Breaking Barriers

So it looks like I'm unintentionally setting up a one-post-per-month trend. That's fine... the main problem is that these entries are boring as can be. Well, I suppose that's fine, too, since they're essentially records for me to look back on and reminisce... I'm certainly not fooled in to thinking more people than just me read these things. If anything, the sidebar is the most important aspect since I use it to track my progress, and if anyone who reads my bazaar comment actually bothers to follow the link they'll see that I'm not actually a Rank 2 newbie from San D'Oria (more on that later).

So where did we leave off... I'm pretty positive the first highlight that occurred following the last post (aside from the above-pictured Incinerator quests, which were more of a nuisance than they should have been since by choice I was doing them alone) was the obtaining of Rank 10 in Windurst. It's been a long time coming... and after an extremely difficult battle in Davoi, a few tribulations taking us (the non-Kiddoeans being Rogare and Thalmalkrichten as per usual) through The Temple of Ugly Peopl--I mean... Uggalepih, The Quicksand Caves and Ro'Maeve (seriously - gotta love that place), we were disarming the Jester and his Cardians in the Full Moon Fountain as part of an extremely engaging national conflict. The aftermath of the battle (which was surprisingly easy due to our apparently effective party set-up) was one of the more meaningful experiences I've had in Vana'diel thus far. The atmosphere mimicked that of the very first time Kiddoe drew breath in the Windy City (/kneeslap), only this time I was escorting the Star Sybil through town - her first emergence from the Vestal Chamber in years.

Between battles I was working on my White Mage skills. From parties in previously untraversed lands such as Mount Zhayolm (a fire-bathed crag bearing some resemblance to Elshimo's so-called Cauldron) to Campaign Battles (in which I am currently ranked as a Major in Windurst's freelance military) I have reached level 70. This being my first time at these heights I had a challenge in my way - the ominous battle with Maat. Fortunately for me the salty dog was a complete pushover. I never reached the 50% mark in my magic pool and only once - at the very end after a well-timed shoulder block from the codger - did I drop below 50% health. Possibly more rewarding than the granted ability to level beyond 70 was the evocative tale Maat honored me with after the bout.

White mage wasn't the only profession gaining experience. I finally got around to bringing Black Mage up to code at level 37 and I followed up by soloing Warrior and Dancer to the same level using the crabs in Qufim as fodder. I may never use those jobs again... and that's perfectly fine with me. To a certain extent I enjoyed each one. Black Mage was a change of pace - albeit a rarely welcome one - as far as spell-casting went while Warrior provided an excuse to wear heavy, metal armor and wield giant axes.

Scholar is the new sub-job undertaking. Thus far I have only soloed in the usual locations and I am proud to announce that I have not died once - something several acquaintances are very far from relating to. I am nearing the end of practical soloing for the job, however, and will soon make the relatively wise decision to party. Here's hoping it's worth the hassle! Oh - I also whipped out Tatang - that's my Wyvern - to try my hand at the Dragoon's line of work once more. I've gotta say... it was actually pretty sweet. Once I get White Mage where I want it and punch Monk up as well, Dragoon may well be the next ticket.

Now... having left Vana'diel four years ago at level 62 (a considerable level at the time whereas now everyone and their step-daddy's lifeless grandmothers have Maat's Cap) I never set foot in areas like Tu'Lia or Al'Taieu. Those specific ones may still be out of reach but absolutely in grasp is the alternate world of Dynamis. Just last week I took on Dynamis-Bastok with an alliance formed by Purfection. It went swimmingly despite the fact that we ran out of time before reaching the finale. We didn't do nearly as well in Dynamis-Windurst (for which I was actually selected as a party leader) but we are trying again tomorrow.

With the Windurst missions complete, Rogare, Thalmalkrichten and myself (along with Demeater, Icestorm and Purfection this time) have agreed to tackle San D'Oria next. I was pulling for Bastok, Sandy being my least favorite of the nations by a long shot... but I want to get them all done eventually so I went with the flow. For frustrating reasons that are not worth getting in to, we got an unfortunately late start to these missions and are merely Rank 2 at current. With luck and a bit of doing we will soon be through with the city's biddings... and all the richer for it (thankfully - seeing as the city was ranked first in conquest when we switched allegiance it cost 40,000 gil for the proceedings... had we started just a few hours sooner it would have been only 12,000).

I'm sure there is plenty that I am missing... but deserving of brief mention is the Ram hunt I went on with Darthstoner (AKA Stonedaru, whose currently meager linkshell I am running with more often than not at the moment). We searched and searched for the Rampaging Ram and Lumbering Lambert for hours coming up empty-handed (well, not exactly... each of us had our satchels stuffed with skin and horns from the weaker Tremor and Battering rams). Later in the day I teleported back to the plateau and the highlands, respectively, and sure enough the big bastards were just waiting there for me to take 'em down. Also worth mention is the recently held and surprisingly fun Blazing Buffaloes event from which I took home the top prize - a trophy that enhances my ability to find gil on my beastmen-aligned enemies.

Until next time...

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