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Lucy's Diary: Sunflower's Blossom

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Foreword: "Dear Diary"


Dear diary, you do not know who I am, owing to that I too, know not who I truly am. They say we are the memories we keep, thus I have decided to keep mine with you, so that you may know me, and if ever I forget myself, or loose my way, I may come to you for the soothing remedy of nostalgia. I am Lucy Ambers and in words and picture am I hereby immortalised.

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Page #1: "Wilting Rose"


Dear diary, I have come to the realisation that my memories of life before the calamity is shrouded almost entirely in sadness. As an eight year old girl nearly orphaned by the devastation, the pictures of my father that hung through the walls of our old estate home oft brought a sharp pain to my heavy heart. But my mother was there to console me, to dry my tears and embrace me in her strong arms. When she was not training me in the arts of arcanima, my mother and I would tend to the gardens. She is the reason I've fallen so much in love with the soil and her flowers. But I learnt, that, like the wilting rose, good things never last. Two years ago, my mother succumbed to her old war injuries.


I remember, the Order of the Twin Adder held a funeral in her name, First Lieutenant Rose Ambers. Just as my father was, my mother too was eulogised as a hero of the Battle of Carteneau. But I always remember my mother differently, not as the half-Highlander or the warrior mage, but the loving mother who brought me all the joy in the world. Stood by her at her funeral, I smiled, for the memories of us playing in the grass, tending to the gardens, or horse riding through the park, would now and forever, be a beacon of happiness to guide me through darker times.

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Page #2: "Pious"


Dear diary, allow me to put to words, some thoughts on my sweetest darling aunt Eyfura and her Highlander husband, the oh so very pious Mikahel Hunter, a strong and powerful Paladin mage, so I'm told. My aunt loves him so much, she refers to him as her Royal Highness and he calls her his Queen. It's all very sweet and lovely, but it's certainly quite odd at times, probably a Highlander thing. My mother is aunt Eyfura's sister, and both their father, my grandfather, was a Highlander. So in a sense, I too am one, at least in part. Since my parent's passing, Aunt Eyfura inherited the deeds to the family estate, until I become of age. They moved to Gridania from their home in Ul'dah to take care of me.


Uncle Pious, as I call him, is a kind man, and speaks fondly of the Ala Mhigo of old, as it was before the Garlean invasion. I hope to visit there some day. Worship of the Twelve commands my uncle's every waking hour, and some times I pray with him. He is devoted to the worship of all the gods but follows most closely the deity of his homeland, Rhalgr, breaker of worlds and god of lightning and destruction, the magi with a bronzen staff, whose symbol is the streaking meteor. Perhaps its true what they say, Highlanders are the most loving of people unless you stoke their wrath. In all the years I have lived with my aunt and uncle, I've yet to see Pious so much as raise a hand to swat a fly.


I oft pray to the gods, more so now under my uncle's preaching, but I follow Nophica, tender of soils and harvests, goddess of earth and healing, patron deity of my homeland, Gridania. Which is fortunate, as her altar resides at Stillglade Fane, my place of study. My aunt could not carry the lessons in arcanima that my mother held for me, so instead, I was sent to learn conjury at the mage's guild in Old Gridania where I met my mentor, Brother E-Sumi-Yan, a Padjal of the Twelveswood. It is also where I met the local hermit boy I'd heard so much of, Mikel Yu.

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Page #3: "Lost Boy"


Dear diary, words to a song my mother oft sang to me echoes through my thoughts this day. The melody soft and beautiful, would always soothe me to hear. "You are the dawn of a new day that's waking, a masterpiece still in the making. The blue in an ocean of grey, you are right where you need to be, poised to inspire and to succeed. You'll look back and realise so one day" and I would finish with a verse of my own, that "all the world is here to stay, we just need, to find our way."


I sang to him, the hermit Mikel, while he slept beneath the sycamore tree. He was a lost boy, without friend or family and I oft followed him, to learn how he lived. He called the Twelveswood home, and the woods embraced him in turn. So I sang to him, that he may know the blue in an ocean of grey, the fields of roses bloom, that he too was a dawn of a waking day. I knew he was leaving that day, he had come of age and the Wailers cared for him no more.


I parted with him as he slept. 'Twas in hope of finding each other again, that I did leave my mother's Grimoire for him to find. In it, I wrote passages of spells, one to summon Blue, my carbuncle spirit. That together, they would keep well and safe. Oh dearest Nophica, I pray to thee, offer him guidance and keep him in good health. I have seen he is a good man, and will return to us, of this I am sure.

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Page #4: "Samson"


Dear diary, I went roaming the other side of the woods for the first time today. Samson and I got so terribly lost, I resorted to an invocation of Steelbane to lead us home. Ever so reliable, Steelbane was my father's warrior stead, the strongest and fastest of all the horses in our stable. When my father fell in battle Steelbane sought out my mother and brought her home. He saved her life and has since protected mine. A noble stead he is, fearless and world aware.


In stark comparison, Samson is but a boy distracted by the comforts of our home, but I do love him, as he does me. He is a young Coeurl orphaned by pirates in the jungles of La Noscea. We've grown up together from both our tender ages. I laugh when he tickles me with his flying whiskers and groan in protest against the morning sun, when he tugs me from my bed with his long scaly tail. He knows when I'm feeling sad, and lends me a moment of distraction when we wrestle. Oh, he's so fat and heavy, I have no hope of winning once he decides to sit on me. Tickling his sides, rubbing his belly or playing with his ears, none of it will make him change his mind, once he's sat comfortable and victorious. He's my lazy, adorable Samson, may we continue to wander the woods ill-advised and forever get ever so lost in the rain.

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Page #5: "Trial by Earth"


Dear diary, today marked the start of my trials of Conjury with Brother E-Sumi-Yan, the wisest old man I have ever known. Though one must have patience with him, with his long speeches, and learn to look past the distracting adorable young face he wears. He is a Hearer of the forest and communes with the Elementals that rule the Twelveswood. I think perhaps one day I too could become a Hearer. I'll have to learn from Brother E-Sumi and listen well to the voices of the forest. For now, it was time for my test of knowledge on the element of earth.


The secret to wielding the energy of the elements is to release all anxiety and allow oneself to be surrounded by the serenity of life, for it is the wellspring of nature's power. Conjurers who are ignorant to this pose a terrible risk to themselves and others. As Hearer Nolanel always said, the power of earth is the solid foundation upon which a conjurer stands, within all its intricate variations and properties.


For my trial, I was to locate a secure path through a labyrinth of rocks by communing with the earth itself and avoiding locations of corrupted trauma, lest I be faced with danger. What I chose instead to do, was hunt each location of trauma, not avoid it, hereby placing myself in danger, but I am nothing if not a healer of the soil, and so I chose to cleanse the maze of rocks off it's tainted energies, permitting the land a chance to heal. I was commended for this, and received great merit for combat skills, though I did fail to finish the trial. I could sense the rocks just well, but seeing the map does not a pathfinder make! Ah! Nophica give me patience.

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Page #6: "Trial by Wind"


Dear diary, it was great seeing Wulfie again today. She's a young Hearer at Fullflower Comb and divines the will of air elementals, gleaning the mysteries of wind. You should understand, learning the patterns of gust and gale and her teaching it to me was so easy for us both, being of similar age. We've become very close friends and I hold her as an esteemed role model. She's ever so sweet.


For my trial, lavender scent, pollen and a faint gaseous poison was released into the air current and my task was to filter through the lavender scent and carry it over my judges, without trace of pollen or poison. Clearing the air was no easy task, but I did pass the trial. Wulfiue's technique did not fail me. With mind still and senses acute, I could hear the call of the breeze, feel the natural flow of the current and taste the presence of objects carried within. With closed eyes, my senses painted shades to the different odours and streams of poisoned air. By Nophica's blessing, I could see the colours of the wind.

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Page #7: "Trial by Water"


Dear diary, one of the most important lessons I have learnt from Stillglade Fane is the vastness of the elements and the comparative insignificance of it's conjurer. Heeding to the crushing capabilities of earth or the gradual tormenting grasp of wind, where one's bones might be crumbled by stone or left breathless by the suffocation of patient destruction, one ought never forget to respect the powers of nature. With this understanding comes the many blessings of Nophica as reward, the nutritious embrace of the earth and the embalming clarity of fresh air. Balance is as it is in all things; we release after consuming, exhale after inhaling, for conjury is a power borrowed from nature, never taken.


This is just as true with the element of water. Rain from the heavens falls in abundance over blessed Gridania to feed the flowers and crops, give life to fish and fluid to quench our thirst. Under the sun's heat is vapour returned to the heavens, giving cloud to the afternoon skies, waiting to shower the world once more. A precious lifeblood of the earth, without water, naught would grow from our soils. In heavy rain and storms over seas does water's destructive power show. Should it rise in too great a volume or too swiftly and the nourishing flow becomes a crashing wave washing away all before it.


As a carer of gardens, water should be my favourite of the elements, but I simply do not enjoy getting wet. Water is of course essential for carrying the nutrients of the earth up through the roots of plants, which I can influence. Feeding my plants is a must, and I do delight in seeing them grow, however, I am quite the anemophiliac at heart. I do enjoy waving the air through the forest, singing with the bees and the birds, helping to pollinate the more lonelier trees and patches of neglected grass. Oftentimes I find corruption draining life force from the trees, and with the purity of sanctified water, I cure their ails. Why, oh why dear Nophica could they not have tasked me with a simple watering can and a pot of flowers? Or bring to me wounded men in need of hematological mending, or with unguent and other restorative fluids?


Hearer Joacin mocks me more oft than I would say fair. He knows just how well I keep my hair and did set task for me to commune with brook and stream, while soaked in the rain. There were befouled water sprites everywhere and Twelve as my witness, I nearly drowned standing upright. Needless to say, I failed horribly. Ahk, Nophica give me strength. I will make plan for when next I am suffered through this, to bring strong boots and a hooded raincoat large as a tent!

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Page #8: "Stars of the Twelve"


Dear diary, I have wonderful news. I have passed my lore exam. Though, on the subject of the gods, I did not perform as well as I had hoped I would. We are taught that the Twelve are the gods of Eorzea, who ruled the lands, born of the mothercrystal Hydaelyn, until the arrival of our ancestors, the tribes of man; Hyur, Lalafell, Miqo'te, Roegadyn and Elezen. So, paired under the six elements, and tied to one of the constellations of Hydaelyn, we can actually spy the gods in the night's sky. The Bole is the Trunk of the World Tree, planted by Nophica, the Matron, whose symbol is the spring leaf, and also nurtured by Althyk, the Keeper, (his symbol is the hourglass) for it is from the World Tree that all life did spring. I have always favoured dear Nophica myself. May her blessings touch me always.


Now, as in life and death, fall and rebirth, old and new, the Balance, second of Hydaelyn's constellations, is made prosperous by the traders Nald and Thal, and kept just by the fires of her warden Azeyma, whose symbol is the radiant sun. Third is the Spire; a great iron tower of spinning gears and springs, constructed by Byregot, the Builder, whose symbol is the hand. The tower of course is constantly under attack by Rhalgr, the Destroyer, whose symbol is the streaking meteor, but alas, his bolts of thunder only serve to power the tower.


The Arrow, fourth of Hydaelyn's cluster of stars, was created atop a lofty peak by Oschon, the Wanderer, whose symbol is the walking stick, guided by the winds of Llymlaen, the Navigator. Her symbol is the ocean wave. Fifth is a water jug, the Ewer, vessel of Thaliak, the Scholar, from which pours forth a mighty river containing all knowledge past, present, and future, and contains the aether spun from the loom of Nymeia, the Spinner. Lastly, the Spear, symbolising Halone, the Fury, rival of Nophica, whose domain was carved from the frozen moonbeams of Menphina, the Lover, keeper of moons. So exciting, and to think they all are from an extended family tree. Oh I pray to thee, mother Nophica, when my form is old and withered as the fall leaves, that I may ascend the heavens and lay at the comfort of your bosom, forever at peace.

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Page #9: "Days of the Woods"


Dear diary, I oft wonder what it was like in those darkened days, so many centuries ago, when the all-powerful Elementals of the Twelveswood allowed not man's passing. I wonder what life was like for our ancestors, in the cavernous city of Gelmorra. I try to imagine the man or woman whose idea it was to appease to the favour of the Elementals. Of course, we're taught that the Elementals are beings of pure aether (would that make them targets for those Primals who consume aether) and we know that early practitioners of the primitive and shapeless magic of aether manipulation so arrived at the idea of trying to commune with the Twelveswood. Curious to think it took five long decades to discover successful methods of conjury. I suspect the aether manipulation techniques of our ancestors were quite elaborate and needlessly complex.


Brother E-Sumi gave me extra merit in my trial of Twelveswood lore, and I passed with flying colours, literally, my topaz carbuncle Buttercup came to celebrate with me in a spectacle of light. Brother E-Sumi was impressed with my general grasp of the formation of our city state. In that, conjury was born from the will of our forebearers, to be one with the forest. For thus did the Elementals give us welcome to the Shroud, giving creation to our beloved Gridania. Of course, their will is our law and in accordance to their governing, we Gridanians are taught to live as one with nature. Each tree, each branch, each leaf, each blade of grass we consider as brother and sister to us.


Outsiders who wander in and harm our way of life, our trees and animals or cause disturbance to the peace are simply taken care of. Furthermore, those who seek solace within our woods go through the judgement of the Elementals and our Hearers deliver their decree. 'Tis a rarity that any are given leave to remain. Which is of course, no wonder, given that many outsiders who wander by only cause trouble to the balance, and pose a threat to what we have, for so long, worked hard to build; peace and serenity within the Twelveswood.

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Page #10: "Mother's Arcanima"


Dear diary, I've been thinking about mother. She was a keen geometry expert, did you know? Of course you did, I told you pages ago. But I loved hearing her speak. Especially on subjects of the body's aetheric energies in relation to its magical and biological flow. Oftentimes I would steal away a moment in the day to read some of her many books on the arcane patterns of natural phenomena found through mathematical observations. It always fascinated me how spells could be dissected, studied and re-woven like Nymeia herself fashioning new effects on the very fabrics of reality. As a student first of arcanima, I was lucky to have gained a strong understanding of the aether and it effects the Twelveswood and its Elementals. At times, I even see the geometric patterns in conjury before I remember to feel it instead. Maybe someday I can achieve what my mother has, and blend both forms of magic into one, perhaps even something new.


My mother's spellbook contained all of her designs, spellcrafting calculations as well as field stratagems, not least aether-geometric machinations, both basic and complex. 'Twas in her passing that I did inherit the grimoire and learnt all it contains. I wonder how much the boy Mikel has learnt from mother's spellbook, since the day I lent it. Perhaps I should seek him out. What do you think dear diary, shall I cast the invocation and re-summon mother's book of spells? It would draw him to me like bees to a sunflower, ha! Dear me, Lucy, what are you doing?

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Page #11: "Rite of Passage"


Dear diary, I have had an idea what locations to visit as per my task for the coming of age's rite of passage. I could visit the shrines of the Twelve, as a pilgrimage of sorts. Of course I would still return with flowers rare to each area, as proof of my journey. I have taken the liberty to begin researching this possibility. The locations are as follows; both the stones of Goddess Halone and Goddess Menphina, loved by the keeper Miqo'te, reside at the Coerthas Central Highlands. I haven't a clue what that place is, so it is an excellent opportunity for leaning and tourism. Thaliak the Scholar, patron deity of the Sharlayans, his stone is in Mor Dhona, what a place rich in lore and history of wars.


I would also see Lower La Noscea for the stone of Nymeia the Spinner, Limsa Lominsa for the stone of Llymlaen the Navigator (favoured so by the Roegadyn seafarers), then set for Outer La Noscea to see the stone of Oschon the Wanderer, who was once a great patron of the ancient city of Nym. Afterwards, I’ll return east in search of Little Ala Mhigo, and travel through Southern Thanalan for the stone of Rhalgr the Destroyer, who is venerated by the Hyur Highlanders. I’ll then journey on to Eastern Thanalan for the stone of the sun goddess Azeyma the Warden, so worshipped by the seeker Miqo'te.


While in the desert, there are the two stones of Nald and Thal in Ul'dah, not to mention their shrines Nald's Reflection and Thal's Respite in Southern Thanalan and Eastern Thanalan respectively. And of course Nophica's Wells in Western Thanalan. On the trip home, it would be wise to return through the South Shroud of the Twelveswood for the stone of Byregot and the stone of Althyk the Keeper. I’ll then arrive back at Old Gridania to give thanks to Nophica, the Matron at Her Altar. I must propose this plan to Brother E-Sumi.


Perhaps I'll set out scouting for a path out north, like the adventurers in mother's books. Then soon, I too shall become a woman, an adventurer of the greater world, to bravely go where no other has been before, to strike fast and strong at the befouling corruptions of darkness and heal the land anew. Pray, heed this call Eorzea, for here comes she, Lucy Ambers, bane of the wild plants, killer, of the phytopathogenic fungi!

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Page #12: "This Soaking Rain"


Dear Diary, the odour in here is quite unpleasant, the stableboys are out gallivanting again. I've had to seek shelter in the barn, you see, for it has started to rain again. That's the fifth time this morning and it's sure to keep through the day. At this rate the viola and petunia plants are going to suffer lack of sunlight and drown from the endless downpour.


I've asked Cicely from the growery to visit come the morrow, and lend me aid in the garden. I can not raise those beds on my own, certainly not in this rain. My poor suffering roots. Oh Nophica, mother of the land, grant me strength to keep this hair healthy as your sunflowers.


Merely two suns ago did I run aloe through my strands. Should the rain keep, the oils shall wash out. To collect more citrus, and make the mix with aloe vera shall steal hours of the day. My poor tender hands, it takes half the morning to comb my hair straight as it is, good Nophica, spare your daughter this soaking rain and shed light upon my flowers, I pray to thee.

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Page #13: "Lost and Found"


Dear Diary, my sixteenth nameday close approaches, and nervous though I be, the excitement of an adventure through the world unknown took hold of my senses. Before reason could overthrow my heart's desire, I found myself atop Samson my roaming companion, somewhere in the North Shroud. My task, as set by my teachers of the conjurer's guild would be to travel beyond the Twelvewoods on a journey of self-discovery. Proactive, as I am, I had thought to run ahead and scout a path for my walkabout. Alas, Wanderer forsake me, I became terribly lost. The strong winds of the wet weather had blown my coat clean off my back and absent my travelling pack, I had no access to wardrobe. The rain of the north fogged my way and find my path I could not.


I sought shelter under a gazebo, somewhere near Fallgourd Float. There I slept atop my furry Coeurl mount. Samson gave me warmth and wrapped his long whiskers about me, best as he could. Silently, I prayed to the Twelve, and lo, as though heavensent, a Lalafell approached me with warm blankets. I had not noticed before, but it seemed I had happened into the company of a travelling caravan of adventurers.


Wrapped warmly, I gave thanks to my caretakers and introduced myself. I met a confident looking Miqo'te keeper called Sir Jikam, a somewhat reserved fellow Hyur introduced as Sir Khyran and of course, my Lalafell saviour, was a Miss Lilia. Polite and well spoken, Miss Lilia referred to all who were there with a respectful Sir or Miss. She reminds me of my mother, so caring and full of kindness. Strangers and travellers are often regarded with caution in my parts of the Twelvewoods, but I felt quite safe among these fellows. Miss Lilia allowed me to keep her fashionably woven blanket, and I wrapped it over me like a shawl before departing and returning back south. I have made schedule to find her again once through the Nine Ivies. Pleased of my evening, I gave thanks to the Wanderer, for in a time of need did he send me the Wayfinders.

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Page #14: "Playing at Adventuring"


Dear Diary, it's been a strange morning at the Nine Ivies. I was picking flowers for Miss Lilia (I've decided I'll gift her with some of my favourites I found out here, the Bellflower Beardtongue, Golden Poppies, Red Poppies and the Bellflower Lilies) when I heard a woman call for aid of an adventurer. Of course this peeked my curiosity and I approached her in greeting. I immediately found her quite blunt and direct, almost rude even, as she likened me to a prostitute for my lacking of a coat. Fortunately I had my pack strapped over Steelbane my travelling steed, and so had a change of clothes to satisfy my would-be client. She asked me of my experiences in such things like fighting and killing, and honestly, the thought brought me near to tears. I did not find the expectation to kill for this woman at all appealing.


She lost interest in me as I looked upset, but I pressed on, my concern for the Nine Ivies growing. I beseeched her to explain her quest, for whatever must be done for the good of the Twelveswood, would be my duty. She seemed to think me young and naive, even compared me to a sister of hers who had suffered paralysing injuries due to being unprepared on a dangerous adventure. I chose to look past this insult and offered her consolation for her sister's plight. We journeyed through the Nine Ivies together, I as her guard, while she picked rare herbs in the forests. It was quite exciting. I was to look out for rampaging beasts, which I hoped to soothe if one should be encountered. Should it be a bear or other, I would offer her my meatball sandwich and give thanks to the elementals.


Ms Lockwood, that was her name, had little faith in this plan and once at our destination, she released me of my duties. Of course I declined payment, for I serve the will of the forest. I made note to highlight that I had been right in that no harm would befall us, for the Twelveswood were at peace this day. Alas, as though to question my point, we came under attack by hurled knives. At first I panicked, but Ms Lockwood's safety was still my primary concern. I urged her to find cover behind a tree, and I did the same. At first, I suspected poachers, there to take the peacefully grazing stags. As I hurled wind spells in the direction of the thrown knives, I felt a sharp prick upon my back, followed by a voice.


"There are always dangers in the woods, girl, always be prepared, let this be your lesson this day"


Or something along those lines. I was all too busy panicking to properly register her words. I held up my hands in surrender and made sure not to make any sudden movements, fearing for my life. In the event, Ms Lockwood had gained advantageous position and so ran at the knife-pelting woman, aiming to tackle her down. I looked over my shoulder and saw her instead be struck in the stomach, winding her briefly. What followed was a scuffle of swinging arms and knives, the two arguing as though they were familiar. I ran back and yelled for help. I noticed we were not too far from the Quarrymill of Silent Arbor and quick as my windborne feet could flutter, I sprinted to the encampment and reported the crimes to the Wood Wailers on post. Returning with officials to the scene of the attack, both victim and assailant were gone. I don't quite know what to take from it all, except perhaps this; it is not beast that endangers our woods, but the greed and violence of outsiders.

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Page #15: "Everen Academy Cafe"


Dear Diary, there is a school of learning based in Gridania called the Everen Academy, they offer good trade and make profit from merchantry as well as regularly inviting the locals in for social evenings of casual dining. I've never attended, but pending my graduation from Stillglade Fane, I thought ought to look into further education. Sadly the evening wasn't at all pleasant. For whatever the reason, the majority of the crowd attracted to the cafe were outsiders, those of the horned kind. I made my distaste known to the host, who I'd met upstairs, but she took offense and had me thrown out of the establishment. Poor way to treat a concerned guest I'd say. There was even an Elezen woman under the effects of smoking fire shards in a pipe, she drew arms on me while I conversed with the host on their lawn.


One of the horned people in particular looked especially sinister and on my way down the hill, I saw him again. This time appearing to harass a group of Miqo'te and Hyur ladies. Of course I came to their defense and offered help, but seemingly I was mistaken, as they seemed offended that I would even question the presence of the horned person in the first place. Nonetheless, I will not allow an unpleasant evening to phase my mood. I shall return to the Nine Ivies to rendezvous with Miss Lilia. Persons of her company were much more pleasant and welcoming as it were. Perhaps once the school quietens, I shall revisit and make my defense. Besides, there is a Miqo'te goes by Mirien I'd like to meet again.

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Page #16: "With the Wayfinders"


Dear diary, I did meet with Miss Lilia today, and her company of Wayfinders. Swiftly, I’m told, did their caravan pass through the Nine Ivies, but word reached me in time to give pursuit. Steelbane tracked the caravan to an alehouse not far from the Nine Ivies, and out in the yard, sat the brave adventurers. I gave the basket of hand-picked flowers to Miss Lilia, all my favourites that grew in the surrounding forest. She introduced me to those at our table, first to Miss Emeraven, a freelance medic and hunter with a fantastical bow that span the length of her body and more. She had a kind look about her, and eyes so captivating I forgot to notice the furry ears.


Also at Lilia’s table was Sir Maruud, an old Roegardyn with long greying hair. We spoke briefly of my impending rite and coming of age, of my nervous excitement and plans to travel the world for the first time. He made contrast to himself, of when he was my age, how he had travelled much and never was one to remain too long in a single place. We certainly differ in that respect, I have called the Twelveswood home for the fifteen years of my life, and proudly so, have never ventured outside of her safe canopies.


Miss Lilia wore a different hat today, to match a beautiful yellow overcoat. Her wide-brimmed straw hat gave shade from the evening sun, and was decorated with an adorable bouquet of flowers; daisies, poppies, roses and sunflowers, preserved to retain their colourful bloom, never to wilt or die. She looked elegant as always, with an air of sophistication that draws good company and makes for pleasant conversation. We spoke again of Sir Redolent Rose, master of the Weaver’s Guild, who I plan to visit someday if ever I pass through the city of Ul’dah. As Miss Lilia pointed out, both weavers and botanist could much benefit from working together in fashion; complement each other’s skills and create floral clothing of such wonders as Miss Lilia’s hat. It is an exciting thought, and a project I’d much enjoy to undertake.


A Highlander was brought to our table by the name of Sir Worren, large and strong, with a warming smile and a laid back attitude. His tongue spoke so overly honest of his thoughts, it was no wonder Sir Maruud gave repeated reprimand. I did find him quite entertaining. He reminded me of uncle Pious, who like almost all other Ala Mighans, seldom wore clothing, choosing to lay bare their ever so distracting muscled torsos.


Ready to meet more of the Wayfinders, I asked Miss Lilia if I may be shown around. Thankfully, she was accepting, glad even, to walk me over to the crowd. I met three new people, and for all my fears, all three were Au Ra. Sir Connor, Caolan and Sechen. The terror that caught my tongue must have been more than noticeable as Miss Lilia bade me not to be afraid. Was but only a while earlier in the evening that I was thrown out of the Everen Academy cafe for prejudices to a man of Sir Connor's scaled likeness, yet the contrasts were far different. Unlike the suspect air of the derelict vagrant of the Everen cafe, here was a man, well mannered, poised in stately coat with the outward impression of an intellectual scholar. Absent his intimidating height, draconic scales and imposing horns, one could quite possibly, see the person beneath.


"Physical appearances are just that, an outward shell of the soul that inhabits it" said Connor, imparting wisdom to my, admittedly, ignorant mind. "You may never know someone unless you take the time to learn of them. The most frightening of visage can hide the kindest of souls." Sir Connors made his leave, presumably satisfied he had given sufficient enlightenment to this young and sheltered mind. Yet all his words fell flat upon meeting Sir Caolan. He was the sort to embrace the crippling fear his intimidating size invoked in others. He was rude and obnoxious and challenged every aspect of politeness offered to him by Miss Lilia. I could not bring myself to stand close, let alone greet him or offer conversation. I had spent all the courage and willpower left in me not to leave and flee the company of these strange outsiders, when I finally found meaning in Connor's words, embodied in the form of her, Sechen.

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  • 3 months later...



Page #17: "Meeting Sechen"


Dear diary, a smart and scary monster once told me, you maynever know someone unless you take the time to learn of them, for the most frightening of visage can hide the kindest of souls. So it was, that soon after hearing Sir Connor's words, did I meet the example to which he might as well have been referring. Sechen's was a beauty to behold, a contradiction of my mind and heart, for here was a magnificent monster. Her scales were curled over slightly tanned skin like the spiral of vines embracing a floral growth. She had only one eye, the other damaged and kept behind a leather eyepatch. Yet, her cycloptic imperfections merely offered greater insight into her curious soul. I felt drawn to her, as though our souls, invisible to the naked eye, had risen from our mortal forms to hold and entwine in the circling embrace of kindred's dance.


I giggled and laughed as she spoke, her foreign accent clearto hear, and adorably, she gestured with her hands and body to support her efforts of communication. It was a game to me, and I wanted to play. Introducing myself, I held out my hands, curled into each other and slowly, I unfolded them, imitating as best as I could, a blossoming flower. "I am a botanist" I said, and an idea came to me. I reached into my satchel of herbs and produced a flower which I carefully secreted into my sleeves. I repeated my blossoming gesture and magicked forth the hidden bloom. Senchen was awash with shock and glee. "Myosotis sylvatica" I explained, "a beautiful blue flower to compliment your hair. It is also known as forget-me-not, a fitting gift to make a lasting impression".


Sechen liked my flower, and affixed it to her hair. Shebrought me to sit and we spoke of each other's past and dreams, namely my impending rite of passage, a quest to collect flowers from around the world. As the night drew on, the tables emptied, and Sechen and I were at last alone. I remember admiring her hair and the mesmerising flow of her scaled skin. They were blue as crystals, a beauty of lapis lazuli. As sleep washed over me, I became mesmerised by Sechen's rustling hair, each strand dancing in the midnight breeze, blue as the azure skies.


I must assume she helped me back onto Steelbane, for on themorrow, I awoke sprawled over the velvet sheets of my four-poster bed, safe and sound in the familiar walls of my family home. I recall speaking to Sir Jikam the caravan master, who agreed to have me join the Wayfinders group. I believe they're set for the beaches of Costa del Sol, a place unknown to me in the east of La Noscea. Though I cannot yet leave the Twelveswood, I was glad to have been taken in by my new friends, especially, that Sechen had desired me to do so. I hope to see her again, so that we may properly celebrate. To all the gods do I pray, for protection and safe passage of my newfound friends. Bless the earth they traverse, good Nophica, and give nourishment to their vessel, wherever their camps may be.

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Page #18: "No Thyme for Vinaigrette"


Dear diary, I visited upon the Wayfinder's camp today hopingto see Sechen. She was sat by herself outside the bar, writing into a book, so I felt free to join her. It was quite sweet, she had drawn for me a beautifully sketched flower, as a return gift for the forget-me-not I had given her. I have the drawing fixed perfectly on a page in my spellbook. Perhaps I'll weave arcanima into it, give practise to my construction spells. The horned one Caolan came to us and gave invitation to join him at his table. I could not trust him, so of course I parted my lips to decline. But over his shoulder was the smiling likeness of Miss Lilia, who too was at his table. Reluctantly, I did accept.


What intrigues me is how later, in the conversation at thetable, Caolan, the supposed berserker gave sound advise on the subject of homely warmth. Miss Lilia had sent Sechen for mushrooms to improve her skills in market and commerce, and so came about the talk of food while living with a travelling caravan. I had not given thought to how I would eat away from home, without the servants to attend, or the cook preparing my favourite Gemelli Salad with Green Beans and Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette. Dearly, would I miss my favourite dishes, with endless wanting. Surely, I thought, the solution to this is quite simply to have packed several lunches, even weeks’ worth. Miss Lilia made light of the idea and we laughed. She agreed bringing along my favourite food might give me a touch of home, but warned to prepare for the impracticalities of such a notion.


Caolan spoke. And not at all in any provocative manner."Home is people, not a place" were his grammatically incorrect attempts at the common word. "It is more memories and feelings than things and locations." A surprisingly empathetic observation that exposed perhaps a hidden layer of a gentleman beneath the visage of a monster. Caolan had a love, care and compassion for his travelling companions. It was an opportunity too ripe for teasing for me to miss, and so upon Sechen's arrival did I make fun of the honed giant, reporting to her his soft and kind words of advice. Not to worry, however. I've found a better solution for my predicament. I'll bring along the cook.

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Page #19: "Silvernail"


Dear diary, it is a great number of emotions within, thatforeshadows my rite of passage. One of which gives me cause for concern, about the person I might become over the course of my journeys. I have heard many a stories of children who venture into the world and return so unlike themselves, as though a darkness had taken over. A worrying similarity to the corruption that often seeds beneath the soils of our beloved Twelveswood. I fear the world might change me, and I shared such worries with a man I met at the campfire later that same night with Sechen. Sir Wemrys, a handsome man in resplendent armour, who gave comfort to my fears. As it turned out, he was but a lowly servant guard for the person of which I have named this page, Doctor Llinos Silvernail.


Doctor Llinos had suffered mild memory loss and sought astone of materia from Sechen's keeping with which to absorb back slivers of herself. She appeared quite weakened, and in retrospect I ought have offered her seat. She was leant on her guard Wemrys so warmly, spoke with him so fondly and jested so romantically that it is hard to imaging she would ever stay true to any suitor, noble or otherwise, save Sir Wemrys. Miss Llinos took interest in my fears and gave wisdom to soothe my woes.


"You'll find life is a constant metamorphosis. The morewe know about the world and ourselves, we find that adapting is necessary."



I don't, really, understand what she means, but the way shesaid it was enough to lift my mood. I admired her. Dressed in a light blue scholar's robe with such beautiful embroidery like none I've ever known. Her hair was shortly cut, dark with a deep contrasting red that served to enrich the gloss and sheen of each silken strand. She was a doctor of medicinal conjury and herbalist through expertise in botany. I wanted to be her. I thought, perhaps if I were her student, I could learn just how to do so. So I asked, and heavens be praised, she agreed. I am to be trained in advanced learning, new ways of healing.

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Page #20: "Under the Starlight"


Dear diary, you would not believe the fun I've had thisnight gone. Quite a time it has been that I've felt so wild and free. My father's Doman horse, Steelbane and I traveled a while through the central shroud, just a merry jaunt through the woods, and lo, over the meadows, a sight to behold. A heavenly white mare with flowing sky blue mane swimming in the wind like an ocean wave. And her rider. Magical as the twinkling crystals of Hydaelyn beyond. She had long gorgeous hair combed over her shoulder in sweeping arcs like the petals of pink lilies out in full bloom. A Miqo'te, with a long lavender pink tail that playfully caressed the sides of her horse. She wore a simple white dress that blended over the spectral pale mare, embracing her figure into a silhouette cast of the mystical glow.


I merely sat and watched, transfixed by the visage. It isquite likely she thought my awe-struck face comical, as sounds of tiny laughter came from her way. She approached with a kind smile and her laughter caught on to me. I chuckled mildly at first but as it went on, our laughing took on a life of its own. I paid her compliment and she replied in kind. Her name was 'Sami, born of Raha, of the Dodo tribe. Truely, D'sami was a lovely name, but here was no ordinary girl.


Liking to the healing aura upon which I had been bathed,D'sami first introduced herself as Starlight. Steelbane seemed to be enjoying the company of the white mare, fittingly called Moonlight, so Star and I went for a walk. Like children that we were, we spent the early evening chasing one another around the meadow and rolling over hills. Star was so playful it was unbelievably refreshing. Mother was oft overly keen on my keeping of an elegant air, in accordance to noble etiquette of course. But on this night, I had the freedom to relinquish all pretence, throw caution to the wind and simply enjoy the laughter and company of the spritely Starlight. Eventually, we exhausted ourselves and laid among the flowers to bask in warming light of the golden Gridanian sunset.



As night drew near, we straddled our horses and I made ready to take leave. Retrospect is terribly punishing, for when Star gave invitation to escort her to a friend's home, I ought have declined. Alas, I wanted not for the evening to end and so followed the rosy maiden to a mansion past Lavender Beds. It was a magnificent home and her friends were ever so accommodating, Donut and Orion especially, strange names beside. So it was, that I spent the night with Starlight, a stranger no longer. I was away from home for the first time ever, but when came the morrow, my Aunt and Uncle were less than impressed.

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Page #21: "Nine Tails"


Dear diary, there was a recruitment fair out by the Adder'sNest earlier today, and present, in uniform were new members of a group my mother used to be in; a band of heroes known as the Nine Tails. According to mother, they were a tactical squad who started in the Gridanian military as White Wolves serving in the Wood Wailer's camps before enlisting to the Order of the Twin Adders on its reformation. Most of the original team fell as heroes in the Battle of Carteneau, but here stood a group, a brave few, ready to take their mantle.



I learnt some of their names, D'orina, Ahm'ir, Lexi,Naih'tan, Shiri, three others and the wolf's head Jax, who rumours tell did steal Magitek from a Garlean camp. I had hoped to introduce myself to them, but sadly I was not alone at the town center. Officially grounded, my punishment for spending the night with Starlight is to forever be chaperoned by my aunt's guard who is a farcry from the kind and charming Sir Wemrys.

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Page #22: "Maple"


Dear diary, sneaking from the house felt wrong. I worry I may need to tell a lie, should my aunt suspect I've been away. I hate it so, that she and I no longer see eye to eye, or share the dreams of my future to come. Nevertheless, it was worth it. I had received invitation from Doctor Llinos to visit her home at Lavender Beds to discuss my level of magical skill and aptitude. She seemed impressed by my understanding of arcanima and empathised with my difficulties in conjury, especially on the element of water. Doctor Llinos suggests I take on healing through herbology as my familiarity in botany would give a strong base from which to progress. One cannot always use magical means of conjury to heal, she explained, in such cases where a patient suffers aetheric illnesses or similar conditions.


Socialising with the Silvernails, of course over tea, Ilearnt a little more about Sir Wemrys and Doctor Llinos. Wemrys was of course Lominsan, with his pirate talk and broken speech, but also of Doman descent. Doctor Llinos, like me, was also of Ala Mhigan ancestry. It seems the closer I become with the good doctor, learning of who she is, the more I see how alike we are. She reminds me terribly of my mother.



Though perhaps the highlight of our meeting was getting tomeet Maple for the first time, Doctor Llinos's adopted daughter. Like her Lalafell son Sindri, Maple too was not Hyur, but a Miqo'te. A curious story I'm sure, lies behind this unusual arrangement and no matter how many stolen glances I afforded to Maple, the clues eluded me. I could not help but watch her. She had a soft, pale skin and a shy gentle smile that inspired affection. I've asked her and her mother, and I am allowed to come over as often as I like, to play, practice or study. Maple must have been more nervous than I, how she held her brother close on her lap. Sindri, ever adorable with his candid words of truth. Bless the little fellow, he aspires to be a pirate like Sir Wemrys, correction, a privateer. Much to the dismay of their mother. It was very funny, and I was enjoying myself. It dawned on me then, how different their home was to mine. Home, where I am but the lonely orphan to be pitied and cast away off to school. I envied Maple, unlike her, once the tea was drunk and the curtains of night fell, I, had to leave.

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  • 5 months later...



Page #23: "Runaway"


Dear diary, please, help me. I feel emotions confused and thoughts in disarray. I know not where I am. It rains and I sought shelter. Mayhap I'm south of Bentbranch Meadows but certain I cannot be. I've been so angry. Filled with rage, I did fight with my aunt. Heavens forsake, she would not listen, the Wayfinders are leaving the shroud! I beseeched my aunt to let me go, to let me say goodbye. On my knees, I begged of her, and in spite of my tears, in spite of my pleads, she did deny me leave. Curse her. Curse her and her missing child. They care not for me, but he. Though here I be, in plain sight, they loved me not, but he. I shan't go back. I won't return. I'll make journey to Buscarron’s Druthers.


There I hear, will be the caravan. There is to be a party, a tavern crawl with friends. Pray, Sechen be in attendance, Sir Connor and Miss Lilia. Yes, should all efforts fail, I have the pearl, to reach Doctor Llinos for aid. Thank you dear diary, for now, a plan I have.

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Page #24: “Adder’s Hospice” 


Dear diary, I’m told I spent time unconscious here at an Adder’s camp, that I had been rescued by a Miqo'te from the Nine Tails team. It all seems quite a blur. I recall pausing my flee from home to seek shelter at Bentbranch Meadows. The rain passed, and I made way towards Lavender Beds in hope to see Doctor Llinos, perhaps, I had thought, we would join the Wayfinders tavern crawl together. Not far had I walked, past Galvanth’s Spire, that I was set upon by Diremite, enraged it seemed, by a dark presence. Try as I may to calm the shelled creatures, my soothing fell to ensorcelled minds. In panic, I fled. And absent of direction, the trees of night’s forest did forsake me guidance. T'was then, I heard the noises. A movement in the shadows. The rustling of leaves, the breaking of branches, there were more than one. Unarmed and utterly unprepared, I felt defenceless, something my mother taught me never to allow.


Foolishly, perhaps, I searched the ground for fallen sticks. Of poor health or good, I thought, anything from the earth would do. Brandishing my soil-grown plant, I waved it outward at my perceived stalkers. That was it. I can not recall what happened next, for all I know, is of a so-called rescue, by a Miqo'te hero who returned me here, to the Twin Adder’s custody. I’ve seen my aunt and uncle. They visited earlier, and are none too pleased with my escapades. Dear diary, I cannot remain in hospice, I must get away. I cannot bare sight of my aunt’s disappointment or the disapproving scowl of uncle Pious. Mayhap, I get away. I gather this is nearby Lavender Beds, not at all far from Maple and her mother.

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