As the moogle-hosted Egg Hunt drew to a close, an unusual letter was delivered to the Editor's Department.
Those from the jungle, so deep and so dark,
Adorning their heads, a bond to so mark,
The one who will call, the one who will heed,
True worth will shine through in times of great need.
This poem surely held some great significance, but I must admit to being baffled. If the envelope in which it arrived contained naught but these words, I may well have disposed of both with nary a second thought. However, an illustration on an attached slip of paper convinced me that this was more than a simple prank.
It was a drawing of two articles of headwear, the likes of which I had never seen before.
One was white, and the other black, both with two-leaf buds seeming to sprout from the very top. I believe the similarity to the diminutive beings inhabiting Sarutabaruta would lead most people to dub the hats "mandragora caps."
Thinking this some advertisement for a new fashion trend, I posed a query to the famous milliner Baren-Moren. Alas, he confessed to being equally bewildered.
With no other leads to follow, I turned once more to the enigmatic words of the poem. Keeping with my theory of mandragora, the first line "Those from the jungle, so deep and so dark" could be interpreted as a journey to Mindartia from the Yuhtunga Jungle. The "Adorning their heads" reference from the second line would also tie in with the mandragora motif.
I received the following response concerning the content of the poem from an eminent cryptologist:
Thank you for a most intriguing challenge.
I will now relate the results of my analysis.
This poem most definitely foreshadows a phenomenon connected with the mandragora caps you described.
The dichotomy of the white and black hats hints that they must be obtained by "the one who will call" and "the one who will heed." Meanwhile, the words "True worth will shine through" point to some hidden property of the headwear.
From "in times of great need," we can deduce that the persons who will wear these caps will be used to facing danger--in other words, adventurers.
Based on these assumptions, I can infer the following:
A pair of adventurers--one the invited, one the inviter--will obtain the two mandragora caps. When these adventurers go into battle together, the true power of the hats will be shown.
The only blemish in this interpretation is the lack of clarity concerning the action of "inviting." One might immediately jump to the conclusion that this refers to an adventuring party invite. However, the existence of the phrase "a bond so to mark" leads me to believe that the true meaning is somewhat deeper.
I would hazard a guess that it describes an invitation to the life of an adventurer.
It would seem that these mandragora caps will only be obtainable by a person who accepts the call to adventure in Vana'diel, and the friend who originally extended the invitation.
Had anyone in Vana'diel come across this new phenomenon?
I spoke to some adventurers and received the following replies:
"Never heard of 'em."
"I have no idea what you're talking aboutaru."
"Sorry, I'm new here..."
"Yeah, I've fought those little mandragora guys. There was this one time..."
Will we ever see adventurers sporting this mandragora headwear?