I remember climbing over the Ala Mhigo’s city walls at the wee hours of the morn. The last cold breeze of the evening brushed against my skin, with the stars slowly giving way to the morning light. When I finally reached the top, I gazed upon the sun’s light banishing the darkness from the salty lochs to the distant mountain peaks.
I would remain perched on the city walls for a while longer and bask in the warm light. People started flocking the market, and the smell of freshly baked bread filled the air. In the distance, I would see griffins taking their first flight.
It was a magnificent moment in time. One that I will always look back on with feelings of genuine joy and great sadness.
The sound of clashing swords and armor broke the peace. I looked around and saw multiple fires consuming parts of the royal palace. The soldiers on the wall that usually chases me away stood by my side to look over the ensuing chaos.
One of the soldiers tapped me on the shoulders and told me to run straight home. I obliged. As I quickly ran through the city streets, there was no panic or fear. There was only confusion.
Is it the Garleans?
Is it the rebels?
Or is it another one of the mad king’s games?
When I arrived home, I saw my mother’s worried look and quickly ran into her arms. She held me in her arms for a good long while. My grandfather came bursting through the door. With both anger and relief, my grandfather told me he had been looking all over for me.
The sound of fighting continued for most of the day. We locked ourselves in our home and remained undisturbed until someone started banging on our door. Grandfather picked me up and placed me behind him as my mother opened the door.
As the door opened, two men fell over and dragged themselves inside. To our surprise, one of them was my father. He was wearing his old Ishgardian armor and a kind of spear I hadn’t seen before.
The other man told my mother that my father was wounded and needed help. Mother instinctively shouted at me to get bandages from the tools chest. I handed them as fast I could, and my mother began covering up my father’s wound.
My father ordered the other man to run to the palace and tell the rebels the news as he was being treated. With a nod, the other man ran out back into the street. After tending to my father’s wound, she gave him a long kiss and asked us to carry him to bed.
The next day, the sound of fighting has stopped and was replaced by jubilation. I got out of bed and saw the rest of my family packing up. My grandfather told me that we were leaving the city and that I should start helping.
After packing everything, we went out and headed to the city gates. There were celebrations in Ala Mhigo’s streets. “The king is dead!” they shouted. “The king of ruin is gone!” I have never seen such joy and merriment in the city before.
We were headed eastern shore of Ala Mhigo, where a small ship would be waiting for us. I remember asking why we traveled out of the city, only to be met by my father’s signature smile. We eventually reached the shore and started loading our things onto a merchant ship.
As we were about to board, a man came running towards us. It was the same person that accompanied my father a day before. He gave my father a salute and told him that the empire was on its way.
My father nodded and told us to board the ship quickly without him. He said he would be staying to help defend the city and give its people time to flee if necessary. My mother gave him a quick punch in the face, and tears started falling down her face.
Father smiled and told her that he owed the city for giving a wanderer like him a home. He held my mother tightly in his arms. Mother broke free from his embrace, went into the ship. Father then knelt in front of me and pressed his forehead to mine.
He said that I was destined to do great things and made me promise to always stay on the right path no matter what. I started sobbing as he held me tight. He gently tapped my back in an assuring manner.
He said, “Continue moving ever forward. One day, it shall lead you back home.”
Father eventually let me go, and as I turned around, I saw my mother coming out of the ship wearing an outfit I had never seen before. What caught my eye was her bright golden gauntlet. Etched in its gold plates were the symbol of Rhalgr.
Mother approached me, carried me up, and spun me around. Something she had always done when I was younger. She eventually placed me down on the ground and kissed my forehead. Mother was staying, and with one look at my father, nobody questioned it.
Mother held me tight one last time and told me that she loved me. She made me promise to eat well and train hard consistently. After speaking to my grandfather, my parents helped us board the ship.
I should’ve been more hesitant about leaving my parents. I should be angry at them for abandoning me. But as I looked at my parent’s faces one last time, there was a sense of both sadness and resolve that I instinctively understood. There was no regret in their eyes—only hope.
As we sailed away into the sea, I looked over to the shore one last time. At the direction of the Ala Mhigo, a large plume of jet black smoke started to rise over the horizon. After one last wave, my parents turned around and ran towards the city.
That was the last time I saw them.
========================================================================Player’s Note #1
It’s been almost four years since I last played FFXIV. Unfortunately, life, money, and responsibilities prevented me from coming back. Now that life became a little stable, I finally started playing the game again.
Despite the many changes and expansions, it still feels like the game and community I fell in love with. I am glad to be back.
You might be wondering what I have written above. You see, I am a corporate writer and digital marketer. I write serious stuff for a living. While I do enjoy my job, it’s also a place where creativity goes to die.
I wanted a way to preserve what little creative writing I have and decided to write some sort of journal about my FFXIV character’s life as the warrior of light. I remembered that Lodestone had a blogging section, so I decided to post it there.
I don’t have any solid plan or formal structure for these journals, but I’ll definitely try to post some more regularly. It’s a fun way to unleash a bit of creativity and a great way to complement my enjoyment of the game.
So, what do you think?
Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @CoffeePlayerOne