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Year 8 of Braska's Calm

Day 1:  Choices
Day 20: Lady Ginnem?
Day 25: Chappu's Reaction
Day 26: Ginnem's Arrival
Day 27: Besaid Cloister
Day 29: Chappu's Goodbye
Day 30: To Kilika
Day 32: Kilika Island
Day 33: Concering Sin
Day 34: Luca
Day 35: Mi'hen Highroad
Day 39: Mushroom Rocks
Day 41: Djose Shore
Day 42: Djose Cloister
Day 43: Concerning Magic
Day 44: Bevelle Festival
Day 50: Still in Bevelle
Day 52: Macalania Forest
Day 54: Of Summoners Past
Day 56: Lake Macalania
Day 57: Macalania Temple

Final Fantasy X characters, setting, locations, and original images/screencaps of Spira © Square-Enix. Photomanips and this journal created by Helluin.

Day 56, 8th Year of Braska's Calm

Well, we've had some adventures. I confess that there were times during these last two days when visions of Chappu swam before my eyes. If I died out here, he would never forgive me!

We started out yesterday under a brisk, bright blue sky. The snow was dazzling. The sun kept our faces warm, but after a few hours we were stumbling from numbed feet. Lady Ginnem brought out a few precious items she had been saving for Gagazet: Fire Gems, torn from the heart of a type of Flan she says is native to the Calm Lands. The gems are warm to the touch. One tucked in the toe of each shoe helped cut the cold.

Our progress was slowed, of course, by fiends. I have compiled notes on them at the end of this entry, supplemented from Macalania Temple's archives. The hard-shells proved especially frustrating; I still haven't found a spell to crack them, so we are forever calling up Ifrit to smash them. Flans here are tough as well, although fire will eventually wear them down.

The worst menace proved to be the wolves, of all things. These are hardier than our island scavengers and sometimes hunt in packs. That nearly proved our undoing. It happened so quickly! One bowled me over and bit Ginnem; she collapsed instantly. Suddenly I found myself fighting for both our lives. That Fury I have been trying to master saved us both, but it was a near thing. At the end of it I was standing in a puddle of melted icewater with my foes' ghost-lights rising around me, and Ginnem sleeping peacefully through it all. It took me some time to rouse her.

After that, nothing seemed to go well. The sky clouded over, and the temperature plunged. A biting wind began. Thankfully we had already crossed the lake, so the walls of the crevasse beyond it shielded us a little, but then the snow came with all the fury of Besaid's winter monsoons. Vindus did not exaggerate. Soon we were clinging to each other's hands and pressing forward through utter whiteness that sapped every bit of heat from our limbs. If another pack of wolves had found us then, I'm sure we would have made a swift meal.

We could no longer see the way, and there was a terrible drop to our right. Lady Ginnem remained calm, but most of her steadying words were snatched away by the blast. Finally, in stubborn desperation, I tried to melt a cave for us in the ice-wall beside the path. My powers were not up to the task, but Ginnem suddenly had an idea. She summoned Ifrit to help. I don't know how she is able to communicate with the beast, but he tore a great slab of ice and rock from the earth and leaned it against the cliff over the hollow formed by my feeble magics. We crawled underneath. Then she commanded me to make ice instead of trying to fight the elements, and seal off both ends of the makeshift shelter against the storm. I expended the last of my energy walling us in, with just a few chinks left at the top for air. I do not remember falling asleep. The last of Ginnem's fire marbles kept us alive through a long, frigid night.

The next morning I was awakened by a terrible growling noise outside. I found Ginnem unconscious beside me, our two cloaks wrapped around both of us for warmth. When I heard the sound of something hacking away at the ice, I braced myself for battle without much hope. But no! It was Vindus! He had come looking for us.

He seemed at least somewhat impressed by the ingenuity of our shelter, although he scolded me for not taking his warning more seriously. "I lose a lot of repeat customers this way," he said. "Bad for business." He gave each of us a restorative drink -- Ginnem permitted that much, although she would not let him cook for us over a small machina oven he had brought along -- and offered to drive us the rest of the way to the temple. He was riding an Al Bhed contraption that sailed over the snow like a canoe. That, too, my lady refused with utmost tact: a Summoner must journey on her own two feet, she said, to train herself for the mountain crossing. Of course, it would also be a terrible violation of the Teachings for us to be ferried to the temple by an Al Bhed, but we did not tell him that. So Vindus pointed us on our way and left us there after extracting a promise that we "pretty ladies" would stay a night on our way back. Old flatterer. Lady Ginnem teased me about using womanly wiles to further our journey. To my shame, I was a little sharp with her. It had been a long night.

We reached the temple after a half day's march through fresh white drifts that seemed to drag at our legs like iron boots. An encounter with one of those winged one-eyed monstrosities left my head spinning -- I think some Fiends must have a touch of Sin's toxin about them, although thankfully the effects wear off quickly -- but at long last we saw the banners of Yevon flying proudly over the temple gates.

Kimahri is right. Snow burns. The temple priests treated both of us for numbed hands, feet, and noses that had gone white. After a late midday meal, both of us slept until evening, too late to attempt the Cloisters today.

Even the temple feels cold.

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