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The accounts (journal) of Auriana Wynter.

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This journal will be all IC through the eyes of Auriana. It is not public knowledge, nor is it obtainable unless given to a character, or RP'ed out to have been obtained. I hope that you find as much enjoyment in reading, as I do in writing it.




It happened again under the last sun. Most of the time it doesn't trouble me much, I just refocus and pass off as if a dream. But lately, it's been more often. I've no sense of time nor does it hold meaning for me, so I fail to keep track. Is it perhaps the sixth astral moon? Or the umbral? Who can say for certain.


I don't know if writing things down will help me or not. Someone suggested it a long time ago, and only now, do I give chance to the prospect. If I'm going to do this, then I should start from the beginning. With what I can call to memory at the least.


Oh, and if you are reading this..most likely you've killed me for it, so please, choke on it.


Alright. My name is Auriana Wynter. I do not recall much before the age of my leaving the care of Fareman and Selova Ironhand. They were good to me, gave me a home and cared for me as if their own. I was little more than an adolescent when they found me in the.


Selova was the first my eyes found when I awoke. I did't know her face, nor where I was. These strangers. I was afraid, and weakened. From what at the time, was unclear. Once she had calmed me, she and Fareman explained to me how I had gotten there.


Apparently, Fareman was returning from a hunt and had seen me floating downstream in the river. When he finally got me ashore, he could see my injuries were severe. The swelling in my head, they told me, they didn't think I would last the night. He found me during the fifth astral moon. I didn't awake until near the beginning of the fifth umbral.


I could not tell them who I was, nor how I was injured nor how I came to be in the water. All I knew was, I was afraid and alone. They found a necklace with the name Auriana Wynter inscribed on it. So it was assumed that to was my name. They helped me regain my strength, and let me stay. I worked for my keep, and in time, became fond of my rescuers and they me. Fareman taught me a lot about surviving.


Still, the questions of who I was haunted me. They haunt me still. Though I've long since accepted that I may never find the answers I seek, the visions in my sleep will not fade. It's becoming more frequent now, more vivid. I can hear the screams. I can see the fire, and almost smell the smoke. I'm younger, about the time Fareman found me I assume. Visions of my past? Or something else?


As time wears on, it grows increasingly difficult to determine what is real, and what is imagination. Maybe that's why I do what I do. Because while I'm busy do it, I don't think about it. It doesn't matter. Especially to those I've managed to do something decent for. And it's in that moment..that moment when they look back at me, I can see in their eyes that for that moment? They understand compassion is not gone from this world.


Ok, maybe that's a little dramatic. But it's true. Seeing the eyes of someone who a few bells ago had no hope, spark to life? For that moment, who I am or was...doesn't matter. I do what I do because it's what keeps me going, otherwise I fear I may succumb to one of my greatest fears..


So I will write down what I see, and what I learn along the way. And maybe, just maybe somewhere along the way, I'll discover who I am. If not who I was. After all, someone once told me, who we were pales in comparison to who we are. And what is in our hearts defines that truth. Or something like that..

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As I sit here, staring at the horizon, I can't help but wonder what it must be like to have a place to call home. I don't mean a structure, or even a city. I mean a place to belong. Somewhere that makes you feel safe. Like I imagine I felt as a child.


I count on my own self for that I suppose, just as I always have. I suppose I could have stayed at the foot of the mountains with the Ironhands, but in spite of all they had done, and the years spent, that was not my home. But, I'm done thinking of that subject for awhile. It only serves to irritate me and distract me.


I made it back to the markets today, this time I actually managed to sell my whole haul. Well, most of it anyway. I couldn't help but notice the smell of something sweet coming from Old Mother's fire on the way, so I just had to investigate. She was of course making mellon pie. She knew right off what was on my mind when I crested the hill.


Without a word, she offered a piece. And, as usual I was all too eager to share it with her. I don't know what it is that compels me so. I feel for these people. Most are looked on as beggars and thieves. And I have no doubts that some are. But they must eat too, right? They look to Old Mother as an elder I suppose. They respect her, and some will seek her council. But I know full well, when food gets scarce they will let her starve.


My usual payment, I gave her a decent size slab of the meat. Now, she doesn't fool me. She would have me believe she keeps it for herself. But I know that she makes her stew and passes it out to the children. I don't need all the meat anyway, I still had three pelts to sell. It's a hard way to make a living, yes. But to me, it's worth it.


I don't mind. I've no desire to be wealthy, or have praises sung to me. I only wish to make my way and be able to acquire what I need. Anything else is extra. Of course, even though I may give part of my haul away from time to time, my motives are not entirely selfless. It makes me feel better about things. Takes my attention from the things that trouble me in the back of my mind and quiets them for a time. So yes, I have to admit, what some see as generosity is more self serving than one would believe. What exactly does that say about me? I'm not sure I want to know that answer.


I think this writing things down stuff might actually help. Last night, I laid down with a clear mind and fell asleep with little trouble. Much better than my usual tossing before frustration sets in and eventually exhaustion. We'll see how I sleep tonight before I give any hope.

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Well, that was an interesting day! I was a little apprehensive at first about going to a strange place filled with strangers, but I'm glad I did. The place was absolutely beautiful. Far nicer than anywhere I've ever stayed. Whom ever lives there, is very lucky!


First, I was met a the door by a very pretty lady. She seemed nice, and was welcoming. Then I found myself in a rather large room filled with strangers, all buzzing and exchanging pleasantries from what I could tell. I must admit, I felt rather out of place. I mean, I'm a Highland girl. And a rather secluded one at that. I've never been one for large gatherings and the like.


I've always felt out of place, even amongst my own. I wish I could explain it but I can't. Anyway, after awhile I felt like I needed air so I just had to look around outside. I'll admit, the area was just as lovely as inside. Standing there, taking in the air and listening to the sound of the waves I heard laughter behind me.


It's been a long time since I've heard that sound so naturally I was intrigued. The next thing I know I found myself having the most pleasant conversation I've had in..well, a long time. Before I knew it, three were six and for a moment, I kind of forgot myself.


Somewhere in the deep recesses of my mind, I can remember laughing as a young girl. Laughing all the time, and feeling happy. It's a struggle to visit that place. It's like trying to reach out and grab the stars. You can see them, and it may seem like you can almost touch them, but no matter how hard you try..you just can't. And such are those memories.


But, for a little while there? I felt normal, even forgot what it was I was trying to recall. Because I found myself laughing so much, and so often..well, let me just say I am glad I went there. I do hope to see them again sometime. It felt good to laugh. Just how I imagine it must have been in that place that eludes me still. One day perhaps..

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Not the most successful hunt I've had, but I'll not go hungry tonight. Not for the lack of opportunity, but for the presence of thieves. Usually I mind my own business but this time was a little different. It's not like it was a scene I hadn't seen countless times before in my travels. Or one I had found myself in on occasion.


But somehow it warranted me climbing down from my cover. It was the usual thing, an aging midlander and his grand child perhaps. I could see the set up from clear across the valley as plain as the trees on the horizon. They really had no business being out this far from Ul'dah to be honest. Yet there they were, strolling along not paying one bit of attention to the hillside or the various vantage points scattered among them.


One of the thieves, a woman, she could be seen laying in wait along the road while the others gave warning of approaching travelers. From my vantage point I could see them just below me. Just as the pair approached the bend, one of the men gave a little whistle. Just as I predicted, the woman laid down in the middle of the road. Now who didn't see this coming? So cliche.


What happened next was nothing shy of pure and utter foolishness on the old mans part. He tells the boy to wait while he takes a close look at the figure laying in the road. Surprise! She pulls a blade just as the others came out from hiding and approached. Now this is usually when I turn a blind eye and leave things to fate. But when I got a look at the scar across the boys face, and the horror in his eyes..


Well, damn it to the hells. Before I could blink I caught myself nocking an arrow and drawing back. Of the two males, the smaller one was the most aggressive. He reached back and was about to strike the boy as let loose the arrow, sticking it in a post just past his face. Nocking a second, I gave my warning. Told them to let them pass, and no blood need be shed this day.


After a long moment of pause and no doubt calculation, the trio backed off with eyes glued to me. Making certain there was enough distance between us so that I could at least loose two shots before the third could reach me, I made me way to the boy and his grand father. Naturally, the trio made the usual threats before deciding the were at a disadvantage. For their trouble, I tossed them my pouch which had a few coin. The woman grabbed it and they ran off.


Now normally, when someone shows gratitude, I feel humbled somehow. But this time, it irritated me. I gave the old man a verbal lashing about being out here, let alone excising such foolishness as to fall for such an obvious set up. He was still thanking me as I walked away. As I looked back, the boy was standing there with his arms wrapped around the old man looking at me. He smiled.


That smile moved me somehow. I gave them direction to the nearest camp, and suggested they hire an escort for the rest of their journey. And just like that, a potential good days hunt shot to the hells. The game I had been tracking now long gone..and the days light spent. At least there was enough time to make camp and eat. Tomorrow I think I'll head a little further into the hills and away from the roads. Any more distractions like the one today, I'll be going hungry tomorrow night. I wonder how the lot from the other night are doing?

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It happened again last night. The morning sun isn't quite up yet, but I have to write this down now while it's still fresh in my head. I spent all day tracking and taking game, skinning and bundling the meat to take back and sell. As it was, I must have fallen asleep soon after I had eaten. The last thing I remember before falling asleep, was the fire was dieing out. I meant to toss on some more wood, but my body had other ideas.


It must have been the smoldering smoke, or the crackling of the still green wood that tripped it off. The trigger still eludes me even now after all this time. I can remember slipping off to sleep, and hearing the womans voice again. "We'll be fine." she would say. A moment later, the males voice, "Alright, but be sure to have everything ready to move when I return." I could hear them, but not see them.


In the dream, I thought I could feel the warmth of the fire. But no, that couldn't be it. It had to be my own. Time has no meaning when asleep, so there is no way to know for certain for how long I rested peacefully before the next vision struck. I was awakened in the dream by screams, and chaos. Flashes of people running in all directions. Flames shooting from roof tops, people helping wounded escape. Escape, but escape what?


There was no order to it all. I would see the blood on their faces, and then everything went silent. They were taller than me, so I had to be a child in the dream. It's starting to grow hazy already. There was the noise. By the twelve it was the most awful noise, deafening and powerful enough to send waves through my body.


I think I was looking out of a window, maybe a doorway. I could feel someone, or something grab me and pull me away. Embers, and flames lit the entire sky, and cast shadows in all directions. I could see..but not hear. As awful as the noise was, the silence was worse. And then, everything went black. Hours must have passed before I started to dream again. This time, it was a figure leaning over me.


I could see no face in the darkness, but I could hear the words as a whisper as the figure cast me off to float away. "Forgive me.." Burning embers silhouetted the figure in the darkness as they rose in the not too far distance. My head, the pain unbearable. The smell of smoke laid heavy in the air. Only now, in the early mornings chill do I leap awake gasping for air.


What is this torment? What kind of devilry is it that stalks me so in the depths of my consciousness, that I may know so few night decent rest? This is the second time under this moon this has happened. I wish it were all clear, like a normal dream. But it isn't. It only comes in flashes, like the pages torn from a book, strewn across the desert sands.


I wish it would stop. Or answers come forth to make sense of the madness which cost me so much rest.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Its been several days since my last dream. Looking over my last page, it occurs to me that had I not written it down I don't think I would remember it at all. Most of my dreams I have no recollection of after I awake. But I suppose that's normal.


I've decided to head towards the mountains. I'm four days in, and still a day out before I can see the trees and the rocks at the base. I don't know what it is that I expect to find there that I hadn't already looked at many times before. Just hopes that one day something will click in my head.


I guess, when you get right down to it? I'm broken. I'm not like anyone else, and relate to few, if any at all. I remember the lively one, she said they were homeless. Yet, she was so full of life and energy. How? How does one loose a their home and be so full of life? I'm intrigued to say the least. I don't even know the full scope of what I might have lost, yet it weighs on me like the mountain I head for.


How? Just another question in this never ending quest for answers. I think when I return from this colossal waste of time, I'm going to search them out. Perhaps I can at least get one question answered. Though, as with everything else I'm certain to find two more to replace it with.


I said goodbye to Old mother at the camp before I left, she barely looked up at me. She just continued stirring the stew, pausing for only a moment. Before I left, she said quietly that I should not return again. There was a heaviness in her crackled voice, as if she was sending me off somewhere. Where the hells else am I to go?


I'm a highlander, and yet even among my own like the ones in little Ala Mhigo, they look on me as an outsider. I despise the name, and don't even know why. One even accused me of being a sell sword. What could I do? The looks I got from them said it all. I didn't even bother to state that my bow was indeed, not for sale at any price.


Sometimes, I wish I had never woken up. Yet I try to find something to believe in, something bigger than them, myself and all of it. Maybe I do belong out here with the stones, and the animals. Yeah...today was a hard day. Maybe I'm just tired. I think I'll put more wood on the fire and get some sleep.

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OOC: I'm going to do something a little different with this one, I'm going to write this one as a scene of Auriana writing her entry. We'll see how this one works out. Enjoy.




High on the hillside, between two boulders, her back to the cliff, Auriana pokes the small fire. Her eyes look south, towards Ul'dah. In the distance, the lights of the city mark its place in the landscape. She sighs to herself and pokes the fire one last time, before taking out her book.

Carefully, she undoes the leather cords that tie it shut. By the fires light she can see the words on the pages written in her own hand. Those pale eyes of hers watches the fire dance, casting shadows all around by its light. After a short time, she looks to the pages and begins to write.


Another day spent, another haul taken to market. As mundane as it might seem, and often times is, it would seem I may be missing the beauty of it all. After unloading the few hides, and what was left of the meat that didn't spoil on the journey back, I thought it might be nice to have a meal and drink that I didn't have to stalk.


I don't normally go inside the taverns of the city, or taverns in general. It seems spirits have a tendency to inflict some with stupidity if not drown their morals. So I find it best to avoid, or at the very least not indulge. Afterward, I just thought I would sit and relax for a short while as my meal digested before heading back out.


She paused her writing to listen closely to her surroundings. The fire crackled and poped as small embers floated upward. Narrowing her eyes, she scanned the darkness as if attempting to sense something. With a smirk, she gave a puff to blow a lock of hair from her eye. "Right...where was I here..."


It was about that time, as chance would have it, an Elezen woman approached. She was quite beautiful, and well dressed. I don't presume to understand the motivation, but it was not long before that mattered not. As we sat making conversation it began to occur to me, that I was no longer looking around for something to happen.


But that isn't what stands out so much as things spoke. To envy me..and what it is that I do. Had I not heard the sincerity with my own ears, I might have found amusement. But there it was, sincere. For the first time since I can remember, I was flattered.


Her attention turns to the brush not far from the fire. The branches move ever so slightly. As a soft breeze blows across the hillside, she determines it's nothing and returns to her writing.


Even more than that, there was wisdom in her words. Wisdom I had not heard spoken to me before. Not so much I didn't already know, but hearing it is much different. Hearing it spoken to you, gives it weight. And, she was right. Looking back has netted me nothing up to now. And, if I keep my eye fixed there, what is it I may be missing ahead?


The truth is, I know these things to be true. The only thing in question, is am I strong enough to let it go? Or even if I do one day find the answers, will I be strong enough to handle them? And so it goes. For every answer, I find yet another question. But there was something about her, something in the way she carried herself.


Slowly, Auriana lay the book down, and slower still her hand reached for the bow that lay beside her. She listened to the sounds around her very closely. What was there, was no longer. The hillside had become silent. This is what caught her attention, the silence. In a fluid movement she grips the bow, nocks an arrow and draws it back.


With a fierce roar a Coeurl leaps forward and crouches low, looking into her eyes as its huge wide tongue licks its own face and fangs. Auriana holds the bow back and stares right back at the creature before letting the the string down. "Now just where in the hells have you been!? Leaving me out here all this time.. Shame on you!" She scolds the beast.


She plops back down next to the fire and ties the bindings back up on the book before tucking it away. The Coeurl sits in the spot it had been crouching in and gives her a look, still licking its face. She holds back a smile and a chuckle, as she leans forward to grab a strip of smoked meat from a pouch near the fire. She takes a small bite, then tosses the rest to the coeurl. "Come here.." she says.


He snatches it out of the air, nearly swallowing it whole as the large beast strides over and plops down next to her. "You're lucky I didn't replace you..." she says, half joking. Sensing her displeasure at his prolonged absence, he wipes her face with a long, wide tongue. Laughing, yet wiping it off, she lays down next to the fire and stares into it. Auriana watches the fire dance long into the night, thinking, before finally drifting off to sleep.

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It seems the harder I try not to think, the more of it I do. Looking ahead is easier said than done. Yes, perhaps it is better to look forward, but I'm finding that difficult. With such a large piece of ones self missing, it feels like drawing my bow with one hand. I don't know if I can, at least as I am. I still can not sleep much. When I close my eyes sometimes I think I hear screams in the distance.


One would think I would be accustomed to it by now after all this time. But truthfully, it's beginning to wear on me to the point it's making me..#####..irritable. I try to be kind to those who show me kindness. But to trust, is another matter entirely. My mood as of late is deteriorating.


A male stopped to make introductions and inquire a few harmless things. He was pleasant enough, though I can scarcely recall having ever been accused of being a lady. Two compliments under the same moon, unheard of in my little corner. Just the same, he spoke as a gentleman to me. And for that, my bid that he take care was genuine.


As for me. I think I'm going to head north. Go into the mountains after all. I can see the white of the trees, and I think the snow may do me well to refocus. And who knows, maybe I'll discover something. Doubtful. After all this time, if there were something, I would have found it by now. Still, those mountains are as close to home as I'll ever be.


Funny sentiment, considering I have no home. Nor memories of one.

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It's barely dawn, and yet I've been awake for near half the night. Somewhere in the darkness, the whispers find me once again. The lack of sleep is beginning to take it's toll on me. My senses not as sharp as they should me, my mind slowing. I can feel my body telling me to stop, but that is not possible.


While I awaited the delivery of the provisions I had ordered, there was another chance encounter with the male from the other eve. As pleasant as he was on the first meeting. I could tell that my leaving the city caused him displeasure of sorts. That is something I do not understand. Why would anyone care if I were here, or there? My social graces are limited at best, I admit. Perhaps I do not understand, because I speak to so few.


Like others whom I have met, it seems my life is on the opposite corner of the map. That is the way of it. That has always been the way of it. My life, is my own and I have yet to encounter another who lives as I do. The Elezen woman seemed to have some philosophical grasp, she intrigues me. Perhaps on my way north, I shall indeed take the road through Gridania.


I have little care for the people of the cities. People in general really. Very few have shown me kindness. Most look upon me with disdain, reminding me that I am an outsider by the look in their eyes. I need no reminder. I know what I am, and there is little I can do to remedy that. So keep moving, never linger too long. That is the key to survival.


Admittedly, as the eyes who look upon me with such loathing, over time my own heart and gaze have hardened in return. With every sun rise, I feel a little colder. Too much time in the cities, has brought this out. Which is why I need to make the mountains, remove myself to the wilderness and thaw the chill in my heart once again. If only a little. A vicious cycle is what it is. One that I wish I could break, but how?


At least out here, there are no outsiders. There are only prey, and predator. And a mutual understanding in the natural order of things. However, with such freedom comes a price. For most, as it would seem for the gentleman, the price is too high. Coming from me, one who has nothing else, I suppose the price of living any other way is just as high. Opposite corners of the map.


To hells with this..I'm tired and my thoughts are colliding. The sun is almost up. Time to move.

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Auriana sits, crouching on a large rock that protrudes from the sharp cliff, overlooking the valley below. She had been on the road for near two days when she reached Gridania. There was something she had found peaceful about it, in spite of the goings on and the tales of hardships.


Something perhaps in the landscape itself. Her intent was to keep heading north until she had reached the snow caps. It was there, high in the mountains that hopes of hard terrain, hard labor in her craft and the energy draining cold might be enough to let her sleep at days end. Having slept little in the last weeks, her body was telling her it was time.


A short stop, more or less paying visit to the Elezen whom days before had challenged her outlook. Aurianas' respect for her, and gratitude for the kindness compelled her to pay visit, and say her farewells until she should return. It seasons past, it could be two full lunar cycles until she came down. Her visit paid, her intent laid forth, yet she remains here in Gridania.


It had been a long night for her, spent off the trail where she made camp to do some deep thinking. She had made a decision...

Just before the sunrise, she climbed high on the rock so that she may have full view of the spectacle that is about to happen. Taking in each breath, slowly and listening to the forests every sound the as horizon began to glow.


As the sun began to crest the horizon, the fog still laying in the valley turned to a golden river, and the dew on the leaves sparkled as jewels. All seemingly to dance together to the song of the forest, that no one else could hear.


After a few moments, she took the leather covered book out, lay it across her thigh and unbound its cover. Opening the pages, she begins to write..


I've thought long on this. Many opportunities to put the skills I have to use offered. A chance to be more than what I am. I can not deny the wisdom in the offerings made, nor the suggestions laid forth. Perhaps it IS time. Time to focus on something larger than myself. Time to give chance to letting go, and maybe make a home.


Each of them, seemed willing to accept me for what I am. None looked on me as a vagrant, or as a thief, or worse like some many in the camps have. To have work, meaningful work is perhaps what I need indeed. I like them, I feel there is much I can learn from them. And all the while my freedom is still mine. Something that is very important to me.


Yes, I will stand with them. It's time. It's time to look to what lay ahead, and as the wise one might say. Looking ahead, does not mean you are forsaking the past. If anything, I would gather to guess it would be honoring it. And so as such, I am honored to stand with them. And as it would seem from what I had learned in my short time, it is none too soon.



The Coeurl scratches at the base of the rock as she looks down at him and smiles. She nods, puts away the book and gets to her feet, picking up her bow as she does so. "Alright boy, let's make haste. I have a promise to keep." The large cat lets out a roar as she leaps on his back, and lunges off through the trees..

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I have been here only a few days now, and already I can see the possibilities. Had I not been urged to look ahead, and give my best effort to keep eyes forward, I know now that I would have missed what is becoming apparent.


Yes. the wise one is right. I knew this in the beginning, though I admit looking away from the thing I have sought after for the past several years I find frightening. For the first time I can remember, I am afraid. Not of a person, or beast. Not of going into a dark cave of unknown things, but of letting go. My word is all I have of value in this world. I have given my word to try, and to give chance to something I have avoided since leaving the mountains.


Not so much having given my word to another. Knowing what little I do know of her, I feel she would find such unacceptable. She would instead council me to give my word to my own self, as it is me to whom I owe pledge. Of this, I am certain. There is much I can learn here, much that I had not considered until now. The others, though I know them only by sight and the names I can count on one hand, they appear to be loyal to one another.


None are without conflict, be it within ones self or with those they hold dear, admittedly or otherwise. I find it strange, though I have very little social experience to understand, it is clear to even me that together they will accomplish much. I am more accustomed to being the outsider in every setting, as indeed I am. Though here, I have not felt as such. As each day passes, I feel a little more at ease. In time, I can only hope to find my place.


For now, I will do what I can. Do my duty and carry out what befalls my charge. Also, it does not hurt the eye to be in such a place of beauty as this. I am indeed privileged.

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With only a few hours of daylight left, she decides it best to find a place to make camp. She had been tracking since early morning, and from the impressions, the beast she was after was either extremely large for it's size, or it had a rider. Either way, she intended to find out.


Someone, or some thing had come a little too close to her camp the night prior. Whom, or whatever it was, was either skilled enough or silent enough to elude discovery. Auriana had been on the train since day break. Moving quietly, does not mean quickly. The only way to close the gap was she now had to be the one to move in the shadows of night fall. Or lay bait.


Being stalked, much less intruded upon in her sleep was not something that sat well with her. Had it not been for the coeurl sleeping not a few fulms from her, things could have gotten lively. Thankful to have her hunting companion in her camp during the night, she meant to make her point once she caught up to the intruder.


Perfect. A small stream flowing through the landscape, with a nice little clearing near the rocks. Quickly, she made her camp. The small fire burning, and the smell of food cooking should be just enough. Using leaves and what small, thin brush she could gather, she stuffed her bed roll.


Near the site, a tall oak stood lending it's branches as shelter. One last look around, she scales the tree until she can see far beyond the rocks. With only an hour of daylight left, she decided to use this time to calm her mind as she takes out the little book..


A simple hunt, to get some food that isn't questionable turns into a hunt of another sort. Who or whatever came to the camp last night will undoubtedly return. I could stalk through the night myself, but also risk being discovered. They will return.


I do not like being stalked, and I enjoy what little sleep I can manage to get being disturbed by visitors in the dark. I hope this works..


She then puts the book away and leans her head back against the trunk, closing her eyes. She lets out a deep breath and relaxes herself, tuning her senses into the sounds of the forest. Finding the cool breeze and the rustling of the leaves indeed relaxing, she drifts off. Nearly two hours pass, and she hears the coeurls' low growl.


Quickly, Auriana opens her eyes and scans the forest floor below. The fire almost out, she can make out shadows and shapes. It would have to be enough. Making a barely audible clicking sound with her tongue, she calls the coeurl off who retreats into the brush. "Now it begins.." she would think to herself.


Readying her bow, her senses sharp she hears the snap of a twig. Expecting thieves or worse to bear down upon the heap under the bed roll, she quietly draws the bow back. But what exits the brush, gives her pause. A young Miqo'te sneaks out from under a bush, and crawls towards her pack. Auriana watches in amazement as the tiny hand opens the front flap and steals a piece of fruit before shrinking back into the shadows, disappearing from sight.


Her eyes search for the figure, but does not find what they are searching for. Instead, she can hear a whisper then the sound of something eating what was moments ago, her fruit. It had obviously been taken to feed a mount, or perhaps the little one's companion. Not unlike the coeurl that she had come to think of as an unnamed friend.


Auriana lets the bow down and begins to laugh as she leans her head back against the trunk. Hearing the laughter the young Miqo'te shouts through the trees, "I'm sorry! Thank you for the fruit!!" Auriana just chuckles and climbs back down, giving a full moments thought to the reckless young one.

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[A scene]


All is quiet through the house and the morning sunrise still a few hours in coming. Auriana lay in the soft bed, a comfort she had not enjoyed in quite a long time. The effects of the alcohol had granted her the much needed sleep, and eased the transition enough to allow her to fall deeper than what she is accustomed to. Having never been drunk before, the consequences in this late hour are about to reveal themselves..


In her dream state, she can see the shadows moving about through the light of the fires as always. The faint screams echo through the smoke, the clashing of steel pierces the night air. She stirs lightly, rolling over to her side. As her breathing slows, and she falls yet deeper into her slumber, the alcohol in her body acts as an anchor tethering her to this place.


The deeper she falls, the more vivid and real the visions become. It comes in flashes now. The flash of a soldier bearing down on her, only to have her wheel about and strike with the short blade on her side. Dark silence. Another flash, men shouting, women screaming and explosions rock the entire landscape. It is as though thunder itself has descended from the heavens, to deliver it's justice to all who would bear witness.


Another wave of dark silence. When the flash occurs next, it as though she is walking in a living nightmare, unable to escape its clutches. She moves about as a ghost, though she can feel the intense heat, and coughs on the smoke. In the bed where she lay, she stirs all the more. Her breathing intensifies somewhat as she moans and coughs.


In her dream, she now bears witness to her own self as though looking into a mirror. She is wearing leather armor, bow across her back, she watches herself race towards a burning home. Darkness. A few moments pass, allowing her to still her sleep, only to return the flash with an intense violence. Her heart begins to race, both in the real world and in her dream.


Bodies fall as a monstrous machine pushes forward, cutting down all in it's path. She can feel the intense heat on her skin. Shielding her face both in this world, and the dream, she cries out..."NO!" Unable to wake herself from the grips of the alcohol, she is forced to watch the carnage through an obscure fog.


Then, as violently as they appeared, the visions stop. Replaced by blackness, she feels the cold. Her eyes search the darkness for a way out, finding only trees which seem to appear as she runs. The whispers find her, calling to her.."Auriana.." Unable to see the source of her torment, and no escape her heart pounds even harder. She stops, and pleads in both worlds.."Please.." For the first time in a long time, she is afraid. She trembles in the bed as she can feel something unseen closing in on her.


Something grabs her arms, and begins to pull her. She struggles, but it is useless. The trees are replaced with walls of stone, and the fear turns to anger, fueling her as she struggles for her life. In this world, she tosses and turns, moaning as if in pain and muttering incoherent words. Suddenly, the stone walls rush in on her, stopping short of crushing her...leaving her trapped inside a cell of stone.


She looks upward, noticing the incredibly high walls with no ceiling. Through the opening, the moon shines high. As Auriana lowers her gaze, a figure stands before her. Before she could speak, the figure rises up through the hole, looking down on her and whispers.."Forgive me.."


She struggles to wake, but can not. All she could do was defy the haunting figure which taunts her. "No! Why will you not leave me?" Unaware she is speaking out loud in this world, there is emotion in her voice. Emotion not being something she shows, in this dream world..she can not hide it. Another flash, she is now inside a burning building. Disoriented, she spots the doorway. Before she can reach it, something strikes her head hard.


Finally, Auriana snaps her eyes open and gasps for air as she sits up in the bed. The pounding in her head is excruciating. Her eyes hurt, and her throat dry. It takes a moment to realize where she is. Uncertain if she had stirred, and awaken anyone, she lay back down and curls herself into a ball. Afraid, angry and embarrassed..Auriana closes her eyes and curses the pain quietly. Eventually she drifts off to sleep again, only undisturbed and quiet rest until she wakes in the morning hours..

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What can I say about the past two days? I don't understand what what the man in Ul'dah could possibly see that would attract him so. There is nothing I can do to remedy what is broken in me. I am not what he is looking for, and I admire his ability to accept my saying as much. A friend is what suits me best.


In light of such, back at the house I foolishly stated I would try drink. Having never done so, the effects I was ill prepared for. Though I felt no reason not to let myself indulge if only just this once, after all I was among friends. I am coming to trust them more with each passing day. And the Elezen, Ravusa, she has proven to be someone whom I can trust, and confide.


I can recall no other whom has been as genuine in my past dealings. I only hope, that by looking after me in such a vulnerable state, I had not robbed anyone of rest. More over, I hope I did not alarm my host while I slept. The nightmares of the drunken slumber were vivid, and frightening. It was almost as if it were real. Had I stirred in the night, I would not know. Unlike most other nights without the influence of drink, the nightmares wake me with little effort.


This night, however, I could not. I am embarrassed to think that such a friend as she, could have witnessed me so vulnerable. After slipping out, hopefully unnoticed upon the morning sun, I had to take some air to clear my head. But the pounding, and the pain are quite overwhelming. Perhaps a walk..

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The notion had never entered my mind. I spoke truth to that statement. Not once did I ever suspect any ulterior motive, not then and not now. I know better than that. While I may not have the full benefit of the wisdom of all my years, I do not think myself naive. What I do know is this, in this life, we all have a series of choices to make.


Choices of where we go, where we live. The choices of what actions we take and when. In the great journey of life, we come across many paths. Many of those paths lead in different directions. It is our choice as to which path to take on any given day, and at any given moment. No my friend, I never once thought for a moment of ulterior motives. I did not then, and I do not now.


That does not go to say, that if the path presents itself, I would not choose to follow it. To that end I can not speak. As I am right now, little frightens me. To the point of recklessness. I walk a thin line, a line so thin that to waiver in the slightest could mean my fall. Little frightens me, yes. But that is because I have little to loose. What can be taken from one whom has lost not only everything they had, but who they are?


And that is the rub. What exactly did I loose? True, I may never know. I'll have to square myself with that one day to be true. And I will indeed, when the time is right and my soul no longer cries out. There is one thing that frightens me. Letting anyone inside only to be taken away. Or worse, to be used against me should something terrible cross my path. I will never forgive myself should another have to pay for my sins.


Will I take the path? Perhaps. If my instincts tell me so, I will obey. Just as I always have. They have kept me alive, and kept me out of the weather thus far. I have little cause to doubt them now. Which brings forth yet another question.


Unfinished business. An interesting concept I had not entertained before. Could it be? Could it be possible that from the depths of my own self I am being called to finish something? If what I see in the dreams are a rendition indeed of some deed I had begun, the real question is, do I really want to know?


Having conditioned myself to ignore emotion to the point of not feeling, I can not answer what should be so obvious. It appears what has been a shield for me, is now an equal weakness. Halone give me the strength to stay the course. I'm afraid to feel. It clouds my judgement, and deceives my senses. Not to feel, is a small price to pay to keep going. None would understand the sacrifice in which I make in order to avoid being consumed by the giant hole that runs through my core.


And such is my penance for whatever sins that I may have committed, to bring such relentless and unforgiving torment upon myself. Yet, I am happy here. Do I deserve to be as such? Another damned question. One day, one moment at a time.

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Inside a lavish, and beautifully decorated room, Auriana lays her head back and submerges herself in the bath. She would remain under the water for as long as she could hold her breath. Opening those so very pale colored eyes, she looks up out of the water at the ceiling. Distorted by the water, it occurs to her that like the ceiling, her life too, is distorted.


Slowly, comes up. for several moments more, she relaxes in the warm water. She looks around the bath and at the beauty that surrounds her. The days events having left her in a fairly calm state of mind, she decides it best to turn in for the night now rather than latter. Reaching for a towel, she rises. Water dripping from her body making tiny splashing noises which breaks the silence of the room.


She can not help but notice how soft the towel is as she dry herself, and holds it against her face. As she gathers her clothes, Auriana catches her reflection. Her platinum hair with its pink highlights soaking wet, dangling all around her face, laying on her shoulders. She can not recall the last time she had seen herself with her hair down.


Carefully, she dries it as best she can with a towel, patting and squeezing as not to tangle it. She can not help but stare at her own reflection and wonder why. Why it is that she should receive compliment. She had never considered herself beautiful. She puts her cloths on with almost somber movements, sad perhaps that she must leave such a beautiful place. Though it has been opened to her for if and when she should need it, her respect for its owner and the silent fear deep inside will forbid her to form attachment right now.


As she slips her top over her head, the little leather covered book falls to the floor. Eying it while she ties her hair back, she considers making an entry. With a soft smile, she bends down to pick it up. In doing so, she undoes it's ties and opens it as she sits on the corner of a bed. She takes a moment to think about what to say.


Today was a good day, and I am ever greatfull


This would be the only entry she would make this day. With a thoughtful smile, she ties the little books binding and hides it away inside the top. Slowly she heads for the door. She opens the door and is about to step out when she pauses, and takes one look back inside the room. One last smile, she exits and closes the door behind her.

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Well, it started off a good day. Seeing as how the moonfire is full swing, I decided to spend some of the gil I had gotten from the last hunt on some festive clothes. I don't know why really. I suppose I was just trying to be normal, like everyone else. I'm trying, I really am.


I knew this would be hard, but I didn't know just how hard. Things were going well, and I felt alright. But then, something I did not foresee. I had seen the horrors the so called camp doctors have left in their wakes. I have witnessed unspeakable things at their hands, and myself nearly taken to be sold by one of them.


Now I don't know what in the seven hells came over me, but when I seen the doctor up close, I began to panic. As hard as I tried to hold it inside, in the end, it proved more than I could bare. The unfounded notions intruding my good sense was bad enough, but to actually let it show and then speak it? The twelve must have had a sense of humor this night.


After embarrassing myself to the point of wishing to crawl under the floor, it turns out the doctor is kind. The words spoken to me were understanding and comforting at the same time. I broke one of my own rules. Rule seven, never judge lest you be judged. I did just that. And in kind, I felt just like the fool I was. My behavior inexcusable, and a mistake that will not soon be repeated.


However understanding my new found friends may be, I shamed myself. And now, I must do what I can to remedy this, in my own eye if no one elses. I am finding that the more I try to look past my own plight, the more it comes to light. The harder I try to forget that my past eludes me, the more reminders I find of that very fact. The more I wish to let go, the more I realize that to do so I must have answers.


A most inconvenient paradox.

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Rarely have I seen such celebration as I have today. Everything so new to me, yet so familiar. I can not call upon a time when I have laughed and smiled so much. For a better part, I did not notice how many were there. Being around so many at once is difficult, but with so much to see and hear I didn't care.


It felt, nice. As much as I have enjoyed my own downtime, I fear I must do some work. My mind idle for far too long, is not lending aid to my sleep. It is increasingly difficult to find sleep when the mind is rarely still. I'm finding myself going until exhaustion or the influence of drink takes me. Both of which are out of my normal practice.


Drink clouds judgement and slows reaction and dulls the senses. Exhaustion costs strength and speed as well as dulls the mind. This simply will not do. Here, where I am yes I can afford a little relaxation. But complacency is the downfall of many. I feel comfortable enough here that nothing ill will befall me in such a mindset. Though to become complacent would be a mistake on my part regardless.


I can hear a saying, though I do not know where it comes. 'Leave a blade rest in its sheath long enough, and it will loose it's edge.' I do not know where I have heard that, but it does hold a bit of truth. Perhaps I am just not accustomed to remain in one place for more than one moon. My lack of social skill becoming more evident with each sunrise. Remaining idle much longer, and it will not be long before the inevitable questions come forth.


How in the seven hells will I answer? To taste a lie is bitter and fouls my very being. To speak truth is painful and shameful. I shall pray to the twelve that day does not come anytime soon. Any other time, I would just pack up and move on as I have done countless times before. But this time is different.


For the first time since I've taken to wandering Eorzea, I have found a place where I feel as I belong. I am happy here, and I do not want to wander anymore. I will find a way, or face my shame. The days of running away are over. For now, rest. I shall acquire assignment soon, of that I am certain. Then I will not have to think about such unpleasant things.

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Another dead end. I had thought that if I visited the hunting grounds I had first stalked upon my arrival in Erozea some spark of recollection might occur. I could not have been more wrong. Instead I am more frustrated than ever. Sleep is becoming more like stolen moments than meaningful rest.


My timing may have been for the best. After hearing the news of the fallen, I anticipate unrest. Although none seem to share my sentiment, I can not help but brace for what may come. I do hope with all my heart that I am only being cautious and nothing more. Still, as my own torment is ever present I feel my self growing anxious. Perhaps it is indeed the absence of sleep.


Yet, as my mood fouls my patience thins and my vision dims. There must be a means to an end. There must be a way to make peace with the demons that torment me. The twelve know I will not rest until I do. And not of my own choosing. This limb that I find myself resting upon is bound to break, it is only a matter of when.

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I can't help but wonder, who exactly is looking for this man. And why me? Besides the fact I've been known to undertake such jobs in the past, I see no explanation as to why I should be entrusted with this one. This one feels like there is much more going on here than a simple Elezen gone missing.


It's been several days now, and I only just now got my first solid information. I figure it time to report in. I'm back at the house, and things here are what I have come to see as normal. Plenty going on around me, but I can only think of the task at hand. For instance, I'm sitting here with several of my counterparts around me engaging in conversations that I am oblivious to. Yet all I can think about is the leads I have, and the leads I do not.


So many things, so many pieces that are missing still, which prevent me from picking up the trail of my mark. Someone has gone through a great deal of trouble to make this man vanish. And someone has gone through more trouble still to put me on his trail. It makes me curious, how far will this unknown party go? How far are they willing to go to find this elezen? And even more obscure, what is so important that someone is so willing to go such lengths?


I suppose this is what I have been wishing for, to find the answers to someone elses troubles so that I may forget mine. I have heard it said on occasion, 'be careful what you wish for.' Am I to learn the moral to that phrase at last? Somewhere deep in my gut, I get the feeling that I may indeed. However the, rest of me thinks this just another job. We shall see which part of me is correct. If my limited history that my broken memory can illuminate, I fear the depths of my own self shout the loudest on this one.


Best I put this away for now. While I lack refined social graces, I know enough to know that writing in a journal in a room full of people, could be considered rude.

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