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New Year 2015
| Dear players,
Happy new year!
We've prepared the yearly new year's procession as always-but we've come a full Chinese calendar in Vana'diel, so we're back to sheep once more. As an aside, I was born in the year of the sheep-but which exact year is left as an exercise for the reader.
When we first created the New Year's event, we never imagined that it would ever come full circle, and thus the festivities are especially moving for me.
Vana'diel has come so far thanks to the tremendous support of its adventurers, and we remain grateful for your dedicated service.
The development and operations teams remain as firmly committed as ever to making Vana'diel a fun place for people to play their hearts out, whether in shorter or longer bursts.
With warmest wishes,
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita
As the year drew to a close, a group of adventurers gathered together to make merry and ring in the new year. With food and freshly squeezed juice aplenty, they sang and danced late into the evening. Amidst all of the commotion, somebody muttered aloud:
"Hey, will you be going once the New Year is upon us?"
A female Elvaan paladin rebuffed the question with one of her own. Slender fingers wrapped around her glass, she peered at the one who had asked the question, a young Hume warrior. Faced with the piercing eyes of this beautiful woman, he nervously replied...
"T-To go out in search of the New Year's animal..."
"You must be kidding," she replied with disinterest. The young warrior wanted to say something in response, but she was his elder and a more experienced adventurer by far. A still silence fell over the tavern, a sense of nervousness in the air between the duo.
Just then, they were interrupted by a young Tarutaru girl slowly waving her hands in an attempt to calm them down.
"Hey now. This is a time to celebrate. There's no need to look so distraughtaru."
"Yes. Uou survived yet another year unharmed. I think that's something worth celebrating-welebrating," she said as she glanced about the tavern. The adventurers raised their glasses and cried out...
"To surviving another year!"
"To surviving another year!"
"And besides, next year is destined-westined to be extra special," the Tarutaru girl murmured furtively.
"Yes! Everyone! What is so special about next year!?"
The continents of Quon and Mindartia had a tradition where each year was represented by a particular animal. It was said to be a good omen for those that were able to quickly come across the animal for that year.
Of course, rather than happening across one by chance, most people preferred to take matters into their own hands and go seek them out. As such, over the past ten years, doing so had become common practice.
"Just how many of these animals are there," asked a gravelly-voiced Galkan monk. "Twelve," the Tarutaru girl quickly replied.
"There's the lucky sheep, the lucky monkey, the bird of happiness, Fenrir, the pack of giant beasts, the white rat, the buffalo, the tiger, the lucky rabbit, the dragon of the dawn, Leviathan, and the alicorn..."
Upon hearing the Tarutaru girl's rambling response, the Galkan monk clapped his hands together.
"I know! Next year will be the year of the sheep!"
"That's correctaru. The tradition commenced twelve years ago when there was a large procession of sheep. At first, people simply went to go see this unusual happening, but somebody noticed that the sheep was that year's animal, and said that by finding one, it might bring them good luck. The year after that, it was a group of opo-opo, and after that it was a flock of birds."
"Once, a summoner tried calling forth Fenrir as well!"
"And I remember the Buffalo Bonanza Ranch using it as a promotional tool!"
"I've even seen a wyrm, but I wonder what that was... I can't imagine somebody summoning that thing..."
The older adventurers all began reminiscing.
"Additionally, next year will mark the resetting of the cycle. Hey, how about we make a bet? What animal will we be going to see next year?"
The adventurers all leaned forward in anticipation.
"But shouldn't this year also be a sheep?"
"They say that what happened 12 years ago may have just been a coincidence. Who knows what will happen this year? Maybe somebody will try to make something happen on their own? Perhaps the summoners will be involved once again? Or like with the wyrm, maybe there will be some beast we haven't even thought of?"
"At any rate, it has to be something worthy of being this year's animal, right? What else other than the sheep is there?" the Galka questioned.
"Basically, it just needs to look like a sheep, right? All fluffy and soft... How about a moogle? They're even white," asserted a cheery Mithran girl.
Not all agreed with her suggestion however. Nearly half of those gathered pointed out that moogles have wings and just simply did not look anything like a sheep, while the other half said that there was nothing joyous about seeing a parade of moogles. Some adventurers simply were not convinced that moogle was the correct answer.
"Sheep have angular-shaped heads. How about a bugard?"
"That's a type of lizard, isn't it? Besides, it's not even white. That reminds me..."
"If it has to be white, how about a mandragora?"
"That's not even an animal! It's a type of grass! No way can that be it!"
The adventurers assembled in the tavern groaned as they struggled to think of a fitting answer.
"I think it's simply the sheep. Somebody bring one here for us," said the monk as everybody else nodded in agreement.
"Yeah, I agree."
"Just try not to let it trample all over us!" Laughter ensued as everybody pictured a giant sheep rampaging through their ranks.
"Okay, everybody. Let's wait until the sun rises and see if anything is parading around out there," said the cheerful Mithran girl as everybody raised their glasses and voiced their agreement.
With the tavern in good spirits once more, the scholarly Tarutaru girl smiled delightedly.
However, there was a single adventurer who did not join in the revelry. It was the Elvaan knight who showed little interest in the whole thing. The Tarutaru scholar slapped the young warrior on the back...
"What do you want?"
"Aren't you going to join everybody?"
The Elvaan knight grasped the slender glass with her equally slender fingers and replied with a sullen look on her face...
"No, I'm not."
"May I ask why?"
"...I just don't think that sheep are very cute."
"Aren't very cute... Is that it!?"
The older girl blushed slightly as she spoke, while the young warrior chimed in, looking at her from the side, "Well... They say that adventurers need all of the luck they can get. I really think you should go. Everybody'll be there, and it'll be a blast. And who knows? You just might think that this year's animal is cute!"
Listening to this impassioned plea, the Elvaan knight lowered her eyes and said, "If you put it like that..." and nodded her head in agreement.
Story: Miyabi Hasegawa
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 7:00 a.m. (PST) to Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 12:00 a.m.