Playing Catch-Up

Phew... I figured my updates here would be few and far between but this is ridiculous! To try and fit everything that's happened since my last installment would be foolish. I'll just do a run-down... and hopefully it's not overly boring.
For starters, it would seem I rejoined Vana'diel's community just in time to catch the final breath of the Elite Mercs (who, as I've come to learn, were referred to as "Bad News" before assuming their final moniker, "Strike Team"). Stabby's presence is extremely punctuated and Fingaz, along with several members who came along during my absence, has retired. The remnants - Rogare, Thalmalkrichten and myself - have, for the time being, migrated to a tight-knit linkshell including members such as Purfection, Debane and Stormchaser.

My Monk abilities honed to their fifties, I began seeking a new set of Artifact Armor. I had previously completed the necessary quests under my Elvaan persona so thankfully they were less of a headache this time. Rogare aided in dispatching the Wandering Ghost to kick things off, Thal helped me find the Garlaige coffer key and the two of them together helped me in battling a handful of Notorious Monsters. We took on two Orcs in Davoi, Huu Xalmo the Savage at the top of Oztroja and, of course, Dark Spark (after whom we dispatched the Marquis Andrealphus for a quest from Oldton Movalpolos).
Following a few more level-ups as a Dancer in a lengthy party with Pur and Debane and as a Warrior in a short-lived yet successful trio with Thal and Icestorm (assisted from the outside by Rogare), I graduated Monk from the profitable Fields of Valor in Sauromugue to the even more lucrative Fields in Zi'Tah. Although in the late fifties I did get a few moderately successful parties in the Wajaom Woodlands most of my experience was found in pounding my signature in to Rock Golems and Master Coeurls while reaping their leavings for gil.
On my way to my current standing as Monk, 62, I only died once... but it the fiends who felled me earned it! I was taking on a Golem a touch too close to Ro'Maeve for my level when two Lost Souls joined the fray, one of whom began the lengthy casting process of Freeze - an ancient spell. "No problem," I figured, "I'll just shove my Hundred Fists up their boney butts and then re-focus on the Golem." Almost as soon as I activated my ultimate ability, however, the my primary target used Thunder Break, stunning me. The Freeze casting completed and yours truly became a scorpion-harness-flavored popsicle.
At one point over the past few weeks I finally brought the White Mage robes back out for more than easy transportation and while leveling for the first time in the Bhaflau Thickets I reached level 63 - my highest level yet. It felt good to see the gold sparkles appear around my Briault. Just recently I continued to train the healing class in campaign battles. These battles are relatively new to me and while their worth  is questionable at times, they are undeniably fun and eventful. Soon I will complete my goal of bringing Black Mage to level 37 so I can truck White Mage to its maximum potential.

Some of the key accomplishments of recent days have been in the form of Rank-ups in the Federation of Windurst. Thalmalkrichten still needed to take care of the skeletons in Fei'Yin and, subsequently, the Shadow Lord, so Rogare and a few others from our new Linkshell helped in those matters (although, as is pictured immediately above, our first attempt went comically sour).
We continued to a contest in Balga's Dias with Icestorm against four strong Yagudo and another trip through Oztroja (this time down the password-activated trapdoor and past the High Priest who got taught a lesson by the edges of our blades and the business ends of our staves), then to the secret Animastery in the Toraimarai Canal and the Rhinostery's hidden study in the Temple of Uggalepih. The fascinating mysteries of Windurst are unfolding before us and our current task is to follow a Star Seeker to the fugitive Sedal-Godjal. As I write this, I am enjoying the peace of the Hall of the Gods - a peace I earned following the Star Seeker through Ro'Maeve.

In the meantime I've been assisting the citizens of Windurst, Jeuno and Al Zhabi with tasks such as locating elusive ingredients, romance advice and even the repair of a certain cardian named Two. These are satisfying and occasionally rewarding side-quests that go a long way to flesh out the Vana'diel experience.
Clearly I have gathered the strength and the resources to be as accomplished an adventurer as I always wanted to be. Thankfully every step of the way has been fun so far and it only promises to become moreso.

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