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You can be an adventurer too (Mateus)

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The idea wouldn’t get out of her head. Like the perpetual sand in her boots, or grease in her hair, it wasn’t something she could simply shake out.


You could be an adventurer too.


The tales she hears from others kind enough to stop and share words have been sips of water during her long dry life. Tales of dragons that breathed ice, making gladiators into ice cubes, or of trees that eat chicken noodle soup and make people their fertilizer. Tales that were so exciting, about colors and adventures and everything not in Ul’dah.


You could be an adventurer too.


What was keeping her here? The market place that barely allowed her to sell things for coin? The coin that barely made enough to scrap her by, providing she didn’t run into a brass that would claim the same coin for his own? Why was she even in Ul’dah? How did she get here?


She tried to think back to her earliest memory. This was a memory of happiness, a warm memory. Smiling faces, and people that loved her. A man with her golden eyes glinting at her. Women with her dark skin rubbing their cheeks against hers. There was laughter and singing. A woman called out a name: Roseh. Sometimes another name was called out in anger and authority: Xe’roseh Yuush! Yet none of this explained why she was in Ul’dah.


With the exception of her earliest memory, all other memories have been here. She was in Ul’dah because she has always been in Ul’dah. Her home was the refugee camp outside the city. Her place was among the poor and scavenge. She hunted. She crafted. She tried to sell wares. She did everything she could to survive, because that's what she has always done. If there was one thing she knew she excelled at, it was surviving.


But what is it that you want to live for?


Surviving and living… they were not one in the same. She thought they were, but they aren’t. Surviving was getting up every morning despite how miserable and hungry you are and going through the motions with the only windows of happiness when you have that feeling of a full belly from someone’s kindness, and was completely distracted by music or someone’s tale of adventure.


If she was good at surviving, would she be good at living too?


You could be an adventurer too.


Bright Keeper, she was going to do it! She was brave! She was practically an adult now! Her bow was something she found in the trash. Her knives were picked up from long being discarded by over sharpening. Her clothes were threadbare and had no source of protection. It didn’t matter, she can be one too. She had a good aim, and she had a good knack.


At least that's what she repeated to herself over and over as she stood in front of the looming double doors of the Quicksand. She had never liked this place. It was always crowded with people. She had learn not to drink anything unless you get it from the bar itself. She learned that all meals will be paid for, so if you don’t have coin it will come from something else. Most of all, she learned that when there are people, then it's a place you should never trust. Yet here she was, ready to go into this establishment of her own violation.


Her entrance did not cause a stir. After all she was a scrappy adolescent with dirty rumpled clothing, a poor quality bow, and the look and hygiene of one of the many homeless refugees of the city. If she was not immediately dismissed to the glances, she was so after an eyeroll. She was not a threat, nor was she an interest. She was just a common beggar, one of way too many as of late.


You can be an adventurer too.


She approached the front desk, where the proprietess worked on a book. She was Momodi of the Quicksand, everyone knew her even if she didn’t know everyone. A lalafell that was known to be kind, despite that she couldn’t help but feel nervous; even when Momodi looked up and greeted her with a smile.


“Can I help you little one?” the proprietress asked sweetly.




Momodi blinked a few times and eyed the refugee adolescent bluntly. After a long moment she asked, “You want to be an adventurer?”




Momodi squints her eyes. “How old are you?”


“...adult..” She glanced away at the squinting eye. She wasn’t lying, she was practically an adult now!


“Okay… what's your name?”


This was always a hard question, one that was difficult for her to answer. Simply because she wasn’t entirely sure. However this time she had an answer ready. “Baggie.”


“Baggie.. Your name is … Baggie.”




Momodi stares at the adolescent for a bit longer. “Okay.. Baggie.. If we are to get you started as an adventurer you will need to sign your name here.” She puts a book in front of the adolescent, and hands her a quill.


She took the offered quill, and then started at the book. Sudden dismay washed over her. She was supposed to do something.. But all she see was a rectangle filled with scribbles. She stared, unmoving, at the book for a few minutes.


Momodi waited for those minutes as patiently as she could. She considered herself a woman of astound patience, but eventually that comes to an end. “Okay.” She shuts the book and yanks the quill out of the adolescents hands. “Look, you got the right idea to have ambition and improve yourself, but I cannot, and will not in good conscious, send someone like you out. You’ll just end up dead on your first job. Come back to me in a few years.”


She turned her dismal stare from the book to the proprietess, giving her a very sad kitten look.


“No, that doesn’t work on me, now shoo before I get angry!”


She left then, because if there was one thing she knew it was that lalafells while very small can be very scary when angry.


Once outside she leaned against the stone walls of the establishment. This wasn’t a big deal. She didn’t need any adventure. She can hunt, she can make things, and then she can sell things. She was the best at surviving, and you should keep at what your best at.


You can be an adventurer too.


She refused to acknowledge the tightness in her throat. She ignored the sting in her eye, the leak of wetness that flooded down her cheeks. She breathed through her mouth since her nose was suddenly clogged up. Everything was fine.


She sank to her knees.


She didn’t need to be an adventurer. Who cares about dragons or walking trees?


She sobbed softly into her knees, unable to move until the sun left the sky.

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  • 2 weeks later...

[align=center]Treasure Box


[align=left]To anyone else, this was just an ordinary lunch box. It was made from wood, had four compartments: one large, two medium, and one small. Most people would think nothing of it, just a box to pack food in. It certainly was given away without much thought.


Yet to her, it was a new treasure. The lunchbox was given to her with food inside it. Delicious roast with potatoes, carrots, some bread and a cookie! The food had long since consumed and enjoyed, and now it was time to put the box into use again.


Outside the city of Ul’dah a little ways past one of the refugee camps, she dug in the sand at a large boulder. She pulled out a small poorly made leather. She smiles as she opens it. Inside here were here treasures, what she would protect the most in the world, and thus hide when she didn’t have them on her.One by one she set each treasure into the box.


A slightly bent rusty needle. Her only needle. She found it one day on the ground in Sapphire exchange, and claimed it for her own. At first she didn’t realize what it was for, it was simply a mystery that made her curious. However after she observed some craftsman, she realized that needles were for sewing. She been sewing with it ever since. Sewing wasn’t all that complicated to figure out. Put thread in the loop of the needle, then thrust it in cloth or leather. She has been making bags with scraps she found. Now though, she wants to make a pillow.


A small brass bell. It sang sweetly when you rang it. This bell has been with her for as long as she can remember, but she doesn’t remember why. It kept the ghosts away, and that was important. Ghosts never liked silence, and unfortunately she didn’t like using her voice much.


A small stained and dirty rag doll. This two has been with her for as long as she can remember. She used to play with it, but she didn’t. She never bothered with playing, not with a hungry belly.. She first begged. Some people in Ul’dah were kind, however many were not. She became a hunter. She killed marmots and snapping shrews. She survives well on the meat. The bones, innards, and skins she sells for extra food. She also started collecting rocks and feathers, braiding leather, and trying to sew things to sell. None of her wares were anything like the quality of the other merchants however, so she kept her prices ridiculously low. It would be the only way to have them sell. Yet here was this doll, that she has always have, and always played with. It was like a memory of another life, something there but ungraspable. Though she never played, she kept it


A dried pink rose blossom. It did not smell sweet, but she always liked the color. She was very fond of pink. It was such a frail and useless thing, but she liked to look at it. It was pretty, and it made her smile. Was there any other better reason for it to be a treasure?


Wax Paper. This came with the lunchbox to help preserve the food. Now it was folded neatly into the box until she could use it again. Such a great thing to have, something to keep food wrapped up, safe!


Wood buttons. They were warped, chipped, and slightly wobbly. She had found them, like most of her possessions on the side of the the cobble street, discarded. She didn’t know what she wanted to use them for yet, but she wanted to do something. Sometimes she dreamed of having a fancy coat, then she would have the buttons to keep her in it. Or maybe she can make bags with the buttons to hold the lid close so it doesn’t open so easy.


She smiles down at her treasures, now in their new treasure box before closing the lid. The box was buried back under the boulder, where no one would find it.


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Akhutai was a strange man - Some might call him a creature, really - but man he is. A strange one, in a strange land. He often got stares where ever he went, he figured it was due to his height and nothing related to the scales lining his jaw, breastbone, elbows, thighs, calves, tail.. Or those horns sticking from where ears should be on the sides of his head - Large, beautiful (to him) horns that curved forward and hung, ever present, at the outsides of his peripherals. 


He didn't notice the stares much, anymore. He'd been here in Ul'dah for... A couple of weeks, now? In Eorzea for several months longer than that. It was strange at first, those in Akhutai's homeland didn't stare at his kind. Sometimes, he missed that... the lack of attention, the ability to just sort of.. Blend in amongst the crowds. Not that he knew much about that even, being from a more remote mountain tribe as he is. 


But, none of that now. Akhutai gave a shake of his head, the braids falling down his back clattering lightly as beads clicked and clacked together with the movement. On through the crowd. 


To those who look with any amount of interest - Any more than the common 'what in the twelve is that' types of looks, Akhutai likely gives off the impression of one of a few things - Either he's a dragon (He's not), homeless (Possibly), some sort of brigand (Not judging by how curious he is about even simple things), or some sort of adventurer (Ding ding!). He has a sword strapped to his hip.. Simple, but of decent make. Long, heavy blade.. One handed though. There's a shield at his back as well.. And the way those muscles are thick along his arms, he's atleast /capable/ of using them, though with any amount of skill is yet to be seen. 


He stops occasionally in his wandering through the streets, to look curiously at this or that.. And sometimes openly stare. He does just so now, at a young beggar. Head cocked to the side, just.. Watching. The crowd hustles and bustles past him, a few rude grumbles and the like at the 'brute' blocking traffic, not that he seems to care. Hell, he hardly even seems to understand since he gives no response or hint of the words having any meaning. 


What makes this one so much.. Less than the rest? Why are some so proud, while others so destitute? Hm.


((I'm not on Mateus, but hope you don't mind if I hop in!))

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There was a mountain staring at her...


Her gazed followed all the way up to where the strange armored man was just staring at her. She wondered exactly how many times over he was lager than her. Six? Seven? Had to be eight.Her ears flattened as she gulped. He was a big guy, so she had to be faster if there was trouble. Key would be to roll and run.


She was perched in a corner of the market, wedged between stalls, with a few of her wares out in display: some shiny rocks, some feathers, braided leather, some hand made bags, and now a hand made pillow stuffed with dessert grass. She did look very much like a beggar, with her raggy clothing, dirty state, and underfed look. She was a Sunseeker Miqo'te adolescent. She looked to be around 13? 14? Definitely younger than 16.


The more she stared back at the stranger, the less of a mountain he reminded her and the more like a turtle. Though turtles didn't have horns. They did have heavily shielded backs, and really strong arms.


After a good long moment of staring, the girl waved at the horned turtle stranger. He wasn't the first person she met with horns, the pretty lady the other day had them too. The food she gave her was so yummy, and the treasure box was very useful. Maybe all horned people were nice like her... Maybe this was a nice turtle. If not, then well.. turtles were slow she could out run him.

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He stood quietly, letting the crowd continue to flow around him as he looked at the girl. She was even smaller than the women of his race, which were still a solid two feet shorter than him on average.


Several long moments pass before he finally seems to settle on something, a certain look on his face.. Almost of determination? But not as big as all that. A few steps carry him closer to the 'stall' ran by the teenaged Miqo'te, his attention dropping to her wares laid out.. Dropping down to rest on the balls of his feet, arms on his knees, bringing him much closer to eye level and less towering... A hand reaches down then to take one of those feathers, a bright smile lighting up his face, apparently unnoticing of how ragged that particular feather is, how much worse off than the others it looks. He spins it around a moment, then holds it up infront of her, speaking simple words in that broken common tongue of his, "How much is being?"

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When the man squatted down, he looked like even more of a turtle to the girl. She couldn't help but picture a horned turtle just squatting there, holding out a feather. The image brought a grin to her face, her short tail behind her wagged playfully.


She snapped to attention when he asked her the cost. "Two." She answered with a nod.

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He looks back at the feather, then at the girl. "Two?" He repeats, snorting. "Two to little. Worth more." He huffs, other hand moving back to fish into one of many pockets on his clothes.. Pulling out a whole /five/ coins. He plinks them down on the mat near to her, before bringing some of his braids around over his shoulder. He neatly tucks that ratty feather into one, carefully as though it were some great treasure. A big smile is given, holding up the braid for her to see, already lined with other small beads and bits of various gems tied into it. "Is nice, yes?" It's then tossed back over his shoulder, beads clacking togethr as it settles.


He rests back, arms on his knees again.. A hand tapping his chest lightly, "Akhutai."

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At presenting five instead of two coins she gave him an odd look. Another silly shopper not truely knowing worth. The feather he picked was heavily damaged, not to mention randomly found on the streets of the very city. Only her razor beak feathers, when in good condition, was worth five. Silly turtle. Still... the last person to question her price tried to give her a thousand. At least he wasn’t stupid! just silly. She pockets the coins quickly, it was never safe to leave coins lingering. Coins attracted evil.


When he stuck the feather in his hair she smiles. “Pretty!” The other horned one, the nice lady, also had feathers in her hair. It was probably a horn people thing, but she wished she do that too. If she ever dressed fancy, she would wear all kinds of pretty feathers! And pink silk! [/i]Pfft, like she ever be fancy. It’s been a year since she got a new clothing item. It’s been a month since she last bathed, unless you counted the rain of course. It rained last week.


She tilts her head when the turtle taps his chest. “Akhutai.” She repeats back to him.

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Akhutai grinned when she repeated his name back to him - though, he seems to think it meant something else judging by his response.. Pointing at her with a curious expression, perhaps a bit disbelieving, "Akhutai?" He questions, looking for confirmation that she is, in fact, also Akhutai.


A moment and his attention shifts back to her wares curiously, finger rummaging through the tidbits of things. Junk, surely - But he seems to think they're actually somewhat.. Precious? The 'stall' is not unlike the ones of his homeland, afterall. There, things like feathers and pretty stones are often traded as keepsakes and momento's as valuable as any other trade goods.


He doesn't seem to see anything else he likes enough to add to his hair or clothing though, and lifts his attention back to her once more.

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His 'weapon' at this point is just a dagger at his hip, looking to perhaps be made of a sharp stone with a bit of leather wrapped around the grip. He tilts his head, shaking it after a moment. "Akhutai is.. Adventurer. Wall." He offers, lifting an arm and bending it infront of his body, other hand patting his forearm where a shield would be attached, reiterating "Wall, yes?"


He squints a bit at her then, arm dropping. "Is being nice to meet, Hunter." Reaching out to pat her head next, with a big grin. "Hunter is.. Merchant? No adventure?"

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The girl giggles at him. "Turtle!" She declare at him, though she doesn't really specify what she meant.


She tilts her head when he speaks, smiles when it says it was nice to meet him, and then answers his question. "Hunter." The girl answered, she pulls out her poor excuse of a bow to show him proudly. However a minute later she reconsiders her answer. "Scavenger." She re-answers.

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Akhutai lofts an eyebrow slightly at the first exclamation, considering that. A tilt to his head, before he shrugs a shoulder and nods his agreement - 'Turtle' seems like an apt description when he's decked out in armor and shield, turtling behind it.


He turns his attention to her bow, leaning forward a bit for a closer look. "Mm. Hunter is taking good care of weapon?" He wonders, peering at her a bit. "Is important, good care. Weapon is being best friend.. Always at ones side. Never leaving, never judging, always help." A glance down at her wares, "Selling.. To buy new?"

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There's a snort through his nose, "Buy food? Fah!" He waves a hand dismissively off to the side, before motioning to her bow. "Hunt food. Hunter!" He reminds her, grinning a bit.


He shifts a bit, settling in to take a seat more properly across from his newfound companion. Friend? Associate? Salesperson. Whatever she is. Legs cross, and his hands rest on his knees. "Why is Hunter.. Here?" With a motion to their surrounding area. "World is big! Bigger than U'ldah."

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She smirks at him as he tells her to hunt food. "Bread not animal." She informs him, though that would be awesome if bread WAS an animal you could just hunt. Besides you needed coin to give to guards, merchants and officials when you lived in the city.


She becomes more sober at his question. Why was she here? She asked herself that so many times. Often she will go out and wander the desert, but she always came back here. How did she even get here?


"Home." She answers him with a nod. "Always home."

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Akhutai snorts at the bread statement. Bread! FAh! No one ever died from lack of bread.


Or did they?


He spends a moment contemplating that, one of the bigger mysteries of life.. A hand lifting, fingers tapping lightly against the scales lining his jaw. Taptap. Finally, her comment about 'Home' settles in and he smiles a bit, nodding.. "Home. Home is.. Nice." He agrees, "Little One is not.. Wanting many home? Home here, home there. When one is travel, home is.. Everywhere."

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Blessed sun he really WAS a turtle! How else could his home be there or there or here and there. She pictured him sticking his arms and head into his shield and then remaining there for a duration. Enemies beat at his shield, but he was inside- eating baklava in his underwear. Turtles wore underwear right? There had to be something in that shell.. did he have a bed and furniture in there? Maybe a tea set. He probably had that strange fire box place that the other horned lady had in there, and probably fifty lunch boxes.


She stared at him silently as she pictured him eating pile after pile of baklava in lunch boxes while in a white boxer shirt with red speckled hearts.

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