[[{{SUBST:Against the Grain}}|   ]]
Against the Grain
[[{{SUBST:Against the Grain}}|   ]]
[[{{SUBST:Against the Grain}}|   ]]
Against the Grain

Gougen and Tiriri.
Defying the stereotypes.

When deciding to take up the life of an adventurer, one must choose a job in which to specialize. Why did you choose your current profession? I've never brandished anything heavier than a soupspoon, so the path of the mage was a natural choice for me...

The talents you are born with usually dictate your choice of job--those blessed with brawn or dexterity lean towards the frontline positions, while those who overflow with mystical potential are drawn towards the magical arts.

However, occasionally you meet with adventurers who have taken the harder road, in defiance of common stereotypes.

Gougen is a Galkan white mage. While we share the same profession, I was surprised to see him wearing a great helmet and sturdy armor. It looked as if Gougen could drop a tiger with his war cry alone. I could hardly believe he practiced the healing arts.

"When I'm in a party with strangers, I usually stay back from the battle and play it safe. But in Ballista matches, or when adventuring with friends, I like to come out swinging," Gougen explained, his eyes sparkling with humor as he lazily twirled a huge staff that could probably flatten three of me in one blow.

But of course, the true test of a white mage is the ability to provide support to the frontline fighters, and Gougen hasn't neglected this aspect of his job.

"It's not so much of an issue now that I've reached this level, but the lack of magical reserves can prove a difficult challenge," Gougen continued. "To make up for my lesser pool of energy, I concentrate on healing status ailments such as poison and paralysis as quickly as possible, almost before the monster has even finished its attack. It's a great boost to my motivation when the frontliners praise my abilities as a healer."

Gougen overshadows his natural shortcomings with flawless technique. White mages must memorize which spells are needed to counter which monster attacks in order to quickly heal their comrades. Personally, I'm often bombarded with cries of "I can't see!" as I fumble through my magic lists looking for Blindna...

"It was pretty tough when I was starting out," the big Galka recalled. "Even when I was able to learn new spells, my reserves of magic were just too shallow to keep up with the demand on my power. I remember running off once to buy an astral ring with tears running down my face."

Choosing a job that emphasizes your weak points will add more bumps to the road. But Gougen shows a spirit that refuses to buckle in the face of hardship.

"Even as a mage, I'm still fairly sturdy. I'm not afraid to risk a few hits from a monster when my friends need some serious healing. The frontliners are surprised to see me still standing after some creature is distracted by my spells. It's times like that I'm glad to be a Galka," Gougen proudly exclaimed.

That's certainly understandable. Many a white mage has left for Altana's embrace when too many cures have earned them the violent attention of an enraged monster. There's something to be said for mages with muscle.

At the other end of the spectrum we have the Tarutaru paladin, Tiriri. Once a master of black magic, she was so impressed by the sight of her paladin friend using his own body to shield the party from harm, she took up the knightly role herself. Now her job is to stand firm against monsters many times her own size. That must be terrifying!

"Sure, it can be scary," Tiriri chuckled. "As you can probably guess, I come up kinda short in the stamina department. So, to help put my companions at ease, I don't skimp on buying the best equipment available to balance out my small stature. And since the people I'm protecting are my friends, I know I can go into battle trusting in their full support."

Mages are able to cast powerful spells knowing that they will be protected. Even when a monster does come their way, the paladin is always there to take the hits. I can see why Tiriri would be attracted to this valorous profession.

"In addition to my sword skills, I have enough healing capacity to rival a white mage," boasted Tiriri. "All that curing means I usually keep my opponent's attention, even if it does sometimes make it difficult for thieves to use their special attacks. But since I don't have the strength of my Galkan and Elvaan colleagues, I get a little nervous if I run out of magic."

The unfortunate tendency of powerful magic to grab a monster's attention is the bane of all mages, but Tiriri uses this fact to her advantage. I had thought a physically weak Tarutaru would have trouble getting an opponent to even notice her. Shows how little I know...

"Sometimes the mood of a party can sour when a battle starts to go downhill," mused Tiriri. "I can cheer people up just by taking off my helmet. That's when it's fun to be a Tarutaru."

These two adventurers have mastered an apparently unsuitable profession by turning their shortcomings into commodities. I'm certain that many other Galka and Tarutaru out there share the feeling of joy in gaining respect from a party that initially doubts their ability to perform their job.

You never know--maybe you, too, can enjoy a job that you're supposedly "not suited" for.

I spoke to my husband about the article I was writing.

Myhal: We're lucky Humes can take up any profession, don't you think?

Tathuma: Jack-of-all-trades, master of none.

You would put it that way...

[[{{SUBST:Against the Grain}}|   ]]

Taken from: Vana'diel Tribune II Issue No. 06

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