It was hot in Valkurm today. There was no cooling breeze coming off the ocean. Worse then the heat though was the sand. It gets everywhere. In my boots, in my leggings, in my mail, testing the limits of my sanity. I think it's conditions like this that cause many a seasoned adventurer to make mistakes. A missed voke here, a mis-cast cure there and all of a sudden the whole party is in trouble. All becase of this curesed sand. I hate the sand.
Badninjamonkey and I had made our way down to Valkrum to work with fellow adventurers to improve our skills. If I'd known how wrecthed it would be, I would have found another way to polish my skills. However, we weren't here long before we heard the rumor of the old man in Selbina willing to impart secrets of how to use more then one set of skills at once for a few trinkets.
Unfortunately one of these "trinkets" gave me more then a little pause. The majicked skull. This skull could only be found on ghouls which could rip a party of adventures apart in no time. Badninjamonkey and I had obtained the other necessary pieces and were waiting for night to fall so the ghouls would appear. At least it would be cooler.
Kensu was coming to help us which was a good thing as we would be hard pressed to take on the ghouls ourselves. A mithra had been helping keep our party healthy earlier in the day and we found out she would be going with us. Darklinks would be a welcome addition to the hunt.
Night fell and it did indeed become cooler, but the sand was still all over in my armour putting me in a foul mood. I wanted to get this skull as quickly as possible and get some rest. Unfortunately this was not to be the case.
We ran all over Valkurm for a while just trying to find a ghoul. There was much competition around and almost as soon as we spotted one, it was claimed by another group. We found a couple but we (and by we I mean Kensu and Darklinks) kept hitting them too hard and broke the skulls in the process of "killing" them.
We were getting nowhere fast and my mood kept worsening because everytime we encountered one of this things the chill deep in my being would return. Kensu suggested we head to the Gusgen mines where many more of these creatures could be found. With Kensu and Darklinks as escorts, we traveled quickly through Valkurm and Konschtat Highlands to the mines.
Badninjamonkey and I had never been to the mines before and found ourselves in a hornets nest of trouble. Kensu had to cast silent and invisible spells on us to keep our presense unknown to all the undead that inhabited these mines while he and Darklinks were able to stroll through the place with nary a care. Kensu told the galka and me to stay put in one of the connecting tunnels where we should be safe while he and the mithra took on the ghouls.
Well, with the mood I was in I didn't have much patience for anything and I think Badninjamonkey has more brawn then brains sometimes (maybe it had something to do with that stupid baret' he wore)because he quickly followed me into folly. There was a ghoul close by us so we decided to take it on, just the two of us.
It wasn't long before we realized this was the wrong course of action to take and found ourselves fighting for our lives. We decided to turn tail and run but since this was our first trip to the mines we weren't entirely sure how to get back out. Soon we had a very large group of undead surrounding us, blocking our escape. Darklinks and Kensu were running to rescue us but it would be to no avail. I was the first to go down and the galka quickly joined me.
Once Kensu and Darklinks arrived, the horde of undead that had attacked us were quickly dispatched. Thankfully Kensu was able to raise us but we were very weak for a while after that. Kensu commanded we wait outside of the mines after this little episode. Badninjamonkey and I slinked back to the exit with our heads hung low.
Once outside we rested up and I took the opportunity to rid my armour of all the sand. After that was complete and the raise sickness had worn off, I found myself in a considerably better mood and raring to go. A lightening elemental appeared nearby and we asked Kensu and Darklinks if they thought the two of us could take it. The reply was a resounding "NO!" and we resigned ourselves to killing worms to keep us busy while they searched for our skulls.
It wasn't too much longer and both the skulls had been obtained. Badninjamonkey and I could now be told of the secrets the old man was keeping.
Before heading back to Selbina, Darklinks offered Badninjamonkey and I a pearl to the linkshell KillArmy. We galdly accepted as neither one of us were currently in a linkshell and we felt proud to be deemed worthy to be part of one. Upon equipping the pearl, the linkshell leader, Drunk, proceeded to use some of the foulest language I've ever heard come from a mithra. She could make some the sailors on the Selbina/Mhaura ship blush. We came to find out though that the gruff exterior housed a mithra of sigular character and that she would go out of her way to help another linkshell member. We had found a home and it's name was KillArmy.
After speaking to the old man in Selbina I became very excited about what I had learned. I would be able to dedicate myself to learning more of the black arts without losing all the experience I had gained to this point. I went to bed that night very tired but excited about the future. I would return to San d'Oria tomorrow and dedicate myself to learning more about black arcana. Although I would have to give up my sword for a time, I felt as if a new destiny had been laid out before me. I was ready to take the next step.
Part 7: http://ffxi.allakhazam.com/forum.html?forum=37&mid=1109377702141967885
Edited, Fri Feb 25 19:29:14 2005 by Norsalik
Edited, Sun May 8 23:45:52 2005 by Norsalik