Musings of a Malcontent Samurai (04/20/2010)

Far have we journeyed to reach these shores...

The wayfarer from the Far East allows himself a moment of reflection, gazing across the vast sea to the horizon beyond which his homeland lies. With a handful of retainers in tow, his travels will take him to the four nations of Mindartia and Quon, whose people eagerly await the gift he bears.

The Genji armor—that priceless and irreplaceable heirloom of his realm's most storied clan.

'Tis not my nature to harbor needless doubts. Still, I cannot help but question the motives of these moogles...

The M.H.M.U.'s professed goal is to pay homage to Far Eastern culture by bringing their traditions to the Middle Lands once a year—a worthy aim, to be sure. With bandit-induced bedlam having become as much a tradition as the festival itself, however, it grows somewhat difficult to take their claims at face value.

Flitting from place to place on those peculiar purple wings, currying the favor of man and beast alike... Could they not perhaps be taking advantage of our goodwill for their own dubious ends?

The wayfarer pauses to collect his thoughts. No, he tells himself. It is unbecoming of a cultural ambassador to question the goodwill of his hosts. After all, the nations of the Middle Lands—once a barbaric, war-torn realm—now stand as close friends and stalwart allies. To give voice to his doubts would be to invite an international incident.

Having secured disembarkation privileges from the port official, the procession marches through the massive gate, whereupon they are met by the M.H.M.U. representative in charge of this year's festivities.

"Welcome! Welcome, kupo! And what a spiffy, sparkling, set of treasures you've brought for us this year! Why yes, I think these will serve our purposes veeery well, kupo-ho-ho..."

And did you expect any less? Why, this armor was forged by the most accomplished blacksmiths in our land. Though replicas, each suit will boast powers identical to the original for the duration of the Feast. But wait—what are these "purposes" of which you speak?

"Word has it you've also prepared something special for us this year! Well? Out with the loot, kupo!"

With a sharp nod from the envoy, the men of his retinue heft the lids from the ornate coffers in their custody to reveal set upon set of ceremonial furnishings—striking helms and elegant blades of exquisite craftsmanship sure to add a refined, Far Eastern touch to any home.

Say no more. You'll be awarding these to the adventurers who recover our national treasures from your hired highwaymen, pocketing the profits when your contrived caper sends the townspeople into a mochi-munching, sword-swinging frenzy.

The emissary sighs. Then again, who is he to begrudge the moogles their machinations? After all, the armor is always returned to its rightful hands, brave adventurers end up with rich rewards worthy of their exploits, and the traditions of his homeland are celebrated far and wide. What does it matter if a few bat-winged weasels fill their coffers in the process?

I beg of you, just keep the dents and scratches to a minimum this time. Even a stoic samurai has his own coinpurse to worry about, after all...

Story: Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita

How to Partake of the Feast

1. Firstly, converse with one of the event moogles stationed in the following locations to procure an ibushi shinai:
Southern San d'Oria (J-9) / Northern San d'Oria (D-8)
Bastok Mines (I-9) / Bastok Markets (G-8)
Windurst Waters (F-5) / Windurst Woods (K-10)

2. Having equipped said ceremonial arm, proceed to have it imbued with a dose of moogle magic by one of the friendly neighborhood M.H.M.U. representatives in the areas below.
West Ronfaure (I-6) / East Ronfaure (G-6) / La Theine Plateau (J-8) / Jugner Forest (I-8) / Batallia Downs (K-8) / North Gustaberg (L-8) / South Gustaberg (L-8) / Konschtat Highlands (I-6) / Pashhow Marshlands (K-6) / Rolanberry Fields (K-5) / West Sarutabaruta (J-8) / East Sarutabaruta (G-11) / Tahrongi Canyon (I-6) / Meriphataud Mountains (E-5) / Sauromugue Champaign (E-5)

3. Join forces with your comrades to seek out the armor-thieving brigands and put an end to their vice and villainy! Word has it that successfully fending off your enemies' special attacks with your enchanted shinai will reap you considerable rewards...

4. When the battle has been won, trade your shinai to the ??? that has appeared in place of your vanquished foe. You just might be awarded a fabled blade for your feats of valor!

Mind The Three Maxims of Moogle Magic

#1: The moogle-magicked hero will be fleet of foot, but feeble of body. (Level will be restricted to 1, but movement speed will be increased in its stead.)
#2: The enchanted blade is to be brandished against brigands alone. (You will not be able to target standard enemies, but neither will they attack you.)
#3: Moogle magic is a fickle mistress, and will abandon you if you venture too far from the fray. (The enchantment will be lifted if you zone into another area or log out.)

Event Schedule

The Feast of Swords will come whirling into the three nations at 1:00 a.m. (PDT) on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, and return to its sheath on Tuesday, May 11 at the same hour.