Final Fantasy XI

Prologue San d'Oria: Mithra Tails

Note d'Author: First off, the usual mandatory disclaimer.

The insanely popular franchise known as Final Fantasy is not, never has, and (unless I am suddenly blessed with phenomenal luck and great fortune) never will be owned by me. That being said, the worlds, characters and events of the games are property of Square Enix. Although many of the characters and story elements of what I'm about to write are of my own design, I have no delusions as to whose metaphorical background I'm playing in.

Also, while I'm on the subject, a few of the characters herein were graciously lent to me by other authors, notably those known on this site as Vivli and Miiake, from their own respected stories, as well as a few story elements pertaining to those characters, their personality and backgrounds. The author known as Vivli has even granted me the honor of writing a few story sequences herself, introducing her own character. So I extend a big thanks to those who have inspired and assisted me in this project.

Which brings me to my next point: the story itself. In about thirty words or less, the main goal behind what I'd like to call my Final Fantasy Project is to novelize the stories of all the main games in the series. That's actually more simply put than what my insanely addled brain has intended for this project, but I'll go further into that at another time when the need arises for a more detailed explanation.

Suffice it to say that for Final Fantasy XI, the main storyline will be that of the game, all the main missions and a few related quests, eventually branching off into the various expansions and add-ons. So for those of you who are currently playing the game and are worried about such things as spoilers, you may be rather reluctant to read my work. However, I think it must be said that the official canonical story of FFXI will only be a part of it. Many of the main characters will be those played by myself or other players online, and as such will have their own stories and backgrounds. There will also be a few original story ideas interwoven throughout, and mayhaps even a bit of a twist or reinterpretation of the game story. So I hope that those of you not too worried about spoilers, or other such similar devices intended to improve road-holding at high speeds, will at least give it a chance.

What you are about to read is the prologue of the San d'Oria storyline, introducing the two main characters, Vivli and Saskya. Few of you may have already read it, as it had been previously posted separately on this site as Vivli Tails and Saskya Tails. Wow, has it really been four years ago? I have put them together into a single prologue in preparation for my return to this project, with only a few minor changes.

As before, each section of this prelude will take place in an alternate reality. My way of dealing with the multiple servers for FFXI, as each dimension is named after one of the game servers.

Anyway, that's about it for now. If there's anything that anyone has to say about any of this – any ideas for this story, or any of the other game stories, any interested in helping out, or just general comments on the state of my mental health – please feel free to contact me.

And thanks for showing interest enough to read this far.

I: Vivli Tails

(originally posted 05-13-06)

The Hades Dimension (written by author Vivli)

Four warriors battled heroically against a hoard of attacking beastmen. One, a Hume with short brown hair, wearing the proud armour of the paladin. Zinkata. Another, a massive thickly bearded Galka, fighting with a mixture of Dark Knight scythe attacks and the styles of the old monks. Bootus. A third fired arrows from a distance, a tall dark Elvaan with long black hair and a seemingly perfect aim. Voldos.

The fourth?

She mostly stood away and looked scared.

Vivli, a short Mithra with unusually long blonde hair, dressed in the robes of the white mage.

Worryingly, these were the four heroes known as the Light Warriors, the greatest heroes Vana'diel had ever known. They had saved the world more than once. And were known as the greatest fighting force on the planet.

"HELP!" Bellowed Vivli as an Orc advanced towards her, in a way that made the others glad nobody else was watching 'the greatest fighting force on the planet' in action.

"You can handle just one!" Zinkata replied, casually blocking one of the Orc's attacks and slicing him across the chest.

"How?" Vivli cried. Vivli was extremely physically weak, even for a white mage, and completely lacked any skill in close combat.

"Use your magic!" Bootus declared, catching a spear in the curve of his scythe, then spinning the weapon around and beating an Orc to death with the handle.

"Oh." Vivli replied simply, before summoning up an awesome blast of white magic; Holy. It knocked the Orc flying back, but only seemed to attract attention to herself.

"I'm sure she actually got stupider after her hair became blonde." Bootus grumbled.

"Guys! Help!" Vivli declared, three of the beastmen closing in on her.

Zinkata rolled his eyes, and turned to help her. As he did so, an Orc let out a threatening growl, and pointed its spear at the paladin's throat.

"Oh. Thanks for that." Zinkata said simply. The Orc looked confused for a moment, before Zinkata in a flash grabbed the spear from the beast and threw it at one of the Orcs attacking Vivli. It shot through the beast's throat, killing it instantly (and splattering blood in Vivli's direction).

"Ew!" She declared. "Try not to kill them in a gross way!" Two arrows thudded into the other beastmen, killing them.

"How was that?" Voldos grinned.

"Thanks, Voldos." Vivli sighed.

"Pleasing ladies is my speciality." Voldos smiled smugly.

"Voldos! You have a wife now!" Bootus reminded him, erasing the smile from Voldos's face.

Zinkata ignored their bickering, and used his sword to finish off the last beastman.

"Good job everyone." He sighed, sheathing his sword.

"Everyone?" Bootus questioned. "Viv, your performance left a bit to be desired."

"I don't do combat!" She declared, hands on her hips. "You know that. You're meant to defend me."

"And you're meant to heal us." Zinkata reminded her gently, pointing to a cut on his arm.

"Fine. You big baby." Vivli mocked, just waving her arm and curing the paladin in a flash.

The Light Warriors were an odd bunch. Zinkata was a natural leader, and as so, was unofficially in charge of the gang. Voldos was a bit of a womanizer, but had since married and grown to have a bit more respect. Although he was still far from bright. Bootus could be a bit of a bully, but only in a playful way, he loved to tease others.

Vivli was a little more complicated. At least, she liked to think she was. Her lack of physical ability, and general distaste for violence, made her a bit of a coward at times. But she was also a very powerful white mage, and would always try to do the right thing. Everything may scare her, but come hell or high water she would face it if something was on the line.

Sadly, this didn't always shine through.

"Well, we're done." Bootus declared.

"Done?" Vivli asked in disbelief. "How do you figure that?"

"Well, we got hired to find missing people, right?" Bootus began to explain.

"And we found beastmen!" Vivli countered. "How do you figure we're done?"

"Beastmen were obviously killing the people." Bootus assumed.

Vivli looked around for a moment in disbelief.

"Bootus!" She declared. "We're in North Gustaberg! Don't ya think people would already factor beastmen into this kind of thing?"

"Fine! Make us do more work!" Bootus sighed.

"We're talking about people's lives here!" Vivli screeched in frustration.

Zinkata and Voldos exchanged a 'let's not get involved' glance.

"We could say it's beastmen, and be done with it." Bootus argued.

"No, we couldn't! 'cause that's not the real reason!" Vivli argued back.

"But they'd believe us and pay us anyway!" Bootus pointed out.

"But we have to do the right thing! We have to stop them!" Vivli was getting more angry now. "And if you won't help, I'll do it alone! Because I know you won't let me 'cause you don't want me to die."

Vivli marched off in the direction they had been heading, leaving the others behind. Voldos and Zinkata quickly followed after her.

"We supported you anyway, you know, Viv?" Voldos told her.

"So did he." Zinkata observed as Bootus followed her, chuckling at the little Mithra's fury.

"I know!" Vivli snapped.

"He was just winding you up." Zinkata continued.

"I know!" She snapped again, before spinning around to face the paladin, forced to stare at him. "So why did it work?" She asked desperately.

"I'm sure he'll get his comeuppance." Zinkata said gently, resting a hand on Vivli's skinny shoulder.

And by cosmic coincidence, that was the exact moment the ground gave way beneath Bootus's feet, and he fell into a hole.