Reconnection and Redemption

It has been well over a week and I am more than back on my feet. Sure, I could use some new equipment here and there... and eventually I'm going to have to get to leveling my sub-jobs (Warrior will be fun but Black Mage and... oh yeah... Ninja... ugh)... but I'm doing quite well! Thanks to the auction house, my bazaar and the way I leap at anyone requesting a teleport I'm earning enough gil to avoid looking naked or noobish. I even hit up an old farming haunt in the Outer Horutoto Ruins to grab some wild onions while simultaneously bringing my Thief to level 10. Once I get Monk back up to the 60's I'll not only plan to dip in to the Goobbues in Zi'Tah but also get to mining so I can trudge around in Movalpolos.

Speaking of Monk, the powerful damage-dealing class has been the fastest level-up job I've ever taken on. With Level Sync and Fields of Valor I've rocketed to 40 even quicker than Thief did on the Fenrir server. Where there I was gaining about one level per day, here I'm gaining about three.

On top of that, I've been raising a Chocobo (a female that, despite its gender, I've named Bucephalus II) and doing side-quests such as the Fellowship quest that was the final update before my leave in 2005. I was psyched to have taken on Namorodo (the Notorious Monster in the Eldieme Necropolis) by myself with extreme ease but soon remembered that the next step requires a group of six people capped at level 40 and set the task aside.

Speaking of Chocobo raising... it's like a more complicated version of a Tamigachi pet... but it looks like cheese compared to some of the other new things that have been added to the world. Not only can you raise your Chocobo but you can race it! I would imagine this takes a lot of time and commitment to get good at. Also, there's a new dungeon-creation engine called Moblin Maze Mongers. I have yet to figure out its nuances. I've also caught wind of a coliseum-style monster vs. monster event in the Near East!

More important than any of the leveling or questing, however, have been the reconnections I've made with old friends. Nearly every day I am shocked to find another old schooler who still adventures in Vana'diel. Most of them are even in a similar situation to mine in that they went on extended hiatus and have only just within the past year returned. Among these friends are Aurora (now Demeater), Davielle, Jinksko, Artega, Beranard and Xilfarth. I was even contacted by Rogare, a former member of the Elite Mercs, who invited me to a linkshell run by none other than Stabby. Fingaz, Pippen and Altropolinthes (now Thalmalkrichten) are still part of the group, too.

I've begun to forge new friendships as well, with the likes of Hulong, Seanruk, Sabine, Latian, Metarutaru, Destructivefury and several others. If anything, I know my presence on the server (at least the non-Aht-Urhgan side of it) is being felt once again.

Possibly the most significant reconnection has been with a certain Galka Paladin named Grawl. To my knowledge he was the only person who knew Altia better than I did. I always harbored some jealousy and that, combined with Grawl's barely approachable, gruff personality, prevented me from ever liking the guy all that much. He didn't remember me, but trusted he once knew me, and was friendly enough to carry on a brief conversation. I took the opportunity to thank him for taking such good care of our mutual friend (who, as mentioned in the Setting the Scene entry, is now deceased), mentioning that she told me multiple times how much he meant to her. I was extremely relieved to get it off my chest. Grawl didn't say anything further than "Yeah," but that was sufficient for me.

A strange coincidence happened not long after the conversation with Grawl. While gearing up for a party in Qufim, a Mithra appeared before me. She was close enough that I didn't see her name floating above her head, but I immediately recognized that she looked exactly like Altia. She was even wearing full Black Mage Artifact Armor. Before I could so much as examine her, she disappeared. I'm far from being a believer in anything spiritual, especially in such an odd case as this, but the mysterious occurrence provided a nice sense of closure nevertheless.

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