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○ Edition #10 - Thaliak, 26th Sun ○

○ Editor-In-Chief: Deidra Rose ○

Averill Rooks becomes 102nd Mystic Runestone Champion

By Talman Chryses, Pictures By Saeko Kazehaya

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(left) "Rooks the Ravager", (right) Leah Leyweaver

The Mystic Runestone, the long-running weekly magic tournament crowned its 102nd champion this week, the self-taught wind specialist Averill Rooks, known to his friends as "Rooks" and to his fans as "Rooks the Ravager".

The Runestone is the magical counterpart to the Grindstone, taking place the next day each week in the same location at Fesca's Wash, Central Thanalan, in the shadow of Ul'dah. Like the Grindstone, lethal attacks are not allowed, being prevented by a "Shell Necklace" that has the capacity to absorb three magical attacks, at which point the contestant is considered defeated. Unlike Spellguard, the team based magic tournament, the Runestone keeps things simple with one-on-one duels. Void magics are forbidden, as is healing magic; the tournament is a test of direct offensive and defensive magics. It is currently under the supervision of Leah Leyweaver.

A wide variety of magic styles were on display at this week's Runestone, from standard conjury and thaumaturgy to

eastern ninjutsu. In the final match, Rooks faced Kitsuno Ishida, a skilled thaumturge who had won her place after a long and difficult battle with the wilds-learned conjurer Sekha Saialdhe, champion of the previous week's tournament. This battle had been an impressive show of applied aetherological principles, with many elements being brought to bear on each other in astral and umbral forms. The audience saw levin against rock, flame against ice, sand and wind against flame, with Sekha channelling four elements at once at one point. However, it was ultimately no match for Ishida's powerful rings of fire.

The final battle however, was very different. Rooks lived up to his moniker, showing even more raw power than Ishida, and using a single element: wind. Using two blades to focus his aether, Rooks attacked by sending slicing gusts of wind across the battlefield at high speed, and defended himself only by relying on the powerful aether of his own spells to dissipate Ishida's spells as they intersected. As a defensive technique this did not always succeed, but Rooks was clearly

banking on his offensive magics ending the fight before his lack of defense became a problem, and this strategy paid off very well. After three attacks from Rooks, comprising scythes, spiny feathers and jaws of wind-aspected aether, the battle was over, and Ishida was knocked to the ground, despite the warding necklace.

Rooks told the Chronicle he was a regular at the Mystic Runestone. "''Tis a stomping ground of mine and a training ground both. You won't find a better place to hone your skills."

When asked about his unusual magical style, he said he had learned it in his travels in Dravania, Thanalan and the wilds of Orn in the far north of Eorzea. Unlike conjury, the technique aims to dominate and control aether, rather than work in concert with it. To the public, he presented this advice, as a challenge and plea: "Be better than me."

[Editor's Note: Please look here for more information about the Mystic Runestone]

(left) Kitsuno Ishida, (right) Combatants line-up
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Upcoming Persona Series: Maril Hawker

By Utsunqu'ur Berry

If you will recall, the last article in our Upcoming Persona series took a grand look at a new organization that has begun recruiting across the lands: the Realmsward Initiative. Headed by Sir Von Sayrillont, its aim is to gather all able-bodied soldiers, fighters, adventurers, and other such people to better be able to coordinate the war against the Garleans and to take back many of the participants’ homelands.

On the other hand, it is my intention to take a look at some of the lesser acknowledged people of the realm: the healers that are the lifeblood to our people. Without such dedicated and spirited citizens, organizations like the Initiative would cease to exist-- their people would perish in battle and see not one bit of the dreams that they have realized. It is with a great warmth in my heart then that I would tell you of Maril Hawker and The Matron’s Reach Clinic. I had the extreme pleasure of being able to attend their last opening of the Clinic and to sit down with the Lady Maril Hawker despite how busy they were at the time.

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The Clinic itself is a relatively new establishment, only having been open for half a dozen moon-cycles as of this time. With the intention to make it easier for healers to get in contact with each other and to thus be able to help patients more effectively, a building space was secured and linkpearls distributed to all such healers that wished to assist; not only do they offer the linkpearls to any and all healers that would like to assist but to anyone with at-risk positions, such as mercenaries and highly vulnerable traders. Not only do they have the Clinic open in Ul’dah but there are also locations in the other city-states that are available for visits.

It warms my heart and strikes me as quite admirable that Lady Maril Hawker has opened a business despite having no such experience beforehand. The work that she is doing with the Matron’s Reach organization is one that is much needed and welcome in today’s society. It is my understanding that healers get oft overlooked whereas many praise the fighters, not remembering-- through no fault of their own-- that such people would not be here without the talents of others. Even worse, as stated by Lady Maril, many often see themselves as such a bother to the healers and therefore do not seek aid when they should. To that, Lady Maril would try to assuage your doubts: “I can say that you would never be a bother to us, no matter how little or how much there may be wrong with you. We strive to give every patient the best care, and every case that walks through the door gets a fair shot of it. Please come to the clinic if you doubt about your health, and please come for regular check-ups. We can catch things early sometimes and that can save life and limb. Us healers are at the clinic because we want to help, our time will be devoted there no matter what. So no one would ever be a bother, we’d love to see you, even if it’s just for a cup of tea.”

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It warms my heart to note as well that The Matron’s Reach Clinic does not only assist with illnesses, critical situations, or matters that need healing immediately. They have a veritable stock of potions, ethers, tea blends, bathing oils, and other such things to help you; they serve tea each Monday when they are open and would welcome in any who need even the slightest of healing, physical or mental. Truly, Lady Maril Hawker is someone to keep an eye on in the realms and one we should all thank wholeheartedly for her devotion.

[ For more info on The Matron’s Reach Clinic and how to get in touch with them, whether you be healer or patient, check out this page. ]

Exploring The Garden of Words

By Talman Chryses, Additional Reporting By Noah Ronsenburg, Pictures By Shio Maeda

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The Garden of Words is a public library and bookstore located in the Lavender Beds. Run by Illyriana and Yuri Usagi, the cozy store boasts an extensive collection of books which patrons are welcome to browse at all hours of the day. It also holds a special open house event each week where staff are on hand to direct patrons to whichever books they may be interested in.

As well as being a comfortable place to read, the Garden also sells and rents out books, as well as buying and trading books of all kinds. The collection is varied, ranging from classic literature and poetry to romance and adventure novels to illustrated Doman "manga" to works of non-fiction, including scientific treatises.

Illyriana is a gracious host and knows her collection by heart. She's particular generous with selling books, not being very concerned with profit as long as the book is going to a good home. One of our reporters was able to conduct an interview with her earlier this week.

TCC: Do you like books?
IU: Like would be a bit of understatement. You don't amass an entire shop filled wall to wall with tomes, if you don't have a bit of obsession. I love them.

TCC: What's your favorite genre of books?
IU: Probably romance, more so fantasy and romance fused together. Though I read almost everything that comes in I can't help but get emotionally drawn in by that genre specifically.

TCC: What drove you to open this bookstore?
IU: Well… my husband and I have always been fond of books. It's something that brought us closer together. To be honest. after getting married we wanted to focus on making something together and after a while The Garden of Words was born. We wanted to make a place where people would feel comfortable and at home while also providing knowledge for those who sought after it. It's also part of why we loan books out if one cannot afford to buy it. Knowledge and wanting to expand on oneself should never be restricted, regardless of how much gil has one in their pocket."

TCC: Do you get many seekers of knowledge in the bookstore?
IU: We always get quite a good lot that come in. Most are honestly surprised at how many tomes we have.

TCC: How many books does this bookstore have?
IU: Ten thousand. I'd say we hold somewhere solid around that number, give or take now and then depending on how many tomes come in and out.

TCC: It must have taken ages to tidy all these books, right?
IU: It took us quite some time to get things organized. Luckily, we have a great structure set up for them and the staff are always on point with helping keep things neat and together. We first started off with just my husband and myself. After putting up a few help wanted posters we found a few who shared our interests. We honestly have a mixed lot of staff that help with the shop, from part time workers to live-in staff. That being said, we keep gathering more attention each time we host our fully staffed library nights…so we always looking for more book loving people who'd like to staff with us.

(about the library nights)
Each Second and forth Saturday of the month we host where we are as fully staffed as possible. People are allowed to come in, sit, drink, socialize and know that the staff is active and there for them and their needs. Most times we just have one to two staff watch the shop. On full nights it's as many as wish to help us. And we honestly keep getting quite the large turnout, more than we ever expected.

TCC: Can you tell us about the genres of books that the bookstore has in it?
IU: We have a bit of everything. History, lore, maps, mineral guides. Fantasy and fiction, romance as well as notes and hand written works from researchers.

TCC: Do you have any plans about making any other events besides the library nights?
IU: We actually just started another small one, the first Sunday of each month. We always encourage diversity and thus we opened a small Cafe on said day. The Sleepy Goobbue Cafe run by our chef, Koi Kami. He's the one who makes the small plates of treats you find around the shop. We figured it would be a nice, upbeat change to the quiet the shop that normally has. We also plan on trying a few other avenues in the future as well. Of course we've only hosted it once so far and the turnout was quite small since we're just getting started, but we look forward to seeing it to get more lively.

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If you're ever looking for something to do before the Grindstone or other events at the end of the week, the Crystal Chronicle can heartily recommend the Garden of Words.

Eorzea Mode: Deidra Rose (Introduction)

By S.

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Do you often find yourself at a loss for what to wear? Have you played out the two good outfits you’ve managed to cobble together? Not sure which red dye flatters your complexion best? Now there is someone at the Crystal Chronicle to assist you. Whatever your profession, there’s no reason to look like a mess.

Our very own editor, Deidra Rose, has volunteered herself for this inaugural column. It is good for me (and possibly for my continued employment) that she is not a total disaster. Instead, she suffers from fashion’s most common affliction: looking just fine. You may be asking yourself, ‘What’s wrong with looking just fine?’ and to you readers I say, ‘What an utterly boneheaded question.’ If you look just fine, you don’t look amazing - and if you don’t look amazing, what’s the point of leaving the house?

So, Deidra, firstly: the purple highlights aren’t doing you any favors. If you must have highlights- why not teal? Your top proves you look lovely in it.

Secondly: you need a nicer pair of gloves in a different color. I’m suggesting the Patrician’s Gloves or Cauldronmaster’s Gloves - either kept white or dyed to match the color of the leather on your top.

Thirdly: Remember the old adage the shoes maketh the man? This applies to female hyur too. The length of your boots is perfect, but something with a little extra detail would push this outfit over the edge. For a closer fit, I recommend the Alchemist’s Thighboots. If you’d like to experiment with a little flair, give the Cauldronmaster’s Jackboots a try. You could have them grey as you do now, but if you’d like to try a bolder look consider dying them white or celeste green.

Need a fashion tip? Contact Eorzea Mode via our dedicated moogle courier today!

Wyra Nimh Victorious at Third Realmsward Initiative

By Utsunqu'ur Berry

It warms my heart to report that, with a full schedule and an even fuller heart, I was able to attend this week’s tournament hosted by the ever-present Realmsward Initiative! Though I participated as well, with a proper weapon this time after my lovely attempt at last week’s Grindstone tournament, I was able to properly observe the fights after I had lost out on my second match.

There were a good handful of competitors in the week’s tournament, ranging from those who used aether for their attacks and those with the physical prowess to compete against such combatants. The love of the Grindstone tournaments surely extended towards this one, as people lined up to be able to fight one another for the glory and the prize. Though many attempted, we were soon whittled down to the semi-finalists and then the finalists themselves, a pair of women that could not have been more different at first glance.

The Finalists
Two fierce women were pushed into the finals, a Lady Wyra Nimh and Lady Ajisai Ito. The Lady Ajisai herself is moderately well-known within The Crystal Chronicle as her Doman restaurant was interviewed for their opening! And so, it was with delight that I was able to speak to them.

Lady Wyra Nimh came out victorious in the bout though the Raen woman gave her a good run in what was one of the most intense fights I have seen as of yet. The Miqo’te woman was modest, speaking foremost about how much of an honour it was to have been scouted by the Initiative through her win as she had only sought to practice her combat maneuvers against able-bodied opponents and gave not one thought to the prize at the end of the tournament. Though she is bound already to an organization, she has stated that she will give thought to what the Initiative is planning on doing and considers it a great respect to have gained their eye.

When confronted with her final opponent of the night, Lady Ajisai Ito herself did not stand down nor did she hold back. Though she lost, the woman fought as admirably and as fiercely as any other that night. When asked on her opinion of Lady Wyra’s fighting abilities, she was quick to comment in a passionate manner: “Wyra-san was a difficult opponent but Ajisai have not expected less than that! The enemy in Ala Mhigo and Doma will not show mercy, they will not back away from putting down everyone who will stand in their way. Ajisai has to be better than them, stronger! Everyone has to be, not only the people of the Realmsward Initiative but the Eorzean Alliance and the Grand Companies! Every battle in this tournament makes Ajisai stronger, by learning about her opponents, their strategies, and their moves. It gives Ajisai the chance to develop new strategies as well. Wyra-san was better than Ajisai, she deserved this victory.” Admirably said and not one person could argue with such! I am certain that we will see much more of both these fighters in the future and I look forward to each time that we do! It is my hope that you, the reader, will keep an eye out for more of the Realmsward tournaments and, perhaps, participate as well; with Nymeia’s grace, you could win too!

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Grindstone Results: Roland McCloud Becomes Champion after Six Long Rounds

By Talman Chryses, Pictures By Saeko Kazehaya

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(left) Roland Mccloud, Grindstone champion, (right) Elf Alred, runner-up

This week's Grindstone was a very well attended event that ran for hours before the overall champion was determined: the swordsman Roland McCloud. The contestants, overseers and audience alike are to be commended for their endurance! Seventy-eight contestants tried their luck at the physical combat championship, including two Vath from Dravania who caused quite a stir. Both were defeated in the early rounds by the dragoon Braxis Wynterwulf; perhaps they will try again in the future.

As for Roland McCloud, he started strong by defeating one of the Chronicle's own security team members. Lightly armored, and armed with sword and shield, McCloud proved to be a formidable opponent to everyone he faced. Ventus Zeruel gave him some trouble in the Wash bracket, giving in only after a long and exhausting fight. This was followed up by another long fight with Teteri "the Impaler" Kukuri, a heavily armored Lalafell paladin. Both combatants danced around each other effectively in this fight, and Teteri made expert use of his armor to absorb blows. Eventually, McCloud was able to break the stalemate, but only after Teteri had gotten in a few painful blows of his own.

Meanwhile, McCloud's opponent in the finals, Elf Alred, was making his own rise in the ranks. Alred, who has been a Grindstone champion in the past and is most proficient at fighting unarmed, was trying his hand at using a two-handed sword and succeeding. In the semi-final he was able to dodge and disarm the Xaela Koro Dotharl, also wielding a two-handed sword, despite receiving an exceptionally strong blow to the shoulder.

The final match was a tense one, with both finalists showing signs of fatigue at the end of the long tournament. Both came within an inch of winning as the crowd watched with bated breath. However, even though there were injuries on both sides, it was McCloud who won the battle of attrition, sweeping Alred off his feet with a swing of his sword, leaving him unable to continue the fight.

As the crowd dispersed, McCloud had this to say: "It was one hell of a ride. There was plenty of talent out here, and it wasn't a cakewalk by any stretch. I'm proud I could represent my family and my people here. It's what I live for."

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Nymeia's Aid

By Utsunqu'ur Berry

“Lately, I’m having a hard time selling crafted clothing to people - how do I find a good balance of things to sell when people don’t seem to be buying?
Doman Weaver”

A matter of economics and craftsmanship! I must say, it delights my sensibilities to finally put to use a more logical form of thought with which to guide. I myself have some small skill with weaving, as all followers of Nymeia should, and thus know the hardship that goes into crafting a delicate garment or toughened piece of equipment. Though I do not sell such things, I can imagine the frustrations you must feel when no one buys what you’ve worked so terribly hard on.

Were I a competent craftswoman and thus making my wage off of such things, I would take time to hire a retainer or assistant. This assistant, though the expense may seem frivolous now, would thus keep an eye out for all of the latest fashions within the realm. It is important that you, as a weaver, be kept appraised of such things so that you will know which garments are needed. By staying ahead of what the other weavers are crafting, you may be able to turn the tides of your own business.

An assistant will also be invaluable to you, as he or she can speak to potential buyers and secure contracts that are the lifeblood of a business. Word of mouth travels quickly and when one is a craftsman, any bit of it can help. Think not of the trials you are having with others not buying things you have already crafted; instead, think of what you might be able to make in the future to entice a patron’s eye and bring them to your storefront. I will pray for your success all the same.

May Nymeia guide you.

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

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