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Karhu Katsu - Beginning

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((This is just an opening introduction for my Miqo'te Thaumaturge I will be creating on Balmung come P4 of the beta/prelaunch.  I am new to RP in this game series/universe, so I hope I didn't screw up many details. I am more than open to comments, both positive and negative, so feel free to post ^.^))


((edit: corrected a few details))


This morning had started as usual for Karhu.  She awoke in her apartment above the weavers’ guild, where she held apprenticeship. An educated glance at the marked candle on her bedside table told her it was only half past the seventh bell.  She grumbled to herself, “Argh, too early…” and drifted back to sleep.  When next she woke, the candle had burned down two more bells.  “Scrat, I’m late again!” she cried, as she leapt from her featherbed.  She was in such a rush to put on her small clothes that she had them backwards at first.  After brushing the night’s tangles from her fur, and combing her raven-toned hair, she dressed for the day.  Today she donned a white open-backed haltertop, burgundy linen half-pant, and a belt of red coeurl skin.  She prided herself in her wardrobe, having designed it herself just two moons past. 



She finished the look with a delicately decorated ring.  It had a thin band of mithril with a large oval cut ruby held in gold prongs shaped like a dragon’s claw.  She took a moment to admire it,faint memories of her mother’s face coming to mind.  It had been five years now since her parents’ deaths, but even still she remembered little of them.  Some blamed the Calamity for this selective amnesia, but Karhu was not sure what caused it.  After the Calamity, she awoke on a bed in Frondale’s Phontistery.  She was told her home had gone up in flame when one of the falling shards of Dalamud came crashing down through the roof.  She still bore a scar on her cheek from those flames.  This ring was one of the only mementos she had left.  Several times she had thought to sell it, when times were tough, but she always fought the urge, finding another way to gain financial stability instead.  After the moment of reminiscence, she remembered that she was already late and hurriedly gathered her things.  She brushed her teeth, and gargled mint water, then had a good long stretch of her legs before sprinting down the stairs and through the guild hall, nearly knocking over one of the other tailors.  “Sorry!” she called behind her as she rounded the corner and left the hall.



Upon reaching the market rows of the sapphire exchange, she slowed her pace.  It was still early, but several shop keeps had already set to hawking their wares.  She broke her fast on some pastry and cow’s milk from a culinarian she frequented, and headed for her stall.  It wasn't much to look at compared to some of the more lavish booths in the marketplace, but its location was excellent to catch new coming travelers coming through the Gate of Thal.  After raising the canopy, the young lithe Miqo’te girl manned the market stall, calling out to the crowds, praising the quality of the stitching and the drape of the silks.  Business was good today. By lunch time, she had nearly completed the quota her guild master had set for her.  She yawned, stretching her arms and tail out taut.  The noon day sun was streaming in through cloudless azure sky, shining through the purple highlights of her forelocks.  The heat of it felt so relaxing; she leaned back against one of the supporting posts and drifted into a light standing sleep.


The sudden sound of metal on stone jolted her awake, as a shield was tossed across the marble tabletop with a crash.  She rubbed the sleep from her emerald eyes, and quickly came to the attention of this new patron.  She put on a cheery visage, despite the rather rude awakening, and gave her customary greeting.  “Hello sir, and welcome to Katsu Creations,where we strive to meet all your clothing needs.  Can I interest you in our newest line of woolen casual wear?” she exclaimed with a smile.  The older elzen bore a scowl across his face, and pointed to his shield.  His speech was slurred, and he had the strong smell of spirits on his breath.  “I brought  thish shield here not a fortnight pashed, and it shplit at the sheams. I demand you return my gil and replash this thravesty with a new one!” he cried, slamming his mailed fist on the damaged shield.  Karhu put on as friendly a face as she could considering the circumstance and tried to reason with the man.  “I’m sorry sir, but you must be mistaken.This is a tailor’s, not an armorsm-“ she replied, cut short when the drunkard reached into the booth and grabbed her shoulder, wrenching her closer to him.  She struggled to break his grasp as he yelled into her face, “I’M NOT AMUSHED LITTLE GIRL! GIVE ME BACK MY MONEY!”



She continued to struggle, his fingertips digging into her fur and skin, clamped hard against her collarbone.   She cried out in pain and called for help, but the woven textile walls of the stall muffled her pleas.  Tears streamed down her cheek as the elzen shook her violently in his drunken rage, repeatedly accusing her of thievery and swindling him.  Again, she tried to push him away.  This time though,something unusual happened. As she tried to release his grip on her shoulder, her palm got warm; very warm in fact.  She had a sudden dizzy feeling, and an unknown voice called to her.  It resonated as if she were speaking it herself. “Feel… Think…” she heard through the clamor of the maddened elzen.  Suddenly, without warning, her palms burst into fire.  The ruby in her ring glowed brightly as the elzen’s surcoat caught flame, and he quickly released her and begun batting at the cinders remaining and the scraps of charred fabric covering his chainmail clad chest.  Off in the distance, someone called for the city guard.  She remembered seeing a cloaked man in the distance, watching her, but then all went black as she passed out.

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Karhu awoke in a dimly lit room, the light aroma of sandalwood burning in a censer hanging nearby.  The clock tower was tolling the tenth bell.  Her empty stomach grumbled its discomfort, and her head was pounding like a stampede of chocobo had trotted over it.  She tried to lift her arms, but groaned under the sudden weight of them, as if she had iron ingots in each palm. She slowly sat up, squinting to adjust to the candlelight.  It was a modest accommodation, with the basic amenities.  She lay on a down featherbed, a night table to either side.  She spotted a decanter of iced water, and carefully poured a glass.  Her hands were shaking slightly, but she was able to quickly drain the glass, the cool liquid feeling wonderful against her parched throat.  Sensing she was being watched, she quickly turned to the doorway.  Standing in the doorway was a Hyur gentleman, smiling kindly at her.  The hood he wore earlier was down, revealing his short graying brown hair and wire-framed reading glasses.  His face showed signs of age, but with a spark in his dark blue eyes that hinted there were still many years to come.  


“Ah, you’ve finally come to I see.” he said with a grin.  “You have nothing to fear here young one.  The man who assaulted you has been arrested, and albeit his armor and pride wounded, he remains unharmed.  The Brass Blades will hold him in custody until he sobers up, then he will face whatever punishment the Sultana deems fit.”  She nodded and breathed a sigh of relief, knowing she had not killed the man when she…  A sudden flash came to her that she did not know what she did.  “All I remember is trying to escape, and then it got very warm.”  The look of confusion on her face bore truth.  He smirked, and approached her.  “Well young one, my name is Belmont Stone, and what you did was some quite impressive aether bending, for a novice.” His eyes turned to her hands, noticing no burns on her palms.  When his gaze fell upon her dragon claw ring however, he nodded to himself knowingly.  “So it seems there is more to you than it seems.  May I know your name?”  Karhu was taken aback, only now realizing she hadn’t given her would-be rescuer a proper greeting.  “My name is Karhu, if it please you Sir; Karhu Katsu.”  Belmont smiled kindly. “Well Miss Katsu, it would appear you have some talent in the arcane arts.  I take it though that you have never had any training?”  She puzzled at the query, unsure of what he was referring to.  “Me? Training in thaumaturgy?  I’m just a weaver’s apprentice.”  She leaned back and stretched he arms above her head.  “I’ve never been able to do anything like this before.  It is all so new to me.”  She thought back to the voice she had heard, shaking it off as a delusion brought on by the pain.  Sitting up quickly, she turned to Belmont.  “What makes you think I have talent in anything other than thread and needle Sir?”


Belmont took a seat next to her on the featherbed, and lightly took her right hand in his.  “Karhu, where did you get this ring?” he asked, watching the stone reflect the flickering flames of the candelabra hanging above.  She twisted the ring back and forth on her finger, thinking back to the day after the Calamity five years past.  “I think… It must have been my mother’s.”  She looked down solemnly and shook her head.  “I’m not quite sure Sir, my memories are foggy.  I remember bits and pieces, but none of the pieces fit together.”  The thought of not knowing her parents’ faces saddened her.  A tear rolled down her cheek, but she brushed it away like a pestering fly.  Seeing that he had upset her, Belmont quickly chided in.  “Well, where you got it matters little, but the significance of such a gem is of great importance.  It explains the incident in the marketplace, you see.”  He held her hand gently, hoping to bring some comfort.  “Karhu, this is a 12 pointed fire ruby.  Not the rarest crystal, but when used to focus the flow of the aether, a medium to speak, it becomes a tool of great power for a trained thaumatuge.”  He pointed to the small bejeweled scepter he wore upon his belt.  “Usually such a medium is housed in a staff, or scepter such as this; however, it is not unusual to see one in a ring instead, such as yours.”  He pondered his next words carefully, trying not to upset her further.  “Whoever had used that ring before you may have been part of a guild of thaumaturgy.”


The thought intrigued her.  She sat up to listen closer.  “So, you think I have talent?” she replied with a playful air of overconfidence.  Belmont chuckled derisively.  “Well, let us not get ahead of ourselves here young Karhu.  There are many steps before you can become a fully-fledged thaumaturge, but let’s say I am anxious for you to meet with the master of our guild so you can begin training.”  His tone turned serious for a moment.  “I must urge against denying such training, as power such as you possess can be deadly if left unrestrained and uncontrolled.  You wouldn’t want another incident such as this afternoon’s.”  He resumed his friendly tone and once again took her hand in his.  “I sincerely hope you will consider such an offer.  I may not be master of the guild, but I know innate talents when I see it, and it would be a shame to have such ability go to waste.”  He stood up and bowed politely.  “If you are interested, you can find me at the Arrzaneth Ossuary, just south of the Gate of Sultana.  Do you know the place?”  She nodded, having visited that part of the city, although rarely, on the occasion a customer wanted a magical imbuement.  A sudden thought occurred to Karhu.  “Sir Belmont, this is not my room at the weavers’ guild.  Where are we?  He laughed, as he stood to leave.  “My dear, after you fainted, I acquired a room at the Quicksands for you.  Have no worry of the cost, the guild keeps me well compensated.  Just get a good meal in your belly, and come see me when you feel better.  Momodi, downstairs, will take good care of you. She is a personal friend of the guild.”  When he got to the door, he turned back for one last word. “Momodi also heads the adventurers’ guild here in Ul’dah.  You should see her for work if you want something more exciting than weaving.”  He laughed.  “I expect we shall be seeing great things of you.  Until next we meet Karhu Katsu.”

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