rapifafa there was still one last loose end, however- and that loose end has recently attacked an adventurer in the Northlands.

Gameplay Comments

Just lots of running around this time, so time to talk about jobs some more.

I promised Bard last time, so I'll talk a bit about it. For almost all of the game's life, Bard was the most powerful job in the game. Not while flying solo or anything, Bards tend to have lots of difficulty going on their own, but it didn't matter because you didn't even need your party-seeking flag up for you to be flooded with tells asking if you wanted a party. Almost every job would be better if there was a bard standing beside them- Bards had a massive spell list containing just about every buff imaginable. Though you may have noted I said "almost all of the game's life"- Bard was eventually taken down from its throne after over a decade of being the most important job in the game. That's a story for later down the line, though.

I'll finish by talking a bit about Dark Knight because there's really not much to say. As the job of choice for people who named their character some misspelled variation of Sephiroth, it followed the example in the rest of the franchise by being a job all about doing lots of damage while sacrificing HP. Dark Knight also had low level elemental magic and a bunch of draining spells which were completely unique to the job, but they generally didn't see much use.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Rapifafa Goes Ax-Crazy
Post by: Hathen on February 12, 2016, 09:56:54 AM
A Warrior’s Story: The Talekeeper's Gift

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%201_zpsaaubgkqo.jpg)

The Bastokan philosophy is to rely on tools instead of magic, so Rapifafa gets to practice some of the Warrior fighting styles while in Bastok. Eventually she is stopped by an old lady, who laments that his grandson decided not to follow in the footsteps of his father, who had been a warrior. Instead, her grandson apparently decided to be a doorboy.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%202_zpsoastwpxu.jpg)

The old lady can’t let this stand, as his grandson’s natural talents in combat will be wasted. She asks Rapifafa to help her find some special materials in Davoi to repair her son’s old sword.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%203_zps3wbu2cvf.jpg)

It’s a long way from Bastok to Davoi, but Rapifafa can’t deny the requests of such a sweet old lady, so she makes the trek to the Norvallen region and finds the material she needs.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%204_zpsjfseya4b.jpg)

A few days later, Phara is able to repair the sword using the materials, and asks Rapifafa to do her one more favor- to deliver the sword to her grandson, Naji.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%205_zpsvlzp14hr.jpg)

Naji’s a bit embarrassed to have his grandmother mocking his position given that he gets enough of that from Ayame, but he has little time to wallow in his shame as Iron Eater passes by and takes a good long look at the sword.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%206_zpshd1602oo.jpg)

Turns out Iron Eater recognizes the sword, as he had seen it about 30 years ago, when Naji’s father Yasin and the Talekeeper Raogrimm were still alive. Back then, Iron Eater still went by his native Galkan name of Pagdako. Raogrimm had great respect for Yasin’s fighting skills and even suggested he could be a musketeer, but Yasin preferred the free life of an adventurer. Iron Eater himself had already made his choice at a young age- he’d follow in the steps of Raogrimm and become a great warrior.

Both Rapifafa and Naji are surprised by how many important people Yasin used to know, and Rapifafa decides to ask Phara for more details.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%207_zps92dqljsw.jpg)

Like most non-Galka, Phara doesn’t seem to care much for figuring out how to say their native names correctly, but she did know that just about every single Galka had great respect for Raogrimm, save for one in particular.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%208_zps9mjaoykz.jpg)

Deidogg wasn’t a big fan of Raogrimm’s know-it-all attitude, which began at a young age due to his inherited memories of the Galkan people. He also believes that Raogrimm only became a Musketeer to please the Humes, magnified by the rumor that he was having a relationship with "one of their females”. Deidogg wants to prove that Raogrimm was just a phony, so he asks that Rapifafa look into the story that the Talekeeper had once defeated one of the Quadav leaders in Palborough Mines. He was supposed to bring back a particular Quadav egg to prove his deed, but Raogrimm claimed the Quadav he killed did not carry one.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%209_zpsseybnuph.jpg)

Curious of the story herself, Rapifafa finds the Quadav’s nest deep in the Palborough Mines, and spots an egg similar to the one Deidogg described.

The egg was indeed the one Raogrimm needed to obtain, but before Deidogg can run off to the town square and start bad-mouthing him, Iron Eater arrives to give him a stern warning about his behavior.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2010_zpss54f36ex.jpg)

Seeing the egg, Iron Eater muses that Raogrimm was never one to take the belongings of any beastmen he killed, as that was against a personal code he held. He had only ever broken his code once, taking the skin of the leeches in Castle Oztroja so he could make a pair of boots. They were not for himself, though- he had one friend he greatly respected because despite his foul mouth, he was the only Galka who treated him as an equal. Deidogg falls strangely silent at this revelation, and Rapifafa decides to check the story out- Rapifafa climbs to the top of Castle Oztroja and takes the skin of one of the leeches there. Upon returning to Deidogg with the skin, he confirms the story.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2011_zpshcxeqfgt.jpg)

Even as a child, Raogrimm was given almost anything he asked for, but the truth was that he found the ceremonial clothes he was asked to wear highly uncomfortable. He found it difficult to reject the kindness of others so he never brought it up, but he felt comfortable enough around Deidogg to confide in him. In response, Deidogg grumpily handed him a pair of his own shoes so that he could have an easier time moving around.

Many decades later, Deidogg received a pair of greaves with an unsigned note saying “The greaves I promised”. He is a bit bewildered that Raogrimm had gone so far out of the way just to repay him a pair of boots, but with a new skin in his hands, he figures the only right thing would be to repair the old greaves. With his own adventuring days over, Deidogg decides that it would be much more appropriate for an active adventurer to have them.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2012_zpsc6jqbywf.jpg)

Of course, Rapifafa also finds other treasures worthy of a Warrior around Vana’Diel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2013_zpsdjo1pccc.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2014_zpszu1zwj40.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2015_zpsnwlfvob7.jpg)

Rapifafa eventually returns to Deidogg, who mentions that there’s some kind of search going on for Raogrimm’s old possessions.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2016_zpsea0ym1st.jpg)

He’s too prideful to actually just ask Rapfafa to help out, but she eventually gets the man to talk with the help of some local Galkan children. Apparently, Raogrimm had presented his own armor to San d’Oria as a symbol of friendship, but it had recently been stolen by Goblins. The Bastokan government wanted to obtain it for themselves as a bargaining chip, but Deidogg really didn’t want to see the armor being used in some political squabble, and points her towards the Behemoth’s Dominion.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2017_zpsv8q8pi9l.jpg)

As expected, the Goblins aren’t terribly friendly, but Rapifafa has no trouble taking them out. Unfortunately, the armor is nowhere to be found- someone had already arrived before her. Rapifafa leaves the area in a hurry to see if she can catch up with whoever had taken it.

On the road back to Jeuno, she runs into three of the Mythril Musketeers.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2018_zpshrfh6gba.jpg)

Iron Eater pretends to be confused as to why a civilian would know of their top secret mission, but Captain Volker quickly sees through him. Volker weighs the options he has before him- If he takes it back to Bastok, it will likely become a bargaining chip fought over by the senators of Bastok, and if they took it back to San d’Oria, they would certainly be impeached by the people for their betrayal. With this choice before them, Volker picks the only sensible option.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2019_zpsqxymnopm.jpg)

Rapifafa is aware of how important this item is to the Galkan people, and promises to cherish it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2020_zps7arkg2rm.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/WAR%2021_zps3w41j3cr.gif)

Gameplay Comments

Might be kind of weird I'm not talking about the most basic of all jobs until I'm almost done with all of them, but oh well. Warrior is another one of the jobs that didn't really pan out the way SE originally intended the way it was designed, but they certainly held onto their original concept for it a lot longer than they did for Ninja. Originally Warrior was supposed to be a mixed tank/damage job, swapping between the two roles based on what abilities you were using. They do that just fine in the early levels, but SE didn't balance them terribly well for higher levels so Warrior just ended up being a pure damage job most of the time. SE did a variety of things to try to encourage Warriors to use an Axe + Shield rather than the dual wielding Axes or single 2-handed Axe most Warriors favored, but their changes were never really drastic enough so eventually they just gave up on it and gave Warrior more damage abilities. Remember kids, when at about the hundredeth time you don't succeed, just give up and double down on failure.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Turns Out the Dark Knight Has Darkness In Him
Post by: Hathen on February 15, 2016, 05:50:21 AM
Bastok Part 5: Where Two Paths Converge

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%201_zpsf01lh8ey.jpg)

Zeid has attacked a Bastokan adventurer in the Northlands, but more concerning is that he forced the girl he attacked to deliver a letter back to the Mythril Musketeers- the contents of the letter have been rather disturbing, especially to Volker.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%202_zpsuip67el8.jpg)

Volker knows the truth of what happened 30 years ago now. He never became a Musketeer to follow in his uncle’s example, but that never stopped the rumors of nepotism amongst the people of Bastok. He worked hard to prove these rumors wrong, but now, after he has reached the top- the Captain of the Mythril Musketeers, he finds that he has been lied to his whole life. Karst’s not interested in hearing Volker’s whining, however.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%203_zpsw0i2aopc.jpg)

Karst recognizes that Zeid has much popularity amongst the Bastokan soldiers, so it would be inappropriate for the Musketeers themselves to head this investigation- perhaps this is why he has publicly dismissed Volker from duty. Still, he knows Rapifafa was instrumental in the second defeat of the Shadow Lord, so he asks her to follow Volker to Castle Zvahl and assist him in any way necessary.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%204_zpsgpkfylt8.jpg)

Rapifafa arrives before Volker is in sight, and she approaches the Throne Room formerly belonging to the Shadow Lord.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%205_zpsuuasduhw.jpg)

Zeid has apparently chosen what he thinks is an appropriate venue for this fight- this same enemy has haunted both Zeid and Volker for decades, but this was also the same place Raogrimm was finally able to conquer his demons. It was time for both Zeid and Volker to face their own.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%206_zpsth94eomj.jpg)

Music: Battle in the Dungeon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWxOynbYofk)

As Zeid finishes warming up, the man he has been waiting for arrives.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%207_zps9igl3mcb.jpg)

Zeid allows Rapifafa to assist Volker in the fight, but as one of the last practitioners of an ancient Galkan art (with decades of practice to back it up), he has several moves up his sleeve Rapifafa doesn't know about.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%208_zpsvvynuore.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%209_zpspidzecvr.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%2010_zpsa40l0mnr.jpg)

Zeid commends Volker on being able to defeat him, but Volker believes had Rapifafa not been there to help, he would not have won. At this, Zeid points out what Volker should’ve realized long ago- Volker had never needed to fight alone, yet he has acted his whole life as if he needs to. While Zeid was the one who destroyed the Shadow Lord 20 years ago, at that time some of Raogrimm's anguish passed onto him, and since then Zeid had been trapped in his own darkness (Probably explains his terrible lack of social awareness too). Volker does not need to be trapped within his darkness or his past as Zeid is- the proof for that had followed him here.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%2011_zpsq5lfy66b.jpg)

Perhaps now more than ever, in Vana'Diel's Age of Adventurers, the Bastokan people need a strong leader to rally around. Volker is more suited to that task to anyone else- despite his popularity, Zeid cannot return to Bastok. He needs to deal with the darkness that Raogrimm passed onto him alone, and on top of that, his return would also disrupt what Gumbah has been working for.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%2012_zpsf2d3djsl.jpg)

With his path now clear to him, Volker makes another deal with Zeid, though this time a bit more friendly- some day, they'll spar another round, one-on-one.

Together, the Mythril Musketeers return home.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%2013_zps0ftzgylq.jpg)

The President doesn't seem happy that the Musketeers failed in their task to return Zeid to Bastok, but his close friends paint a different picture of his grumpiness.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%2014_zpsgp1wa0cv.jpg)

There’s still a lot of work left to do in Bastok, but from here on out it’ll be up to Volker and the Musketeer to handle. Zeid has put his affairs in order, so it was time for him and Rapifafa to deal with a different threat. Rapifafa collects her reward from the President and prepares to leave Bastok.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/B5%2015_zpss4wkhvny.jpg)

Naji…you’re not a girl.

Gameplay Comments

The last boss in the Bastok storyline is probably the most fun to fight out of the Three Nation storylines. Zeid has unique abilities on top of all his Dark Knight toys, the most threatening of which you saw- he can split into a bunch of copies and it's not fun when all of them Weapon Skill simultaneously on you. San d'Oria's fight against a bunch of Orcs makes sense, but isn't terribly interesting. Windurst's is probably the most disappointing, though- the fight against the Ace Cardians is fine, but all that build up for the Bearer of Darkness but you never get to fight the thing for the second part of the fight.

In all three fights, you're assisted by one of the key NPCs of the Nation. In Windurst, it's Ajido-Marujido, in San d'Oria, it's Trion, and in Bastok it's Volker. You automatically lose if they're knocked out, so the Windurst one is probably the most annoying because Ajido is really, really squishy. Trion's probably the lowest maintenance of the three, while Volker is probably the least useful because he's not as sturdy as Trion, but doesn't even get to do a lot of damage like Ajido can.

These days you're also rewarded with the ability to summon those three as party members after you beat each respective story. Halfway through each nation story you're also rewarded with a variety of the NPCs as party members, including Semih Lafihna, Curilla, and Naji. Almost all 6 of them are mediocre summoned party members except for Semih Lafihna, who is a ridiculously broken Ranger and learns Sidewinder at like level 10 (a powerful Bow Weapon Skill player Rangers can learn around level 55), as well as a unique Weapon Skill of her own. The rest of them are largely outclassed by lots of other Party Members you can get, but some of them work well if you're a beginner- except for Naji and Volker, they just suck all around.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Turns Out the Dark Knight Has Darkness In Him
Post by: Hathen on February 15, 2016, 05:55:46 AM
Bastok Epilogue: Do You Like Bastok?

Naji had a letter for Rapifafa. There was no name attached until the end of the letter, but it was immediately obvious to Rapifafa who had sent the letter.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BE%201_zpsygfl88dp.jpg)

Music: Metalworks (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi26RGxQw8U)

Wishing to know if the citizens of Bastok were truly okay with the way things were in Bastok, the writer did the only thing she could do.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BE%202_zps7amby1pr.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BE%203_zpsgcawne03.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BE%204_zps0iuqe7se.jpg)

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She is still not sure she can answer the question herself, but she has gained a new appreciation for the older generation of Bastok. Perhaps with more youths like her, a bright future for Bastok is all but guaranteed.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/BE%2014_zpslo6ah38p.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Unlike the Real World, XI's Samurais Are From the East
Post by: Hathen on February 17, 2016, 04:22:55 AM
A Samurai's Story: The Mysterious Far East

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Norg is the only place in the Central Lands of Vana'Diel that has any knowledge of the Far East. Contact with the distant land is almost unheard of, but Gilgamesh himself supposedly knows some of their Samurai skills, and he was likely the one who taught Ayame. Jaucribaix wishes to forge Gilgamesh, a new katana, so he lets Rapifafa in on the secret on how to make one in exchange for helping to obtain the bomb steel and sacred branch necessary.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%202_zpsyb6gyrme.jpg)

Rapifafa learns how to find these items by consulting Jaucribaix’s pupils, and needs to travel some long distances to find them.

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%204_zpsuoendtem.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to Jaucribaix, who immediately sets to work on Gilgamesh’s new sword. It takes 3 days and 3 nights to forge the sword, and when Rapifafa returns, Gilgamesh is there waiting for her.

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Gilgamesh holds an extra sword, one made for Rapifafa. Along with the Mumeito, Gilgamesh gives her some guidance on how to fight like a Samurai.

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With no real instructor or even a manual as she did with Ninjutsu, Rapifafa can only follow Gilgamesh's rough instructions at how the art is performed. Maybe if Rapifafa had ever met someone actually from the Far East, she would have an easier time, but no such luck.

Soon enough, Jaucribaix asks for Rapifafa’s help in an upcoming ritual, requiring her Mumeito and a handful of crystal scales from a pugil living in the Sanctuary of Zitah.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%207_zpsgnpggapj.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to Jaucribaix, and he thanks Rapifafa by giving her a new katana to replace the Mumeito. A few days later, she is requested to do one more task to finish preparing for the ritual. With the day of the ritual quickly approaching, he allows Rapifafa to meet Gilgamesh so she can get a clearer explanation of what they're doing.

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They wish to perform a legendary ritual from the East known as the Yomi Okuri, which is said to be able to appease spirits. Gilgamesh gestures to the flag behind him, and only now does Rapifafa realize how familiar it is- it is the flag of the fallen nation of Tavnazia. Gilgamesh was at Tavnazia 20 years ago when it was lost, and those on his ship were some of the very few who survived that day. As they neared the Valkurm Dunes, they noticed the remains of several other ships- failed escape attempts by fleeing citizens of Tavnazia. At the time, they were given hasty burials, but this Yomi Okuri ritual may be what is required to allow them to at last find peace.

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Rapifafa finds the giant bird she was asked to search for, and plucks a single feather from it after defeating the beast. Using the feather, Jaucribaix reforges Rapifafa’s former Mumeito into a Yomotsu Hirasaka, and sends it with Rapifafa to perform the ritual on the coast of the Valkurm Dunes.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2010_zpsn67i7r3t.jpg)

With the spirits laid to rest, Rapifafa returns to Norg for her reward.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2011_zps8nz5leg1.jpg)

Surprisingly, Rapifafa is able to find other Samurai artifacts spread throughout the central lands, albeit hidden away in the outlands.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2012_zps7eft1gjt.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2013_zpsf9drukg6.jpg)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2014_zpsisfktc4f.jpg)

When Rapifafa returns to Norg, she is asked to meet Gilgamesh once again.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2015_zpsibg0cn8l.jpg)

Gilgamesh informs her that while she was away, a thief infiltrated Norg and stole one of Gilgamesh’s treasures- a Myochin Kabuto left to him by his father. Not many people in Norg have been informed of the theft, because aside from how embarrassing it is for the leader of a bunch of Pirates to be burglarized, it just kind-of sort-of had a tiny bit of a horrible, awful curse placed on it- during the war 20 years ago, Gilgamesh’s father sealed demons from the Northlands into the helmet.

Gilgamesh suspects that a rival pirate group is responsible for the theft, so Rapifafa is told to find Gilgamesh’s agents outside of Norg.

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Rapifafa finds one of the agents in Jeuno, who informs Rapifafa that there have been reports of a man wearing a strange helmet passing through the Zulkheim region. Few clues are found on a search through the Valkurm Dunes, so it was likely the man had already crossed the sea. Taking the boat across the sea, Rapifafa finds another one of Gilgamesh’s agents

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The agent informs her that the perpetrator is just a simple thief looking to land himself a huge sack of gil, and not part of any sort of organization. Recently the innkeeper has noted some strange behavior from the man, and he set off towards Bastok. There was another one of Gilgamesh’s agents there, so Rapifafa could gain more information there.

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For whatever reason, the man has left Bastok for the Palborough Mines, and the agent tells Rapifafa to meet him there when she is ready.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2019_zpssq914z6i.jpg)

Rapifafa enters to Waughroon Shrine to find the agent on the floor. Before losing consciousness, he tells Rapifafa that the seal was about to break, so she needed to obtain a seal from Jaucribaix if she wishes to have a chance of defeating the demon beyond.

Rapifafa hurries back from Norg with a Banishing Charm, and prepares to fight the demon trapped within the helm.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2020_zpsyinssb2f.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2021_zpsio3pisr0.jpg)

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After Rapifafa defeats the demon, all that’s left is a broken old helmet. Rapifafa brings it back to Gilgamesh, and he asks Jaucribaix to spend some time repairing the helm. When the helm is finished, Gilgamesh decides that instead of letting his father’s helmet gather dust in his chambers, it would be more appropriate if an adventurer like Rapifafa wore it into battle.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2023_zpscrsqrpww.jpg)

Rapifafa may have gained the shiny armor of a warrior from the Far East, but she was still left wondering how incomplete her own understanding of the style was, and how a real Samurai from the Far East would fight.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/SAM%2024_zpseavkvwwh.gif)

Gameplay Comments

There's the 15th job in the game, making that all the jobs the game up to Rise of the Zilart, so this is the last post dedicated to one for a while. Good news if any of you hate how the job stories distract from the main plot of the game...but I think a lot of them are pretty important to the story so I figured I'd do them all for completion's sake.

Samurai's another damage job, which is the majority of jobs in every MMO it seems. It's probably appropriate though, it seems in MMOs people tend to gravitate more towards damage classes. Samurai's shtick in FFXI was the ability to build TP very quickly. They had passive traits that made each weapon swing give more TP and abilities that made you charge TP over time. For a long while, Samurai was the only job in the game that could do a skillchain solo. Samurais also had decent skill in polearms and bows on top of their katana, so even if something was resistant to slashing they could switch up.

Without getting too much into the nitty-gritty, I'll just say that Samurai was a ridiculously powerful damage job in the game for the longest time, self-skillchains or not. In concept, it seems SE went for the idea that Samurais would be all about their Weapon Skills, thus they were probably designed to do low autoattack damage and compensate for it via powerful Weapon Skills (so I guess its consistent with FF characters like Cyan in that you have to charge up to do anything useful). But since in a lot of higher-tier content Weapon Skills would end up being the bulk of physical damage, it gave Samurais a massive advantage over other damage classes.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Yet Another Character Who Doesn't Look His Age
Post by: Hathen on February 21, 2016, 01:16:40 PM
Think I might’ve gone a bit too gif-happy. Oh well. Just let me know if it’s a problem.

Rise of the Zilart Part 5: Return to Delkfutt's Tower

Word comes from Lion. She spotted Verena being escorted by Wolfgang, the Captain of the Ducal Guards, towards the Delkfutt’s Tower. Zeid and Rapifafa hurry there, where Lion and Aldo are already waiting for them.

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Unlike the first time Rapifafa had come here, the group needed to climb past higher than the elevator could reach, to the very top where the Stellar Fulcrum was. Rapifafa’s shorter legs don’t help much with the long climb.

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The rest of the group arrives before Rapifafa, and the quickly devise a plan of attack.

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Apparently Kam’lanaut can’t help himself, because he begins his villain speech to the group before even trying to subdue them, telling the story of how the surviving Zilart had slept within Delkfutt’s Tower for thousands of years, until an event caused a disruption in the Crystal Line 30 years ago. Apparently Raogrimm touched the crystal that was resting beneath the Northlands, and after that the Zilart spent decades preparing for this moment. By awakening Delkfutt’s Tower, they could also revive the floating island of Tu’Lia.

The group doesn’t care much for listening to Kam’lanaut babble on, so they advance on him- though clearly they forgot why they were unable to beat the Prince when last they met.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z5A%207_zpsbcnhilnm.gif)

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With Rapifafa entering the fray, Kam’lanaut decides she will be his first target, and proceeds to transform into the White Power Ranger.

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z5C%201_zpsjte4gug9.gif)

Much like Rapifafa, Kam’lanaut uses elemental sword attacks, but apparently his spells applied to his entire body, so Rapifafa has to constantly switch her own sword to correspond to his weakness.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z5C%202_zpsie31vwkc.gif)

Soon, the fight turns into what most fights in Japanese media are- spirit bomb wars.

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50 episodes later, Rapifafa emerges triumphant.

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Kam’lanaut is confused why the Crystal Warriors did not come to his aid when he was in danger. The answer was obvious, but he was unwilling to see it.

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Music: To the Heavens (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoR082hp-JI)

The Dawnmaidens had warned Rapifafa and Zeid- the Elder Zilart Prince gained incredible powers after coming in contact with the crystal long ago. In that moment, he stopped aging, retaining the body of a child. Now he sets the stage for his plan.

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Eald’narche explains why they did not immediately begin their plan when they had awoken- the Shadow Lord was emitting some kind of strange “noise” which interfered with the Delkfutt’s Tower’s core. It was when Rapifafa killed him that they could finally begin their plan.

Originally, Eald’narche was going to use his brother’s abilities to restore the Chrysalis Core of Delkfutt’s Tower. On his own, he discovered that using the Talekeeper, he could do so without him. However, he knew he needed someone who could speak with beastmen to tap into these memories- there was one girl in Jeuno who fit that description.

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With the Crystal Warriors defending Eald’narche, the group can do nothing but watch as Eald’narche finishes the first part of his plan.

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Aldo tends to his sister, but Lion tells the others that they have little time to waste- Lion quickly leaves to return to Norg to ask her father to begin gathering information about the ruins of Ro’Maeve.

Before setting off for Norg herself, Rapifafa decides to help Aldo take Verena back to the Tenshodo hideout in Jeuno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z5G%205_zpsdo8yjezm.jpg)

Thankfully, Verena doesn’t seem to be severely injured in any way, and she soon awakens, with barely any recollection of what had happened.

Aldo tells Rapifafa to leave for Norg first- he will catch up later.

Gameplay Comments

The Vanilla XI game pretty much only had the Shadow Lord as a "unique" boss encounter, instead of just being a mook made 3 sizes larger. With XI's expansions they started having a lot more of these, and Kam'lanaut's the first one in Rise of the Zilart. The Archduke likes using elemental damage, the strongest of which is Light Blade (that glowing orb thing in the gif above). Light Blade is a special ability though, he could only actually charge himself with the 6 "wheel" elements in XI (Fire/Water/Lightning/Earth/Wind/Ice), named so since the strength/weakness relationship between the six go in a wheel.

As I've said before, a lot of early XI armor had nothing but Defense on it, which meant that magic damage was usually the most dangerous thing you could run into. You could cobble together certain elemental resistance sets if you were so inclined, but that was not the case for light or dark elemental damage- almost no armor existed with resistance against those two elements, and if you had too many people hitting Kam'lanaut and giving him TP, he'll love spamming the hell out of Light Blade. It also goes past Ninja shadows so players couldn't expect to cheese the fight using them.

Despite all that, Kam'lanaut actually wasn't too hard as long as you were careful. The fight everyone remembers from Rise of the Zilart is yet to come.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Yet Another Character Who Doesn't Look His Age
Post by: Rucks on February 21, 2016, 02:27:04 PM
seems appropriately giffy
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: This Ain't Laputa
Post by: Hathen on February 26, 2016, 02:04:13 AM
Rise of the Zilart Part 6: Tu'lia, the Gate of the Gods

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Gilgamesh’s men have returned from looking into Ro’Maeve, and now Gilgamesh thinks Rapifafa should go take a look herself. Lion wants to tag along, but much to her annoyance, Gilgamesh sends her to Jeuno to keep an eye on the beastmen in case they feel like stirring up trouble- they've been acting strangely restless since the Gate of the Gods reawakened.

Rapifafa once again travels past the Sanctuary of Zitah to reach the ruins of Ro’Maeve. She enters a strange temple on the far side of the area. She had been here once before, but she had never actually entered the temple before.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%202_zps2oulj5fk.jpg)

Music: Hall of the Gods (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIy1JA7qDpg)

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Rapifafa is uneasy as she walks through the deserted hallway, but she feels some comfort at spotting a statue of the Goddess Altana. As the Dawnmaidens had suggested, the Zilart believed in the same Goddess that the people now do.

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At the end of the hallway was a strange grate prohibiting her from going any further.

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There was nothing else she could do for now, so it was probably best to return to Gilgamesh to figure out what to do. It was on her way out when Rapifafa noticed the statue opposite the Goddess’s.

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It captured Rapifafa’s curiosity for a few moments before she snapped back into reality. Just looking at it sent a strange chill down Rapifafa’s spine, and she couldn’t help but feel uneasy the whole trip back to Norg.

Gilgamesh doesn’t have any direct answers for Rapifafa, but he thinks she might be able to find a way through the grate through one of his contacts in Rabao. Supposedly this person has some strange crystal, which isn’t much to go on, but it’s all they can work with now.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%207_zpsc7alm9s8.jpg)

Luckily, the Mithra actually has the stone she needs. She explains she found it after searching through the strange temple in Ro’Maeve, inside the lake underneath all the statues. Rapifafa is able to hammer out a deal with the Mithra, doing some “treasure hunting” in exchange for the crystal.

With the key past the grate in her hand, it was now time. Aldo and Zeid were already waiting for Rapifafa by the time she returned to the temple.

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The group enters the room beyond the grate, only to find a dead end.

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The woman who appears before them calls herself Yve’noile. She tells the travelers that she is a servant of the Dawn Goddess, and apparently, she was present during the events which took place 10,000 years ago. She explains that there are only five true crystals in world, resting deep beneath the surface of Vana'Diel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%2011_zpsxrzbyqsu.jpg)

The Zilart attempted to harness the power of the crystals by splitting it elementally, and when the meltdown which destroyed the Zilart occurred, what little energy they had drawn from the true crystals was spread throughout the world. When this energy crystallized within living beings, it became the crystals that craftsmen across Vana’Diel now use. It made sense to Rapifafa, since she had seen what would happen when one of these crystals touched the one of the crags. It seems Cid’s experiment did not showe that the crags stole energy from crystals, but rather reabsorbed what was once theirs.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%2012_zpstzoz9r3j.jpg)

Despite the so-called imperfections of the five races, Yve'noile is willing to give them a chance to fight for their own continued existence.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%2013_zpsiu3pygjd.gif)

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Music: Tu'lia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMFiQvWVyUg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%2017_zpsbxvzp7yr.jpg)

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The floating island of Tu'lia is massive, so Rapifafa decides to begin her investigation in the prominent central structure she saw upon first arriving.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%2020_zps4jsulc4n.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%2021_zpsxbaxqiup.jpg)

Here, she meets the Dawnmaiden Yve’noile once again.

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She explains that The Celestial Nexus at the heart of Tu’Lia is guarded by the power of the five beings born of the crystal- Rapifafa needs to defeat them if she wishes to confront Eald’narche. In order to bring the five together so she may defeat them at once, she will need the power of the Ro’Maeve spring, which awakens on the night of a full moon. Rapifafa has little choice but to wait several weeks for the full moon to come. Just as well, as she needed time to prepare for such a fight.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%2023_zpsyuze59nn.jpg)

A few weeks later, a full moon shines into the fountain of Ro’Maeve, causing it to bubble and fill with water.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z6%2024_zpsayvgaxra.jpg)

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Following Yve'noile's intructions, Rapifafa immerses a piece of parchment and a special ink into the waters, forming the magic item Rapifafa will need.

Now, it was time to face the Crystal Warriors.

Gameplay Comments

For a lot of XI players, reaching Tu'lia (nicknamed "Sky" by the players) gave a strange sense of achievement. Nowadays probably not so much since a new max level makes all of the preceding missions trivial, but many years ago it felt like a really long journey (for some after hundreds of hours of play) to reach this area. Barring an area behind story progression is to some a strange way of doing things in an MMO. In single player games its very common, but these days MMO players tend to be very critical of games which are lacking in "content", and having an entire area be barred behind optional story would make it less visible to lots of power gamers, moreso in a more "open" game like XI as opposed to some MMOs which railroad you into a strict linear leveled progression through areas. Since there were very few tangible gameplay rewards in XI's story other than just experiencing the story (except occasionally upon completion of an expansion), it decreased the incentive to finish the story over spending your playtime hunting for treasure or beating boss monsters.

In this case however, all "endgame" linkshells (basically XI's version of guilds) always required all their members to complete the Zilart Missions up to this point (but it seems fewer actually went past this point and actually bothered beating it, presumably in their version of the story they allowed Eald'narche to proceed to destroy the world), because Tu'lia is arguably the first true dedicated "endgame" area of FFXI. The giant island of Tu'lia isn't just for show, as it housed some of the strongest enemies in the game, many of which could decimate a full alliance (18) of players if they didn't know what they were doing. They also dropped items with massive stat bonuses, some of which would be the best item for a particular slot for over half a decade of the game's life. Of course, they were all optional, so basically its an island full of the "stronger than the last boss yet don't bother trying to take over the world themselves" encounters many JRPGs have.

Sky was also the area where many years of community drama was born, people ninja-lotting items, training aggressive monsters onto competing players, people generally being dickheads, etc. My personal favorite is one guy who trolled the XI community by leading RMT (Real Money Traders) through the story so they could bother everyone up in sky instead of just on the areas below.

Anyway, traveling through Tu'lia was quite inconvenient, as many things in XI are. Every monster in the area is classified as Arcana-type, which means they are aggressive to players who cast magic even from very far distances. There were also some which detected players by sound on top of that, which meant if you wanted to travel around the area and not get aggro'd, you would need to bring around a full bag of items to sneak/invisible your character instead of relying on the mages (or your own white magic for that matter) to cast the spell on you. Within the area, there are a couple collapsed bridges, teleporters, and some color-coded gates with their switches placed far away, some of which meant you would need to travel to the inside and weave your way through the inner dungeon before coming back out again to get around the island.

Finally, the Ro'Maeve spring- seems like an appropriate time to bring this up, but XI had actual ingame days, months and years. 25 days of Vana'diel time passes for every 1 real world day- 25 because there are 8 days in the Vana'Diel week (one for each of XI's elements), and they probably didn't want the same cycle of Vana'diel days occuring every real world day. This selectively applied to the game's story, sometimes you would need to wait for a game day or something to pass before a NPC would finish making a decision or making an item for you, but since players would obviously not be doing the story all the time, it's probably left for the player to assume that you're not wasting literally months or years of Vana'diel time before you decide to finally stop the evil eyepatch kid (also since the ingame clock has run hundreds of years since the game's launch, you probably shouldn't assume every character is now hundreds of years old). The ingame clock affected quite a bit, as the game had associated days of the week, moon phases, and seasonal weather patterns. Using your Fire spells and weapon skills would occasionally get a damage and accuracy boost on Firesdays, rainy seasons in the jungle meant you should often do the opposite, undead monsters only roam areas in the middle of the night, etc. In this case, waiting for a full moon means exactly that- the full moon is out in Vana'diel for only a couple hours every real-life week, and obtaining the Ark Pentasphere required to battle the Ark Angels can be bothersome. Though, I shouldn't really be complaining- this step isn't actually mandatory to progress the story, but I'll explain a bit more next time.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Raogrimm is the Kenny of FFXI
Post by: Hathen on March 01, 2016, 04:20:37 AM
Dynamis: The Shrouded Land

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Dynamis%200_zpsfiywjvtd.jpg)

Quote from: ”Excerpt from undelivered letter dated 9/10/867 CE”
My dearest ****,

This may be my last letter to you. I have continued my correspondence in the hopes of retaining the gift of words, and some sense of time. But there is no escape from this hell. This realm stands apart from Vana'diel. It is a prison. There are those among the Hydra who have begun to think the world was destroyed as we lay unconscious, and this shade of reality is all that remains.

Twenty years ago, contact with an elite unit known as the Hydra Corps was lost. They had been presumed dead, their true fate a mystery-only recently were several letters from a supposed member found, apparently a young thief from Windurst. The intended recipient was tracked down, and through her tears, the woman was able to inform the Vana’diel Tribune that the letters were, in fact, genuine. Rapifafa had read the story herself, yet remained skeptical.

As Rapifafa made her preparations in the days before the full moon, she travelled to Xarcabard of the Northlands and was greeted by a familiar sight.

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Raogrimm informed Rapifafa that while he had been released from his rage, some part of that rage still resided within another world, and eventually, a new Shadow Lord could be born. If the beastmen in this other world were allowed to rally around him, it is likely they will attempt to find some way into the real world. Raogrimm pleads that Rapifafa retrace the steps of the Multinational Expedition sent 30 years ago so she may gain entry to the alternate world and stop this from happening.

Rapifafa first returned home to Windurst in an attempt to track the steps of Iru-Kuiru, as she was already quite familiar with the man through her dealings with the Rhinostery. There, the Hume Cornelia appeared before Rapifafa.

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Cornelia made no excuses for the horrible sins that Raogrimm has committed over the decades as the Shadow Lord, but she still wished to rescue her love from the darkness. It would have been suicide to simply confront the newly forming Shadow Lord, so Cornelia tells Rapifafa that by collecting items left behind by the Hydra Corps, she may stand a chance. By obtaining a certain rare hourglass, she should be able to enter the alternate realm.

Rapifafa was unable to find the hourglass described in any shop she searched, but eventually some wandering Goblin Merchants were able to supply Rapifafa with what she needed at quite a hefty price. The hourglass is a curiosity in and of itself- no matter how violently Rapifafa shook or upended it, the sands would not fall.

With the hourglass in hand, Rapifafa entered the alternate world through some strange markings in Windurst, with some words from Iru-Kuiru sending her off.

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Iru-Kuiru had a strange feeling about this alternate world- before he met his end in the Elshimo islands, he had visited a protocrystal of one of the Sleeping Gods of Vana'diel. He felt that this alternate universe gives off a similar aura.

In the alternate Windurst, Yagudo walked the streets of Windurst, and Rapifafa quickly found herself fighting for her life. Unlike any others who may have stumbled into this world, however, she was tethered to the real world through the strange hourglass she carried. Its sands would being falling as soon as she entered the strange realm, and she would be sent back to the real world when the last grain fell.

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After numerous expeditions into the strange realm, some alongside other adventurers, Rapifafa is able to find a giant Yagudo Idol in the realm. Upon its destruction, Rapifafa found a lantern in its remnants, likely belonging to a former Hydra Corps member.

Rapifafa travelled to Bastok next, where she was surprised to find one former member remorseful for his past actions.

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Similar to Windurst, Bastok was filled with Quadav in the alternate world. Rapifafa repeated the task she performed in Windurst, destroying a large Quadav icon and finding an eyeglass formerly owned by a Hydra Corps member.

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Next, Rapifafa travelled to San d’Oria.

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Francmage stated that death does not exist within the alternate world. If a trapped individual died within, he would simply rise from the dead and continue the endless struggle. For that same reason he was confused why some of the beastmen that Rapifafa ran into were wearing leftover armor and non-beastmen currencies- if people could not truly die within the realm, where had they disappeared off to?

Rapifafa pressed on, defeating an Orcish Tombstone in the alternate world, and finding a Hydra Corps Command Scepter.

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Finally Rapifafa travelled to Jeuno, where she met Yow Rabntah, the hunter from Kazham.

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Upon destroying the Goblin Statue, Rapifafa found a parchment map left behind by the Hydra Corps.

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With the four Hydra Corps items in hand, Rapifafa traveled north to the Beaucedine Glacier, where Cornelia gave Rapifafa her one more task before heading for Xarcabard.

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Rapifafa was now in the alternate version of the Northlands. This was where the Hydra Corps had last been spotted.

Quote from: ”Excerpt from undelivered letter dated 8/13/863 CE”
I still have no idea of where I am. The area appears to be Beaucedine Glacier, but I see no sign of the allied forces. Neither day nor night has dominion here. There is no sense of time passing at all...

As Rapifafa traveled through the frozen lands of the alternate world, any traces of doubt she had of the story the letters told were removed from her mind.

Quote from: ”Excerpt from letter dated 12/09/862 CE”
I was a little disappointed when I was introduced to the other members. 'Multi-national strike force' is a misleading description--the great bulk of the unit has been assembled from the knightly orders of San d'Oria. They said it had to do with the problem of supplying different sizes of equipment, smoothness in relaying orders, and other such flimsy excuses.

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Quote from: ”Excerpt from undelivered letter dated 9/10/867 CE”
Our battle has been never-ending. All for the brief flowerings of scarlet color on the endless fields of snow... Most of my companions have lost their grip on sanity, and pursue our enemies with a dull single-mindedness. Why do they fight? Why bother to spill each other's blood anymore? I am losing the will to care the longer I stay here...
I don't want to become like them. I don't want to forget you.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Dynamis%2013_zps3b3xbmjj.jpg)

Rapifafa fought her way to where the ruins of Fei’Yin would normally be, and there she defeated a demon, which left behind a Hydra Corps Insignia, showcasing the golden serpent of the Hydra Corps.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Dynamis%2014_zpsdjmpcqts.jpg)

With the five symbols of the Hydra Corps in her possession, Cornelia was able to send Rapifafa to the alternate world’s Xarcabard to confront the newly-forming Shadow Lord.

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Rapifafa can only advance through the alternate Xarcabard slowly, getting slightly deeper in each time. During her travels through this alternate realm, Rapifafa had found some intact pieces of armor off the beastmen and leftover Hydra Corps members. Rapifafa had heard rumors that there were other adventurers entering this alternate reality and were able to find strange, powerful weapons that could speak to the wielder, but her own investigation yielded no such treasures, and she had little time for a long search. She would have to make do with the Hydra Corps armor she had found.

Quote from: ”Excerpt from letter dated 12/09/862 CE”
…they issued me with my new mission attire…when I put it on I can almost feel my abilities being enhanced. With this kind of equipment, I'm sure to survive the coming conflict.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Dynamis%2016_zpssd6rnypf.gif)

Eventually, Rapifafa is able to fight her way through the demon hordes fast enough to reach the alternate Castle Zvahl.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Dynamis%2017_zpsopfaxcso.jpg)

There, Rapifafa confronts the newly-forming Shadow Lord.

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With the help of Raogrimm and the rest of the expeditionary force, Rapifafa is able to defeat the Dynamis Lord.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Dynamis%2019_zps0go0yrek.jpg)

Raogrimm knows that as long as he exists, he can once again be consumed by his rage. He explained that before he met his end in Castle Zvahl, a strange being had drawn him here, offering to preserve his soul. Apparently the darkness within him could not be contained by this strange being, and it began to consume the realm originally created for his safety. The ruler of the alternate realm contacted Raogrimm and gave him a new task- he was to stay in this realm and watch over it until his hatred finally subsides.

This time, however, he would not face this task alone. The Multinational Expedition once split by national and racial lines now came together to face this great task ahead.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Dynamis%2020_zpswsec329m.jpg)

As Rapifafa bids farewell to the legendary Expedition of 30 years past, she thought of the final words of the Tarutaru man who had written those letters.

Quote from: ”Excerpt from undelivered letter dated 9/10/867 CE”
I will not say goodbye. We will meet again one day, I swear it…

Gameplay Comments

When I said that Tu'lia was the first endgame area in FFXI, that was probably untrue. Dynamis is probably more fitting of that title, but it came in a very strange form. In this event, you would enter an area with a 1 hour time limit (extendable to 3) and a 3-day lockout (to prevent one group from taking an area all for themselves). It also allowed up to 64 players to participate (of course, I have my doubts that even the earliest groups took even half that amount of members to any given run).

Unlike most of the other things I talk about, Dynamis as it used to exist cannot be accessed anymore if you play the game today. In the years since its introduction, the event has been redesigned (though the core concept has arguably remained the same). In it's original form, Dynamis was basically just a copy of the 3 town and 2 field areas described, with a really dense population of monsters. Thus a lot of the time you needed a puller who knew what he was doing, otherwise your group would get swarmed. There were boss monsters in the area as well, but generally their unique rewards weren't as attractive as the things the random mooks would drop- the aforementioned Hydra Corps Armor and Ancient Currency.

Hydra Corps Armor was job-specific equipment, basically acting as a second set of Artifact Armor. However, because of the way itemization was set up in FFXI, these pieces weren't necessarily upgrades from your first Artifact Armor set. Armor in FFXI was designed laterally (as opposed to vertical progression where stat numbers simply become bigger the higher level you get, some armor pieces had unique effects no other armor had) so it had a very "collect 'em all" quality to them, which is part of why I think the core players of XI have stuck with it as long as they have.

However, the thing Dynamis was probably most notable for was the ancient currency drops, which were used to obtain absurdly difficult-to-obtain weapons known as Relic Weapons. Aside from generally being very powerful, they all had unique skins that could wow any passerby.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/FFXI_Relic_Weapons_zps3c24vwrb.jpg)

As you probably already noted, many of these weapons are given the names associated with legendary weapons in the Final Fantasy series. However, instead of them being plopped in a chest at the end of an optional dungeon or being given to you for free a'la FFV, the developers of FFXI apparently intended these weapons to be legendary among the playerbase. A typical run of Dynamis yielded a couple hundred coins, and completing a single weapon requires approximately 18000 of these coins. The numbers alone don't tell the full story because it needs to be kept in mind that each of those Dynamis runs can only happen once every 3 days and were generally done by groups of 12 or more people. This meant that you would usually have linkshells "funding" a single person in the group to have a relic, and even if you managed to have a friendly enough group to not get into a virtual war over a pixel sword, it would still take something like a year to complete a single weapon (though generally the shield Aegis or the horn Gjallerhorn were selected by groups because those were the most beneficial to the group as a whole).

As a little bonus, anybody completing a relic weapon would receive a little cutscene involving the original wielder of the weapon (though it was pretty insubstantial). While technically that means this journal is not me trying to 100% the story for you, I think I'm okay with not spending hundreds of hours grinding out a virtual weapon to show a picture of a guy going "here's my super sword". =P

The last thing I want to note is that the story of Dynamis does contain relevant plot points to FFXI's story, but I honestly always found that amusing, because by the time these plot points were addressed, I can only assume less than 100 people on every server had ever beaten Dynamis Lord and therefore gotten all of the story. Dynamis Lord was an absurdly difficult fight when it first came out, generally consisting of a stunlock strategy involving a Red Mage using their Chainspell ability with a Dark Knight subjob (to get the Stun spell).
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Zeid Actually Helps For Once
Post by: Hathen on March 03, 2016, 01:53:18 PM
Rise of the Zilart Part 7: Divine Might

With her preparations complete, Rapifafa returns to the floating island of Tu’lia, where she is greeted by an aurora, an incredibly rare phenomenon in any part of the world.

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Rapifafa makes her way to the La’Loff Amphitheater within the island’s cermet walls.

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There, she meets up with her companions, Zeid and Aldo, and together they enter to face the Warriors of the Crystal.

Music: Fighters of the Crystal (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGFa-5Vq2X0)

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With the Ark Angels of Tu’lia defeated, the Dawnmaiden Yve’noile appears before Rapifafa once again, using the leftover shards to create an earring for her,  in the hopes it will assist her in stopping Eald’narche’s plan.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z7%2021_zpsdpnwzpkd.jpg)

The group finds that the way to the Celestial Nexus in the center of the island is still sealed, so they travel back to Norg to meet with Gilgamesh again.

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Gilgamesh believes that the way to the core will open when Eald’narche begins his attempt to open the Gate of the Gods, so it was best if the group returned to the sealed entrance and awaited the moment to come.

Rapifafa, Zeid and Aldo each travel back to the floating island after making their own preparations. Upon arriving, Rapifafa makes her way to the Shrine of Ru’Avitau in the middle of the island.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z7%2023.1_zpszh0keeyf.jpg)

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Music: Ve’Lugannon Palace (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMp6BAWrGOI)

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Rapifafa follows Lion’s descent into the core of Tu’lia, where the Zilartan Prince awaits them.

Gameplay Comments

I actually didn't plan on running into an aurora in Tu'lia. In the 10+ years I played the game on and off, I think I ran into that weather effect in Tu'lia like 3 or 4 times total. It just happened to be there when I got there, so screenshots ahoy.

Anyway, whenever anybody thinks of Rise of Zilart, it's probably this battle right here. To progress the story, you need to fight the Crystal Warriors, one by one. Unlike any other Mission in FFXI though, there was option for players to fight all five of them at once, as you saw above. The reward for this is one of five very powerful earrings, so of course most people opted to take the harder route. The other reward is that its way cooler to fight all of them at once anyway. Luckily for audiophiles, they got that cool tune for the fight regardless of which path they chose. It's a real popular song amongst XI fans, though personally even though I like it as well, I feel Mizuta goes on to outdo himself many times in the future.

Obviously Rapifafa had no trouble winning since she's like 40 levels higher than the original intended level, but originally this fight was very difficult, generally requiring a whole alliance (18) of players, or close to that. Probably not too big of a surprise given that each Ark Angel was meant as a boss for a 6-person party, so fighting all 5 at once with only 3 times the members meant you couldn't just stick to the same strategy.

All five of the Ark Angels are considered two jobs simultaneously, being able to use the SP abilities of the two jobs, plus a bunch of unique abilities. The Tarutaru is a Black Mage + Dark Knight, using powerful spells and the ability to petrify people with an area with his Scythe. Since he's also a massive wuss HP-wise, he was usually the first target for any group. The Mithra is a Beastmaster + Thief, having lots and lots of evasion and the ability to charm your party members, which can get ugly if you don't control it properly. The Hume is a Ninja + Warrior, hitting players hard and fast. The Galka is a Samurai + Dragoon, using Weapon Skills back-to-back and performing skillchains on players (yep, enemies can make skillchains too). The Elvaan, a Paladin + White Mage, was probably the most annoying, because aside from having the White Mage SP ability to completely heal everyone in range, she has access to a Weapon Skill called Spirits Within (cute reference). It's a Weapon Skill that's also available to players, but since it does damage based on your current HP, and enemies always have inflated HP values compared to players...well, do the math, heh.

The flexibility of having such a large group for the fight gave birth to all kinds of different strategies, but most famous was one where someone decided to get about 15 Black Mages to all simultaneously cast Thundaga III (at the time the strongest AoE spell in the game), resulting in a victory in about 5 seconds. Of course, actually finding that many Black Mages was a different issue altogether.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: We Took This Ending From Independence Day
Post by: Hathen on March 06, 2016, 09:27:13 AM
Rise of the Zilart Part 8: Awakening

Rapifafa makes her way towards the core of Tu’lia via the Shrine of Ru’Avitau.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%201_zps9s6hijps.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%202_zpsyvx9eqad.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%205_zps0rwytlz6.jpg)

Music: Eald’narche (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAOS8JmTfWY)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%206_zpsupie5ntt.gif)

Much like what happened at Delkfutt’s Tower, the rest of the group went ahead of Rapifafa, and again they underestimated their opponent.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%207_zpszzntoqhf.jpg)

Eald’narche had been waiting for the group to arrive, to act as witnesses to the beginning of a new era in Vana’diel. After he opens the Gate of the Gods, the world will forever be changed.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%208_zpsnf1kjvdo.jpg)

It was up to Rapifafa now, and she’s had about enough of Eald’narche’s narcissistic monologues.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%209_zpsqg1xnaqa.jpg)

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When Eald'narche touched the crystal many millennia ago, it gave him everlasting life, but also simultaneously scarred him.

Music: Belief (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptdRtai-DII)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%2020_zps9h016zfs.gif)

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Despite his powerful magical abilities, Eald'narche's falls to the sword like any other living creature can.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%2023_zps4ojnqh78.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%2024_zpscsaqyhbo.jpg)

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None of the group had any understanding of the machine which was beginning to awaken before them. They were to bear witness to the end of their civilization.

Music: End Theme (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QovtNQb710U)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%2032_zpsai5sclrw.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%2034_zpsdft3kif6.jpg~original)

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The battle was over, and the shard of the great crystal at the heart of Tu’lia seems have returned to rest. Rapifafa is still puzzled as to how exactly Lion was able to stop the gate from opening, but for the moment that felt like it mattered very little.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%2043_zpsaaq6ip4p.jpg)

With their journey over, the group say their goodbyes and go their separate ways. Aldo would likely be returning to his role as leader of the Tenshodo, and Zeid back to wondering the land.

As for Rapifafa, she decided she would take the hardest task ahead- bringing the news of Lion's fate to Gilgamesh.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%2044_zpsktqvmzf3.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%2045_zpsxrrtxaf4.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Z8%2048_zpskotfokcc.jpg)

Gameplay Comments

Eald'narche is actually a pretty disappointing boss, gameplay-wise. He's not too tough once you figure out that you're supposed to hit his plate armor thingies and not him, which you should probably gather from the fact that hitting him does 0 damage. People who go in a group might get caught off guard on his second form though, since even if you don't run up to him he'll eventually just teleport over to you, so sometimes you heard stories of parties sitting around resting up before they go up to him, only for him to appear out of nowhere, cast sleep on everyone and then pick off everyone one-by-one.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: We Took This Ending From Independence Day
Post by: Hathen on March 06, 2016, 09:32:52 AM
Rise of the Zilart Epilogue: A Whisper

Rapifafa returns to the island of Elshimo and travels back to the hidden city of Norg.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%201_zpsbiidf20m.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%202_zpshl205lfn.jpg)

Music: One Last Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OV3Wb1JxooE)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%203_zpslvtj3xu5.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%204_zpskxgrbdam.jpg)

After all that’s happened, Rapifafa wishes to go back home to rest for a while. She bids farewell to Gilgamesh and travels to Kazham to begin the airship trip home. Between flights, she stops in Jeuno to visit the Tenshodo to see if Aldo has returned.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%205_zpsi8wzed6s.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%206_zpsfrbvu5oz.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%207_zpseeginwlw.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%208_zpsmxjsveco.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%2011_zpsstm7tg8y.jpg)

If it was from anyone else perhaps it would simply be a way of coping, but Verena has demonstrated amazing abilities before- Rapifafa, too, chose to believe that perhaps Lion was still alive somewhere out there.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%2012_zpsxgyka0ff.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/ZE%2013_zpsgslkih8g.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Help Name the Airship Edition
Post by: Hathen on March 09, 2016, 09:33:14 PM
Guess the forum crash earlier this week kinda screwed up a couple of the posts. I'll go back and fix them later.

Good Deeds

Rapifafa went home to Windurst. Only a few in the world had known of the plot involving Zilart, and only those few knew of Lion's sacrifice. Aside from the news that the Archduke was afflicted by a sudden mysterious "illness", the world continued as it did before. A few days after returning, Rapifafa gets a request from the local Fisherman's Guild.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%201_zpscpb1serl.jpg)

The guild needs assistance settling a land dispute. Off the coast of Bibiki Bay by the Buburimu Peninsula was a place known as the Purgonorgo Isle. The islands in that bay belong to the Fisherman’s Guild, but recently a strange character has appeared there and insists that that island is his.

Rapifafa travels to the Bibiki Bay, where she takes the Manaclipper ferry towards the island that the Fisherman’s Guild pointed out to her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%202_zpshxf49gol.jpg)

The area is quite beautiful, and Rapifafa spends some time enjoying the scenery all the while looking for the strange man who has occupied the island.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%203_zps88pgyx53.jpg)

She eventually finds some strange markings on the ground- it’s a trap.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%204_zpsevzkubgs.jpg)

Rapifafa fends off the Mandragoras, and afterwards notices something she did not expect to see- an Orcish Warmachine.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%205_zpslovhoaay.jpg)

She prepares to give chase, until she notices that the warmachine left behind a piece of paper- a deed to the island. Given the way the warmachine was moving, Rapifafa concluded that whatever man had occupied the island was inside it- whoever he was, he was clearly paranoid about something.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%206_zpsaaourrrr.jpg)

Rapifafa takes the deed back to the Fisherman’s Guild, but Chipmy-Popmy isn’t too convinced. He notices that the deed is written using the Mithran style- as in, the homeland Mithran style, so it would probably be hard for anyone in Windurst to verify its authenticity, even if she was Mithra. However, Chipmy-Popmy has heard that a Sin Hunter from the Southern continent was currently visiting the Attohwa Chasm, so he gives Rapifafa directions to find this woman.

Rapifafa’s travels past the Maze of Shakhrami under the Tahrongi Canyon, and follows the directions Chipmy-Popmy gave her through the Attohwa Chasm. At the Boneyard Gully north of Attohwa, Rapifafa runs into who see is looking for.

Upon seeing Rapifafa, the woman begins babbling about things she cannot understand a word of.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%207_zpsqqdwel8e.jpg)

When the woman sees Rapifafa’s confused expression, she changes the subject to what Rapifafa is seeking her for. Upon handing over the deed, the Mithran Tracker concludes that the deed was written up by Mithran pirates not simply through the writing, but also the scent- the scent spoke eloquently of the deal that took place, and that secrets should be kept on both sides. The deed was authentic, and would take precedence in Mithran law. The strange man in the Orcish warmachine paid an incredibly large sum to acquire the land, so the Fisherman’s Guild were not the only ones who had something to lose in this dispute. The woman takes the deed for herself, saying that in order to properly address the grievance, the judgment of several Mithra would be required.

Rapifafa turns to take the news back to the Fisherman’s Guild, and she is stopped by the sudden appearance of a great beast.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%208_zpsahqkybla.jpg)

This was the first time Rapifafa had seen one of the Wyrms of legend, but she was not interested in staying around to see more of it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%209_zpsafxisaf1.jpg)

Upon taking the deed back to the Fisherman’s Guild, they’re a bit more hesitant to act hastily due to the involvement of Mithran Pirates. Aside from the danger involves, the dispute could open up all kinds of old wounds between Windurst and Kazham, so it would be best if they left the judgment to the Mithra of the Far Southern Continent for now.

Rapifafa thought it odd that a Mithran Tracker was running around the central lands again, but Rapifafa wasn't really interested in knowing right now- she was still thinking about Lion. To take her mind off her troubles, so she decides to pay a visit to Cid.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%2010_zpsmlwnclxy.jpg)

Rapifafa helps Cid on a number of tasks, bringing him lots of materials. Apparently, he was working on a large-scale project- a special airship of some kind. Jeuno has had a monopoly on airships for a long time now, and as always Cid wishes to bring Bastok to the forefront of technology.

After all the technical jargon Cid spits at Rapifafa and his assistant Raibaht, he finally says something Rapifafa can understand- he wishes for her to help name the airship, with a note that “C.I.D.” needed to be in the name. After Rapifafa makes a couple suggestions along the lines of “The Acc-C.I.D.-Ent”, “The C.I.D.enburg” and “C.I.D.’s Oversized Dentures”, Cid instead just handed Rapifafa a list of words she was allowed to use.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP0%2011_zpszqyoox33.jpg)

Cid allowed Rapifafa some time to think before making her decision.

Gameplay Comments

Might be a few weeks or so before I post the next entry, I'm going to handle the next part of the story a bit differently so I need to finish writing it up first. Naming the airship only changes a couple parts of the story's dialogue but I figured it'd be fun to have readers pick out that name. Unfortunately they didn't allow for name entry for whatever reason, instead giving this 3-part name thing.

Since I started doing it I guess I'll finish talking about the three jobs I haven't covered yet, all of which are the pet jobs.

For a while, Beastmaster was the job of choice for loners. Early years of XI required partying to complete almost anything meaningful, so there was something cool about seeing a Beastmaster running around in the wilderness fighting monsters just by himself with a monster at his side. Beastmaster has varied wildly in role over the course of the game, because even if the Beastmaster himself is limited in what they can do, their pets can do anything from tanking to healing and magic damage. But generally it was pretty consistent for Beastmasters to work either alone or only with other Beastmasters.

Dragoons can do their franchise signature of jump attacks, but in XI their most unique abilities are related to them being a weird hybrid pet job. Their Wyverns behave based on what subjob the Dragoon has, so for example a Dragoon subbing White Mage could get their Wyverns to do a healing breath. Despite being a very flexible job that was probably a lot stronger than people gave it credit for, for a long time Dragoons were the butt of jokes in the XI community. If you play FFXIV and heard the term "lolDRG" early in ARR's metagame, it was likely that originated from XI's community. For a long time, the Dragoon's SP ability was Call Wyvern, which severely limited what the job could do, because it meant if your Wyvern died, you'd have to wait up to 2 hours before being able to call it again. After a long while SE realized that was a terrible idea, put Call Wyvern as a 20-minute recast ability, and gave Dragoons a real SP ability. Dragoons have been a pretty good class for a long while now, but no matter how good they get, the "lolDRG" meme will last forever.

Summons in FFXI function more like they do in something like Final Fantasy X than they do in the older games. Instead of just being beefed up elemental damage spells, summons in XI act as pets, each with their own set of attacks, though generally speaking, the Summoner's SP Ability was what gave them access to the "signature" moves the summons are well-known for, such as Shiva's Diamond Dust or Leviathan's Tidal Wave. Funny thing is though, even though summons in XI act as pets, Summoners rarely kept them out for long periods of time, because having them out constantly drained MP. They ended up functioning a lot like they do in the older FF games anyway- The Summoner would call out a summon, have it do a special move, and then dismiss it while they waited for their timer to reset. In between calling out Avatars, Summoners were usually asked to set their subjob as White Mage so they could be a low-rent healer. These days though, Summoners generally find themselves in pet groups, so they'll have their summons out for longer periods of time.

Summoners were an odd job to play as because the majority of the summons were available to the job right from level 1, but in order to unlock them you had to go do a quest where you fight the summon in question, which required a party of approximately level 60 or higher. Because of this, Summoner was seen as a "prestige" class of sorts, since running around with only Carbuncle at your disposal was a really bad idea. It wouldn't be until several years later that SE would add a lower level version of the quest that made the job more accessible.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Help Name the Airship Edition
Post by: Artimicia on March 21, 2016, 08:02:17 PM
Hey! Just wanted to drop in and say I have really liked the FFXI I've played (never finished though), it was easier to get into because I actually did play Everquest and WoW and stuff.

Likewise, I did not read all of the Lets Play here but it's been fun to see the pictures and music links and stuff and reminisce. I think for FFXI (and even FF14 as well) there is a kind of "Oh I'm sure it's good" but many people haven't played them and such.

I did end up finishing FF14, well at least the ARR one, which all told was a pretty cool experience. Heavensward didn't look like it was the cup of tea I was drinking though so I went back to FF11, it's cool!

The learning curve is definitely high, but that's part of what makes them cool experiences. I also was playing a Red Mage by the way haha. =-)

Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Help Name the Airship Edition
Post by: Rucks on March 22, 2016, 10:40:27 AM
This is really rivaling Dice's FF IX run as best LP on the site.

you're a maniac Hathen.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Help Name the Airship Edition
Post by: Hathen on March 23, 2016, 07:52:47 AM
Thanks for the kind words as always. I've actually wanted to make an XI Journal for a long time since I've always felt it's something of an underappreciated entry in the series. I mean, it was actually a pretty successful MMO, but even lots of people who played the game didn't dig deep into the story and lore of Vana'Diel. Personally, I think Vana'Diel is the best setting Square(Enix) has ever put out (or at the very least, the most detailed)- even moreso than Ivalice.

Hopefully I'll have the next entry ready this weekend. I guess nobody wants to suggest anything for the airship name, so I guess I'll just surprise anybody reading.

you're a maniac Hathen.

If I actually manage to go through the entire story I'll make this the Thread Title. =P

Writing this Journal I've gained a new appreciation for the people who have written Journals around here. It's pretty time consuming.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: I Break the Record for Longest Post and Bahamut Yells at the Ocean
Post by: Hathen on April 04, 2016, 01:53:20 AM
Chains of Promathia: Intro

Long post ahoy. Lots of background about XI up to CoP ahead, if you’re interested in that sort of thing- I think it’s kind of an interesting story, but that’s me nerding out like usual.

I’m in a bit of an interesting position here, because Dincrest’s Journal for Chrono Cross means I have something of a lead-up into XI’s development, which started soon after Chrono Cross finished.

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FFXI’s development team consisted of star members of Square. Around 1997, Hironobu Sakaguchi, famed creator of the FF series, was in Hawaii establishing Square Pictures (we all know all that turned out) when he came across a strange little game called Everquest. Impressed by what he saw, he returned to Japan, and immediately called up several key members of Square, including Koichi Ishii (creator of the Mana series) and Hiromichi Tanaka (involved in way too many games to list).

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Ishii_zpsdeiavotj.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Tanaka_zpswhdkzjw0.jpg)

Ishii wasn’t too interested in the idea of an online FF game, because he was happy working on his Mana games and didn’t really want to go back to FF. Sakaguchi insisted, encouraging several team members to play EQ and experience the massively successful Western MMORPG- Ishii reflected many years later had Sakaguchi not been so enthusiastic about the idea, the game probably would’ve never been made. After Ishii and other team members played EQ, they too were impressed, Ishii thinking it was now possible to do many ideas he had once only imagined. Kenichi Ishii was chosen as the director for the game, while Hiromichi Tanaka took the role of Producer.

Development started towards the end of 1999. The game would be a risky venture of sorts, being planned to become profitable over a 5-year lifespan. The game would do things other MMOs had not, such as cross-play between consoles and PC and having servers shared between players of different languages (although the development costs being significantly cut by the latter decision can make one wonder about the motivation). With Chrono Cross’s development over, the team responsible for that game was assigned to work on the upcoming online FF game. This meant Mr. Masato Kato of Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross fame was to be the main writer for FFXI.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Kato_zpssdm9keyw.jpg)

Of course, writing for such a large-scale story meant Kato needed a team of writers, some of whom had worked with him on Chrono Cross. Ishii had already finished many of the basics of the world design, and had the director of Parasite Eve II, Kenichi Iwao, design the cities of the game- his work slowly spilled over into other aspects of the game, and Iwao would go on to become the man responsible for overseeing the game’s setting.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Iwao_zps5f1dyacg.jpg)

Masato Kato, however, was the one who made final decisions regarding much of the game’s writing (and would end up writing Rise of the Zilart’s story himself), and had about five different writers working under him. Three were chosen to work on the Three Nation storylines: San d’Oria by Yuusuke Kigoshi (Chrono Cross, Xenogears), Bastok by Nobuaki Koumoto (FFIX, Xenogears, Chocobo’s Dungeon 2), and Windurst by Yaeko Sato (Threads of Fate, Final Fantasy VIII, Vagrant Story). Another known writer was Yoshitsugu Saito (FFX, Chrono Cross, Xenogears), who wrote various sidequests and created cutscenes.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Kigoshi_zpsrydxr4ay.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Komoto_zpsxiodsgj4.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Sato_zpslnmods3n.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/Saito_zpsvmxmrblu.jpg)

All of the writers under Kato were basically unknowns at the time. The Windurst story was probably the most popular of the Three Nation stories though, and Yaeko Sato would come to be loved by some of the playerbase for her continued work- and that brings us to the second expansion of FFXI.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP%20Intro%201_zpsog2pcyor.jpg)

Music: Unity (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqlfxHDAfws)

Just as Rise of the Zilart was released, Square and Enix had their merger, and three major departures from the company occurred- Koichi Ishii, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and Masato Kato, all key in the creation of FFXI. The director position was open for XI’s second expansion, and the aforementioned Nobuaki Koumoto took up the mantle. More notably, Yaeko Sato was chosen to write the story for Chains of Promathia, while Yoshitsugu Saito created cutscenes like he had before. Kenichi Iwao was now overseeing the game’s setting. (Yuusuke Kigoshi hasn’t been heard from in any interviews) And so the stage was set for a team of relative unknowns to continue the work of the all-star team which created FFXI.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP%20Intro%202_zpsqjw3kplz.jpg)

This might sound crazy since this journal is already longer than pretty much every other one on this board, but oh well- this is where FFXI’s story really begins. If you ever talk to someone who played FFXI and ask them what the best part of the game was, the answer given will probably be either Chains of Promathia or Treasures of Aht Urhgan, generally with more these days answering with the former. The two are favored for different reasons, and in the case of Chains of Promathia, it’s because of the story.

It’s actually a bit funny that’s the case, because when CoP first came out, it really wasn’t received that way. For a while the response to CoP was rather lukewarm- some players were disappointed by how little the expansion seemed to add in terms of game content, but that was because many of them missed out on the real meat of what the expansion was about. Review sites similarly gave it overall positive ratings, but very few of them mentioned the story. Even the ones that did- such as RPGFan’s review (http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/ffxicop/index.html), did not seem to have much good to say about it.

Part of it is because of how MMOs were designed at this time- unlike how, say, XIV’s had what could be considered a complete plot released at launch, the main story of older MMOs were released over time. The complete story for an expansion in an MMO would generally not be completed until 1-2 years after launch, and with the pressure of making your reviews be timely, it probably isn’t a surprise that many review sites don’t give particularly insightful reviews about FFXI or other MMOs like it. It’s also why some of RPGFan’s later reviews for FFXI (by local fellow XI nut Patrick Gann/Ramza) would not be released until long after launch day. I should note though, that in the case of CoP this probably isn’t as big an issue, because I have not found a single review of CoP from the time that actually managed to progress to the end point of the missions it had at launch (Chapter 6, Mission 3), and that is probably because of the second reason.

The second reason is a rather controversial one amongst players, but a certainly another reason CoP is memorable to many- it was ball-bustingly difficult to complete. From the first chapter of the story, many players were getting their asses handed to them by the dangerous dungeons and powerful bosses that stood in the way of completing the story of CoP. If you’ve ever played something like Final Fantasy III on the NDS and had that awful feeling of dying at a boss after going through a long dungeon with no save point at the end, multiply that by about 5 times for when that happens in FFXI, because to complete dungeons in FFXI you also needed to spend time organizing a party of different players with the right jobs instead of just waltzing in whenever you felt like it.

The difficulty was magnified by two words that encompass a lot of CoP’s difficulty- level cap. Almost every important mission in CoP would temporary limit your character’s level when you entered, which sounds like a good compromise to allow newer players to access the story while not letting high level players just steamroll everything and declare it too easy. It might not be such a big deal if it weren’t for the fact that it’d mean you’d have to carry around a set of level 40 armor just so you can tackle a level 40 mission, a different set for a level 50 mission, etc. In game where you are given 30 inventory spaces to start off, it wasn’t really feasible to constantly carry around said level cap gear for a long period of time while you were off doing the other MMO stuff, so getting ready to do CoP Missions was something you needed to plan out carefully. In many cases, this meant forming a “static group” that would schedule times to progress in the story together.

Of course, both these things don’t exist anymore in the modern FFXI- the level caps have long since been removed from CoP’s missions and the complete story has been out for even longer. While purists like to argue that the lack of struggle in the actual game part of the game takes a great deal from the overall experience, I’d make the point that in some ways it also helps the way any new players now experience the story, because the relationships and plot details in CoP are rather complex, and back when it took so long for someone to get through the missions, some would end up forgetting a great deal of these plot details even as they progressed. Adding to this is the way Chains of Promathia’s story is presented- the story of past events is given to players in a non-linear fashion, with much of it being given in a he-said-she-said fashion and with some character straight up giving you false information. (Sounds a bit like another Square game…)

Of course, either way you don’t have to worry about it while reading this. It’s actually a bit of a shame so many people missed out on CoP’s story due to the MMO stuff getting in the way, because in my opinion, CoP’s story is right up there alongside some of the best Final Fantasy has to offer, MMO or not.

I want to mention right now that I hadn’t written anything remotely creative for a long time before starting this journal, so at times I’ve been concerned whether or not my writing style is anemic.  I mention it because I’m sure some of you might be wondering how the last paragraph could be the case, given all the posts before this one. Whatever my writing deficiencies are, it probably isn’t helped by the fact that before CoP, much of FFXI’s story had a rather “dry” feeling to it and has a lot of well-worn RPG clichés- elves, knights, magic gods, lost ancient race etc. While how interesting the latter varies with how much of a fantasy nerd you are, the former can be somewhat explained by the man who was the overall handler of the Three Nation and the Rise of the Zilart story.

I’ve always seen Masato Kato as someone who enjoys writing expansive stories with generally pretty heavy themes to them. Chrono Cross is a perfect example, which for whatever faults you might have with it, is certainly ambitious with its story that questions the very meaning of life. I’ve also always felt that he’s never been a particularly good writer of characters (I’m sure that statement steps on some toes since Trigger is so beloved). Given his strengths, he might seem like the perfect person to write an MMO story. His strengths and weaknesses are certainly on display in RoZ.

CoP is something of a conclusion to the story that had been building up for about two years before. Essentially, a lot of the story in the posts I’ve made before this one set the stage for this expansion. CoP was released in September of 2004, less than a year after the stateside release of FFXI, but it had already been about a year and a half since the release of Rise of the Zilart in Japan.

It’s known that before Masato Kato left, he had brainstormed many different ideas with the team on how to continue the story. With Sato getting the chance to determine how the story played out, she decided to throw away many of those ideas and pieced together her own- though personally I see some remnants of the some of the discarded ideas players have been told about. At any rate, I feel with CoP Sato managed to out-Kato Kato in some ways.

One of the major themes of CoP is rather obvious, since it’s right there in the title- “Chains”. I’ll try not to explain too much since it would make more sense to leave it to you to figure out how the theme is relevant yourself as I go through the story. I’ll just note that it’s a great localization for the title and probably a more “accurate” title than the Japanese one, which uses the word “Curse” instead of “Chain”.

Another theme is one that is unfortunately lost in translation. The story still has this theme, but it was made clearer in the Japanese version of the game via the names of the missions you clear to finish the story. By taking the first kana of each mission name, a poem very familiar to many Japanese appears.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP%20Intro%203_zps8jdvmwkv.jpg~original)

This is known as Iroha’s Poem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iroha), an interesting piece for numerous reasons, but since this isn’t a Japanese culture class, I’ll try to give a tl;dr version of what the poem represents. Basically, the poem is describing the Buddhist idea of Impermanence, or in more plain terms, “Nothing lasts forever”. Certainly sounds like a Kato-esque theme. (it also has a bit of a funny meta-aspect to it when you consider the kind of game FFXI is, but I’m pretty sure that’s intentional).

Aside from these themes being present throughout CoP, it also patched up one of the greatest weaknesses of FFXI’s story by introducing a cast of colorful characters. Aside from Shantotto (who was of course, also created by Yaeko Sato, being the Windurst writer and all), CoP’s characters are easily the most popular of the FFXI cast.

Also the quality of Mizuta’s music continues its upward trend in CoP. That helps.

With this long, long introduction done, I hope you enjoy going through CoP with me as much as I enjoyed playing it again and writing this up.

By the way, CoP entries probably are probably not going to be terribly regular in when I post them, and that’s because…well, you’ll see.

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Title: Re: FFXI Journal: I Break the Record for Longest Post and Bahamut Yells at the Ocean
Post by: Hathen on April 04, 2016, 01:58:12 AM
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い: In the Baptism of Life

Larger things were happening near Jeuno. Wolfgang, Captain of the Jeunoan Ducal Guard, had forbidden any adventurers from entering the Delkfutt’s Tower. Perhaps it was because of the recent events, but the amount of manpower moving towards the tower indicated something else was going on.

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The Crystal Line has been disrupted- for some reason, the energy flow from the northern line has reversed. One might suspect that someone is creating trouble at whichever crag that line corresponds to, before realizing how that should be impossible- there is nothing but the waters of the Sea of Shu’Meyo to the north of Qufim Island.

Unbeknownst to the people of Vana’Diel, something has awoken in the in that sea.

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Music: Ruler of the Skies (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs7gXlwuPTc)

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Bahamut later reflected that his entrance would’ve been way cooler had someone actually been there to see it.

Meanwhile, Delkfutt's Tower was still in lockdown, the entrances blocked by Ducal Guards. Wolfgang’s own crew is slightly baffled by the amount of manpower called upon for what seems to be a simple assignment, but Wolfgang quickly reminds his soldiers of their duty.

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At least you’re not Naji.

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All the Jeunoan scientists are presumed dead. They’re unable to find much in their search aside from a young boy, who they quickly send to the Jeunoan infirmary.

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Wolfgang makes frequent checks on the boy at the Jeunoan infirmary, but it’s doubtful it’s out of any concern for his well-being. The doctor Monberaux is somewhat puzzled by his condition as well, though he’s not willing to violate the patient’s confidentiality even for the Captain of the Guard. The two bicker a little bit and it’s evident they have some kind of history together. Finally, Wolfgang decides that if the boy is in no immediate danger, he will be moved to the Palace where he can be interrogated.

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Not even married and he’s already twisting all your words, Monberaux. Better quit ahead of time.

When Wolfgang returns to the Palace to begin preparations for the boy’s transport, Rapifafa arrives in Jeuno, and curious of all the commotion, decides to take a peek into the infirmary.

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She engages in some small talk with Monberaux until the Ducal Guards come knocking on the door, and he excuses himself from the room to deal with them. Rapifafa doubts there is much else to see here, so she turns to leave herself.

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When Rapifafa regains consciousness, she finds the boy is gone and the amulet is in her hands.

Outside, the Jeunoan scientist Nag’molada demands Monberaux to hand over the boy, and soon they are ready to force their way into the infirmary.

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Inconceivable, there aren’t any spells in Vana’Diel that allow you to turn invisible!

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With the Ducal Guard and the Jeunoan Scientists out of his hair, Monberaux notices that Rapifafa has the boy’s amulet. Concerned for his patient, he appeals to Rapifafa's curiosity, suggesting that to find out what’s actually going on, she should start by gathering information in the Ru’Lude Gardens. Rapifafa felt something was drawing her towards this investigation, and agrees to help Monberaux.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: I Break the Record for Longest Post and Bahamut Yells at the Ocean
Post by: Hathen on April 04, 2016, 02:09:59 AM
ろ: ROad Below the Arks

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Rapifafa eavesdrops on a conversation between two Ducal Guards, finding out that recently, some of the telepoint crystals have shattered.

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One of the younger Ducal Guards also willingly shares with Rapifafa that adventurers have recently been seen disappearing into strange whirlpools in the Valkurm Dunes and Qufim Island. The ducal scientists believe that these two events may be linked, so a group of Ducal Guards will be sent to investigate any day now.

Rapifafa figures she better investigate the telepoints now, as it’s likely she won’t be able to once the Ducal Guards begin to move. She decides to visit the first telepoint she ever saw, in the Tahrongi Canyon near Windurst.

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Indeed, Rapifafa arrives to find that one of the telepoint crystals has shattered into pieces.

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The shattered telepoint transports Rapifafa to an odd hallway, where a strange device scans her.

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The door opens, as if beckoning for her.

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Rapifafa wonders if she should’ve just let the Zilart brothers destroy the world.

Rapifafa approaches the door, but instead of walking through, she is drawn in.

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Music: Faded Memories (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd7NmxGHSic)

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Rapifafa awakens to find herself in a strange, nightmarish realm. Looking out into the darkness of the strange place she found herself in, Rapifafa is filled with a feeling of what she can only describe as an emptiness.

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As Rapifafa ventures deeper into the area, she is confronted by creatures unlike any she has ever seen, and none of them are friendly.

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She eventually reaches a dead end, containing nothing but a strange contract with a shining orb within.

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Destroying the orb causes a portal to appear on the ground, and Rapifafa finds herself transported to another part of the strange realm.

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Rapifafa wanders through the area, finding more orbs like the one she saw, but not all of them yield teleporters when defeated. It is a long time before she finally reaches what appears to be the central “spire” of the area.

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Inside the spire, the way forward is blocked by a strange web-like door.

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As soon as she approaches it, however, it disappears.

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Rapifafa finds herself face-to-face with another one of the strange creatures she saw before, but this one was much larger.

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Upon defeating the creature, another portal appears before Rapifafa, which takes her to the heart of the crag- a heart of Vana'diel itself.

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Rapifafa wasn’t here alone- Nag’molada has already arrived, and he doesn’t seem very pleased at Rapifafa’s intrusion.

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She is saved by the mysterious boy, but the area is soon engulfed in a strange darkness. As Rapifafa loses consciousness, she sees another strange vision, this time containing a familiar face.

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Rapifafa awakens to find herself outside the Crag of Mea. She felt something was different, however- her contact with the crystal left her with a strange feeling in her heart.

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Title: Re: FFXI Journal: I Break the Record for Longest Post and Bahamut Yells at the Ocean
Post by: Hathen on April 04, 2016, 02:25:37 AM
は: HAil the Crystal Which Births Us

Rapifafa has a feeling she needs to travel to another crag to find answers to her questions, so she heads for the Konschtat Highlands near Bastok. There, she finds another shattered crystal just like the one she found in Tahrongi Canyon.

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Before she is able to enter, she is stopped by the Mythril Musketeers. Cid has come along as well, and apparently he too is investigating some of the strange goings-on that have occured recently. The Ducal Guard also make an appearance, asking everyone to back off and allow them to look into the matter.

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Unfortunately, Cid has still been unable to perfect his tinfoil hat design.

Before they can finish their argument, Rapifafa is drawn into the shattered telepoint.

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Once again Rapifafa finds herself in the realm of emptiness, and she has little choice other than to move forward and continue her investigation.

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As she traverses the realm within the Dem teleport crystal, she finds differences between this one and the one she saw at the Mea teleport crystal. Some of the creatures were different, and the realm itself seemed to take on features of the land that surrounded it, in this case manifesting as windmills seen throughout the Konschtat Highlands.

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The spire at the center is much the same, however.

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Much like at the last spire, Rapifafa is thrust into a battle with one of the creatures here.

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With the creature defeated, Rapifafa is transported to the Dem Mothercrystal.

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As Rapifafa rushes to help the boy off the ground, she is assaulted by another vision.

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Once again Rapifafa awoke to find herself outside, with another strange feeling in her heart which encouraged her to continue her investigation.

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Rapifafa next travelled to the La Thiene Plateau near San d’Oria, where the teleport crag of Holla awaited.

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Nag’molada was already here waiting, having made the sensible induction that Rapifafa would travel to the third crag after having visited the first two.

With a wave of Nag’molada’s hand, Rapifafa is brought to her knees, and she is helpless as he gives his next order.

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For all of Rapifafa's experience as an adventurer, she is still unable to fend off Nag'molada patented bitch slapping technique.

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Wolfgang hesitates, believing more evidence is needed instead of haphazardly executing people. However, Nag’molada reminds Wolfgang of the importance of the Mothercrystal- they are the source of all life on the world, and to protect the world, only the Jeunoan scientists are allowed to know this secret. Where Rapifafa went, the boy was sure to follow, and that was proof enough that they were working together.

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As Nag’molada speaks to the boy, he reveals a seemingly extensive knowledge of Vana’Diel’s forgotten past.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20110_zpsf3xczhsy.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20111_zpsyadgijym.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20112_zpstrr3opyz.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20113_zps8oi5okj5.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20114_zpsvdgan4ik.gif)

Once again, Rapifafa is drawn into the realm of Emptiness.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20116_zpshnie2hqr.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20117_zpsxr2wo7ce.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20118_zpszloqosol.jpg)

Like before, this realm was similar, yet different than the ones that had come before.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20119_zpsmtybimof.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20120_zpsl57vk3iw.jpg)

Fear grips Rapifafa as she travels through the Emptiness, passing by nameless tombstones and lifeless trees.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20121_zps2lpudyta.jpg)
At least t’s still fancier than that one restaurant that bard took me to.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20122_zpso44jrxlm.jpg)

And much like the last crag, Rapifafa’s journey through the darkness ends at a spire.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20123_zpsgzva9zq1.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20124_zpss0p9gooa.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20125_zps8di5sy8x.jpg)

With the creature guarding the spire defeated, Rapifafa enters the presence of the Holla Mothercrystal. The strange boy is already there, spreading the strange darkness like he had before. Nag’molada follows closely behind.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20126_zps53iosimq.jpg)

Before she is able to take action, Emptiness engulfs the area, and Rapifafa has another vision.

Music: Revenant Maiden (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUpua3MSgfA)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20127_zps16bonkyq.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20128_zpsd0zumrul.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20129_zpszvdcn42d.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20130_zpsgx6sk9ko.jpg)

Rapifafa feels herself being swept into some strange current. As she loses consciousness, she feels the light of the crystal entering her and giving her strength.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/COP1%20131_zpsolju25oh.jpg)

Comments

One of the things you might have already noticed is that the storytelling style has changed in Chains of Promathia. Before this, just about every cutscene in the game was from the perspective of your character. Starting with CoP, the FFXI team started doing a more “traditional” approach to storytelling, and many things that are happening are made known to you the player, but are unknown to your character. This arguably makes the game less immersive (Something former Director Koichi Ishii held as incredibly important), but does free up their ability to tell the story more effectively.

This first set of Missions for CoP introduced the players to the level of challenege that was to come. Capped at level 30, the Promyvion areas were incredibly dangerous to traverse, and since maps of the area were not easy to obtain (and even if you have them, they're actually not that useful (https://strangers001.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/201106041357.jpg)), players had to slowly find their way around the areas. While the boss battles in CoP were mostly limited to 6-man parties, many early groups decided to form large alliances to make their way through the Promyvion areas before splitting the group to confront the bosses.

Promyvion also introduces to the numerous unique-looking area designs that came with CoP. Personally, I don't really agree with RPGFan's review on the Promyvion areas- I can see why someone might think they're bland, but to me the Promyvion areas are some of the most atmospheric in the whole game. Mizuta's music for the areas really helps with that.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: You're So Mean, You're So Terrible, You're So Ugly
Post by: Hathen on April 24, 2016, 08:40:15 AM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/1_zpsgzizhit0.jpg)

に: NIlling Invitation Westward

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/2_zpsqb88vu3p.jpg)

Music: A New Horizon (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De2yLOOs4pE)

Nag’molada awakens to find himself in an unfamiliar land. Looking around he guesses that he is somewhere in the Western part of the continent, but before he can begin his search for more information, he spots something strange in the sky.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3_zpslr1lbwep.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3_zpssntpebeo.jpg)

Elsewhere, a group of Tarutaru youths spot the strange phenomenon as well.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/4_zpsdxnh4tuz.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5.1_zpslaujwmwh.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/5.2_zpsapu49yqn.jpg)

Though their chase is cut short rather quickly.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/6_zps2oh9lujt.jpg)

They decide together that they need to go get some help, but not before rummaging through Rapifafa’s pockets.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/7_zpsynoleqwn.jpg)

Rapifafa awakens several minutes later, finding that the amulet she was given had been stolen. With all other directions blocked by cliffs, Rapifafa has no choice but to travel west through the area, in pursuit of the children. She induced from the Orc and Gigas in the area that she was probably somewhere near San d’Oria, but not too far north since the area was not snowed in.

Rapifafa had a strange feeling about the area- she could not recall in her travels hearing about other adventurers reaching a place like this one, yet she could not help but feel as though there was something familiar about it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/8_zpsjhmv3kjm.jpg)

Rapifafa soon reaches the western end of the meadows, where she finds a pathway leading underground.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/9_zpspunriev6.jpg)
How rude.

Rapifafa is not pleased to see Nag’molada, but he points out the reality of the situation- they were both in an unfamiliar land and it was best they set aside their differences if they wanted to find out what was going on.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/10_zpsueasubb9.jpg)
Also, we’re surrounded. That too.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/11_zpsfy9tvplm.jpg)

One of the guards approaches them, wishing to know why they have come- behind him trailed the three Tarutaru who stole the amulet from Rapifafa. Rapifafa informs the guard of the children’s crime and the guard quickly turns to give one of the children a good slap upside the head- local troublemakers, apparently. Still, the children have a different story to tell.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/12_zpsb5cqrqiv.jpg)

Justinius decides it would be best to wait for this Prishe to return before returning the amulet to Rapifafa, and offers her the chance to rest inside. However, he reminds Rapifafa that outsiders are not welcome here, and as soon as the issue is resolved, she will be asked to leave.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: You're So Mean, You're So Terrible, You're So Ugly
Post by: Hathen on April 24, 2016, 08:42:50 AM
ほ: HOmeland Forgotten

Rapifafa travels through the safehold, finding many low-spirited inhabitants within, and many familiar symbols.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/13_zpsvghokg1x.jpg)

Rapifafa believes she will be able to gain information quickly by finding their leader, so she heads to a room in the upper level, where she finds an elderly Elvaan man.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/14_zpsynbjrfxs.jpg)

There, her suspicions are confirmed- this ruined safehold is what is left of the once-great city destroyed during the Crystal War- The Tavnazian Marquisate.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/15_zpsndurs76q.jpg)

Music: The Lost City (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0FoFMjyrFk)

For a long time, Tavnazia was known as the “Pearl of Zafmlug”- a center of trade where dreams of wealth of success could become true- that all ended 20 years ago when the beastmen hordes descended on Tavnazia. As the last survivors of the city entered the cathedral, they awaited their deaths at the hands of the Orcs.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/16_zpsq9psmcue.jpg)

However, instead of the Orcs, the cardinal, Mirdaurion C. Giloumet appeared before the survivors, tending to the wounded and informing the survivors of a way to escape via the lower parts of the cathedral. The boats in the subterranean harbor beneath Tavnazia, however, had already departed, leaving them for dead. A strange explosion severed any way of reaching Quon by land, and the survivors of Tavnazia were trapped.

Much like their San d’Orian cousins, the Tavnazians were largely Elvaan. Without the power of their faith, it is unlikely they would have survived these past 20 years.

Despachiaire welcomes Rapifafa to Tavnazia, believing that perhaps the appearance of outsiders in their land after such a long time may be a sign of better times to come. Rapifafa decides to spend some time speaking with the people of the town to understand their situation.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/17_zpsqeqrc8py.jpg)

The city is rather depressing. It is filled with broken soldiers and their caretakers, parents who have lost their children to Orc remnant forces, and youths who have seen nothing their whole lives but the fading remnants of a once-great nation.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/18_zpse1pdyig6.jpg)

Yet as Despachiaire described, the power of the Tavnazian faith was undeniable. Despite all their hardships, the people here continue to eke out an existence. As probably would be expected, the youth in Tavnazia give off an air of frustration over how restrictive life here is. Some, like those three Tarutaru children, gather their courage to venture out on their own against the advice of the elders. Rapifafa also hears rumors of Despachiaire’s granddaughter, who is apparently blessed with an amazing singing voice, and another mysterious youth referred to only as “The Abhorrent One”.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/19_zpsbkcpqvqw.jpg)

It’s a lot of information to take in, and as Rapifafa travels to the bottom floor of the Tavnazian Safehold, she spots what she can only assume is the entrance to the aquaducts through which the Tavnazian survivors made their escape two decades ago.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/20_zpscbxvelqj.jpg)

Before they can go any further, the three Tarutaru children arrive to annoy Rapifafa again.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/21_zps6xlam8y6.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/22_zpssnvvfdrx.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/23_zpsrhtoyuzo.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/25_zpsqhanmwrt.gif)

Thankfully Justinius arrives to tell the children to stop bothering their guests, but he also tells Rapifafa and Nag’moloada to stay away from the Phomiuna Aqueducts- it was once a peaceful place, but it was now infested with monsters.  There are even rumors of a Minotaur in the aquaducts, but they can’t make any decisions on what to do until their leader, Prishe, returns.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/26_zpsmkjgoxoj.jpg)

Nag’molada offers Rapifafa as a solution to their problems, and while Rapifafa’s not too keen on doing what Nag’molada says, she does agree these people are in need of help. Before approving of the mission, Justinius offers only one warning- there will be no rescue parties if she does not return.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: You're So Mean, You're So Terrible, You're So Ugly
Post by: Hathen on April 24, 2016, 08:47:49 AM
へ: HEed a Distant Belief

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/27_zpsqf9j4oin.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/28_zps0no4kpao.jpg)

The Phomiuna Aqueducts is a maze of ladders and locked doors. If Rapifafa had her Thief Tools with her, she could simply pick the locks on the doors, but no such luck this time, so she had to find any keys found off the wandering spirits of the Tavnazians who did not make the escape.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/29_zps8f9bnsvn.jpg)

After hours of wandering through the aquaducts, Rapifafa is spotted by one of the monsters in the area, which proceeds to draw her in using some strange magical force- it was the rumored Minotaur that Justinius had described.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/30_zpsczgzi9al.jpg)

The Minotaur is a fearsome foe- Rapifafa was faced with the difficult task of fighting the creature while not looking directly at its eyes. She had heard that if one were to gaze into a Taurus’s eyes, death would only be a few seconds away.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/31_zpssnpv2fsy.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/32_zpssdboo2iw.jpg)

With the Minotaur defeated, the Tavnazians would be safe from attack- for now. Since she was down here, Rapifafa figures it's probably best to investigate the area further before returning to the Safehold. As she ventures deeper in, she runs into Nag’molada.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/33_zpsypztbndy.jpg)
Nag’molada ignores the inquiry asking if he had just been scratching himself for the last few hours.

Nag’molada had been busy- he even gave Rapifafa a hand with the Minotaur by weakening it with a spell before she had reached it (or so he says). Together, Rapifafa and Nag’molada venture into one of the few intact rooms of the cathedral above the aquaducts, where they find a strange box.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/34_zpsg9n3qnfb.jpg)
Nothing ominous about that.

Nag’molada seems to recognize the strange box- some kind of artifact that belonged to the church. Nag’molada thinks out loud for a moment before noticing Rapifafa again, and declares that it was about time they went back to the Safehold.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/35_zpsl5vijcv7.jpg)

Rapifafa and Nag’molada report the good news of the Minotaur’s death to Justinius.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/36_zpsmm2wtxq2.jpg)

Justinius is delighted at the news, and also notes how they chose the perfect time to come back- he had just received word that their leader has returned.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/37_zpsmsouw6mw.jpg)

The de facto leader of the Tavnazian survivors is not at all what Rapifafa imagined her to be.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/38_zpsjvrusjpc.jpg)

She’s back from investigating some strange happenings at Cape Riverne to the west- lots strange critters are gathering around the area, it seems. The citizens are concerned if it has anything to do with that strange trail left by whatever passed by recently, and ask if Prishe has any idea what it is.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/39_zpsed0tnez4.jpg)
I don’t think that’s something you’re supposed to just state casually.

Prishe plans on taking another trip out to Cape Riverne soon, but before the discussion can get very far, Justinius gets Prishe’s attention so formal introductions can be made.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/40_zpss293yq4z.gif)

The Chebukki siblings interrupt the conversation, needing to get their word in and not caring for the immediately obvious.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/42_zpsttbbjafi.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/43_zpspy8ezfll.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/43_zpshyo2yryy.jpg)

Nevertheless, Prishe is curious why Rapifafa would have an amulet so similar to hers. There wasn’t much room for conversation in the hustle and bustle of the street though, so Prishe invites Rapifafa to come to her room later.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/44_zpsm7tdt8o1.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/44_zps2safsdt8.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: You're So Mean, You're So Terrible, You're So Ugly
Post by: Hathen on April 24, 2016, 08:55:21 AM
と: TO An Eternal Melody

After the commotion dies down, Rapifafa goes to visit Prishe as promised. For an Elvaan girl who couldn’t be past her teens, Prishe has quite a mouth on her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/45_zpswrxotjv9.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/46_zpsbmvekp54.jpg)

It seems that Prishe asked Rapifafa to come mostly because she was curious where Rapifafa had found the amulet.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/47_zpsht8xfhx2.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/48_zpsricw1tcs.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/49_zpsrhaq3fkf.jpg)

Before Rapifafa can answer, Despachiaire enters the room, looking concerned.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/50_zps0djadtav.jpg)

Despachiaire had heard that Prishe spotted a dragon of some kind in Cape Riverne, and he has his suspicions that it may the dragon found on a “painting of Al’Taieu”. It didn’t have much meaning to Rapifafa, but Prishe seemed alarmed by the theory- apparently the Cardinal Mildaurion once told them a story behind said painting, and the dragon depicted within was one known as Bahamut.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/51_zpsidxnayki.jpg)

With no time to waste, Prishe “asks” Rapifafa to help her find someone named Ulmia.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/52_zps6yluq6dl.jpg)

After asking around town, Rapifafa hears a rumor that Ulmia enjoys traveling out west to the Miseareaux Coast. As she searches the area, she comes across a girl singing a beautiful song. It contained lyrics which Rapifafa had heard numerous times before in her life, though not in the form of a song like this.

Music: First Ode: Nocturne of the Gods (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awESZa3yTnc)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/53_zpsyyz6i2xp.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/54_zpszujoh28u.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/55_zps1z07e84t.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/56.1_zpsykqgauvh.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/56.2_zpsttbwsmhm.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/57_zpslmg93cqp.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/58_zpshs5pgdg0.jpg)

Rapifafa is curious about the song- she had heard the words many times before, but she had never heard where it was actually from. Ulmia explains that the song is known as the “Lay of the Immortals”, a song passed down by the Tavnazian Cathedral for many generations. No matter what hardships their people have faced, this song had helped guide them through it.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/59_zps1athhtun.jpg)

Nag’molada seems strangely familiar with the song, and even calls it by a different name.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/60_zpsexa4baij.jpg)

Music: Second Ode: Distant Promises (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcE64c2Cl6U)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/61_zpsmqhsb9ax.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/62_zpstyt8l5ef.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/63_zpsilyfqwyn.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/64_zpshpo5snws.jpg)

Nag’molada claims that this is more than just a mere song. It was a recording of the memories of the crystal that created Vana'diel, and was thus an immutable truth.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/65_zpsoizhwpuk.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/66_zpsdlalzrfz.jpg)
Glass houses, Nag’molada.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/67_zpsqzo5ttuj.jpg)

Rapifafa remembers that Prishe had asked her to find Ulmia, so together they decide to return to the Safehold.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/68_zpsilyvwwac.jpg)
She’s actually referring to the danger of traveling with her and not the monsters.

Back at the Safehold, Prishe begins organizing the group bound for Cape Riverne- apparently there have been more strange trails in the sky passing through much like the one Nag’molada saw when he first arrived. While at first Rapifafa didn’t quite understand why there was such a large commotion, listening to Ulmia voice her concerns made her understand- the Tavnazian citizens seem to think it’s the end times. Whispers of the Gates of Paradise opening were circulating. Whatever this Bahamut was, apparently it was closely tied to the Tavnazian faith.

Prishe has little luck finding volunteers for the trip, but she soon realizes that out of all the people that should be volunteering, the three that she has every reason to expect to show up have not yet.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/69_zpslua9aiap.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: You're So Mean, You're So Terrible, You're So Ugly
Post by: Hathen on April 24, 2016, 09:34:20 AM
ち: CHIliads-Old Vow

Rapifafa follows Prishe and Ulmia back to the Misareaux Coast.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/70_zps4obocdpp.jpg)

On the western coast was the Cape Riverne, once a peaceful meadow containing a quiet fishing village. On this trip, however, the group is confronted with an unexpected sight.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/71_zpsyqqf00o5.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/72_zpspug97ull.jpg)
Note to Self: Don’t approach strange rifts in reality near blown-up peninsulas.

As soon as the group is drawn into the shattered cape, Prishe finds exactly who she has been looking for.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/73_zpshlodi1oc.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/74_zpsgro6k9by.jpg)

Prishe is threatening them for their own good, apparently- the last time the Chebukkis went out alone, it took over a month for their wounds to heal- and that was them just venturing right outside the safehold. The Chebukkis aren't having any of that, though, and make sure to get the last word in before they run off.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/75_zpsguv63nkq.jpg)
Look on the bright side Prishe- they didn't call you old.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/76_zpsai8pcgnn.jpg)

Cape Riverne is a difficult place to travel through- it was now made up of several disconnected floating islands, and to travel around the group needed to jump through portals like the one they used to enter.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/77_zpsj8oikfmy.jpg)

Eventually Rapifafa arrived at a portal to one of the largest islands in the area- she could feel a powerful force emanating from within.

Somehow, Rapifafa was separated from Ulmia and Prishe as they entered they entered the portal, and they were now on different levels of the same area.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/80_zpseffmglnm.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/81_zps6jqdl8ns.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/82_zpstzjw7gqu.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/83_zpsldxiiq4j.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/84_zpsjkjkekge.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/85_zps6p8o0xuz.gif)

Music: Ruler of the Skies (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rs7gXlwuPTc)

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Music: Onslaught (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3c4tV7LWN8) (Personal favorite of mine as far as battle tracks go)

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Rapifafa, too, is attacked by several cloaked figures- they look familiar to her somehow.

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Prishe is able take care of business on her end quickly.

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Once again, Rapifafa felt herself being swept up into some unseen current, assaulted by several visions.

Music: Revenant Maiden (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUpua3MSgfA)

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Comments

Been busy the last couple weeks, but here’s Chapter 2, introducing the two most central characters of Promathia’s story, Prishe and Ulmia. You might have already met the former in some Final Fantasy spinoffs like Dissidia, since she’s second only to Shantotto in terms of popularity, so she’s sometimes used as a “representative” of FFXI.

Prishe is considered the “main character” of Chains of Promathia (barring the player character obviously), and she might seem somewhat reminiscent of characters like Kid from Chrono Cross or Mint from Threads of Fate- both games Yaeko Sato worked on. She’s expressed a preference for brash/foul-mouthed heroines like that, so perhaps it’s no surprise one takes center stage here. Apparently, Prishe’s language was in some ways harsher in Japanese, though it was a bit hard to translate completely. Interesting to note that she uses the person pronoun “ore” (俺) in the Japanese version, which is an uncommon choice for a female character.

I have some other thoughts on the characters, but I guess I won’t say too much at this point to avoid spoilers.

As for the actual game part of the game, CoP continues to give lots of unique areas to look at. The Tavnazian Archipelago is a really beautiful area, with the best sights seen when the sun shines through the clouds and the view of the horizon during sunsets.

The first dungeon players run into here, the Aqueducts, were originally capped at level 40, and like the Promyvion areas, were very dangerous to travel around in. The Taurus type enemies in the area see past the Invisible spell and use gaze attacks which inflict Doom, which was pretty much a death sentence since people had not figured out how the heck it actually worked yet. The locked doors and maze-like layout of the area just add to the horror.

The second dungeon, Cape Riverne, is a series of floating islands with some pretty clouds to look at all around. Like with almost every other CoP dungeon, it is given a level cap and enemies which break past sneak/invisible spells. In this case, Riverne is also capped at level 40, and getting through the area required players to defeat Wyverns to get past certain rifts around the area.

The boss battle of Chapter 2, against the Mammets, was known to be quite difficult when it first came out. Like with everything else it wasn't too hard once people knew how to get past it, but many popular strategies were very restrictive in party setup, making some people go off and power level jobs they hadn’t played before just so they could get past it. And this was the easy part still- battles even harder than this one awaited down the line.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: You're So Mean, You're So Terrible, You're So Ugly
Post by: Artimicia on April 30, 2016, 03:14:55 AM
WOW positively amazing thread here Hathen.

I always learn so many random things that I can never really find on my own so easily and they show up in this places like this, the product of dedicated fan efforts.

Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World
Post by: Hathen on May 12, 2016, 08:31:20 AM
り: RIng of the Wyrmking’s Call

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Music: Gustaberg (Bonus Track) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqftN_OOXjs)

Prishe isn't patient enough to stand around waiting for Rapifafa to wake up, and runs off after a passing airship soon after waking. Rapifafa couldn’t get to her feet until several moments later, but she immediately recognizes the area as the desert-like Gustaberg.

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Rapifafa ventures a guess that Prishe will chase the airship to the docks in Port Bastok. Rapifafa has little trouble finding Prishe there, thanks in part to the ruckus she was stirring up.

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Certainly makes the world seem more realistic if the mentally ill are ignored.

Prishe runs off before Rapifafa can get her attention. Rapifafa loses sight of Prishe, but arrives in the Metalworks to find Cid in his workshop as usual.

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Cid informs her that he had to have Prishe arrested after she bursted in, babbling incoherently. She wasn’t being mistreated or anything- Cornelia was keeping her company. Cid asks Rapifafa what the heck Prishe was ranting about, and he seems shocked when Rapifafa tells Cid about the strange scientists she saw at Cape Riverne.

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Cid recalls that 20 years ago, he had been asked to assist in a secret project in Jeuno, and he noticed then that the Jeunoan scientists had access to technology far beyond that of the other nations. Being the curious type, Cid started watching the scientists every chance he had, and on several occasions he found them conducting strange experiments near the Crag of Holla.

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Prishe explains what happened at Cape Riverne, and Cid notes that at the same time the Crag of Dem near Bastok shattered, a giant dragon was spotted in the sea north of Jeuno, so it was likely that these two events were related. This only solidifies Prishe’s desire to meet the Wyrmking once again so she could figure out exactly who this “Keeper of the Apocalypse” Bahamut was referring to was.

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Once again Prishe is way too fast on her feet for Rapifafa to stop, so Rapifafa figures she’ll spend some time in Bastok before taking the airship to Jeuno-she’ll probably get there not long after Prishe finishes her long run there.

Before Rapifafa leaves the Metalworks, she runs into Ayame.

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Rapifafa is informed that recently, a new Goblin lair has sprung up very close to Bastok. According to scholars, these Goblins were a different tribe known as the Moblins. Friendly or not, a beastmen lair being this close to Bastok is concerning, so Ayame asks Rapifafa to help in finding more information regarding these Moblins.

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Ayame directs Rapifafa to the expert on the situation, a researcher from the Windurstian Rhinostery. Ravorara asks that Rapifafa refrain from engaging in hostile action against the Moblins just yet, and attempt to gather information from them through negotiation.

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Rapifafa travels to North Gustaberg, and as described, she finds a newly-formed passage to a strange “city” down below.

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The city of Movalpolos is structured unlike any city Rapifafa had been to, man or beastman. She wasn’t able to follow Ravorara’s instructions terribly well given that most of the Goblins in the city attacked her on-sight, but Rapifafa is eventually able to find one willing to converse with her.

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Brakobrik is willing to part with some of his belongings after Rapifafa assists him with some menial tasks. Most of what he gives Rapifafa seems to be junk, but Rapifafa figures Ravorara would be the judge of that.

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The items brought back include a strange jug which contained some kind of foul liquid, a cracked club which is constructed from some unknown material, a peeling hairpin which could only be made by a talented goldsmith, and a strange dusty tome. Of them, the last one is perhaps the most interesting- Ravorara identifies it as a book of worship. This suggested that the Moblins worshiped the Dawn Goddess, just as many of the enlightened races do. A common religion could be key in avoiding a conflict altogether.

Rapifafa continues her investigation, and after performing yet another task for Brakobrik, she is handed a strange nametag. It does not seem to be of Moblin origin, so she brings it back to Ravorara.

Ravorara recognizes it as an identification tag worn by workers in the Bastok Mines. She hypothesizes that perhaps the Moblins had come across it during their tunneling, and after some careful examination, she makes out the name “Pavvke”. Rapifafa recognizes the name- she had met the man a few times before when interacting with the Galkan community.

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Pavvke explains that he had lost that tag almost a century ago- very few Hume officials knew of an incident that occured back then. Some of the Galkan workers in the Gusgen Mines had accidentally dug into the tunnels of the Moblins as they expanded on their own mining operations. At first, the Moblins didn’t attack the Galka- they would occasionally steal books and kidnap their people, but they would always return the people unharmed after a short time.

Eventually, one of the Galka decided he would learn the Moblin language and attempt to communicate with them- perhaps the two sides could come to some arrangement. This completely backfired- the Moblins suddenly became hostile and began to attack the Galka. The battle only lasted a few days before the tunnels connecting the Gusgen Mines and Movalpolos were caved in, and communication with the Moblins was once again lost.

If Rapifafa and Ravorara want to know more about what happened then, they would have to find the Galka who had attempted to learn the Moblin language. However, Pavvke does not know where he was, or even if he was alive. The Galka known as Jabbos had disappeared as soon as the fighting began- Pavvke speculates that perhaps Jabbos was ashamed that he had caused so much trouble for everyone and ran away.

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Rapifafa brings this information back to Ayame, who searches through Bastok’s records, and is able to locate a small mention of the incident. At the time, the Moblins stole various objects from Selbina, then a Bastokan territory, and from Bastok itself. After the collapse in Gusgen Mines, the Moblins disappeared from the pages of history- in fact, they did not even appear 20 years ago to answer the Shadow Lord’s call to arms- quite an anomaly as far as beastmen are concerned. Even with this information before her however, Ayame is still skeptical that beastmen would be willing to worship the Dawn Goddess as the enlightened races do.

Still, there were others that had an interest in seeing the investigation continue. Ayame tells Rapifafa that the San d’Orian faith is of course interested in seeing this matter through to the end, and directs her to a missionary from the San d’Orian church named Virnage.

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Virnage had seen the book that Rapifafa brought back, and confirms that it was a volume produced by the San d’Orian cathedral. Because of its well-maintained condition, he had reason to believe that the Moblins were indeed followers of Altana. However, a priest would be defenseless walking into the Moblin city, so he asks that Rapifafa help him back taking a symbol of the Dawn Goddess with her and speaking with the Moblins.

Rapifafa takes the Dawn Talisman down to Movalpolos, where she shows it to one of the less hostile Moblins- unfortunately, he didn’t stay friendly for long.

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Even after killing the Moblin’s Bugbear pet, he still would not settle down.

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Rapifafa is a bit bewildered as to what she should do before the Moblin attracts too much attention, but the problem is soon solved for her.

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Rapifafa returns to Virnage to inform him of what occurred in Movalpolos. Upon learning that Rapifafa was attacked, he is disappointed to conclude that perhaps the Moblins only treated the book well because of its value as a curiosity. With little to show for his efforts, he apparently decides to instead focus his proselytizing on the lost sheep before him.

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Rapifafa likes her gil, so she tells Virnage about the strange Moblin she ran into and how he took the talisman away from her. Virnage considers that perhaps the book had actually belonged to this Galka the Moblin mentioned, and concludes that it would be best if the existence of this Galka were reported to the Bastokan officials.

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Rapifafa reports back to Ayame with everything she had found.

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With this new information, Ayame once again asks  Rapifafa to continue her investigation, but it was likely that if she wanted to travel deeper into Movalpolos, she would have to seek the assistance of other Goblins. The closest thing to that was the Muckvix’s Junk Shop in Jeuno, but it was likely Rapifafa needed to start heading that way herself anyway- Prishe was likely nearing Jeuno.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World
Post by: Hathen on May 12, 2016, 10:43:41 AM
ぬ: NUbilous Voyage

Rapifafa takes the airship to Jeuno, the whole trip thinking about how much time Prishe could’ve saved if she had been patient for about 5 seconds. Upon arriving, Rapifafa figures that Aldo would be her best bet for finding Prishe given what she said, so she travels to the Tenshodo base in Lower Jeuno.

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The Ducal Guards coming for Rapifafa must mean that the airship which made the attack on Bahamut has returned to Jeuno. Before they can drag Rapifafa off, Aldo comes to her rescue.

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Aldo’s able to chase the guards off his home turf, but Wolfgang leaves a parting message- there’s already a warrant for Rapifafa’s arrest ready to be sent across Vana’Diel, so it seems she will have no choice but to turn herself in later.

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For now, Rapifafa has arrived just in time- Prishe needs Rapifafa so Aldo will believe her tall tale of Tavnazia’s survival for the past 20 years- apparently, Aldo was also from Tavnazia.

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Prishe is in luck- a gentleman had come just a few days ago also booking passage to Tavnazia. Aldo was ready to reject him as well, but the man was able to convince Aldo otherwise when he let his deep pockets join the negotiations.

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The vote of confidence is appreciated.

Prishe runs off to get permission to tag along for the ride. Rapifafa spends a short time asking Aldo about his father- Aldo was one of many people who had their life destroyed by the beastman attack on Tavnazia 20 years ago.

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After being orphaned, he was taken in by the leader of the Tenshodo, Grezzo. After his time passed, Aldo became the leader of the Tenshodo in his place.

Aldo seems unwilling to divulge much more than that, so Rapifafa bids him farewell. Rapifafa decides to first travel to Muckvix’s junk shop- hopefully, the goblins there will be willing to assist with the investigation into the city of Movalpolos.

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Muckvix agrees to find a way to help Rapifafa to get into Movalpolos. He is curious what his Moblin cousins are doing, and even if he wasn’t, hostilities breaking out between Bastok and the Moblins wouldn’t be healthy for his business. He asks Rapifafa for some time to make preparations.

As Rapifafa leaves Muckvix’s shop, she runs into a man named Omer, seemingly upset about a young Elvaan girl.

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Omer believed that the waters around the Qufim Island held an incredibly rare fish, but he didn’t believe it was worth sticking his neck where all kinds of monsters lived just so he could satisfy a hobby.

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Prishe came by earlier and took Omer’s rod, and soon returned to Omer with the fish he had been looking for- minus his rod. Apparently Prishe lost the fishing rod to one of the monsters living underwater.

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Rapifafa can’t really make any excuses for Prishe, giving him her condolences and filing the story in the back of her mind. For now, Rapifafa had to make her way to the Ducal Palace.

As Rapifafa passed through Upper Jeuno, Rapifafa runs into a little Elvaan girl named Nevela. Apparently, Omer wasn’t the only local Prishe had made an impression on her stay in Jeuno so far.

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Prishe had happened by when the girl was thinking out loud about how chocobos had wings, yet would not fly. Being Prishe, she had no problem interjecting into the little girl’s conversation with herself.

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Nevela went to ask around the stables afterwards, but the only thing she could find out was that the chocobo Prishe had pointed out to her was born in Bastok, apparently mothered by a unique chocobo with silver feathers. Being that she’s too young to travel there on her own, she asks if Rapifafa can help her learn the story of the chocobo. Rapifafa agrees, but warns the girl it might be some time before she can return to her with any information.

Rapifafa continues her trip to the Ru’Lude Gardens and arrives at the palace, where she is taken into custody.

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Wolfgang informs her that the duke vicarious, Esha’ntarl, is currently busy with another meeting, and that Rapifafa will be allowed in afterwards.

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Esha’ntarl was meeting with a messenger from a land Rapifafa had heard through rumor numerous times, yet knew very little about.

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Tenzen is concerned his message will not be heard by the Duke himself, as he believes it is one of the utmost importance- one that will affect not only his homeland, but all the countries of Vana’Diel, including the southern and western lands, the eastern land from which he hails, and the land he now resides in. Esha’ntarl, however, assures him that his message will be passed onto the Archduke.

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Esha’ntarl acknowledges Tenzen’s story, citing the recent occurrences in the Central Lands. Since the phenomenon is currently isolated, however, the Duchy has currently decided to withhold the information from the public.

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Esha’ntarl is somewhat caught off-guard by Tenzen’s straightforward accusations, but she assures him that the experiments the Duchy runs are not responsible for the current spread of the Emptiness. The Duchy officials have taken upon themselves to contain this threat, and are unwilling to trust any other nation with the power of the Mothercrystals, including the Far East. However, Esha’ntarl senses that Tenzen cares deeply for the suffering of his people, so she allows him the chance to aid in the investigation.

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Rapifafa is introduced to Tenzen and is told to assist in the investigation. Rapifafa’s actions at the three crags of Dem, Mea, and Holla have made the Duchy highly suspicious of her motives, and this was to be her chance to prove her- and her nation’s- lack of relation with the mysterious boy.

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With that clarified, Esha’ntarl tells Rapifafa to travel to the fourth Mothercrystal to find and capture the boy. The fourth Mothercrystal, as Rapifafa knew, was located under the glaciers of the Northlands, and Esha’ntarl knew exactly how she might find more information.

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Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World
Post by: Hathen on May 12, 2016, 12:07:26 PM
る: The Road Forks: RUinous Line of Francmage

Rapifafa knew for a fact that all the members of the Multinational Northlands Expedition were dead. Still, perhaps she would still be able to gain some information if she tried searching for anyone who might've known them. She decided she will begin her investigation in San d’Oria.

Before Rapifafa sets off for San d’Oria, she first travels to Qufim Island to see if Prishe was telling the truth- if she did, she might have a chance at finding Omer’s fishing rod.

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Against all odds, Rapifafa manages to fish up the monster Prishe referred to, finding Omer’s fishing rod in its belly. With the rod returned, Rapifafa could prove Prishe’s innocence.

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The lesson here is that stealing is okay as long as you remember to misplace it.

With half the day spent fishing in Qufim Island, Rapifafa returns to Muckvix, who informs Rapifafa of the plan they had drafted.

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Since the Moblins have not been aware of anything that has happened above ground for so long, Muckvix has come up with a plan to trick them into thinking Rapifafa is simply a Goblin disguised as a human. Rapifafa thinks the plan odd, but she didn’t seem to have much choice if she wished to learn more. Muckvix needs time to prepare everything, but Rapifafa was going to be spending much time in the three nations in the coming days for her investigation regardless. Muckvix arranges a time for Rapifafa and his group to meet in Movalpolos.

Rapifafa had no time to waste, she headed for Port Jeuno and took the next airship to San d’Oria.

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As Rapifafa was beginning her investigation into Francmage, Ulmia was visiting the San d’Orian cathedral. Rapifafa wasn’t going to find information on Francmage simply asking random citizens, so she needed an inside source of some kind. Luckily, she soon found that possible source.

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Rapifafa agrees to assist an Elvaan woman named Sobane. Her husband is the head chef of the royal family, so he is privy to a wealth of information Rapifafa needs access to.

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Sobane tells Rapifafa about one section of the Jugner’s Forest known as the Carpenter’s Landing , containing a mansion owned by the Count Varonbiriaux M Teulomme. Thirty years ago, those same lands belonged to the Knights Mistalle- headed by one Francmage M Mistalle.

After Francmage’s return from the Multinational Expedition to the Northlands, he perished under mysterious circumstances. His son, Leservieus M Mistalle, was swept in rage and grief over his father’s death. In his rage, he soon became embroiled in an argument with one Lord Epuliphont M Revemel of the Temple Knights, who made slanderous conjectures concerning Francmage’s fate. In response, Leservieus challenged the man in a duel to the death.

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Duels were strictly forbidden by San d’Orian law, so when the royal family learned of this duel, both families involved were stripped of their titles. Leservieus’s wife, Lady Leffine, returned to her hometown Selbina with her infant child. With 30 years having gone by since that time, that child has grown into a respectable knight, and wishes to redeem the name Mistalle- this is where the Count Teulomme comes in, because as soon as he learned of the heir to the Mistalle name, he ordered his vassals to begin searching for Leservieus’s son.

While Count Teulomme claims he wishes to offer assistance to the young heir to Mistalle, Sobane and her husband believe that it is more likely Count Teulomme is only looking to preserve his hold over the Carpenter’s Landing. Sobane asks that Rapifafa help find Francmage’s heir before Count Teulomme can.

Rapifafa follows the only lead Sobane could give her- Selbina.

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The mayor of Selbina is tight-lipped about Lady Leffine, but he quickly loosens his tongue with an appropriate bribe. Rapifafa learns that the Lady Leffine passed away many years ago, but her son, Louverance, grew to be a fine young man and joined the Royal Knights of San d’Oria. He notes that Louverance visit his mother’s grave in Selbina quite often, but that came to an abrupt halt a few weeks ago.

Rapifafa also learns from the mayor that another visitor had come looking for Leffine before her, and amongst her words contained a name familiar to Rapifafa - Atarefaunet’s Band.

Sobane is also stricken with terror at the name when Rapifafa brings this information back to her. Atarefaunet’s name was still one that brought fear, even after his execution in San d’Oria at the end of the Crystal War. If the Count Teulomme was hiring remaining members of Atarefaunet’s Band, Louverance is almost certainly in danger. She asks Rapifafa to help warn Louverance of the men who may be after his life.

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Being a chef, Sobane’s husband has less of a personal investment in saving Louverance than Sobane herself does- Sobane’s mother had worked for the Revemel family, and she feels partially responsible for the dishonor brought upon both houses. Ondieumais wishes to confirm whether this Louverance was actually worth helping, so he thinks it would be prudent if Rapifafa first attempted to contact the criminal threatening the Count. It made little difference to Rapifafa at this point- with her nation at stake, she didn't have time to be concerned with only Louverance's life. She needed information about Francmage.

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Rapifafa tracks a long series of leads, including gathering information via a strange domesticated Tonberry- clearly, whoever was threatening the Count was very careful not to leave many vulnerabilities.

Her search eventually leads her to Davoi, where she meets with one of the criminal’s associates.

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The man explains that when Atarefaunet was brought in for execution 20 years ago, it put many nobles in an awkward position- many of them had performed less than savory activities under the table via Atarefaunet’s Band, and while Atarefaunet was facing serious charges and probable execution, they needed the man silenced quickly instead of “eventually”. One of these nobles was the same Count Teulomme who was now being threatened. He bought off one of the oubliette guards and arranged for poison to be mixed into Atarefaunet’s meals. Of course, Atarefaunet was no fool- this was exactly what he hoping would happen. Using that opportunity, he erased his existence from the world.

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The legendary thief, Atarefaunet, Scarlet Thunder of La Theine- still lives.

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Rapifafa returns to Sobane, informing her and her husband only of the information that Louverance was innocent of any wrongdoing. The couple is happy to learn that the heir to Mistalle has grown to be an honorable man, and tell Rapifafa that they have spent the time arranging for Louverance to be warned of any threat against his life. Despite Rapifafa wishing to know more about how they were able to track Louverance, given the warning she received earlier, Rapifafa decides it may be best if she left Sobane’s family alone now.

Rapifafa travels to the Cathedral in San d’Oria, where she learns Ulmia has been poking around wanting to know more about the Gate of the Gods. The Vicasque Arnau recommends that if Rapifafa wishes to know more about the Multinational Expedition to the North and its search for the Gate, she should attend his sermon. He had made the same recommendation to Ulmia a few moments ago.

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Rapifafa finds the sermon a complete bore, but Ulmia seemed moved by it. She is, however, confused by some of the discrepancies between the San d’Orian and Tavnazian faith.  Most notably, the Tavnazian faith believes that when the ancients attempted to cross the Gate of the Gods, the Twilight God placed a terrible curse on the people of Vana’Diel. Thus, the Gate of the Gods is a line the children of Vana’Diel are forbidden to cross- yet this is precisely what the San d’Orian faith has been attempting to do for many years- open the Gate of the Gods.

Arnau completely avoids the question, saying he needs to prepare for his next sermon and if Ulmia and Rapifafa wanted more answers, they would need to speak with one of the higher priests.

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The Croisque Chasalvige is very willing to answer their questions, taking them to the Reliquary built in honor of one the former Papasques, Muchavatte P Couchiret. Before his tenure, the cathedral had spent inordinate amounts of time and money scouring through ancient documents and going to war with other nations, including Tavnazia. Muchavatte spent his life soothing hearts wounded by the flames of war, and led the San d’Orian faith to the new realization that the Path of Paradise would come through practicing the teachings of the Dawn Goddess, rather than through a fruitless search for a gate in the physical world. In other words, finding the Gate of the Gods was now mainly a spiritual pursuit for the San d'Orian people.

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Chasalvige ends by informing Rapifafa that if she wished to know more about Francmage, a portion of Carpenters’ Landing is owned by the Knights Mistalle. It was unlikely Rapifafa would be allowed near the manor itself, but she should be able to find some of the Knights’ hands collecting firewood by the water.

Rapifafa travels out to the Carpenters’ Landing in the Jugner Forest, and after some searching, spots an elderly Elvaan man by the Phanauet Channel. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it seems those loyal to the Knights Mistalle are still quite paranoid after all these years.

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Rapifafa takes out the man’s pet Malboro, and she’s almost forced to draw her sword against the old man as well, if not for the timely arrival of a young gentleman.

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Louverance holds himself with as much dignity as would be expected of an heir to a former noble house, and is all too willing to assist a lady. He tells Rapifafa that detailed information on his grandfather’s mission is likely kept under lock-and-key by the San d’Orian Cathedral, but the former Papasque Muchavatte had strong ties with one Count Caffaule. The Count has passed on, but his wife, Hinaree, lives alone in their manor. Rapifafa had been there before- it was the house that contained the many paintings by Mique she had visited during her Paladin training.

Rapifafa thanks Louverance and goes to meet the widow, and her face lights up at the mention of Louverance. She explains to Rapifafa that the Multinational Expedition had its start from a proposal by the Bastokans- they believed there was some kind of force hidden beneath the Northlands. At first the Papasque dismissed these claims, but during his conversations with the Count Caffaule, it was suggested that perhaps this force was the Gates of Paradise the San d’Orian church so sought.

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Apparently Ulmia is familiar with Hinaree- 20 years ago, before disaster befell Tavnazia and Ulmia was still a little girl, she had traveled to San d’Oria with the Cardinal Mildaurion C Giloumet. Hinaree is relieved to see that the little singer she had met so long ago had survived the tragedy, and can’t help but inquire further.

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Ulmia turns the subject back to the Gates of Paradise- the stories she hears in the streets of San d’Oria seem so different than the ones she was told.

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Hinaree remembers that soon after this meeting, the Cardinal Mildaurion revoked her own nobility and disappeared from the kingdom. All these events occurred only a few days after the devastating attack on Tavnazia by the Orc Forces. Hinaree cannot say if this was simply coincidence or if these events actually had some kind of relation, but she does know that the cathedral has sent a knight to investigate Mildaurion’s whereabouts- Louverance.

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Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World
Post by: Hathen on May 12, 2016, 12:53:53 PM
を: The Road Forks: WOman in Black and A Comedy of Errors

Rapifafa figures Ulmia probably needed some time alone, and investigating into Francmage’s background seemed to only lead in circles, so she decides that it's time to move on. Rapifafa leaves San d’Oria and travels south- back to her home, Windurst. Unfortunately for her, she was not alone in this endeavor.

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Rapifafa already knew Iru-Kuiru’s final fate in the Elshimo Islands, but she realizes she actually knows very little about what exactly Iru-Kuiru was researching in the Northlands. Rapifafa travels to the Rhinostery to see if she can meet with his former pupil, but Rukususu is away from the Rhinostery like she so often is. Still, the staff are quite helpful and give Rapifafa a number of leads to start her investigation. Leppe-Hoppe in particular tells Rapifafa of a visitor he had before Rapifafa arrived.

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The visitor was a Mithran Tracker, or Sin Hunter- one of the same order from the Far Southern Mithran Empire which once sought to end Semih Lafihna’s life. Shikaree Y told Leppe-Hoppe she came from the Mithran homeland from the far south to find the protocrystals housing the Sleeping Gods of Vana’Diel- the same ones where Rapifafa had confronted the Avatars. For some reason, she wanted to shatter the protocrystals, and demanded that Leepe-Hoppe help her create a special tuning fork to do just that. Leepe-Hoppe insisted that such a thing was impossible due to the power of the Sleeping Gods, and the only conceivable way someone could shatter these crystals was by convincing the Gods which resided within the crystals to do so themselves.

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Death by snu-snu.

Shikaree Y had little trouble "convincing" Leppe-Hoppe to create what she wanted, though secretly he hoped that the Sleeping Gods would be about as nice to her as she was to him. Leppe-Hoppe tells Rapifafa that since he gave that Mithran Tracker the Tuning Fork, he has not seen her. Though earlier he was angry at the Tracker for roughing him up, now he doesn’t really feel comfortable leaving a lady to such a cruel fate. He had sent one of the Rhinostery members to search for her, one who Rapifafa was actually quite familiar with- it just so happens he returned in the middle of Rapifafa and Leppe-Hoppe's conversation.

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Ildy-Goldy tells them that he had come into information that a dark-helmeted Mithra was heading north towards Xarcabard. Leppe-Hoppe thinks it odd, since the Ice Protocrystal of Shiva was underneath Fei-Yin in the Beaucedine Glacier, so it didn’t make a lot of sense for her to be travelling past that.

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Iru-Kuiru had spent the last years of his life in Kazham alongside the Mithra who lived there, so Ildy-Goldy believes that it may be best to ask them regarding this matter. Rapifafa opted to tag along, as she felt this may lead to information about Iru-Kuiru.

A few airship rides later, Rapifafa returned to Kazham, where the chieftainess Jakoh Wahcondalo gives rather disturbing information to Ildy-Goldy and Rapifafa.

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Apparently, the Southern Continent wasn't standing idly by as the Emptiness appeared in their lands as well. Still, that was not relevant to what they were currently investigating. Ildy-Goldy turns the subject back to the Crystal of Darkness in Mithran Legend.

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At first, Ildy-Goldy is a bit hesitant to look for Romaa Mihgo-the previous chieftainess of Kazham was not on good terms with Windurst after the tragedy that befell Yow Rabntah after the Multinational Expedition. Supposedly, Iru-Kuiru was who convinced her to join. Jakoh tells Ildy-Goldy that she wasn’t on particularly good terms with Romaa when she was made chieftainess either, so it could be concluded that Romaa wasn't really one to let her emotions get in the way of business.

With this in mind, Rapifafa and Ildy-Goldy pay a visit to the former Chieftainess. Ildy-Goldy makes the case that it took a long time to reestablish ties between Kazham and Windurst after the incident involving Yow Rabntah, so this Mithran Tracker dying due to the Rhinostery would most likely damage the mending relationship.

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Ildy-Goldy had to undergo some kind of trial to satisfy Romaa Mihgo, and he asks that Rapifafa tag along to act as a witness. As Ildy-Goldy travels to the waterfall Romaa Mihgo pointed out, Rapifafa travels to a ledge above to observe.

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Unfortunately for Rapifafa, the trial doesn’t really go exactly as planned.

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Quick, Ildy-Goldy! Support me with some magi-er, oh. Right.

Rapifafa could handle herself, so she takes care of the monsters for Ildy-Goldy, and together they return to Romaa Mihgo.

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Always feels good to successfully complete an ancient rite based on a technicality.

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Romaa Mihgo tells the two about the Mithran legend of the crystal of darkness. The Mithra believe that the Sleeping God within the crystal of darkness, unlike all the other Gods, actually did awake a long time ago, but was led back to its slumber via a strange shining box. It is also said that due to this, the Divinity of Darkness’s sleep is shallow, and he would answer questions of those who appear before him.

Romaa Mihgo does not know where the precise location of the Darkness Protocrystal, but she knows that stories of a strange box circulated Norg, so perhaps they could learn more by speaking with a man named Kamui there.

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Rapifafa and Ildy-Goldy travel through the jungle to reach the pirate city of Norg, finding Kamui near Gilgamesh's quarters. He is apparently  Tavnazian, so when he hears that Rapifafa is involved in the recent occurrences regarding the lost land, he is willing to give his cooperation.

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Kamui tells what he knows of the story. During the rule of King Ranperre, forces from the Great Orcish Empire in the continent far north of Quon began a campaign southward. The Orc Forces attempted to make the Uleguerand Range north of Xarcabard into their staging point for the invasion, but the San d’Orian and Tavnazian forces joined together to repel the invasion. Amidst these battles, it was said a San d’Orian soldier once slipped a fell into a crevasse in the Uleguerand Range.

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As he attempted to find an exit out of the winding tunnels, he heard a strange voice calling to him. The soldier followed the voice to a frozen lake beneath the Uleguerand Range, and it is said he spoke with a god at this frozen lake. The details of this event are unclear, but what is said is that the soldier returned from the frozen lake bearing a mysterious box, which would go on to become a holy relic in the Tavnazian Cathedral.

Kamui further notes that that thirty years ago, a Mithra joined the allied expedition because she wished to find the lake in this legend- Ildy-Goldy immediately recognizes this Mithra as Yow Rabntah. Yow Rabntah was unsuccessful at finding the lake, but her experiences in the evil northlands nevertheless twisted her soul. Rapifafa silently recalled that it was also during this trip when Yow Rabntah discovered a piece of magicite she would later use to fashion a certain bow. Kamui concludes his story by saying that after Yow Rabntah returned to Kazham, she somehow caused an intertribal conflict which led to the death of countless Mithran lives.

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Ildy-Goldy believes that there is little choice now but to pursue the Mithran Tracker to the Uleguerand Range, but it would be best if they had more help. Ildy-Goldy asks Rapifafa to meet him at the gathering spot of the Rhinostery’s Northlands researchers in the Beaucedine Glacier.

Rapifafa returns to San d'Oria and makes her way to the Northlands. At Beaucedine, Ildy-Goldy attempts to convince the researchers to make the trip northwards, but they are hesitant to even travel to Xarcabard, let alone go past that into the Uleguerand Range.

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Apparently, Shikaree Y was never able to meet the Divinity of Darkness- some strange force prevented her from reaching the frozen lake beneath the Uleguerand Range. Shikaree Y has instead spent her time finding out that Ildy-Goldy and Rapifafa have been on her trail, and she’s not particularly happy about it. She demands that the two spill any details they may have learned about Magicite during their investigation, but this only confuses Ildy-Goldy.

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With this, the Mithran Tracker runs off. The search for the Mithran Tracker was over, and it was doubtful Rapifafa could get any information from her, so Rapifafa bids farewell to Ildy-Goldy. Rapifafa returned to Windurst to continue her investigation into Iru-Kuiru.

Some of the Rhinostery members had told Rapifafa before that she may learn more about Iru-Kuiru’s research by speaking to Professor Yoran-Oran. Rapifafa travels to the Professor’s manor in Windurst Walls, but before she can even get a word out, they're paid a visit by a group Rapifafa would place at the bottom of a list of people she wanted to see.

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Yoran-Oran is confused, so the children explain (by explaining nothing).

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Yoran-Oran admits he was in Tavnazia many years ago, but it was purely official business. Tavnazia was quite a gathering spot for pirates and thieves, so there were many treasures hidden in the Tavnazian Sacrarium. Of these treasures, Yoran-Oran was asked to help with identifying a strange statue.

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Yoran-Oran wasn’t brought there to identify the statue itself. Given his expertise, he was instead asked to figure out where the statue had been excavated from by analyzing the traces of soil on the statue. Yoran-Oran soon concluded that the soil was not soil, but silt- silt from the bottom of the Sea of Shu’Meyo north of Jeuno.

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Yoran-Oran believes that something called a Mimeo Mirror should be able to prove his innocence and clear his name, but he cannot remember who in Windurst might own one. He asks that Rapifafa come back to help him after he's had time to calm himself after all the commotion. Rapifafa decides to chase after the Chebukki siblings. Rapifafa loses sight of the children, but is later able to find someone at the restaurant who had seen them- a reporter, Kyume-Romeh.

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Kyume-Romeh said that after they finished eating, the Chebukki siblings ran off in the direction of the southern Windurst Waters. Rapifafa figures that if the Chebukkis were looking for someone wealthy in Windurst, it was likely that would lead them to one man in particular.

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Honoi-Gomoi admits that he had been to Tavnazia many times in the past, but it was only because he had close dealings with the band of thieves known as Atarefaunet’s Band.

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With the children still insisting that he is their father, Honoi-Gomoi is clearly reaching the end of what little patience he has.

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Rapifafa mentions Yoran-Oran’s suggestion of the Mimeo Mirror, which prompts Honoi-Gomoi digs through his belongings to find one of his own- unfortunately, it is cracked. Rapifafa takes it to Yoran-Oran to see if he could do anything with it.

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As usual, no such luck. In order to fix the mirror, Yoran-Oran is going to need a Mimeo Feather from the top of the Parradamo Tor in the Attohwa Chasm.

By travelling underground through the Maze of Shakhrami, Rapifafa is able to reach the Attohwa Chasm.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2040_zpsqbtwk4gi.jpg)

Traveling to the eastern side of the chasm, Rapifafa sees the Parradamo Tor off in the distance- it doesn’t look like it will be an easy climb.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2041_zpswji1chpb.jpg)

As Yoran-Oran instructed Rapifafa, she first looks near the base of the hill for a Mimeo Jewel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2042_zps11ngazgc.jpg)

As Rapifafa makes a grab for one of the jewels, she is ambushed by a monster beneath the ground.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2043_zpsncemu8su.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2044_zpszxm4bkpy.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2045_zpsqbx5sdgq.jpg)

The monster gives her quite a scare, but Rapifafa is able to take it out. With the Mimeo Jewel out of the earth, Rapifafa could feel its power already beginning to fade, so she was now on a time limit to climb to the top of Parradamo Tor.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2046_zpstbnbfllo.jpg)

The climb is a treacherous one. She could only find tiny paths on the side of the hill to slowly inch her way up. Occasionally she had to jump to a different path when strange miasmas blocked her path upward.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2047_zpsz2scte9w.jpg)

When Rapifafa reaches the top of the hill, the sun has already begun to rise.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2048_zpszayfxtd9.jpg)

After a short search, Rapifafa finds what she was told is known as the Cradle of Rebirth.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2049_zpsxv4qq0e4.jpg)

Rapifafa casts the Mimeo Jewel into the cradle, and with a flash, Mimeo feathers float up to Rapifafa.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2050_zpsn8vvc0jp.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2051_zpshbbfv1m9.jpg)

With her task done, Rapifafa decides to take a short break before returning to Windurst, enjoying the scenery on the top of the Parradamo Tor.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2052_zpsv8wayw9g.jpg)

Yoran-Oran is pleased at Rapifafa's return, and sets to work on fixing the Mimeo Mirror. He asks Rapifafa to find the troublesome Chebukkis in the meantime.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2053_zpsqzuqmdnx.jpg)

Rapifafa has a hard time finding the three, but she eventually comes across another reporter who tells Rapifafa that she had spotted the Chebukkis near the airship port earlier.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2054_zpsogufdih9.jpg)

The reporter notes that they ran off towards Windurst Waters looking for a great wizard of some kind. Rapifafa could only think of one man there who fit this description. Sure enough, soon after Rapifafa arrives, the Chebukkis soon came bursting through the door.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2055_zpsjlmy0gfx.jpg)

Tosuka-Porika tells the children that he’s never even been to Tavnazia, but the children’s answer to that information probably shouldn’t have surprised Rapifafa.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2056_zpsazlav8i7.jpg)

He gives the children the devastating news that their "father" perished many years ago. As the children begin to sob, Tosuka-Porika promises to help them in any way he can, but the Chebukkis are doubtful that he was capable of helping anyone.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2057_zpsezqhsriq.jpg)
The only thing close to a fountain is that hat you’re wearing.

The Chebukkis knew they were wasting their (and Rapifafa’s) time, so they ask one last question before running off for Jeuno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2058_zps1jauq1c2.jpg)

Rapifafa returns to Yoran-Oran with the news of the childrens’ departure, but since they’ve already spread the news of their father being Karaha-Baruha around the town, Yoran-Oran has little left to worry about.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-3-2%2059_zpszzhwqmds.jpg)

Rapifafa finally has the chance to ask Yoran-Oran about the Multinational Expedition, but it seems he knows very little. He could only reiterate what Rapifafa already knew, that some terrible power resided in the northlands, but where or what it was still eluded the Windurstians. Even Rukususu, with all her field work in the Northlands, has only uncovered a few trivial elements.

With nothing to show for her search in Windurst, Rapifafa was left with only one last thread of pursuit for any useful information- Bastok.
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World
Post by: Hathen on May 12, 2016, 01:08:19 PM
わ: WAtching Over Aged Wounds

Rapifafa organizes her things and bids goodbye to her homeland once again. A few airship trips later, Rapifafa found herself back in the industrial Republic of Bastok. With the date of the meeting with Muckvix’s group soon to come, Rapifafa placed her investigation of the Multinational Expedition on hold, and opted to spend some time looking into the silver-feathered chocobo Nevela wanted to know about.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%201_zpssajpvmxw.jpg)

In the Bastok Mines, one of the chocobo stable workers tells Rapifafa that the silver-feathered chocobo she is asking about was known as Silver Comet, formerly owned by a highly ranked general in the Bastokan navy. The general gave the chocobo to his son as a coming-of-age present, and the son took the opportunity to strike out on his own.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%202_zpsywxz8ejz.jpg)

For a long time, no news of the general son came in, until many years later, Silver Comet returned to town- without his owner. The general’s son had lost his life somewhere in the wilds. In memory of his son, the general asked that the stables take good care of Silver Comet. Unfortunately, a thief stole Silver Comet not long after.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%203_zps0onwnbn7.jpg)

Wobke explains to Rapifafa that what she’s saying is impossible- the general spent many of his remaining days searching for Silver Comet, and eventually heard an adventurer say that he had seen the chocobo drown in the Pashhow Marshlands. That same adventurer was still working in the Pashhow Marshlands, so if Rapifafa wished to know more, she would probably have to ask him.

Rapifafa borrows one of the chocobos from the stables and travels to the Bastokan outpost in Pashhow Marshlands. There, she finds the adventurer that Wobke had described to her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%204_zpsgqc9rftn.jpg)

The adventurer, Ulzana, comes off as a rather shady character, and is only willing to give Rapifafa the time of day after she helps him collect some oils held by the local quadavs in their home base of Beadeaux.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%205_zpsti5xnn34.jpg)

Rapifafa has little trouble completing the simple, albeit tedious task. Returning with the oils, Ulzana parts with what knowledge he has of the silver chocobo.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%206_zps9nuq1bp1.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%207_zpszb5cyv97.jpg)

With nothing else to divulge, Rapifafa returns to Bastok and takes this new information back to Wobke.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%208_zpsshheikhh.jpg)

Rapifafa asks Wobke if she knows anything about the other chocobo that Ulzana mentioned, Shooting Star.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%209_zpsio0duvu4.jpg)

Rapifafa was going to have to wait until she was next in Jeuno before she could pursue this investigation any further. For now, it was time to meet with Muckvix in Movalpolos.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2010_zpsgxmandhq.jpg)

Muckvix prepares Rapifafa with the scent his group had prepared before moving to meet with the Moblins. They are at first suspicious of Rapifafa’s “disguise”, but the Goblins are eventually able to convince them, using a goblin scent they gave Rapifafa as evidence. One of the Goblins translates for Rapifafa, telling her that recently, a reincarnation of the Abhorrent God Promathia has appeared amongst the Moblins, and they were now being taken to meet him.

The Moblin takes Rapifafa’s group to the Moblin’s Mine Shaft #2716, where they meet this supposed reincarnation of the Dark God.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2011_zpsjlqwbwus.jpg)

The new Promathia requests to speak with Rapifafa personally, but with no knowledge of the Moblin tongue, Rapifafa has some trouble responding to his questions.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2012_zps2hxwtzg3.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2013_zpspjk5sdhl.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2014_zpsexha69n0.jpg)
Technically the plan still worked, the still think you're a Goblin.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2015_zpss3vmuz10.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2016_zpsvebb4lo6.jpg)

With their so-called reincarnation of Promathia defeated, the Moblins quickly lose faith in this prophet, but their resolve to attack Bastok has not changed. The Goblins are eventually able to convince the Moblins that the Goblins have several “human agents” like Rapifafa, and it would be better to leave any attacks on the surface to be left to the Goblins.

As they prepare to leave, they are approached by one of the Moblins- he was the some one who took Rapifafa's Dawn Talisman away when she was last here investigating the Moblin's religion.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2017_zpsqgdgbjqp.jpg)

The group tells Jabbos’s friend that this was only a temporary solution, so if a lasting peace was desired, Jabbos and any who think like him must continue to work to change how the Moblins think.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2018_zpsbjo6fwlr.jpg)

Rapifafa thanks the Goblins for their help in this matter, and travels to Bastok to tell Ayame of the news of what occurred in Movalpolos.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2019_zpslwolyhde.jpg)

Ayame is uncomfortable with leaving the Moblins alone, but that seems like it would be the best course of action at this time. For now, they would have to leave this situation to Jabbos.

On her way out, Rapifafa decides to pay a visit to Cid- it was likely he knew something of the Multinational expedition. Cid seems reluctant to speak of it, but seems to understand Rapifafa’s need for the information.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2020_zpsfvxxpp8v.jpg)

30 years ago, a strange stone was brought to the Bastokan Metalworks. Cid was amazed by what he saw and felt- he could feel power coming from the stone even just standing near it. When he was told that it was a fragment of a crystal in the Northlands, he knew he had to have more of it- with enough of it, he could bring new advancements to Bastok.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2021_zpsnnpdthuo.jpg)

With this new lead, Rapifafa began making her way back to Jeuno, hoping that Prishe would not have departed on Aldo’s ship just yet.

Rapifafa opted to travel to Jeuno by chocobo this time. As Rapifafa neared Jeuno, she took a detour into the cemeteries of the Batallia Downs. After some searching, Rapifafa finds the resting place of the general’s son, with Silver Comet’s collar in place as Wobke had mentioned.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2022_zpsbdpifxqe.jpg)

With the collar in hand, Rapifafa hiked the rest of her way to Upper Jeuno, where Nevela was waiting for her.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2023_zpsfojluuxj.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2024_zps4caxcief.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2025_zps5bh91kje.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2026_zpsepqcbizu.jpg)

Brutus had hidden Shooting Star away in the Batallia Downs, but the man in pursuit of Shooting Star made further attempts by using Shooting Star’s mate, Silver Comet. Silver Comet was smart enough to be aware of what the man was trying to do, and dove into the swamps of the Pashhow Marshlands, her rider still on her back.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2027_zpsmahg7wtx.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2028_zpsi16wsjim.jpg)

Rapifafa could feel there was something more to this story, but it doesn’t seem like she was going to get more out of Brutus for now. With that finished, Rapifafa began her search for Prishe.

Elsewhere, Nag’molada was finalizing plans of his own.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2029_zpsy7mamspl.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2030_zpsv1i3g32q.jpg)

Rapifafa arrives at the Jeuno’s Tenshodo, only to find a familiar face in addition to Aldo’s.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2031_zpsi3bapr5t.jpg)

Rapifafa immediately brings up the question Cid had asked her, but Ulmia can tell Rapifafa little about the Star of Tavnazia. She has heard many stories, but she has never actually seen it. Aldo, on the other hand, seems concerned with what the implications of Magicite being in the Northlands could be-the Orc, Quadav and Yagudo all built their cities around their respective Magicite, after all. Before they can get far into the conversation however, they are interrupted by urgent news.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2032_zpsvcdp4z4a.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-4%2033_zpsjopcsawz.jpg)
Title: Re: FFXI Journal: Prishe Goes Around Annoying the Whole World
Post by: Hathen on May 12, 2016, 01:54:15 PM
か: CAlling Oneself a God

Together, Rapifafa and Ulmia travel to Monberaux’s clinic in Upper Jeuno.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-1_zpsfsuw0gel.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-2_zps57k8ps8m.gif)

Rapifafa is surprised to find the Samurai from the Far East in the room with Prishe.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-3_zpsslbgjnb5.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-4_zpsmhlng15w.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-5_zpsm4mc6kq9.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-6_zpsccaathsu.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-7_zps54hx5mng.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-8_zpsakdjcpyd.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-9_zpsgxw3gmis.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-10_zpsaitimfa2.jpg)

Tenzen apologizes, saying he had not spotted an amulet of any kind when he had found Prishe. Ulmia believes the amulet may hold the key to saving her, so she pleads with Rapifafa to lend hers to Prishe.

With Rapifafa’s amulet, Prishe’s condition stables somewhat, but Monberaux is baffled by her condition. He suggests that perhaps the mysterious boy who gave Rapifafa the amulet may know more, which causes Tenzen’s ears to perk up. A quick exchange of information takes place, and Ulmia reveals that Prishe’s amulet was given to her by the Cardinal Mildaurion a long time ago- but the idea that the Cardinal might be associated with a criminal like the mysterious boy is absurd to Ulmia.

Nevertheless, there was no time to waste. One of Monberaux’s patients had recently traveled in the Northlands, and apparently the strange boy had been spotted entering the ruins of Pso’Xja. With this new information of the boy’s whereabouts, Rapifafa and Tenzen make their move.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-11_zpsdlvoexfr.jpg)

The Pso’Xja ruins were controlled by the Tenshodo, so Rapifafa had to run a few errands for them to get a special pass into the ruins. With the pass, Rapifafa travels far north to the Beaucedine Glacier. The ruins had several different entrances, and Rapifafa made her way in using the central one.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-12_zpsq2rxtoly.jpg)

As Rapifafa descended deeper into the ruins, the hallways began to twist in ways that made no sense and rooms which could not logically connect together, did.

Music: Words Unspoken (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFueaAckOZ8)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-13_zpsrsjo8ojf.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-14_zpshhifluvt.jpg)

She was also being attacked by Tonberries, but these felt different than the ones she had met in the Temple of Uggalepih. Just as Rapifafa begin to feel overwhelmed, she arrives at an elevator.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-15_zpsa5dz1pj0.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-16_zps1ctwj0nl.jpg)

Near the bottom of the elevator was a door Rapifafa needed the special pass from the Tenshodo to open.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-17_zps0hfqve4z.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-18_zps1chdnf19.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-19_zpsibdvwutt.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-21_zps5bivirbr.jpg)

Rapifafa, too, felt something was wrong- she had felt it ever since she entered the ruins, but the feeling grew as she descended deeper in and now it came to a head.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-22_zps6tpjg8oe.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-23_zpsvnl5hoxj.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-24_zpsw6fy5urb.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-28_zpsh16ou5pj.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-29_zpsi3fy7u8h.gif)
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-30_zpsot4nravc.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-34_zpsd2zxymgc.jpg)

Rapifafa joins the fight- this wouldn’t be the first time she fought one of the Avatars.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-35_zpsmwnk8iku.jpg)

She hadn’t considered that she was fighting on Diabolos’s terms- he could control this world.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-36_zpsr9eic4ed.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-37_zpsrn0esxth.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-38_zps9ml0coao.jpg)

As Rapifafa adapts, she begins to hold her own against the ruler of dreams, and soon the battle is over.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-39_zpsznjpwect.jpg)

It didn’t matter how many times they defeated Diabolos however- this was still his realm.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-40_zpsghjzv4il.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-41_zpsnawirlzi.gif)
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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-44_zps7yg9deig.jpg)

Diabolos dismisses Phoenix’s promises, saying that what she offers humanity is false hope.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-45_zpsqshcegri.jpg)

Diabolos explains that 10,000 years ago, many surviving Kuluu in the Northlands lost hope as well. That is when Diabolos offered their souls escape from the Emptiness and immortality within his realm- his dream realm known as Dynamis.
 
Diabolos invites the group to give up the fight against the Keeper of the Apocalypse, promising them eternal paradise in his dream world of Dynamis.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-46_zpsiwgn36uc.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-47_zpszwu49tgh.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-50_zps3w1xjseb.jpg)

The meeting with Diabolos leaves Rapifafa and Tenzen with more questions than answers, so they return to Jeuno to see if the situation has changed.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-51_zpsjhb9wfew.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-52_zpsdwkkb7qr.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-53_zpsmegy0uxr.jpg)

Ulmia thanks Rapifafa for bringing Prishe back, but she suspects that what has occurred over the last few days was only the beginning. Tenzen is suspicious of Prishe because they had seen her with the boy within Diabolos’s realm, but Prishe insists she does not know where he has gone. She notes, however, that had it not been for his help, she would likely be dead right now.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-54_zps79jiimo1.jpg)

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-55_zpsnvenohkw.jpg)

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(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-57_zpsuggjlywh.jpg)

Tenzen explains that the Terrestrial Avatars are five powerful gods which are tasked with protecting the world. Together, they had once battled with an evil presence which attempted to consume Vana’Diel.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v503/Symbios/3-5-58_zpsrxgigsw3.jpg)

Tenzen says that he has come from the Far East specifically to meet the Wyrmking Bahamut, and request his assistance in stopping the “Keeper of the Apocalypse”. Prishe tells Tenzen about her own encounter with Bahamut, along with what Bahamut said to Nag’molada at Cape Riverne, and how all of them were transported to the mainland before they were able to speak with the Wyrmking themselves.

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It seems if they wished for any answers to their questions, they would join in Tenzen's goal of speaking with the Wyrmking. It was time to return to Tavnazia.

Comments

Chapter 3 introduces most of the remaining members of the main cast, including Tenzen, Louverance, Jabbos, and the Mithran Trackers. One thing I find a bit interesting about Chains of Promathia is how most of the protagonists in the story are quite old for a FF game- given the time since the destruction of Tavnazia, Ulmia is easily in her mid to late 20s. The only characters that seem to be younger than that are the Chebukki siblings.

Chapter 3 also begins to reveal more about Cardinal Mildaurion and begins to tie the Chains of Promathia story with a lot of the backstory that was set up in the vanilla game and Rise of the Zilart. It also finally starts making solid connections of the game's story with the game's opening CGI cutscene, which before this had always confused a few players with how it seems largely irrelevant to what players were doing. That only took them 2 years!

If you've been reading since the start, you probably noticed a lot of recurring characters, including rather obscure ones from job quests or tertiary characters from nation mission lines- that was one of the cool things about XI's story to me, how it felt the story was an ever-expanding world with a labyrinthine backstory. For players who did all the side quests and really dug into everything, they would get a lot more out of the story than someone who just rushed through the major story missions alone.

On that note, I've also rolled in a bunch of the Chains of Promathia side quests into the main mission line starting with this chapter. The quest lines are not needed to understand the story, but they do add some detail and character moments. The random stories of civilians Prishe interacts with, for example, are all side quests.

Gameplay-wise the strangest thing Chapter 3 made players do was definitely the climb up Parradamo Tor. Many players who first attempt it take a good 15-30 minutes to figure out what it is they're supposed to be doing. While it was certainly unique, personally I just found it tedious, and I’m guessing enough people agreed with that sentiment, since they never really did anything like it again.

In accordance with Diabolos being the Avatar of Dreams, the central tower of Pso’Xja is a maze of strange tunnels that connect rooms together in a nonsensical way. If you check your map you’ll see yourself constantly teleporting around the area as you move. Of course, players figured out the way through rather quickly and after that everyone just looked it up online, which takes away from the adventuring feel a bit.

Diabolos himself was one of the most unique fights in the game back when he was level capped to 40. He has a special version of sleep which deals damage but does not wake you. If you stand on the wrong tiles when you get nightmare’d, it was likely time to kiss your ass goodbye as you fell into the pit below and got gangbanged by a swarm of diremites.