One morning, I checked the delivery box at my Mog House to find a package bearing what had become a very familiar stamp from the auction house. Sigh. Not again... The package, of course, was a weapon I had put up for sale that apparently no one else in the world wanted, either.
Surely, all adventurers have had such moments of despair. Seeing this as an ideal time to hear other people's tales of woe, I left my Mog House. Almost immediately after stepping out the door, a shouted request for a teleport entered my ears. I quickly tracked down the source of the voice, a flustered thief named Sirokuma who proceeded to tell me about his dilemma.
Apparently, he had been planning for a confrontation with a certain demon at Castle Zvahl for quite some time. But despite careful preparation, he managed to oversleep on this, the day of battle. Call it fate, destiny, or kismet, but I had already found exactly what I was looking for.
After a brief negotiation, we agreed that I would give him a free teleport to his destination, and he would allow me to accompany him so I might cover the event.
Unfortunately for the both of us, the demon in question never appeared that day. It is not an altogether uncommon occurrence, but it nevertheless provided us with a quaint little hard luck story. After we parted ways, I asked several other adventurers about their unfortunate experiences.
"During my training days, I used to wear Conquest armor," said Kaientag. "People used to always mistake me for a mage, and invite me out on hunts. Let's just say we were mutually disappointed."
The adventurer above hailed from Windurst, where most Conquest items are mage-oriented.
Animal lover Yuwa lamented, "Few people understand the special nature of beastmasters. I usually end up hunting alone in a remote area."
Indeed, beastmasters do possess a unique style of fighting. Surely, more than a few adventurers have been saved by their distinctive skills when a group of monsters impeded their paths.
Novice treasure hunter Seshiru remarked, "That exorbitantly expensive pirate treasure map I bought in Kazham is worth a few tears." Ah, a kindred spirit! Do not despair so, for I am another who was seduced by those enticing words...
"During my first days as a bard, my songs often failed, much to the lament of my party," sighed Chrona. "So, I trained real hard to be effective in battle, but then they told me just to stick with ballads!"
Perhaps the greatest shame and misfortune that bards could face is having their songs ignored ("No, no, listen! The good part's coming up!").
"After a grueling battle, I finally beat Maat," recounted tragic hero Gallve, "but then I died from the poison he inflicted on me moments before the battle ended, and he didn't accept it as a victory!"
Win the battle, but lose the war--sadly, such scenarios are more commonplace than one would think.
"I found a treasure chest and gleefully went in search of a key," said Juli, "but when I finally returned with one, the chest was empty."
Treasure chest keys can become quite a burden on an adventurer's Mog Safe, but few can bring themselves to throw them away.
As I listened to these tales of blunders and mishaps, one thing I noticed was that all the adventurers sounded happy and amused when they told me their hard luck stories, almost as if they were some source of pride.
So what is the reason behind the adventurers' smiles when they tell these rather embarrassing tales? One adventurer I talked to, a white mage named Baptize, provided valuable insight.
One fine day, this mage headed to Gusgen in hopes of discovering a mother lode in the mines, but he quickly found himself marauded by vicious monsters, and was forced to flee for his life.
Strangely enough, this did not dissuade Baptize from returning to the mines. On the contrary, he began visiting Gusgen on a regular basis.
As time passed, Baptize matured into a seasoned adventurer.
Then one day he realized that the monsters in Gusgen were no longer a match for him, and it was that very same day that the mage stopped going there.
On the day I spoke with him, the mage appeared severely battered. With a small laugh, he said, "I was just mining over at Ifrit's Cauldron, and some monsters there just beat me to a pulp."
Apparently, Baptize had become addicted to the thrill he had encountered during his first time in Gusgen, and was now reliving it in another locale.
As I stared at the brand-new sparkling pickaxe on this daring soul's back, I came to a realization. Hard luck stories are not merely events we look back on and regret--they are also valuable, not to mention exciting, experiences that help to keep us on our toes during our adventures.
When I returned home that day, I asked my husband about his hard luck story, and he spouted this one-sentence gem: