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[Story] A Legacy of Lies


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((Hello! Thanks for checking out my work! After two nights of 3 AM inspiration, I've decided to begin writing small novellas for my character, Josiah, pertaining to his beginnings as an adventurer. Mostly to flesh him out more, but I would also love to see my writing style and story telling improve, and I would appreciate any comments and advice!))


-Prologue: A Child's Dream-

'Why did this land have to be so damn hot?' The young Highlander looked out onto the horizon, a hand over the rims of his glasses to lessen the overwhealming sun. In every direction, savannah met him, single trees and brush dotting the arid earth. What bothered him the most was the ungodly heat. A sweat was built apon his skin, even though he was down to his thin undershirt. Adding to the already unpleasent smell of Chocobo, the other passangers of the carriage gave the young man much needed room.


The man sighed as he righted himself in his seat, trying as he might to enjoy the faint breeze blowing. It hadn't been three suns since he left the Coerthan Lowlands, and in the back of his mind was the desire for home. His hands clasped his cheeks, the sudden sound of smacking skin drawing a few more eyes. Ever since he was able to remember, he had the desire to venture into Eorzea like this, like his father had. To think of turning back so soon, it wasn't right. This was something he had to do. He picked his head up off his hands, and looked foward, toward the walls of the city-state of Ul'dah. As they grew larger and large, his mind fell back into his memories, reminding himself as to why he had chosen this path.




As it was with during every Nameday of his, snow gently fell onto the blanketed ground, washing away any sign of the coming and goings of others. The boy watched in fasination as it did so, wholly occupied by the wonder. "You really love the stuff, don't you?" a woman's voiced asked, the words soft and peaceful. He turned his head around to see his mother standing over him, watching the scene with him. She noticed his movement, and looked down upon her child, her warm smile spreading to his own lips. Nodding eagearly, the boy turned his head back to the window.


"Yes mama!" he exclaimed, once again pressing his nose against the chilled glass. The Midlander chuckled, moving away from him. She walked toward their hearth, tending the the pot cooking. "Dinner'll be ready soon, why don't y'go wash up?" The boy's giddy demenor faultered for a moment, saddened to have to look away from the snow, only to be brought back by the thought of his favorite meal. He pealed his nose off the window and climbed down his chair, quickly moving about the small home. Passing his mother, the smell of what was boiling hastened his pace, finding himself at the wash basin.


With the old water already replaced, the boy cupped two handfuls of the clear water and splashed his face, taking the worn piece of soap next to the basin to rub between his hands. Having cleaned his hands and face, he dried himself with a nearby cloth quickly, tossing it back haphazardly, before making his way back to his chair. He brought it back to the table, and waited for his Nameday meal, once again showing his childish excitement.


Looking back to her child, his happiness became hers, and as he rushed about in preparation for his food, she made sure every bit of the meal was perfect. He didn't have to wait long before his mother reched out for a wooden bowl, bringing the ladle into the pot. Her lips blew across the mixture, pressing them against the spoon. Content with the outcome, she continued to pour the beige slop into the bowl, rising from her small stool to set it down in front of the boy. "Turned out better then expected," she said, her smile widening as her son started eating. He caught himself before the first bite was taken, setting his spoon down and lowering his head, quietly thanking the Gods.


His mother pressed her lips against his ebony hair, and have him a soft rub along his back, before turning back toward the pot. "Happy Nameday, Josiah." As his prayer finished, he dug into the contents of the bowl, slightly burning his mouth in the process. Every bit of meat, popoto, and whatever else his mother included tasted even better then most other times she made the meal. Josiah hummed happily as he chewed and swallowed, his legs swinging back and forth under his chair.


Having made herself her own bowl, his mother joined him at the table, brushing away strands of brown hair that had fallen out of her ponytail. Before she began, she gave her own thanks to the Gods, hanging her head silently. Josiah didn't say anything, simply watching the same ritual he's seen countless times. "So," she began, ending her prayer, "you still haven't told me what you wanted yet." He forced his mouthful down, grinning once he was able to.


Seven winters had passed sinced he was born, and even at the young age, he understood just how poor they were. As he had been told, his father had been gone long before Josiah came into the world, seeking a fortune that would let his son and wife live without worry of Gil. But ever since his departure, no one in the small hamlet had heard of him. Being out of the way of Ishgardian trade routes made news of Eorzea even harder to obtain, not that most of the farmers minded. Yet, despite the unknown, the boy was happy to be his son.


"Just like every year mama. Tell me about papa." His mother's smile twitched at his words. Her smile became a somber one, if only for a moment, before warming once again. The boy never truely understoon why she looked so sad when he mentioned his father, but the stories told to him always made him forget such gloom.


"Yeah? Well, let's see, what tale haven't you heard of yet?" she pondered, Josiah devouring his meal once more. He wondered himself if there were any other tales his mother, or the other's in the hamlet, haven't told him yet. Every new story told furthered his love for his father, never failing to reflect his honor and compassion. They were the only connection he had to him as well, something he held dear since the first tale.



The years continued to pass without word of his father, yet it didn't bother Josiah. Instead, the his deeds fueled the young man to follow his actions. To place others above himself, and to offer a gentle hand to those he met. While life among the farms didn't exaclty let Josiah practice such lessions, he continued to offer himself to those around the hamlet. Most days, he was able to find such work to satisfy himself, and recieving small rewards for his effort. Usually it was food, or other goods his mother couldn't make herself, and the thought of helping his aging mother made his work well worth it.


But as he grew closer and closer to adulthood, he would ask to hear the stories of his father more and more. Of how he protected villages and travellers from those who would harm them, simply because it was right. The idea had been sitting in the back of his heart and mind, but now, they were coming to light. He wanted to follow in his footsteps, and be the bringer of peace his father was.


It was many moons after his realization, that he found the courage to tell his mother of the path he desired. She would never say it, but he knew his father wasn't the happiest of subjects for her. And as expected, fury, then sorrow, took her at how her son wanted to leave as well. Despite her begging, he stood firm on his decision. It was something he had to do, he felt. As his mother took time to come to terms with him, Josiah began his preparation for his journey.


It was hardly several suns before everyone in the hamlet knew of Josiah's desire to leave. Some sided with his mother, begging, and even demanding, he stay. Others, while it pained them to see the young man leave their lives, admired his determination to become a man in his own rite.


More moons passed before Josiah felt himself ready to venture on his own. Every day was spent searching for those who needed another set of hands tending to crops and cattle, asking for whatever small amount of Gil and supplies they could spare. Then the caravan from Ul'dah happened to pass by, he knew this was a sign from the Gods to begin his fate. Purchasing a weathered sword from the group, as well as a passage on their carriage, he gave his goodbyes to those he knew all of his life.


Though he hated it, he kept his farewells short, though the tears in his eyes was enough to show he ment well. As he went through the group gathered for his departure, he had noticed his mother was not among them. Weather still furious for his naieve decision, or not able to see him off, Josiah understood. Giving the last goodbye, he turned toward the hamlet's outskirts, where the caravan gathers readied for travel.


As he walked, his mind already began to wander toward his fears. He didn't know how things would turn, and the thought of leaving his mother, and never finding his father, simply scared him. Was this really the right thing? His pace slowed the closer he got to the caravan, and eventually he stopped completely, staring at the men and women moving about.


"Don't tell me you're already havin' second thoughts." a familiar voice spoke, breaking Josiah out of his own self doubt. Turning, he met his mother face to face, his worried expression tell all she needed to know.


"Ma, I-" he began, taking a step toward her, only for her to raise a hand in between them. He stopped, his breath catching and a brow raising.


"I don't agree with what you're doin'. Seein' you go, like he did, it breaks my heart all over again," she said, her voice choaking slightly. Yet, her expression remained steeled, "But, I know the kind of man you are Josiah. The kind of man you want to be. I won't let anyone stop you, not me, or you." She rose her other hand, cupping a cloth that Josiah had just noticed. Unfolding it, his mother approached him, extending her hand to show the cloth's contents. A silver ring lay there, sapphire embedded into it's face. He had never seen it before, and judging by appearance alone, it must have been worth a bit.


Josiah's confusion only increased at his mother's offer, once again beginning to speak, only to have his mother cut him off again. "It's the ring your father gave me." At the mention of his father, his face softened, and he let the ring fall into his own hands. "Any time you doubt yourself, question what your destiny is, simply look to this Josiah. Remember who you are, and where you came from." Pocketting the cloth, his mother cupped his cheeks and forced their eyes to meet. Her once steeled face now replaced with a soft, tear-filled one.


"May the Gods watch over you," was all she was able to speak before her voice broke, and tears fell from her cheeks. Josiah joined with her, embracing his mother, praying himself it wouldn't be the last. The moment was cut short when one of the caravan members called to Josiah, letting him know they were leaving with or without him.


"I love you ma," he said as he broke the hug, clenching the ring tightly in his hand. "I will return to you, as a man of honor and compassion!" He turned from her, and started to jog toward the departing carriages. He vowed to himself, and to the Gods, he would see his path to the end, and bring what peace he can to Eorzea.



The sudden stop of the carriage nearly caused him to fall foward, as it brought him out of his trance. Josiah's gaze started to scan around him, until he realized what was in front of him. His eyes attached themselves the the grand walls, slowly trailing to the heavens. This was Ul'dah, the same city his father headed for in his quest for fortune. And where he would make his own path toward him.

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