Tuesday, August 10, 2004

You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression

After spending the better part of the day leveling my Black Mage job in the Valkurm Dunes I went from barely level 17 to almost level 21, the time has come for Tryptifaeris the black to venture from the Valkurm Dunes to Qufim, a dreary island north of Jeuno. The way there is perilous, first I must navigate the dreadfull Pashhow Marshlands (think of the dead marshes in ROTK) inhabitted by Malboro and other nasties, then cross the expansive Rolanberry Fields crawling with Goobue's, Crawler's and Quadav's. Once in Jeuno you must head all the way to the lowest level and then travel thru an underground cavern to reach the island of Qufim. But why risk all that when you can just jump on a Chocobo and be there in half the time?!

So here I am riding my Chocobo thru Pashhow Marsh when it dawns on me I have a clump of Selbina clay! What's that you ask. Well the mayor of the small port town of Selbina has a quest for adventurers, he gives you a clump of Selbina clay and asks you to seek out 17 stone monuments made by early explorers hidden throughout Vana Diel, and make impressions of the writings they left behind. Certain tablets are more challenging to find or reach, the reward varies on the difficulty, well this tablet is worth 1000 gill. I research the coordinates in the Marsh and steer my Chocobo to the spot, the tablet is down this winding narrow path to the north west, ahead I spot a Marlboro blocking the way! If I were on foot I'd surely be dead, but since I'm on a Chocobo I ride right past it, directly behind this abominal creature is the tablet.....and a dead end!

With it's back to me I dismount my ride and begin to scan the writing on the tablet, then I grab the clay from my inventory to make my impression and safely warp back to my home point which just happens to be Selbina. Just as I am about to use the clay I hear a rustling from where the Marlboro had it's back to me Dam! I suddenly get whacked for aproximately 50 hit points! I only have about 300, in a panic I begin to run thinking if I can get some distance between me and this monster I can cast warp and not worry that I'll get hit and my casting will be interupted, no such luck this Marlboro was fast on it's tentacles and Tryptifaeris was on it's menu. So I stop and begin casting warp, if it hits me I'm dead, I'll never have time to cast again....the Marlboro swings it's bulbous tenticle at my head but by the grace of the crystals misses! I now have 20 HP left and the Vortex of purple haze tears open and I feel myself enter the warp, the stench of the marsh and the the Marlboro fade from view....THWAAAACK! As I reappear on the other end of the warp back in Selbina I feel I've cheated death, a trimphant Tryptifaeris will stride into the mayor's hut with the clay tablet and I'll collect 1000 gill! But as I materialize a shocking vision appears, my mostly dead body laying face down spread eagle in the hot Selbina sand! It is extremely rare to see dead people in city zones but there I was mostly dead with a growing mass of living people huddling around me, staring in wonderment. I heard them asking "how?" and some even proclaiming there's PKing in FFXI now.....If only I began casting 1 second sooner this travesty wouldn't have occured. Suddenly from the back of the crowd I heard the welcome sound of someone casting Raise, and soon I was wisked from the ground and i floated midair as life poured back into me.