This is the story set for December’s #FFXIVSnapAStory contest. You can read the bases here.
“A sharp wind howls through the night. It bites at the metal of my armour, my limbs long numb from its grip. I’m the only one.. The only that escaped that beast. Or did another make it? No, it can’t be… they must all be gone by now. I only hope it won’t chase me too. I gulp down my thoughts in an attempt to focus. Need to get back. I don’t feel a thing in my body, as I force my will to keep moving.
It feels like hours pass, yet everything seems the same. Nothing but snow and darkness around me. So weak. But I have to keep going! Suddenly I started to feel a warmth. My steps slowed. I didn’t dare to look down and kept my eyes ahead.
It took every bit of strength left to take each step, until I finally saw a light in the distance, I made it! Filled with hope, I kept going. I’m saved. With joy I let myself fall into the comfort of home. I.. finally.. returned..–”
With a jolt I opened my eyes. Like waking up from a nightmare, I needed a moment to orient myself. Thank Oschon I found some shelter from the snow. A vision like that in the open and it would have been my end. If only I had more control over the Echo. With a sigh, I wrote the vision into my journal. What a poor soul… At least they felt like they returned home.
I can’t remember the last time I had a home. Always on the road, never settling down, searching for adventures and what else the heart desires. Such is the way of a wanderer, more often than not leading to a lonely death.
Looking over the area I took in the sea of shining snow and ice. But seeing the world, makes this kind of life worthwhile, I thought to myself with a smile. No loneliness may deter me from it. Packing my gear, I continued my journey. Taking notes of animals and beasts that roamed the area, getting a little too close to some as well, exploring old frozen structures and abandoned little homesteads. Everything one sees has its story and I write them down. More often than not, it makes a quick adventuring job into a full expedition, filling many journals with reports and sketches of the world.
Usually travellers keep journals to bring them back to their home. Friends and family excited to hear the tales. Though I have no home, these tales became my passion, even if some only end up to be heard by a local bard or a chatty innkeeper.
Lost into my thoughts, I barely noticed that Ishgard was now in clear view. With more than a enough gil in my pockets, a cozy fire, a good drink and some actual rest, were almost in my reach. Passing the guards, exchanging greetings, I made my way into the town. Not much changed during my travels, the scars of war visible as ever. However I couldn’t help but feel a warmth in my chest, as I walked through the streets.
I made my way to the Forgotten Knight, my usual place to stay. A dimly lit, run down inn, home to poor workers of the Brume, the grumpiest knight and his companion. I bet they are looking forward to my stories, as they always are. I entered and I was welcomed home with a cheer of the regular patrons.
Maybe the life of a wanderer isn’t so lonely after all.
Story by Rhika Kaatah