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Path to Adventure [Backstory] [OOC comments welcome] [Finished]

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((First of several parts of Xha'lis back story.  Feel free to comment on any lore/grammer/spelling issues you spot, or with tips to improve my writing.  Rewritten in first person, with a lot more detail, though part 1 doesn't go as far as before it starts earlier.))



“So you want to hear my story? WellI guess I can tell you part of it, but it'll cost you a meal.” Leaning back in my chair I stretch my arms behind my head before taking a breath and beginning, at well the beginning. “As you can probably guess by my name I come from a traditional Keeper of the Moon background, but that’s only in the broadest sense. Xha my mother grew up in the same village I did, just beyond the edge of the Black Shroud. When she came of age she went out to seek fame and fortune as an adventurer, and did pretty well to from the stories she told me and my brothers growing up. Yes I had only brothers, but that’s jumping a head so keep the questions to your self if you want to hear my tale.”


With a grin I sit back in my chair properly, as I reach for my cup to take a drink.


“Xha continued her adventuring journeys for nigh on ten years, joining up with a Hyur conjurer, a Lalafell marauder, and a Roegadyn archer. Shortly before her tenth year came to a close she found what she called her greatest treasure of all, the man who would become my father. Retiring from the adventuring scene they returned to the small village where she grew up and welcome their first son a year later. Two years after that I was born, along with my older twin brother.”


Looking up I grin, “Did you expect me to start someplace besides the beginning? For some that might be considered their birth, or early in their life but in my case those events will have a bearing later on. Anyways as I was was saying I was born very early on the thirteenth sun of the second Astral Moon in 1559, my older brother having been born as the twelfth sun ended. Alas I was to be the youngest as all stories I've heard about my father take place before my second name day. Weather he died, left of his own accord, or just vanished I know not.”


SighingI take another large drink from my cup, looking out the nearby tavern window for several seconds before continuing. “The first twelve years were largely uneventful for my twin and me, our fathers disappearance excluded. In the winter after twelfth. summer, 1571, as was tradition in our village we were given a basic introduction to the bow, and the lance. After a week of training we were tested to see where our proficiencies lay. My bow test was...” here I pause deciding how much to tell, and how to phrase it. Deciding that they hadn't earned the right to the truth-that I'd almost hit my aunt who was conducting the test despite here being off to my side and slightly behind me I sum it up simply, “disastrous. I only shot a single arrow being for being shipped right along to the field where we were to be tested with the lance. Here I did much better even though the lance still didn't feel quite right in my hands. The next year was the Calamity.” Here I must once again pause, taking another long swallow of my drink before continuing, “we were lucky...mostly. None of the pieces of Dalamund fell near us, but they certainly lit up the sky and gave our matriarch ample reason to completely ban the practice of magic within our village.” I don't even bother trying to hind the contempt in my voice at the mention of that Bahamut-spawned fool. “Out of the forty or so of us that were living there we only lost two, though of the ten who had gone off to fight with the alliance only one returned, and she never spoke of what happened at Carteneau. For the next four years the village got by with little contact from out side world except for a trader who came twice a year-once in the spring before the planting season, then once more in the fall after the harvest. Its in the late fall of 1576 that I guess you could say my story truly begins in earnest.”


“The harvest had been completed less then a week previously, and this years crop of children were being tested with the lance and bow. From where I sat leaning against a tree at the edge of the Shroud in the dappled sunlight of late evening I watched the first group take their turns trying to hit the target that was a good seven yalms beyond where it had been during their practice sessions. Technically I should have been helping with the lance testing, but I had been released earlier after testing to make sure all the lances were in sound shape. This had become my permanent duty after one had snapped a few years previous and given on the kids a new scar up their arm. It had been one I'd already set aside as potentially dangerous before one of the newer lancers had taken over the duty and decided that apparently my judgment was worthless. She was a bright kid, but her ego definitely needed the hit it got that day.”


Smiling at the memory of how our lance master had reamed her out in front of all of us after sending home the other kids for the day I finish off my drink before continuing. “I didn't know it at the time, but I was for lack of a better word, 'reading' the flow of aether in the wood of the lance, and that was how I could tell if it was sound for fighting.” Chucking I continue, “Oddly enough however I was absolutely hopeless as a conjurer. Try as I might I was never able to hear the elementals. After a few weeks of trying, along with adjusting to being awake for most of the day I left Sillglade Fane, and now I'll be heading to Limsa Lominsa in a few more days to join the Arcanists guild.” Standing up I nod my thanks for the meal and say, “Stop by tomorrow night if you want to hear more, same deal as tonight.” With a wave I turn and head off to my room, glancing only briefly at the moon, rising in the east and head into my room.

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((Heres the rest, if you want to be the one he's talking to shoot me a message-first come first served.))


I grin as I come into the tavern and see my 'friend' from last night sitting at a table with a meal for two waving me over. Joining him I chuckle “Want to hear more do you? Well since you held up your end of the bargain I guess I'll hold up mine.” Taking a drink before starting I ask “I'd left off with the lance trials right?” At my companions nod, I grin before continuing, “thought so, anyway I'd been sitting against the tree for about a half-bell when my I noticed my twin coming up the slight hill towards me. As I raised my hand in greeting he called out to me to remind me that we were due at home shortly as one of our moms old adventuring buddies, the conjurer who had joined Stillglade was due to arrive in a few bells at the most. This was big news in the village as he'd be the first mage welcomed into the village since the Calamity. Of course our Matriarch had little choice as our lumber supplies had run low and we couldn't afford to buy any from beyond the village making the Shroud the only viable source. Much as she hated magic, she was even more afraid of risking the entire village by angering the elementals, if the did exist.” Pausing here at my companions questioning expression I clarify, “I believe they exist, and have seen plenty of evidence for it since leaving. At the time however no one in the village knew for sure one way or the other and our Matriarch decided wisely for a change, to err on the side of caution and seek permission from the elementals to cut a few trees.”


Pausing to take a few bite and sip my drink I continue, “Of course if she had known who would be sent she might not have been so eager to ask. Getting back to my story however, as we approached the village square we were called over my one of the older women in the village asking us if we'd heard anything more about when the Hearer would be arriving. We hadn't but as we we're talking she drew our attention across the square to where our older brother and one of the young women of the town kept stealing furtive glances at each other. At my quip about locking them up in a closet she gave me a cold glare and what was for me a familiar speech about letting them get along to it in their own time. I just laughed in response, and slinging an arm around my twins shoulder asked if we should start planning on getting a sister in the tenth Umbral era or the eleventh. She just shook her head, but as we were leaving I could of sworn I hear her laughing. Getting home we were called inside and instructed to change out of our armor before helping to prepare dinner as the Hearer would be staying with us the village lacking an inn or any sort of boarding house. As we came out we saw that the Hearer had already arrived, and were introduced to him. His name was Kinzie, and to make matters short and sweet he asked me to act as his escort into the forest the next day. Something seemed to be going on however, as if he had truly needed an escort one would of accompanied him from Gridania.”


Taking another break to eat some more, I continued after a few minutes, “turns out I was right, he did have an alternate reason for asking me to accompany him. He'd been put up to it my my mom while my twin and I were changing. Turns out she'd had suspicions I might be more inclined towards the manipulation of aether then wielding a lance. His actual 'work' took barely half a bell, for most of the rest of the day we walked through the woods talking. In the end he convinced me to at least attempt trying out as a Conjurer or perhaps Arcanist as we both agreed that from what knowledge he had the path of the Thaumatage would not suit me well. As we returned a few bells before sunrise I left him by my house before proceeding to the Matriarchs house to inform her that I would be leaving that evening to begin training in aether manipulation.”


I don't even bother to suppress the grin at the memory of of her face when I gave her the news. It looked like she was about to choke on her own breath, and her face turned redder then my hair. “To say she was shocked would be an understatement. I didn't give her time to respond before bowing respectfully and leaving, though I caught her calling out that I would never be welcome in the village again as long as she lived. I took a long path home, and word must of spread unusually quickly, as almost everyone I passed seemed to have heard. Most everyone wished me well, but a few including my former eldest brother simply ignored me. Even when he returned that night he looked right over me sitting at the table getting a pack together like I wasn't even there. This made our mother very mad and he got himself kicked out of the house until I left. After his departure I took my twin aside and asked a what would hopefully not be a final favor of him, to prepare a box I would give him with the final gifts from the living to the dead and place it on his bed. The box simply stated in my own handwriting the date of his birth, and the date of my exile. That should have been enough to get the point across to him that though I had no intention of acting like he never existed I wasn't going to be greeting him warmly ever again. Sleep that day was difficult, and leaving my mom and twin behind even more so, but I had already committed myself to the path, and backing out now would do me know good. Most of the village turned out to see me off my brother, and the daughter of Garuda and Bahamut that was our matriarch only noticeable by their absence. And other then an un-eventfull trip to Gridania and a few weeks that wouldn’t make for a good story in anyone’s book that brings us up 'till today. Thanks once more for the meals, mayhaps I'll see you out on the road someday.”


Nodding my head in thanks I head out onto the balcony of the Caroline Canopy to watch the stars for a few bells before turning in my mind to restless after going over the events of my exile to make sleep likely for now.


((Yeah, he really doesn't like his former matriarch))

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