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My Direction


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Huddled against a boulder in the middle of a sandstorm, Jana Ridah - Professional Adventurer, Flame Corporal, Secret Summoner, and Champion Pugilist - curled up in her bedroll and cried. The howling winds whipped up enough sand to block out the desert sunrise, conveniently hiding the tired Keeper who had spent the entire prior night walking from Vesper Bay. But even as her body had grown too tired keep moving, her mind kept racing.


How could it not? She had a lot to decide on after the death of Natalie McBeef.


She had to decide where she would go. La Noscea and Ul'dah were out of the question. The Shroud to the east was possible, but she didn't have to stop somewhere she had such distaste for. Maybe she could keep going north to Mor Dhona, try to rebuild a career as an anonymous adventurer. Or even hide out in the snowy woods of Coerthas. Maybe she didn't even have to leave Thanalan. To the south were the Amalj'aa lands, plenty of work for adventurers there who could kill beastmen. Drybone was to the east, which could provide her some work among refugees to lie even lower. And there was plenty of desert to get lost and die in between the two.


She had to decide what to do. She would be limited by where she went, but she could continue her studies. Her arcanima tome was one of the few things she'd brought with her, after all, and she still had some of the tools in her bag. The selfsame tools Natalie had used to heal some clueless mercenary before she'd died. And the same ones that had failed Jana when she tried to save her.


Jana reached into her bag and threw a pair of pliers into the desert.


Five seconds later, she wriggled out of her bedroll and retrieved it.


She still needed to decide how she felt. Jana had gone from anger to sorrow to anger to sorrow, as often as she'd put her left foot in front of her right. Anger at this Oscare, anger at herself, anger at the deceased Natalie. And sorrow... There wasn't any need to try and analyze that. As she rolled over and shut her eyes, wiping her streaked face one more time, she couldn't help but think about the life she was so close to having... A house to live in, good food, good friends, and even someone to sleep next to every night. How long would it be until she could have that kind of life after this?

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A worm-eaten corpse, whispering into her ear as they embraced. "I want to talk about us..."


Jana woke up in a cold sweat, perhaps a feat in and of itself with the sun in middle of the Thanalan sky. The sandstorm that had concealed her had concluded some time ago, and as Jana slowly pulled herself onto her feet and shook sand out of her bedroll, she could clearly see that the distance to the Jewel of the Desert wasn't as great as she had hoped.


But as she sat and bit into a piece of flatbread, her dream floated back to the top of her mind. Natalie hadn't been directly involved in the "campaign" against the Crows and their cult (at least, not as far as she knew). But other Sworn and Flames had been. Surely, one of them would have known to cremate the body of Natalie McBeef? The question echoed in her mind as Jana tried to find a water flask she'd given away the night before. "To the mercenary woman Natalie died saving..."


Cursing as she licked her dry lips, Jana sat in the shade of her boulder and began ripping her bedroll into rags and thread. No matter where she went, she was going to need to travel in Thanalan, and she would need to conceal herself for some time. She had thrown her mask away in Vesper Bay, so she would need to come up with a new way. Finding a needle in her bag let her take inventory quickly: She had no real armor and her only weapons were her tome and a pair of leather cesti, darksteel spikes poking through. It would be enough for now, and if she concealed her identity, she wouldn't even need to keep her casting such a secret. Still, she had no more food and water; she had packed for a single night's voyage, after all.


It was supposed to be a smash and grab. Maybe knock out some guards while Natalie and those who knew more found what they needed to find. Jana should have known something was wrong the second she saw that bomb nut and the dark-skinned highlander woman. Explosions and flames had rocked the suddenly well-guarded warehouse, and she didn't even know what kind of papers they had been there for, exactly. Only that they had failed to secure them.


Trying and failing to put the memories out of her mind, Jana began to sew.

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((I like to let the direction of RP influence what happens in my character's development; Jana has an end goal but whether it changes or if she can even reach it is left out of my hands on purpose. But in this case, she's not going to seek out anyone ICly, which complicates things for me. Since I've yet to decide where to take her on my own, I'm willing to have her run into people or be found by anyone looking for her. And I know it's hard to find RPers in Thanalan outside of Ul'dah, so I thought I'd share that Jana will be around Black Brush. Feel free to drop me a line or post here if you'd be interested in setting something up for later; I know a few you of you might be!))

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