The Path Unmarked Vol.1 – 6

Table of Contents – Fan Fiction Series set in 1.0 Eorzea

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The Path Unmarked Vol . 1

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This marks my first contribution to FFXIVblog.com. My name is Katella Avenlea of the Wutai server. I’m mostly a casual gamer with a full time job, a young family, and probably all similar obligations that are expected of most everyone else. To relax, I like to play FFXIV. I have a blog I’ve kept for a few years now called Katella’s Corner that housed miscellaneous posts with things from character narrated stories, to current musings of the day, to general comments or observations and even frustrations. It’s a rag tag collection with multiple links, and any other old thing I fancied enough to share, and my contributions will probably be similar type works. I really enjoy writing, and love being inspired. The following is the first of what is most likely a continuing story of my character as she explores Eorzea. Its only appropriate to begin at the beginning, so that is where we find my young lalafell lass…. I hope you enjoy it!

EDIT: FFXIVblog.com has since been closed – see details here.

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Images flashed vibrant, yet still gave no hint at their meaning. I woke amidst the familiar confusion I had come to expect. My eyes fluttered open as I lay quietly at the base of a tall elm tree next to a babbling creek. It had only been three days since I set out on my unknown journey. I quietly wondered how long I’d be gone, and where this path would take me. I brushed away the same leaves that I had nestled into the night before, and crawled over to the creek to wash my face. I paused and gazed a moment at my reflection in the cool water below. My hair haphazardly strewn all around my shoulders. I giggled to myself thinking that maybe I should leave it that way, as surely no creature great or small would want to mess with the likes of me in my current state.

Instead however, I crawled back to my makeshift camp, and pulled a comb and two pale green hair ties from my satchel. It was my hope to locate some kind of town in which I could trade a few things for supplies, and I should at least look somewhat presentable in case I found what I was looking for. I would have to make myself familiar with this area, as something was telling me I needed to be here. I don’t understand what exactly or why, and I had no idea how long this mysterious calling would continue. It had successfully pulled me from the life I knew, hinting and begging me to leave my home. I don’t understand it, and it is still too much to be able to explain, which was part of the reason my Mother was so distraught when I announced my decision. I couldn’t convey to her why, because I don’t yet know myself. I had not disappointed her this much since at my confirmation when I had chosen to follow Azeyma as my principal deity over her own Althyk. My father reassured her at the time, that Azyema being the Goddess of Inquiry fit me perfectly.. I miss my father. I just hope that she’ll forgive me, if ever I am allowed to return.In her concern she gave me her old weathered cane, and a small tome of conjury. From it she taught me a few small spells to help protect me on my journey, but instructed me to keep studying from it, as she was sure I was no where near ready to take on whatever it was that I felt I must.

Once my reflection was no longer as scary, I rose and peered out over my camp. I quickly collected my belongings, including a few sprigs of lavender I had found near the tree. They were nice specimens, probably would make a decent amount of oil, so I may be able to trade them. If I could not, they would at least infuse my satchel with a lovely fragrance. I carefully placed them in my bag and continued walking further down the path I had followed the night before.

walking

A strange feeling came over me, and I heard an oddly familiar voice whisper three words. I looked about, and I was still alone as far as I could tell. With that the sky grew dark and an all too familiar image of balls of flame came rushing down from the sky above.

darksky

The centered light intensified until I couldn’t bare to gaze any longer and I shielded myself from it.

brightlight

However as quickly as it came, it was gone, revealing the same morning sky that had been there before. It was episodes like this that had undoubtedly assured me I needed to go. I didn’t feel as though I had lost my senses, yet there it was, the normal sky literally plain as day with no trace of what I had just witnessed.

ffxivgame 2010-11-05 16-44-20-63

In my desire to find some sign to let me know what I had seen had been real, I noticed a craft of some sort in the sky.

podcraft

A small pod seemed to break off and crash towards Hydaelyn below. It landed some 30 yalms from where I had been standing, so I ran towards it to see what remained.

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The Path Unmarked Vol . 2

 

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I had fully expected to see all kinds of broken rubble and debris in the wake. What I found instead put me a bit on the defensive. Before my eyes, lying unconscious in a patch of ground cover, lay only two individuals and nothing more. Looking about, I could not spot any evidence that they had been inside any type escape pod or craft at all! There was no wreckage, just this pair, a lalafell male, and a young hyur female.

The only thing I could figure out was that one, if not both, where highly ranked magic users, else their deity stepped in with a blessing. I hoped for my sake that they were friendly, as I knew my conjury training thus far had been elementary, and I was in no shape to try and compete with someone as skilled as they must have been to have survived that decent. I checked to make sure they were still breathing, and they were, but they were still out cold. Thankful to Azeyma that my Mother had the foresight to gift me the conjury tome, I refreshed my memory with a spell from its pages and went to work performing minor healing on the pair. During the process I noticed that they seemed to have matching tattoos on their necks. Maybe it was the mark of a faction? I simply did not know. I murmured a quick prayer to Azeyma, asking that the two end up being friendly.

I finished up what small healing I could do on the young hyur female as she began to come to. She stumbled as she attempted to stand, falling back to the ground and commenting on the pain in her head. The male lalafell appeared to be of plainsfolk decent like me. He sat up shortly after but neither immediately noticed my presence as they both had their backs towards me.

He questioned his companion out loud as to their present location. She initially responded as if she might know, but the more she spoke, the more I began to speculate that she may have hit her head much harder than then I previously thought. She addressed the male lalafell as Papalymo, and expressed her conclusion that the pair had had actually passed on. The absurdity of her conclusion seemed to agitate Papalymo and he spun around to reprimand her. In doing so his gaze followed by hers found me. I smiled nervously as to hopefully show that I meant no harm.

The poor young hyur obviously still reeling from her fall then mistook me as the spirit adaptation of her late grandmother. I was just about to introduce myself when Papalymo spotted a pack of Bloodthirsty Wolves venturing out of the bushes. He retorted that maybe they were the young hyur’s past pets returning to play fetch. The female hyur rose to her feet as to prepare for battle. In their current state, I couldn’t help but wonder how effective either of them could be. I felt inspired by Azeyma the Warden, to try and protect the pair.

My mind flashed back to that last practice lesson my Mother had taught me the night I told her I was leaving. As she had instructed, I began channeling the elements, being careful to be most selective in my wording of the incantation. I suspected we would not prevail if the fight was drawn out. The pair were tired and disoriented, and I was not proficient at battle. We would need a powerful spell that would affect the whole pack hard, and hopefully allow us to pick them off from there.

I felt a bit drained as I concluded my spell, but the hides of three of the wolves burst into flame and we were able to quickly defeat them. My elation however was short lived as six more came out from behind the bushes. I was starting to fear that maybe Yda, (as Papalymo had addressed her during the fight) would no longer be mistaken and that we may soon be joining her grandmother in the great beyond. I started to prepare for a second incantation when the ground began to shake. Out from the forest floor came these massive wooden extensions that harvested all of the wolves that had been set and ready to attack us. We watched in awe as a treant revealed itself in all its grandeur. I had never seen anything like that in my entire life. We gasped as it proceeded to devour our aggressors as if they were a mid-day snack.

We were startled back to reality by its glance our way and the troubling realization that it appeared to still be hungry. We quickly picked ourselves off the ground and started sprinting down a side corridor. I was not even sure what direction we were now heading, and it didn’t really matter. We ran for our lives but the Treant was gaining ground. It majestically rose in the air and landed forcefully on the ground. The impact sent the three of us hurtling into the air. I thought this was surely to be the end. Suddenly time seemed to stop and all fell silent. Gravity had seemingly taken a break as all three of us were still suspended mid-air.

Only able to move my head, I looked trying to find the cause. A faint melody then emerged. A group of moogles appeared and through their music seemed to calm and distract the treant until it forgot about acquiring the rest of its intended snack.

As the Treant meandered away following the moogles, gravity returned to its post, and the three of us fell to the ground with a hard thud.

The wind knocked out of me, I slowly sat up and frowned as I examined my clothing. There were now a couple obvious tears in multiple pieces. Now it was definite that I would really need to find a town soon. I am now in desperate want of a decent needle with which to make some needed repairs.

If I make it back home at some point, the events of this day would definitely be a story for my youngest sister Ashlynna, who is yet a child. She loves to hear about the mysterious moogles. It was quite a rare occurrence for one to actually see one, and I had just been in the presence of a whole group of them. I would definitely need to tell her the story, as our Father was no longer around to tell her stories like he had been for Kaellen and I, and our Mother had never been one much for stories.

In the distance I spotted what appeared to be a padjal conjurer; much like the ones my father had described when I was small.

The padjal finished chanting and announced that the wood’s fury had been quelled, and that it was now safe. He was surrounded by a group of lancers who appeared to be in his charge and a moogle who apparently was accompanying their group.

Inconsistent with my father’s stories however, this moogle spoke plainly as it peered intently down at Papalymo. The moogle made a comment to the Padjal that one so “puny” surely could not have broken some “hedge”. I was unsure as to what they were referring to. Perhaps finding out what had happened to this “hedge” may be the reason that the group had been out in the woods this day. Whatever the reason I was thankful. Papalymo however voiced his displeasure at being called puny and chose to throw out an insult back at the moogle. I bit my lip, surely that wasn’t wise and regardless, they had just saved us!

The padjal conjurer apologized stating that it wasn’t a common occurrence for those who understood “moogle speak” to fall from the sky. His comment confused me, the moogle spoke plainly hadn’t he? I had never studied “moogle speak” as he called it, nor did I even know of anyone in our village who taught such a skill. Of course I had not fallen from the sky either, I was simply a bystander. Not important I suppose, we have all been visibly shaken up a bit with the incident, perhaps the padjal just misspoke. More likely he was really just talking directly to Papalymo and Yda. The padjal stated that he had been foretold of their coming, and offered to see us safely to Gridania.

This was great news! From the sounds of it I would find a town this day after all! As I rose to follow their lead, I became light headed and I felt a presence that I was unable to pin-point.

I shrugged it off and began jogging as to catch up with the group. Best not get left behind!

To be continued……

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The Path Unmarked Vol . 3

As we neared the entrance to Gridania, a few of the lancers broke off from the group to confer with their counterparts standing guard. The Padjal conjurer pressed on into the town while one of the female hyur lancers took a moment to address Papalymo, Yda and I. To me, she pointed out another guard, a Roegadyn male, and instructed me to speak with him. Papalymo and Yda, on the other hand were asked to accompany her. The three of them walked on leaving me at the gate.

Before preceding, I surveyed my surroundings. From the direction of the conversations I overheard, it seemed there were of handful of adventurers, who like me were visiting Gridania today. “Adventurer” I said out loud and giggled a little at the context. I had never really thought of myself as an adventurer, and hearing it applied to me seemed so unfamiliar. At no point in my history would it have eluded to the path I was taking up now.

“I have a name” a towering rugged red-skinned Hellsguard Rogaedyn responded gruffly while sporting a bemused smile. He had a He held out his hand in greeting… “Its Blindrage”.

I was now startled out of my thoughts, as I clumsily brought forth my hand in greeting. I quietly I replied “uh… hello Blindrage.” With that our hands dropped back down at our sides. I felt obligated to offer him an explanation. “Hey, I’m sorry about that, I was just thinking out loud.. I didn’t mean to bother you, or to call you an Adventurer”

“Aye, but I am” he laughed. His tone then quieted and turned serious “…and I’m not sorry.”

Great Job Katella! I thought to myself a little disgusted. I felt my face flush as the realization occurred to me that if he hadn’t been insulted before, He likely was now.. “I didn’t mean to insinuate there was anything wrong with being an adventurer… I’m one too.. I think” I offered as I looked around uncomfortably.

“You think eh?.. you don’t sound convinced.” He tilted his head and paused a moment before bending down towards me to quietly say… “You worry too much.. its all good.”

His faced erupted into a welcoming smile. He fumbled a second with his satchel, and once successful, pulled from it a single red carnation. “Here..” he said, handing it to me “You can have this if you like… maybe you can find some use for it…. or you can just enjoy it too..” he stated. “I had been charged with a leve of collecting a complete bunch to deliver to B’konbalha at The Knot… I had miscounted and this was an extra…”

Relieved by his friendliness I bowed in thanks.

With a wave he smiled and said “Take care” as he jaunted off out of the gate.

“….Take care” I offered weakly as I went back over the whole odd exchange in my mind. I was lucky he was kind, it wouldn’t have been the first time my mouth would have unintentionally got me in trouble.

I looked down to my hand. The red carnation was beautiful and its alluring aromatic smell wafted lightly around it. Carnations had always been my favorite since I was little. I remember once when Father had come back from one of his journeys, back when Mother was still pregnant with Ashlynna, that he had brought a bunch of them home for Mother, but also had singled out one flower each for my twin, Kaellen and I. That one had also been red in color. It was a nice memory to revisit. I carefully placed the carnation in my satchel with the bunch of lavender and the large odd white vine that I had found after running away from the Trent in the woods. It has been an amazing day.

I regrouped and spotted the Rogaedyn guard that I had originally been instructed to speak with. Working my way through the crowd I reached him just as he was offering to lead a few people to an adventurer’s guild called Carline Canopy. He suggested that we find some time to speak to Mother Miounne once inside.

I would definitely need to make sure I did that. Hopefully she was as helpful as he had insinuated, as I knew I would need some direction to find my way around. I was exhausted, and the prospect of finding a real cot to sleep in held promise. As we entered Carline Canopy there was a wave of activity to behold as people bustled in and out the doors while still others sat deep in conversation.

The guard wished us the best and left us to our new surroundings. I spoke with a few patrons who were kind enough to point out a dark haired Elezen woman as being Miounne.

To be continued….

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The Path Unmarked Vol . 4

Sunlight poured in through the beautiful stain glass windows that adorned Gridania’s Carline Canopy. The place bustled with activity as the people went about their business. The activity was more than I was used to. Having come from more rural upbringing, I think this was the most people I had seen in one place at one time. Looking for a kind spirit, I walked up to a young Miquo’te woman. Remembering what the Roegadyn guard had told me, I quietly asked her how I would find Mother Mionne. She gestured to a raven haired Duskwight Elezen woman in a dark blue tunic. She seemed a bit younger than what I had expected, at being referred to as “Mother”, although it was no secret that Elezen’s in general seemed to age quite well. I watched as her face formed a frown at spotting a small mushroom near the base of her front counter. She came around to the front, bent down and quickly removed the offending fungi. As she assumed her natural posture, she spotted me drawing near and welcomed me with a smile.

In speaking with Mionne, it became quite apparent as to how she gained the title “Mother”. Patient and experienced, she seemed to anticipate what questions I had before I even asked them. She quickly told me of all the amenities that were available at her own Carline Canopy, and of the stalls on the east side of town where I could pick up basic tools and weapons. She said if I was looking for quality items I should head to the market wards in Lotus Gardens, as that was where all the really skilled trades people sold their goods. Possibly sensing that I was a little low on gil, she also told me that I should check in at the desk across the room from where we were. She said that they frequently offered odd job – leves to adventurers who were willing to take on a task or two. Spotting something, Mionne stopped talking and sighed. She then walked five feet to the left and removed yet another fungi from beside a table leg.

Her frown subsided as she returned with the small brown mushroom, she laughed and told me that she herself had even placed a leve request looking for help there earlier that day. If I was interested in it, she would tell me what it was, and if I felt up to it, she would make sure I was compensated. Knowing I was going to need some gil even before the night was over, as I really wanted to sleep in an actual bed tonight if possible, I agreed. I bit my lip out of respect as she told a comical story of her café being invaded by forest funguar and the havoc that ensued from its visit.

She gave me directions to Camp Bentbranch, and said I should attune with the aetheryte there for the time being, there should be enough leves available at that location to keep me in gil until I get more familiar with the area. I was exhausted and a bit hungry from the earlier happenings that day, but the notion of sleeping in an actual cot was enough to propel me to continue on. I thanked her for the information and started to go.

She must have sensed my state, and keeping true to her observed “Mother” title, she asked me to stay a bit longer to enjoy some cider and a hot meal on the house. I thanked her for the great kindness and wearily sat down at an empty table. She smiled brightly and pointed out the menu sitting at the table and asked me to pick something from it.

I selected a simple bowl of Ratatouille, not wanting to abuse her kind gesture. She smiled warmly and walked towards the back. A few minutes later she came back with the soup, a cup of hot faerie apple cider, and an apple tart. Her kindness was humbling, and I thanked her again. I reached in my bag searching for anything I could offer in return. My fingers quickly found the sprigs of lavender I had picked early this morning and offered them to her. She smiled and said it was not necessary, and that I should see if one of the stalls would be interested in them if I was looking to sell them. I told her I also had this treant vine. She squinted at it as I removed it from my satchel and placed it on the table. She picked it up and turned it over a few times in her hands and then returned it to the same spot on the table . She told me that I should keep it, but that later when there was more time, that I should come talk to her about it again. She said she might know a couple guilds that might be interested in buying it off of me. Someone from the desk then motioned at Mionne. She quickly handed me a linkshell pearl, and told me to contact her if I had any further questions. She then politely excused herself leaving me to the meal.

Thankful to Azeyma for the good fortune, I offered a quick praise, and thoroughly enjoyed my meal. When I finished, I sat and relaxed a few minutes longer. Starting to feel stronger, I stood from my chair and placed a small amount of gil at the table along with a single sprig of lavender beside it. It was a humble offering, but hopefully would show my gratitude none-the-less.

I recounted to myself the directions Mother Mionne had given me, and set out walking towards the gates I had came in from. I would complete the task that Mionne had mentioned. I never really hunted funguar before, but figured that It shouldn’t take long. After all, how hard can it be right?

To be continued….

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The Path Unmarked Vol . 5

Yet another wave of poison mist showered over me as I focused at the task at hand. Never before had I given the proper respect to adventurers who daily meals depended on tasks such as these. I deflected another advance from the funguar and began my rhythmic chant. This time choosing to draw upon a cool elemental essence in the hopes of bringing this sparring match to an end. My eyelids fluttered from exhaustion as I neared the completion of my cast, for a split second I reveled, believing I had conquered, only to find myself flat on my back with a knot on my forehead from a gridanian walnut that had been hurled in my direction.

My last casts execution had faltered, and I had inadvertently not focused my assault enough as I had now apparently enraged a nearby marmot as well. Ugh!

I heard a hearty chuckle behind me. I struggled to my feet and turned to see a familiar face. There stood Blindrage now attempting to cover previous laughter.

“Want some help?” he asked calmly as the funguar whipped my shoulder again and his new accomplice kicked me in the shin. Begrudgingly I nodded, I was tired, the poison had made me clumsy both on physical and mental levels. This whole endeavor was proving to last far longer than I had originally anticipated. It was becoming increasingly clear that I was going to have to toughen up if I was going to survive this calling.

Gee.. Take out a few mushrooms, how difficult would that be? I thought of the words I had asked myself as I left town and ventured to Camp Bentbranch now three hours ago.

Blindrage pulled his horas from his side and had the marmot down for the count in two hits, before turning his attention to the funguar, which soon followed the marmot.

Internally, it was actually kind of aggravating just how quickly he had taken them out, but I was not going to complain. I had to find and remove two more offending funguar before I could turn in the leve and get the gil reward that would ensure me a cot to sleep on rather than the bed of leaves I’d had the last few nights.

Blindrage  peered at me questioningly. “What brings you out here this evening?” he said solemnly. I stood and brushed the dust off my already abused hempen dalmatica.

I explained the details of my task. He attempted to hide a friendly smirk, as he offered to help me finish up.  Had I not had the day I’d had, I think I may have refused in order to prove a point, but in the state I was in, I accepted. I had a desperate need for this night to be over, I was in no shape to be out here fumbling around making the mistakes I was out of exhaustion.

I think he sensed my frustration with the whole situation as no further jovial remarks followed. We quietly and methodically took out the next two targets in record time.

I thanked him as he walked me back to Gridania. “No trouble” he said, “I was walking this way anyway… but this is where I have to take your leave……  Get yourself  to Carline Canopy, and get some rest friend.”

I wearily bowed and took his advice heading directly for the Canopy.  I approached the desk inside and proceeded to use half of the gil I had just earned to rent a room for the next three nights. A quiet miqo’te led me through the back and to a room with simple provisions, but it felt like heaven.  I crawled straight into bed and finally allowed myself to succumb to my exhaustion.

To be continued….

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The Path Unmarked Vol . 6


Wearily, my eyes opened. It was early morning yet with the sun not fully presented over the horizon, yet there were already quiet sounds of people stirring in the rooms next to mine. Most prominent, was the relaxing sound of the water gliding gently down into the basin from my room’s fountain. So peaceful, it was there tempting me to stay still a bit longer.  After a few minutes I pulled myself from the comfort of the cot. It had been well worth the gil! Simple provisions, yet far more accommodating then my pile of leaves I had slept in the last few nights. I felt refreshed.

I had the room for two more days, but if I wanted to continue to enjoy it, I would need to find a way to garner more gil. There was also the matter of repairing my attire, or finding something new to replace it with, as the tears would offer little protection and would nary help me to be taken for more than a beggar if I let it proceed unhampered.

With that  I stood up and stretched.  I stood and then lit the lantern on the end table. Quickly straitening up the room, before turning some attention to looking a bit more presentable. Hair combed and neatly pulled back up I was now ready to face the morning.  Looking around once more, I entertained the thought that it might be nice to have a place of my own someday. Gridania seemed rather pleasant.  However I was not brought here to settle down. Still unknown was the reason I was drawn to this place, and I would not discover it by staying in the rented room. I gathered my satchel , snuffed out the lantern’s light, and then headed for the door.

I retraced the route that the miqo’te had taken me the night before winding down the steps that led back into Caroline Canopy.  As early as it was there was already people stationed at the leve counter. Already people were conversing, enjoying meals and each other’s company. It was a pleasant atmosphere, and a soaked it in a moment before heading over to the leve counter.

I approached the Elzen there and he smiled warmly then proceeded to ask me a few questions before offering up some suggested leves to undertake.  I picked up one which would send me out to collect some herbs and flowers, one that would have me collecting some Evenfall Fireflies for an upcoming ceremony done by Stillglade Fane, and one that if I could find a way to acquire a needle,  that I could simply pick up some materials from a local woman, I could try my hand at making some very simple tunics and turning them in for some gil.  Maybe the practice would do me good. I was thankful that there seemed to be opportunities for different work all over.

I headed out towards the market stalls, as I was told there was someone there I could purchase a needle from. The serenity of the Gridania was pleasant… yet there was something more at hand, I could sense it.. I wished the reason behind being drawn here was more clear… although I’m sure it would present itself in time. Father always told me to be quite careful in what I wished for.

Waking from my thoughts, I found the Ebony and Rosewood Stalls..

A wildwood elzen woman named Foinine greeted me as I approached her stall. She asked if she could help me and proceeded to show me some of the weaving goods she had for sale. I asked about getting a needle, so she reached into a small wicker basket and produced a small Rusty Needle. “Its not fancy,” she said, “but it will get you started.”
I gratefully purchased the small needle and some hempen thread, and thanked her for her time. I decided to see what else they had for sale around there, so walked  through the rest of Rosewood and Ebony stalls. It was still early, so I decided to explore Gridania a bit more, and headed north. I spotted this tall Elzen man with a nice looking bow heading into a shop called the Centaur’s Eye.

Curious, I peeked in myself and found an intimidating Roegadyn man acting as a shopkeeper. He was busy selling a quiver of  arrows to the tall Elzen man. Quietly looking around his shop, I spotted a well used shortbow that struck my fancy.  I’d never been one for archery… but something about it seemed intriguing. I pulled my remaining gil out of my pocket. It cost more than what I had available, so I headed out the door, noting this shops location. After a few leves, maybe I could come back and pick it up. The Roegadyn bowed his head at me as I left. “Come again anytime” he said.

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