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○ Edition #6 - Menphina, 29th Sun ○

○ Editor-In-Chief: Deidra Rose ○

Got a story or hot tip? Reach out to us via our dedicated moogle courier! Freelance article submissions welcome, though we can’t guarantee publication.

Cat's Meow to Host Upcoming Spring Music Festival

By Talman Chryses

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On the 5th Day of the Second Astral Moon ((Sunday, March 5th)), the Ul'dahn punk bar the Cat's Meow will be hosting their first Spring Musical Festival. The all-day event will feature a long line-up of performers, including a number of popular solo artists and bands, in a variety of styles, as well as the Meow's trademark punk style. Attendees can expect musical offerings from Etani'a Sedi, X'myra Bhen and Savo Kesslivang of Marcy and the Cats, Uta Mei, Khenbish Monsaran, Y'zhara Zekial of WYNG and the Beat Breakerz Brigade (3B), as well as others.

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The festival will take place in the basement downstairs from the main bar at the Cat's Meow, located in the Goblet, Ward 12, Plot 55, which features a stage and plenty of space for a crowd. This is not the bar's first major event, having hosted open stage nights and a musical "fight night" in the past. This will be the first full blown music festival, however, and if it proves popular, proprietor X'myra Bhen is considering making it into an annual event.

The bar, which is open most days, is known for its importance in Ul'dah's counterculture scene. X'myra Bhen says, "It's a kind of music that focuses on violent protestation against oppression." With the punk community represented, as well as the fans of Eorzea's various popular musicians who will be attending, the event promises to draw a crowd. The Crystal Chronicle will be on the scene to talk to the audience and the artists.

Spring Music Festival: 5th Day of the Second Astral Moon ((Sunday March 5, 2pm to 10pm EST))
The Cat's Meow: Goblet Ward 12, Plot 55 ((Open 2pm to 10pm EST, every day except Monday and Wednesday))

For more information about the Cat's Meow, the Festival and the artists, turn to this page.

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Wandering Thoughts: The History of Ala Mhigo

By Henriette Arouet

To someone barely glimpsing at the history of Ala Mhigo, its conquest by the Garlean empire might come as a surprise, however, as we delve into the country’s history we come to understand how it was subjugated so easily.

Ala Mhigo’s foundation and destruction lay in an odd mix of strife and religion.

When the land flooded during the sixth Umbral Era, the survivors found themselves wandering on the higher grounds that were still free of water. The legend says Rhalgr made a comet appear in the sky in the eastern reaches of the Abalathia’s Spine. Several wanderers heeded the god’s call and found their home in Gyr Abania.

The land was inhospitable and the clans fought each other for its limited resources. When a clan became too strong, an ephemeral coalition between the other clans would crush it.

After about a millennium of constant conflict came a man called Anshelm Cotter. He was a natural leader and a tactical genius. He managed what no other clan chief had: he subdued all the clan and formed what would become the city state of Ala Mhigo.

He built a huge citadel and he named it Ala Mhigo. From this strategic position, he could easily defend from attacks from the North. He also built several watchtowers along the roads leading from Eorzea to the Near East. The northern invaders were watched, but so were the merchants. No merchants could pass through without paying the passage fees.

In 1468, 7th Astral Era, about three centuries after the rile of Anshelm, sea travel upset the fragile Ala Mhigan’s economy. The traffic on the merchant road dwindled to almost nothing and the passage fees were no longer enough to support the country. Their king, Manfred, decided to assault the Twelveswood in an effort to secure a more prosperous land. His effort succeeded at first, but Ul’dah, Limsa Lominsa and Ishgard, seeing Ala Mhigo as a threat, united their strength to Gridania. Together they defeated Ala Mhigo and pushed them back into the Abalathia’s spine The Ala Mhigan army’s defeat weakened the royalty. The the Fist of Rhalgr, a religious order who had a lot of supporters, malcontents, high born and low born alike, began meddling in politic.

To call the Fist of Rhalgr a religious order is truth and yet so far from the truth. The monks were superb hand to hand combatants that made up a large part of the Ala Mhigan military power.

Taking advantage of the royalty weakness, they took key position as advisors. The Fist of Rhalgr became the state religion. Religion and state held in a precarious balance.

This balance broke when Theodoric the first, better known as the king of ruin, took the throne in 1546. To discredit the monks, he decreed that he had been instructed by Nymeia to lead the nation and made the worship of Rhalgr illegal. Six years after ascending to the throne, he led his army against the Fist’s main temple, killing everyone. The monks were pretty much eradicated, and the city-state lost some of its greatest combatants. In the next five years, he would turn upon the royalty. Seeing traitors everywhere, he would execute many of them on trumped up charges. Even the queen ended up losing her life to the King of Ruin.

There’s a lot of speculation on Theodoric. Some claim that he was simply insane, others claim that he had a foreign advisor that fed his paranoia. No matter the reason, his reign was a bloody one. Eleven years after his coronation, he died alone and betrayed. His paranoia created exactly what he was so afraid of: traitors.

The king's body was still warm when the Garlean Empire attacked. With no leader and a broken army, Ala Mhigo offered a sloppy resistance at best.

Since then, Ala Migho has been occupied by the empire. They have two roles in the Garlean empire: Cannon fodder for the army, or cheap labor for the magitek factories.

Alarming Aetherial Activity at Amdapor

By Talman Chryses, Pictures By Shio Maeda

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Experts report that the ruins of Amdapor, located in the Lower Paths of the South Shroud, have become the site of unusual aetherial activity. Local wildlife has shown signs of increasing hostility and readings indicate aetherial flows from inside the ruins to be extremely abnormal in type and intensity. Such readings usually indicate the arrival of voidsent, when observed on a smaller scale.

Amdapor is an ancient city, home to White Mages, powerful conjurers who are said to have contributed to the Calamity of Water and the end of the fifth Astral Era. The ruins are closely guarded by Gridania's Wood Wailers, and entrance is forbidden by the Seedseers to all but a few. It has never before given the inhabitants of the

Black Shroud cause for concern.

The Crystal Chronicle spoke with Ventus Zeruel, an aetherial technological researcher, and an expert on flows of aether, especially between our world and the Void. Zeruel suspects that the unusual phenomena at Amdapor indicate that it is the site of a large "doorway" of sorts, which might allow powerful Voidsent to enter our realm.

"You see, when things enter our realm, a doorway is opened for a short period of time. At this moment of entry, aether becomes increasingly volatile. This happens for a short amount of time before it all gets sucked into what we deem is 'The Void'. The sheer power of it all rushing in closes the doorway,

leaving whatever came here trapped in our realm."

"I fear there's a doorway, much bigger than we can imagine being feasible, opening and staying open. Because of this, the creatures become weak, and susceptible to other influences." This would go some way towards explaining the unusual behavior of the local wildlife.

If Zeruel is right about there being a large doorway to the Void, we would expect such a thing to close quickly. However, this is not the case. Says Zeruel, "I can't possibly imagine what would do this, but it would definitely have to house immense power. Not unlike the crystals energy needed to summon a primal."

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The Crystal Chronicle has received word that the Seedseers are investigating the matter. This is probably just as well, since in Zeruel's opinion, "If this doorway remains open, it's certainly feasting upon the aether, and something far stronger could rear its ugly head and give us a rather alarming visit."

Nymeia's Aid

By Utsunqu'ur Berry

It is with great pleasure that I received three very distinct but comparable letters through the moogles this past week. Enough that Nymeia’s Aid will now cover each of them, as they are alike in so many ways and yet each person unique enough in their own worries and troubles. It is my hope that Nymeia will bless each of these people and that my written word will touch their hearts enough to ease their minds. I have some small announcement of my own in that Nymeia has guided me and reassured me as to the nature of my heritage; I will be penning these columns under a different name as well as going by such outside of the newspaper. I pray you will all support me no matter the nature of my name, whether it be Hyuran or Auri.

Letter #1 - “Hello Blue Berry!
I have found that my temper has been growing. While normally I try to maintain a balanced existence in one way or another by helping others solve their problem. I find that meditation isn’t enough to solve my own frustrations. I find it difficult to seek help from others due to my lonely lifestyle, constantly on the move and always out in the wilderness training with new weapons or techniques. While normally I wouldn’t care, I find that my peers underestimate me due to my bubbly personality and small frame. How do I show them my prowess with a weapon but not fight them? I don’t want to hurt anyone.

Everyone’s Favorite Pink Haired Badass”

Letter #2 - “Hello,
I spend most of my time hiding around Gridania. I’m a conjurer in training but I’m not an extrovert and have recently found myself with a job where nearly everyone is extroverted. They don’t know who I am yet. I spend most of my time in the background hiding from them. I’m afraid to approach them. Their personalities are so explosively hyperactive that I just want to curl up in a ball and never leave home, but I don’t think I’ll get paid if I don’t interact or speak up. How can I conquer my fear?

Shy among the Trees.”

Letter #3 - “Hi Miss Berry,
I had a friend confess their feelings for me the other night, but I’m terribly afraid of relationships. How would I be able to get over that fear? Thanks!!

A confused adventurer”

To each of you,
I see a common thread here with each of these letters, one that I myself have struggled with on occasion: relationships. Whether romantic or platonic, through mere speech or through a show of physical prowess, each of us yearns to reach out to another. Our lives here in Eorzea depend on being able to interact with others who may help us emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Still, it seems, how can we speak to them when we know not what to say? It is ever in our nature to be unsure, uncertain, unknowing of what to do and if it will affect another poorly. One of you is afraid of a potential romantic interest, another afraid of any interaction at all.. The other afraid of hurting someone yet wanting them to take her seriously.

To the one who hides in the trees, watching and waiting: your conjury will be your biggest strength here. It is a common misconception that you must be extroverted to converse with others; you need only be yourself, introverted or extroverted. While it may seem tougher for you, I have met many an introvert and it is the simplest difference of needing that precious time to yourself to thrive as much as needing the interaction with others.

Have faith in your conjury, as you will meet these people through your profession. Study hard, learn all that you can, and show them that your work is as strong as others. It will give you common ground for those you want to speak to. When you are done, seek out a large tree and find a book, perhaps bring some tea with you in a safe container-- you will be much better and more thankful for the alone time after having had the courage to work through your fears and make acquaintances. Worry not for your payment from the job as it will only distract you from feeling confidence in yourself.

To the confused adventurer: though I have not had anyone as of yet seek to court me, it seems to my clear eyes that you may be one to overthink these things. A romantic relationship blooms after a friendship-- or rather, it should in my true opinion-- and brings newfound feelings to the surface that have lurked there, steadily growing. Though it brings another added level of intimacy and knowledge, it is no different from whence it began. Think not of the romantic aspect of it and let yourself be swept away in the growing friendship. If you are fond of them and wish to expand your relationship with them, it will be no more terrifying than having formed the friendship in the first place.

Lastly, to the affectionately called pink-haired badass: yours is a far different problem in that you already have relationships and friendships that have budded and bloomed; in those that already know you, they see not a fierce warrioress but a bright, cheerful young woman. I implore you, this is not a terrible thing. You need not give great shows of physical prowess to show to them how skilled you are. They will see in time, you need only keep carrying that quiet confidence with you. Your blade will be needed in time and when that time comes, all who doubted you before will know then that you can hold your own as well as the next person. Both that and your bubbly personality are part of who you are and all will see both soon enough.

May Nymeia guide you

Seeking guidance of your own? Write to Nymeia's Aid using our dedicated moogle courier!

Newcomers Take 178th Grindstone By Storm

By Talman Chryses

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Two newcomers rose to the top of this week's Grindstone Tournament, taking place as usual at Fesca's Wash, Central Thanalan. Sayori Farcloud and Kophon Sunlily, both Raen women, both competing in the Grindstone for the first time, faced off in the final round out of a pool of sixty-three contestants. Farcloud was victorious, becoming the 178th Grindstone champion.

While similar in their circumstances, the two finalists could not be more different in their styles. Farcloud was lightly armored, fighting with axe and fist weapons, and typically intoxicated. In the fight that won her the Wash division, she showed no mercy, holding her opponent underwater until she yielded the match. At the Rock, she showed some versatility switching from axe to unarmed combat against Sultansworn Randis Rembrant. Rembrant disarmed her, only to be knocked out decisively with a couple of choice blows from Farcloud's feet and fists. Cheering for Farcloud were her two sisters, one of whom she was hoping to encourage to train and enter the competition.

Kophon Sunlily, who had worked as a healer but never competed in Grindstone before, fought in moderate plate armor with sword and shield. She had won in the Bridge division against the warrior Au Ra Genkei Snow, whose fearsome battle rage had successfully won him several prior fights. Sunlily finally stopped him in his tracks with a blow with her trusty wooden shield. At the Rock, she fought the

gunslinger Takeshi Satoshi, who Sunlily apparently knew personally. She was able to defeat him by dodging bullets or deflecting them with her shield and getting in several good strikes with her sword. After striking Takeshi to the ground with a particularly heavy blow, Sunlily showed a lot of concern for her opponent and made sure he was healed before proceeding.

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The final battle between the fiery Farcloud and the polite and serious Sunlily, began with Farcloud completely shredding Sunlily's wooden shield with a devastating axe blow. By this point an excited crowd had gathered to cheer on both women. Although both contestants proved adept at avoiding each other's attacks, Farcloud was able to knock down her opponent a couple of times, eventually winding and exhausting her. Following her victory, Farcloud had the following advice to share with the public: "When in doubt, drink your way out! Oh, and Violence is Usually the Answer!"

For more information about the Grindstone, turn to this page.

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