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Starlight Celebration 2009
| Look at that glum face! No, no, that won't do at all. How do you expect to bring mirth and merriment to the children of Vana'diel if you can't even turn your own frown upside down!? Fortunately, I've got just the tale to raise your spirits.
The wind blew cold that night in Bastok, the final eve of the Starlight Celebration. Dressed in the vibrant—some might say garish—red robes typical of those of his calling, a strapping Galkan lad strode toward a lone brick abode on the outskirts of the Markets, a bulging cloth sack slung over one shoulder. He greeted the door with two strong knocks, to which it slowly opened, revealing the timid face of a young Hume girl of no more than five years.
Black Bear was the young Galka's name. Renowned among his peers for his imposing physique and fearsome visage, he was accustomed to seeing children—particularly Humes—react to him much as if they had stumbled across his namesake deep in a forest in the black of night. Still, one in his position must persevere. For the children!
The stern expressions worn by the girl's parents quickly melted away, replaced by warm smiles of understanding.
Black Bear sighed. Whatever was a smilebringer to do? His sack was still heavy with presents requiring delivery to countless other children. He could return later, in hopes that Mio's uneasy heart might be placated by then, but there was no guarantee that he could do so in time. Still, he had no choice.
With that, Black Bear was off—tearing through the market streets, rushing from doorstep to doorstep dispensing presents like a man possessed. The night grew darker and colder. His ragged breath turned to white clouds before his eyes, his sweat-soaked beard half crystallized to ice, yet still he would not be stopped. This was one smilebringer on a mission.
Finally, his task all but complete, with only a single present remaining in his massive rucksack, he found himself standing before the lone brick abode where his night's journey began. The bell had not yet sounded. There was still time to spare.
Feeling the chill ground beneath him, snow cascading down upon his face, Black Bear looked to the night sky and sighed. Had he failed in his sworn duty as a smilebringer? Would a child go without a present, without a smile this Starlight? Crestfallen and exhausted, he gave up the fight and let his eyelids close.
Story: Miyabi Hasegawa
Illustration: Mitsuhiro Arita
Take Your Joviality to the Max—Introducing the Smilebringer Boot Camp!
Upon the commencement of this year's Starlight Celebration, "Smile Sergeant" NPCs will descend upon the land with the mission to scout for future smilebringers among adventurers. Do you have the grit and gaiety to make it as a smilebringer? Talk to a smile sergeant and take part in the Smilebringer Boot Camp training to find out! The training will be available in three difficulty levels—beginner, intermediate, and advanced—with each offering different rewards.
*To take part in the Smilebringer Boot Camp located in a particular area, players must be in possession of the corresponding magical map.
Lend the Moogles a Capable Adventurer's Hand!
The moogles are recruiting enthusiastic adventurers to help them distribute presents and greeting cards. Munificent individuals interested in helping out are invited to approach a festival moogle at one of the following locations:
Presents in Exchange for Destructive Behavior!
To show their appreciation to all the tireless adventurers out there doing their part to make Vana'diel a better place, the moogles have prepared a whole hoard of presents and scattered them all over the locations listed below. As a precautionary measure to ensure that none of the creatures prowling the wilds can get to them, the presents have each been sealed within a box...and there's only one way to get them out!
The Gift of a Child's Laughter!
During the event period, smilebringers will be handing out presents to all the children in town from the locations listed below. Won't you help them make the children's dreams come true?
Festive Goods for Sale!
The Starlight Celebration will begin at midnight on Friday, December 18, 2009 (PST) and continue until 7:00am on Thursday, December 31, 2009 (PST).
*The Smilebringer Boot Camp will continue even after the conclusion of the Starlight Celebration, albeit with some changes in appearance and content. Smile sergeants will sport new attire, collect a participation fee in gil, and offer a different set of rewards for successful completion of the training.