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A stranger to her own people (journal)

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~The journal isn't exactly new, but entries start only recently amid cramped shopping lists~


~The first entry is chaotic, as though the hand that wrote it was shaking, or perhaps the book was being shaken as the quill moved~



Today started off on good footing. Ithad rained, so the temperature was comfortable and the smells of overheated bodies was hidden by those of wet dirt until the sun's heat returned. Sunsilk Tapestries had a large order for shirts from the miners which I was expected to help fill, and one of the other tailors said that the shirts I made were perfect. Redolant Rose was too busy to say, but it only mattered if the seams held strong for at least a few months. I felt so good about the work done that I went for a walk to the Coffer and Coffin with a couple of other travelers. By that, I mean I followed several paces behind until they left the road to fight some bugs that were starting to swarm.


Regretfully, the Coffer was not asenjoyable as I'd hoped. One pair had their hands all over one another in a way that was like one of the books mother had that only she was allowed to read. If it wasn't for the porridge, I would have left and found a less embarassing place to eat. Edrick walked in and paid for a different kind of soup, but even he was disturbed by the display behind him.


We left to walk back to the city, butstopped at a bridge to look at the orobon below. He was quick to kill one with nothing but his fists, then carried it all the way to the Quicksand for it to be cooked. The meal was cheaper than usual since the meat was provided by us and would be enough to feed more people than just us, unless there was much less meat on the creatures than I guessed. It was good; better than what I'd eaten as a child. Maybe it was the sauce or something rubbed onto the meat before it was cooked.


We talked a while about the future andI'm certain he was trying to convince me to take up adventuring alongside him. Two adventurers together would stand a better chance against aggressive wildlife than one, but that means double the supplies and putting both of us at risk if something goes wrong. That's especially true with magic and how much concentration it takes to affect only those things I want to be affected.


Before I knew it, we were at a stalllined with weapons and Edrick was looking at a display full of swords. They all looked so similar hat I couldn't have hoped to give advice, but he knew what he wanted that he could afford. I didn't understand why there were no places for a person to make their own swords until Edrick pointed out that those who needed swords the most likely had private smiths or had them imported. Anybody who wanted weaponry would have to join the adventurer's guild or fall at the boots of the Syndicate to join the ranks of their guards, unless they had some means to travel elsewhere to learn how to smith for themselves.


At some point we were joined by someonewho seemed to remember me, though his face escaped me until he started motioning with his hands. I had seen him before some time ago in Ul'dah, but didn't know what to do with somebody who couldn't talk. We managed, this time, and I learned a few things about him. He took a vow of silence since he somehow nearly killed his brother somewhere in the Twelveswood.


We all had things to do, which is forthe best. By that point, I'd managed to get stuck in a corner and was feeling faint and needed some time alone to feel better.


I calmed by weaving until I could fallasleep for a couple of hours, waking in time to hear a voice on a linkpearl from the captain for anybody to gather who was in the area of Ul'dah. The captain was there and two others, one possibly being an old friend of his. The captain did something and everything went dark and strange, then my eyes opened and I was somewhere clearly not in Thanalan. Even with the dizziness, we would march off to the destination somewhere in the woods, but the trip there was uneventful. Then we reached what looked like a tomb and I wanted to go right back home as soon as I saw the corpses walking around. It was worse the deeper we went.


The captain led the charge with the twomen close behind, leaving me ample space to bounce fire from the ceiling or weighing feet and wings with ice. This was the greatest test of what I'd read and practiced with the thaumaturges as well as a few things from conjurers who thought they could make it big in Ul'dah. Tunnels and rooms were full of dried bodies and bugs that would normally be eating them, and none of it felt natural at all. Maybe it was that big ball of light and darkness in the middle of the biggest chamber we were heading towards. A few times they even fought off demonic looking creatures and prodded the bodies until it dissolved into shadows. More bugs, more corpses, and my skin prickled more and more the closer we got to the bottom of the main chamber.


The last two orbs hovering over thealtars were disabled, bringing the large one crashing down and bursting to expose a creature I'd never heard of before. Th captain handed the two guys something and called me forward to join the charge. I followed closely in case the floating platforms fell away behind the first person to cross them, but stayed well away from the monster while the others slashed, stabbed, and pummeled the thing's thick skin.Things crawled over the rim of the platform, forcing everybody to focus on those while the fish-headed thing recovered and readied for stronger, more desperate attacks.


It was a long fight, and the guys tookthe full force of the attack, but the monster collapsed, twitched, gurgled, and finally lay still. It was about time too because the stress had been too much since the moment I stepped into the tomb. Congratulations were shared and concern was shown at my well beingeven though I'd managed to avoid being hurt. My fear must have been showing, but nobody seemed very keen on staying any longer than we already had.


Now that I'm back home and donewriting, I'll be staying in my room until something vital demands my attention.

~There's no dates to mark when the entries are made, so no way to tell how much time passed, but this time the writing is much neater~



With the captain's company based inLimsa Lominsa, I have decided to move to that city and offer aid to Sunsilk Tapestries as another pair of eyes on fashion demands in this city. That would happen after getting settled at the inn or some other relatively safe building.


The city has two levels and it happenedmany times that I found myself in a place I'd been before, but not where I wished to be. A ferry took me to one of the Lomsan provinces, I cannot remember what it was called, and I strolled along the beach which was blessedly empty until I found a sandbar. People were there, including a familiar face who looked a moment away from stripping what was left of his clothes before another Miqo'te woman. How crude. He must be from one of the tribes, but even those have some sense of dignity when it comes to those things, right? Is this truly what it means to be a Miqo'te? It seems as though every one outside of my family lives in some imaginary past when breeding was essential for survival and those who didn't breed took their needs out on anything else.


Or am I the strange one for beingrepulsed at the thought of anothers hands or lips on my body whileothers are watching? More and more, I wonder whether or not I belong.

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~This entry was originally done in sloppy script, but still (barely) legible. An identical entry is made immediately afterwards with much neater script.!


Everything from earlier made it hard to sleep, so I walked around much further than I used to in Ul'dah. Ferries, chocobos, and my own two feet until I found a little town built with stone as white as shaved ice. Up the road, it looked like the ground had exploded and cooled mid-flight, but still red hot in places. I didn't know anybody was listening when I asked if it was materia, but Vash was there and asked what Materia was. I honestly couldn't give an accurate answer since it sounded complicated and so rarely done where I worked.


It started raining, so we went inside and he asked what I did, but I don't remember if he said what he did. We got distracted talking about the captain and fighting and a bit about his past. It turns out that he doesn't understand some words, so I offered to help with the book he'd been trying to read. It's a book that's very personal to him, so I had him point out the words he didn't understand and giving him the meaning.


Things were looking very good until more and more people wandered in. I was in a corner again until Rakka'sae called me over the only way he could to help answer the question as to why he doesn't speak. I don't know what I was drinking after the wine, but I vaguely remember the men looking very unhappy with one another and someone I didn't even know before telling me there was trouble. I don't recall any blood, so I doubt anybody was maimed. Why would there be fighting?


I don't know, but my head is causing more pain than I care to think about so I'll be staying in bed for as long as I can.

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Not much is going on for now.  My things in Ul'dah are waiting to be sent to Limsa Lominsa where I am still trying to find a place to live and work. Ul'dah has been my home for my entire life, but it feels like there isn't much room to grow there. At the same time it terrifies me to leave the only place I've ever known as little as I knew it.


It must be done, or I'll never change. I can only pray that the change will be for good.

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The custom's stations in Limsa Lominsa and Ul'dah are giving two different stories of what happened to the cargo which included my belongings. The Ul'dahn office mentions inspections and suspicious items while the office in Limsa states that crates were mishandled and are being straightened out. Whichever is true, I have waited dutifully nearly every day whether I was expected to be there or not, all in vain.


The sea air is becoming strong in my clothes, of which I only have two and a half different outfits, and I grow angry at having to sleep in them for warmth in whatever building allows people to sleep without charging. Not only this, but my funds are running low with few opportunities to work due to having nothing to prove that I belong there and can be trusted to keep working. The Weavers haven't sent much since my arrival which has me worried that I've been fired without notice.


Unless I find employment soon, I will have to rely on others to be fed and have a place to sleep or at least bathe. Being homeless was terrible the first time and it's no better this time.


At least I was lucky enough to be found by an investigator who seemed very interested in helping and was able to talk to people without it being part of an uncomfortable group.

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~This post is scribbled in as neatly as possible for being at the very bottom of the page~


The gift of Gil must last longer. Cleaning dishes is just like home even with the lalafell. Just like mother being strict. It's good. Waiting for the spinning wheel to be found, but how to repay it? Should see weavers about still having job.

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A message was left for me in the form of a map with Gridania circled. There is only one person with such heavy handwriting that I know of which made it easier to find him when the Aetherite crystal took me to the crowded plaza. It didn't look like he'd been waiting long at all, or maybe he'd wandered off and had only come back, but he was glad either way to see me and I was glad to have someone familiar in a place where I'd seen some terrible things. It must have been my ears and tail that gave away how bad off I was to be back there or maybe he already knows me so well to invite me on a walk.


I would say that we talked for a time, but he listened to the tale of what happened the only other time I'd been to this part of Eorzea. He knew of the place but said I was brave to go in. Imagine that, calling me brave for following other people who were face to face with bugs as big as lalafells and being surrounded by a stench that killed any desire to eat for a couple of days. Hyur are blessed to never know the full spectrum of reek that comes with decay.


The rest of the night went much better, at least. It had been so long since I'd been able to relax that a simple back rub nearly put me to sleep. I dearly hope this soreness goes away soon so I can return to the job hunt without moving like a drunkard.

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~This entry isn't as fancy as the better entries where she had time and calmness to try out calligraphy~


Soliloquy was really busy tonight, compared to two or four other people like I'd gotten used to. New bread rolls were being passed around and I hope they are added to the menu. There was a new friend there who looked alone, so I went to talk to him until the noise from the rest of the bar became too much. Talk of research and books can only help so much when the rest of the room is in chaos.


We went for a run, but never made it to where we decided to go before falling on our faces though he landed on his book bag which must have felt terrible. We had to rest and check for bruises, but ended up falling asleep instead.

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Yesterday was a day I hope never to experience again if only to preserve what little dignity I may still have. How in Eorzea can a shelter for the poor expect to help the poor if it costs several hundred gil for only a couple of days? While nothing is truly free, even one hundred gil may be more than some are able to get after a whole day of hard work and no snacks or breaks.


No matter, seeing as the room has been paid for several weeks in advance by somebody else. It's a shared room, which means a great deal of tension even when alone. One of the others may come in at any time and want to do Twelve know what for how long. At least the bed is softer than a park bench and the water is cool and clean.


As soon as I can find steady work, the debts will be paid back and, Twelve be kind, some gil left over to help others in need as others have helped me.

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Lessons of how to wield magic as an arcanist began well enough. The first symbol was quite simple, no more than a circle, some lines, and two letters. That was enough to create mist from nowhere. Of course the one teaching was able to create far more fog with less time and effort, but he was vulnerable and easily distracted, though he may not have even considered a pretend attack from me. It only proves that learning in the safety of a classroom or library leaves a mage unprepared for emergencies. It may have to be added to future lessons.


The lesson ended when his carbuncle decided to share its meal of live crickets as a show of friendship. There are many ways that a carbuncle could make a day more difficult if it feels offended so I did what had to be done.


I still feel sick from it. At least now it may see me as a friend and won't try to share more living creatures.


Living in an apartment with a woman who comes and goes at will is still very uncomfortable, especially since she tends to forget to knock. Sometimes the room smells funny, but at least it will be clean when I leave so the owners won't demand extra payment. Not that Ul'dah is famous for honest innkeepers.

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How long has it been? Too many days, at least, waiting and begging favors to survive and hiding from a terrible room mate. One good thing is coming up: more lessons in this new form of magic that may let me better defend myself. My mentor believes I'm nearly ready to learn how to summon a carbuncle and even gave me a gem that is somehow involved in the summons. It would be too dangerous to keep the gemstone with me or hidden in the room so it will stay somewhere safe until the time is right to use it. Hopefully soon.


There has been no word on the transfer papers but at least I can expect my belongings to be returned some day. Unless that "secret" was a ruse. It won't matter if I can convince somebody to hire me full time in Limsa Lominsa and vouch for me to the authorities that I may as well live there full time. If that ever happens, I could stop caring about the missing items and find a new way to earn Gil and repay all of these debts.


What else is there to write about? Perhaps the trick that got a man to clean his room, but that isn't nearly as fun on paper.

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~The lettering isn't quite as neat as the earlier entry~


A messenger dressed as amoogle found me with a letter from Limsa Lominsa. The paperwork to become a citizen was finally approved and I can finally look for better jobs. No word from Brom, but he is smart and tough. He'll find and bring back what was stolen. If he had a linkpearl, we could find a place to meet when he returns. Until then I will have to prepare for an adventure with my mentor. For once, I don't feel so afraid.

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The things that were stolen have been returned just in time to be accepted into the Arcanist guild. It wasn't long at all before I was even given a job from the Adventurer's Guild as well. It was a small job at Red Rooster Stead of picking fruit and berries, but vilekin had taken residence in the trees and bushes. It was the perfect practice for the spells I had already been practicing while the crops were rid of harmful insects, at least for a few days. It wasn't a lack of workers that brought the request to the guild, it was a lack of workers who felt food and pay were enough motivation to work. Other than having to climb into trees, the work was easy.


The next job was harder as it involved tending to sheep nearly as tall as myself, but at least they were perfectly happy to stay back while I spread food around and even scooped litter into a bag. It seems that many former pirates are too used to sailing and piracy to find new talents doing anything else. They, like some passing adventurers, abandoned any garbage wherever was convenient with no regard for the animals that may eat it and be poisoned or suffer Twelve knows what other maladies. The few responsible farmers were glad to have an extra pair of hands, even though those hands were only useful close to the ground.


When the day was done and I returned to the Arcanist Guild, there looked like less of a scowl on the roegadyn's face when she read how much I had done while also practicing the rudimentary spells.


With the money earned from this day alone, I may be able to pay off one of the smaller debts.

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This was quite the busy day. My mentor, Kaed, came with me to another day of working at Red Rooster Stead, though he was better able to do the hard work of herding dodos. There was much more to be done, but an elezen I'd worked with a few times before appeared with food to share. And thoughts of food. How many hours passed as Edri tried to wax poetic in a way I was completely unfamiliar with. To be honest, I don't think either of us were paying one bit of attention beyond a few phrases, but commenting as rarely s we did may have only encouraged him to keep talking. He only stopped when my captain walked into the tavern and noticed me there.


Things only became worse as Edri accused Captain of being no better than the bandits and pirates he regularly kills. Edri was then accused of being a hypocrite and murderer for not simply maiming the men and women instead. The captain could have turned to violence, but didn't even raise his voice. It was like a parent talking to a child who was on the verge of a tantrum. When Edri had left, everybody acted as if nothing had happened while I was the only one terrified. I couldn't even stay to speak with the few people at the table before having to lay down for feeling so ill.

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I thought that I had made great progress over the past five years towards overcoming my fears, but one Seeker showed how terribly wrong I was to think that. We had only just introduced ourselves before he started behaving like some sort of hyur in heat. As terrible as it sounds to compare a hyur to that, it's the closest I can think of given various examples. At least he had the understanding to stop when I was able to ask.


He was quick to find me again some time later but was just as quick to go about his business He was still friendly after I nearly bit him earlier, but would it be too soon to go adventuring with him? What about It should be alright. The others I have met have almost all vanished without a trace now. Perhaps busy, perhaps gone, but surely they would have left some clue that they still wished to talk, at least.


No matter. There is still time in the day for something more to happen.

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How could I have become such a savage to do something that could have lost the mentor I'd come to trust? Were it not for his kindness and mutual feelings, he could have walked away and demanded I never speak to him again. It may still be several days before I can look him in the eyes again but there is some consolation: the summoning was a success. Work and exploration will be much easier with a carbuncle at my side with keen senses and far greater courage than I've ever had in my entire life. Surely some of the courage from so many people will stay with me to turn me into something more like a normal woman. Not too much. I don't want to become overconfident and lose what little dignity I have left.


I can't sleep, but I still feel so dizzy. At least I can read by light of carbuncle as he sleeps off a long afternoon of playing tag.

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I don't know whether I should scold the carbuncle or thank it when it jumped onto somebody I didn't recognize right away under so many other smells. I'll admit that I don't know how the carbuncle knew that we'd already met once before he'd been bound through the spell. This looks like something that requires training to avoid him jumping onto bad people, but at least he had been invited by Tyriont. A lalafell may not be so happy when a carbuncle mistakes a low stature for kneeling.


The guild instructors wouldn't approve of a carbuncle jumping onto anybody and everybody. Exercise may help, but also basic training to be polite while working and around people until permission is given to play. That sounds harsh for a creature that doesn't think the way I do, but there will still be plenty of time to play.

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The crew went on another outing to some mine in Thanalan this time and I was brought along. Again. Underground areas seem to make wonderful lairs to all manner of terrible creatures, especially ones you wouldn't expect to be there. At least, thanks to practicing around Limsa and Ul'dah, I wasn't entirely terrified like the first time.


There was enough money left over from the captain selling what was scavenged that I could buy some fancier clothes, but it won't matter. Nobody notices. Not even Rakka'sae noticed when I hugged him but I imagine he was distracted by so many other women around. One friend lost to the winds, I suppose, but perhaps I will meet others to help master magic with. Or to just read books with. Or just talk to. Who would have thought that a person could still feel so alone in a land full of people?


Once I stop shaking, I should visit the Gate office and keep up on tests and lessons.

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The bite isn't looking very good and I don't think the sea air is helping. The itching may be worrying the carbuncle, or perhaps he senses something I don't. If this was Ul'dah there would be no end of remedies and tonics to try out, even if the ingredients are a little suspect, but this is not Ul'dah. An arcanist may be able to figure out what's wrong and how to make things better, but it's unlikely that 400 Gil will cover an examination as well as treatment. The Linkpearl lets people talk to others anywhere in the world, but it's useless in moving goods just as quickly and reliably. After so much trouble moving clothes and other goods from one city to another, there is no way I can trust actual valuables to a courier.


Maybe an idea will come up as I get some rest.

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Thank the Twelve I don't remember what it took to get the wound cleaned or even how long it took. For the sake of healing and being able to eat anything later, I won't even try to peek. These books can keep my mind busy so I'm less likely to wander and make matters worse, but none of it will matter if my mother were to find out. Nothing, not even airship restrictions, can stop a mother from lecturing a careless child. Likewise, nothing will stop a careless child from trying to hide their mistake from a mother they know will worry.


Or I could tell her now and avoid more trouble later.


One thing to remember is that fishing with an empty stomach is a bad idea.

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There was a Gala planned and I was most fortunate to have had some fancy clothes set aside and a new mask from the goldsmiths in Ul'dah. It was perfect for what sounded like a fancy event and it was a good thing mother bought it, much as it irritated me at first to see hard earned gil spent on something like a wooden plate with holes. Now I'm glad she bought it since it hid the fear on my face even though everything else was shaking.


There were so many people who showed up. Even now, my hands shake just thinking of the press and stink of too many people and perfumes. The building chosen for the gala was far too small and I have strong doubts that this has been done before. Any historical examples, even of other events, should have shown what happens when only one dozen people are responsible for moving one hundred about. From what I heard, the dancing competition was hardly a competition at all and more of people stepping around as if sharp rocks were in their shoes. The show of weapons was much the same with people talking more than actually showing what a weapon could do. Then again, the only thing I could see were the backs of people crushed together wherever there was room. If there was anything else to see or do, it never was announced.


The small group that Kaed and I were placed with were very nice. They tried to make me feel braver than I actually felt, and that may have actually helped. I wrote their names down for letters or linkpearl communication later once everybody has recovered.

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~The script is a little jittery for this entry~


I was picked up earlier and the weeks of hard work to feel more comfortable around people were for naught. I was set down in the middle of the road within sight of Ul'dah and must have looked the complete fool for it. If only there were some faster means of  gaining courage.


Staying here for a while with the carbuncle and grimoires.

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The big test was put off by a storm that raged for the entire day. It was enough to send me back to Ul'dah to endure a storm of sand which is much quieter against walls and roofs. After some time ensuring important people knew I'd be away, I returned to Limsa Lominsa to begin.


Chocobos were obtained and taken to Red Rooster Stead where we will be resting the last of the day away now that the chocobo keeper has finished lecturing about proper chocobo handling. They didn't seem nearly as injured as I felt, bu there are many more adventurers than chocobos, so I can't fault her for being protective of her wards. At least it didn't take so long that we missed dinner of dodo and some greens.


An unexpected call came in on the linkpearl from a friend who said he'd like me to join his group to help other Eorzeans out. I won't be able to make the first meeting, but this only means I should work that much harder to learn new things before returning.

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~The penmanship is suffering for this entry and one area is smudged by a small paw print, but not enough to warrant a duplicate entry~


All seems to be well after the accident, but careful attention will be needed to make sure there isn't a delayed reaction. As comfortable as the beds are, I can't afford to stay when someone is supposed to be tracking me down. Even though I never told anybody where I was going because I didn't know at the time, I can't help but think they're already here and waiting to strike. There's a chance that this fear comes from not enough sleep.


The chocobos won't likely go too far, but at least my pack will be off the saddle in case anything does happen. It's hard to decide which of the Twelve to ask for peaceful sleep, but at least the carbuncles and chocobos will keep me somewhat safe.

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~The letters are slightly skewed in this entry with tiny grains of dust still embedded in the ink in places~


We're back on the road and making good progress to Aleport where I'll buy the few things I forgot before. Still no sign of head injury, but there may be some stomach pain from eating cave snake meat. Cooking won't make poisonous meat safe to eat without a full kitchen. A cave is not a full kitchen.


Ideas to see if the Grand Companies know anything about Primals and what good beast tribes think they do.

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~There's less dust at the start of the entry and is nowhere to be found at the end~


Aleport was a wonderful place to get one last day's rest and a good meal before walking the rest of the distance to wherever this adventure is destined. Kaed and I took both of our favorite carbuncles for a run around the port town to get into shape. With the dangers hidden around Eorzea, knowing when to run is only slightly less important than being able to run in the first place. The play time didn't last very long, but the hope is that this trip will help all of us get into shape for whatever trials lay ahead.


My dreams have been strange lately, and not always for good. Some books say that dreams are the mind's way of preparing for terrible situations while others say they may be messages from unknown sources. Whatever the cause, it would be a blessing to have a few nights of peace so this ache in my back could go away. Maybe I should try some strong tea or ask for a back rub.


On second thought, maybe hat potion would work just as well.

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