Disclaimer: Final Fantasy and many related items are the legal property of Square, with which this author has and claims no affiliation. This is a fictional, unofficial story created soley for entertainment purposes; no profit is made through use of aforementioned items — at least, not by the authour or with the authour's knowledge. Duplication of this work or any other work by this authour without the authour's permission or without giving said authour due credit will seriously annoy him. This text applies whether you read it or not. All your base are belong to us..


The morning sun was rising in the East, casting long shadows across the courtyard from the tall hedges and taller sentry posts. Even the guards who marched about the flagstones which bordered the castle were starkly indicated by the dark lines they created as they made their rounds.

From her window, she could not see the sun itself; only the shadows it made. If she were to direct her gaze up towards the sky, she could see the reflecting glow of the clouds, few as they were. However, this view included a trail of smoke rising from someplace in the city, obstinately positioning itself before the vista of the clouds and drawing her attention earthward.

She could see little of the city itself; beyond the expansive courtyards lay a high iron fence, and beyond that was difficult to see, especially in the long shadows of morning. She could see the buildings, all seemingly identical from this distance, clustered together so tightly it seemed they might advance to drown her, were they not held back by the fence.

She turned away from the window, resigning her irrational hope that today, unlike any other day of her residence here, she might catch some ray of light streaming through, rather than simply look out on the shadows. However, the high-ceilinged greatroom about her seemed even gloomier. The harsh light of the hanging lamp seemed to be absorbed by the stone walls, and when she took out a mirror to examine herself, accentuated her features so harshly that she wondered for a moment if this was truly her face. Crossing over to a perfectly smooth stone mantle resting above an intricately carved fireplace, she took a handheld lantern from its resting place, carefully positioned to the side of a large painting which was perfectly centered above the mantle and took up most of the height of the wall. The painting was a larger-than-life portrait of a tall, bearded man clad in glistening mail under a deep red cloak, with a longbow clutched in his hand. One almost had to bend backward to see his face.

She crossed back to her bed with the lantern, unconsciously wiping at a small smudge in the glass with a small embroidered handcloth. She sat on the bed, ruffling the dark red sheets which she had just finished straightening, and placed the lantern on the ornate wooden nightstand, leaning her mirror against it so she could see herself. Holding her hand above the lantern, she created a burst of flame within that soon subsided to a warm, steady glow. With this new perspective on herself, she proceeded to braid the raven-black hair that reached down past her shoulders. She left most of it to hang free; the braid secured only as much hair as would hold the silken red ribbon which she wove into it. She could have done this without the aid of any mirror, as it gave her little aid with the back of her head regardless; but she preferred to have something for her eyes to fix on that was not a bedpost or a trail of smoke.

Once she completed the braid, she extinguished the lantern and carried it back to its place on the mantle, leaving it exactly where it had rested before she had picked it up. Returning to the bed, she placed the mirror back within the nightstand's drawer, and absently ran her hands down her tunic to be certain it had not been wrinkled in any way. With a look at the newly ruffled sheets of her bed, she decided after a moment not to straighten them, even as the thought entered her mind that a servant would be in within the hour and would do so anyway. With another glance out the window at the shadows cast by the rising sun, she turned and walked towards the heavy wooden door. Pushing it open, she stepped out into the wide, high-ceilinged hall and pulled the door soundly shut. Her footsteps echoed hollowly as she made her way toward the Wind Shrine for prayer.

NOMAD presents
a RUG CENTRAL production


an original Final Fantasy fan fiction