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○ Edition #2 - Halone, 30th Sun ○

○ Editor-In-Chief: Deidra Rose ○

Got a story or hot tip? Send it to editor@thecrystalchronicle.com or contact anyone from our staff! Freelance article submissions welcome, though we can’t guarantee publication.

Blue Sky Ventures Opens Cozy Cabaret

By Deidra Rose, Pictures By I'Shio Tahvi

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(left) The tavern area of the Cloudtop Vista, (right) From left, Kei Aozora and Kate Fletcher

The Shark and Snake Levedesk, owned and operated by Blue Sky Ventures out of the Cloudtop Vista located in the Mist Ward 11, plot 48, attracted visitors from across Eorzea with performances at a Cabaret-styled Grand Opening that quickly became standing-room-only. With seating for approximately 30 individuals at any given time, upwards of 50 were in attendance throughout the evening.

The rather impressive evening included musical performances by Khendish Monsaren, Nhaji Jhawantaal, and Kasumi Gakunin with Pav’ati Patla acting as Master of Ceremonies to a supportive and attentive crowd, while the bar gave out a free specialty drink that had to be consumed in front of the bar for safety precautions. There were reports of fire breathing due to the specialty drink, but no reports of any serious injuries at this time. After the bar closed and patrons started wandering home, representatives of The Crystal Chronicle were able to meet with Kate Fletcher and Kei Aozora, partner proprietors, to discuss the Shark and Snake Levedesk along with the Cloudtop Vista.

The Cloudtop Vista and the levedesk are always open for business, and will be holding various events on a biweekly

basis. The atmosphere at the Grand Opening was a cozy one with warm and welcoming lighting and themes, with red being a major motif throughout the tavern’s décor. When asked about future performances, Fletcher responded, "I'll tell you this, when you come to the Cloudtop Vista you can expect to enjoy yourself. Whether or not it will be completely like it was [at the Grand Opening] ... well, you'd have to return to find out."

The levedesk operates out of the Cloudtop Vista, much to the same tune that the Quicksand, the Carline Canopy, and the Drowning Wench operate a levedesk, but unlike the others, the Shark and Snake Levedesk is not affiliated with the Adventurer’s Guild. Aozora noted that she had a past affiliation with the Guild, but indicated that the size of the Guild had grown too large to be worth the cost of retaining that affiliation. The levedesk offers its services to any who enter the Cloudtop Vista, aiming to provide individuals a “proper stage to dance upon” to fulfill their own dreams. Fletcher adds, “…our clientele isn't limited or pigeon-holed in any way. We cater to any and all looking to fill their pockets and we can assuredly satisfy them."

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(left) The Shark and Snake Levedesk, (right) The Entryway Garden

Wandering Thoughts

By Henriette Arouet

I meet a lot of novice adventurers. They’re easy to spot. They’re the ones still wide eyed with an idealistic idea of adventuring life. They either outgrow this state of mind, quit or die.

I’ve left my subterranean home about a decade ago, with only a few gils in my purse, and a scepter at my belt. I wanted to see the world, be a hero and make a fortune. I had not yet outgrown my prejudices against the Wildwood Elezen, so I stayed clear of Gridania and slowly made my way to Ul’dah. I had heard about the Thaumaturge guild, and it seemed to me to be a good place to start my new life under the open sky. I arrived ragged and starving. One of the brass blades thought I was yet another refugee. When I told him I was to become a hero and make a fortune he laughed.

Bah! I’d laugh too if I could meet my past self. I was so pathetic back then.

He sent me to Momodi at the quicksand, and that’s how I started my life as an adventurer. I took jobs, completed them. Got some gil, bought food and equipments. Took harder jobs, bought ever better equipment. I learned new spells, and I was starting to feel confident. I liked this life. I was invincible! Maybe it’s because it was so easy for me, or maybe I’m just a slower learner than most, but it took me a long time to grasp to the reality of adventuring.

A request came to the guild to investigate Cutter's Cry. A while back, it had been cleared by an elite group of adventurers. A Chimera had been slain there only a week before. We were to investigate the location and make sure nothing more dangerous than the antlings were there.

We were a party of four. The classic arrangement: a conjurer, a gladiator, a pugilist and I, a thaumaturge. Cutter’s Cry is only a few malms away from Black Brush station, so we teleported to its Aetheryte crystal and made our way on foot. I remember their grim expressions: like soldiers going to war. I was joking and laughing. I was a fool.

We dispatched the antlings and cactuars barring our way easily enough and made our way to the deepest parts of the dungeon. There I learned: I was not prepared. You can never be really prepared.

A chimera was there, I remember it’s three heads, each with eye full of death. It looked to us like it was trying to decide which one would taste better and then it charged.

The gladiator didn’t even blink. He said something about his bad luck, as he raised his shield to meet the charge. The Roegadyn gladiator looked huge to me, but beside the chimera he was tiny. Yet he held his ground. From my relatively safe position, I threw fire, thunder and ice. The pugilist, she was magnificent. The three heads and sharp tail. None of that mattered. She ignored it all and flanked it. I remember the elegance of the Miqo'te assault. Not a movement wasted. Each punch connecting with deadly accuracy. The conjurer was keeping the gladiator alive. I’ve never seen a Lalafell stand so tall. We were doing it! We were going to kill the chimera. Like a fool I was grinning.

Then, the chimera eye glowed purple. Some kind of of thunder energy covered the ground. The Lalafell became paralysed, and we watched in horror as the chimera dispatched the gladiator. He was good. One of the best you could find in the guild, but how can you defend effectively against three heads? Then it turned to the pugilist, and stabbed at her with its tail. She managed to dodge again and again, but then using its goat head, it gored her. It then rushed our conjurer and split him in one fell swoop. It then turned its attention to me. Its bloody mouths seemed to have a sardonic smile, like it could already taste my flesh. I was exhausted. I had thrown fireballs after fireballs. It advanced, at full speed. How can something so big move so fast? I was going to die. I refused. I felt a burst of energy and called up a spell I never knew: Starstorm. The beast died.

I was told later that this is called a Limit Break: when your will to live is strong enough, you can reach and use the residual energy left from the synergy between the members of your party.

The beast had died. The gladiator was still alive, so was the pugilist. Both were unconscious and in dire need of succor. I teleported everyone to camp Bronze Lake. One burial, two long recoveries.

Since then, I see what adventuring really is: spending nights in the dirt and rain followed by sunless morning. It’s to hurt others and to be hurt in return. One week you’re delivering a letter and the other you go into battles against gods and demons with little hope for victory. It’s not a path for glory and fortune. It is not a path to tread likely. It’s a path where you need to run when you can’t even take a single step. It’s a path where you must win with a losing hand. It’s path for an unconquerable will!

Above all, It’s a chance to make a difference, for Eorzea.

Be fearless,
Have no regrets,
And listen to the wind.

Mineral Concern Repudiates Rumors of Exploitation

By Talman Chryses

Rumors have been circulating in Ul'dah this week regarding the exploitation of workers at the Nanawa Mine in Central Thanalan. The rumors regard low pay and dangerous conditions - reports that would not be unusual were they not accompanied by a number of other worrying signs.

Groups of apparently untrained Lalafellin laborers have been sighted entering the mines escorted by Miner's Guild members, with some reports of workers going missing and complaints of noxious gas deep within the shafts. A witness, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed they had heard screams from a mineshaft. Furthermore, a blacksmith at Naldiq and Vymelli's in Limsa Lominsa confirmed that scheduled shipments of ore from the mine have not arrived for several weeks. Whether or not the rumors are true, all this suggests that something out of the ordinary is happening at the Nanawa mine.

The mine is operated by Amajina and Sons Mineral Concern, the major mining company in Thanalan. The company commands a seat on the Ul'dah's ruling Syndicate and employs many hundreds of workers, as well as training adventurers through the Miner's Guild. Representatives of the Concern had no comment to make to the Chronicle, except to say that the rumors were assuredly false and that the Nanawa mine is operating normally. However, the available evidence suggests otherwise. The public is left with these questions: is the Nanawa Mine in crisis? And are its workers safe? The Crystal Chronicle will be keeping an eye on this developing story and will update with any further information as it is revealed.

Musings from an Angry Healer

By Callisandra Ward

Today, I am going to explain how magic works. No I am not going to teach you a spell. You either can or you can't, and most likely you can't. Now that we have moved past that bit of magic let me explain to you what I want to talk about today. Range and Line of Sight (LOS).

First, when you are busy doing whatever you are doing you are going to need support. Magic has a range. We have to be close enough to make a connect to allow the magic take hold. Need a heal spell cast on you, then you’d better be in range. If you get too far away, then the magic can not take hold and you will not get the benefit.

Second, Line of Sight (LOS). Not only must you be in range but the vast majority of spells require a target. I have to will the spell into being and I have to will its effect on a target that I can see. If I can't see you, then no spell for you. Example: I am attempting to make the connection and you leave the room in order to hide behind the corner of the building. While you may be close enough, you are out of my sight. Not LOS between me and you no spell.

If you continue to do this, I will allow you to come as close to death as possible. I will remind you that while death may be near, that I can hold it bay. Remember this.

Livicette Rillemont Wins 174th Grindstone

By Talman Chryses

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This week's Grindstone tournament took place as usual at Fesca's Wash on the outskirts of Ul'dah. Fifty fighters showed up to the event, with a wide variety of fighting styles and weapons present, from the standard sword and shield, to lances, axes, daggers, bare fists and feet, and the occasional bow or gun. Competitors faced off in pairs until after 6 rounds of combat, Ishgardian dragoon Livicette Rillemont was pronounced the victor, claiming the glory and the gil prize. There were no unhealable injuries and only one unfortunate disqualification for the use of a mechanical turret, which goes against Grindstone technology rules.

Early matchups saw some impressive versatility from Blake Forester, who announced he would be fighting with axe, hatchet, chain, and throwing knife, all of which made an appearance. Forester, an informally trained fighter from Othard was able to overwhelm his opponent with his opportunistic fighting style only to later lose to another, more martially trained Easterner, who kept her cool in the face of Forester's improvisations.

Meanwhile, at the Bridge division, Rillemont was beginning to rise in the ranks, fighting with a blunted lance and full spiked and bladed Drachen armor. A matchup with an unarmored marauder gave her trouble, as the bare chested axe-wielder proved himself quicker and more adaptable in close quarters. Nevertheless, he was unable to get past the dragoon's armor without serious damage.

A quick battle followed with a gun-wielding challenger, who got a taste of the trademark acrobatics expected of dragoons and was knocked out cold. To her credit, Rillemont treated her defeated opponents with the honor appropriate to a knight of Ishgard, showing more concern for their wounds than her own. At the bridge, she went on to face the towering Au Ra Raik Samil, who fought with his bare fists and showed very impressive strength and endurance, only being subdued by a flying thrust to the chest.

In the Arbor division, W'mine Mihata, a shy Miqo'te with frightening martial artistry quickly became the crowd favorite. She defeated Ishgardian knight Vilette Laurent to go on to the 5th round, to face Rillemont in a fight that would determine who would challenge the cunning archer Reina Dancer. Dancer had emerged on top of the Rock division, and boasted a crowd of supporters of her own.

Against W'mine, Rillemont once again showed her weakness against more lightly armored opponents, but managed to turn the battle in her favor with the spikes and blades on her armor, demonstrating once again the danger of facing a dragoon in overly close quarters. W'mine drew blood with her fist weapons, only to be struck down by another trademark jumping attack.

Surprised at her own progress at this point, Rillemont proceeded to the final round against Reina Dancer. Rillemont dominated the start of the fight, knocking her opponent to the ground before she could fire a single arrow. An embarrassingly one-sided battle seemed likely, until Dancer switched to a dagger, penetrating the dragoon's armor more often than any previous opponent. Rillemont herself was beginning to show signs of fatigue, but was able to finally end the match with an armored knockout punch to the jaw.

Rillemont had this to say to the crowd: "Thank you. You've all given me such experiences I would never have known in the training fields of Ishgard." And to her opponent: "You pressed me hard to the victory, madam. Be proud of your efforts." Reina Dancer had no comment to make.

NEXT WEEK: The Grindstone will be hosting a special auction event. Contestants will be able to bid for their first fights and will even be able to challenge Grindstone overseers and healers. For more general information about the Grindstone, turn to this page.

Little Pizzeria with a Big Heart

By Fibius Mistwood

"I have found love and its name is pizza!" A sentence I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs the moment I took a bite out of a new sensation. Stellazzio Pizzeria, a restaurant conveniently located next to an aetheryte in The Goblet (Ward 11, Plot 27), opens its doors at 6PM (EST) and is run by a very enthusiastic restaurateur named Tin Man who shows his passion for food and service by producing piping hot bubbling cheese on flattened dough. This particular Pizzeria has been in operation for two months now and it does not look like it will stop gaining steam anytime soon. I asked him what drove him to participate in the food industry and a warm smile had crept onto his face. To paraphrase, "Good food and the smiles they make on my customers’ faces makes me happy too. If they are happy, so am I." He genuinely enjoys the work he does, and when I asked him if there was anything he disliked about the business he replied, "Dislike? Nah... this is great! Good food, great

customers. An' they all leave happy... an' full of course... which makes me happy."

Don't feel like leaving your home to get some of this awesome food? Good news! They deliver, so long as you live in Ul'dah. He plans on branching out his deliveries in the future, but for now he will keep that to the home front until demand requires it. There is a modest fee for delivery of course, a small price to pay for the convenience of being able to stay home. I had placed an order for their special of that week prior to our interview. A Five layer deep dish pizza. Mine was a cheese only but there are various toppings you can add to your own special pizza. My dish; on the other hand, was far too large for someone of my stature to eat, so I asked Tin Man if he would join me for dinner. To my surprise, and his, he sat down with me at a booth and shared this delectable meal with me. The pizza itself was nice and soft. Every ingredient appeared to compliment

one another visually, despite it's odd look. It was surrounded by an appetizing aroma that called to one’s senses, compelling them to simply slam their face into the meal and inhale to consume it. I am a lady however, so I cut mine into small pieces and ate it slowly. Glad I did too, every piece was savored and enjoyed even as the pizza cooled. Upon taking a bite you are greeted with the soft texture of freshly baked dough, followed by the hot juiciness of spiced tomato sauce after breaking the gooey cheese barrier. All of it molding together on your tastebuds transporting you to a world of fantasy, until it is gone and you need more.

So, if you are in Ul'dah and want to try something new, drop on by Stellazzio Pizzeria and grab a pint, as well as bite!

Meanwhile in Idyllshire

By Persepha Dierona

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