Ben’s Journal

11 – Into the Desert


I returned to Momodi once I’d concluded my “tour” of the city. She greeted me warmly, but I could tell she had something else on her mind for me. It didn’t take long for her to bring it up. She’s rather a direct sort.

She told me that someone named Papashan would have work for me in the Ul’dah Dispatch Yard. I wasn’t really looking for work — after all, my main goal was to eventually try to find a way to return to my own time and place.

But, Momodi is a hard one to say “no” to. And truthfully, I hadn’t taken much time to look around outside the city all that much. So here was as good a chance as any.

Night was falling as I left the city for the parched desert lands. This wasn’t a desert in the terms of rolling dunes of sand, but rather a sun-scorched area of low grasses and hardy trees. I was surprised to see a various creatures wandering around there, too.

It didn’t take long to find the Dispatch Yard. And there, I approached yet another one of the small people. This one had the look of age about him, somewhat displaced on his smaller frame. But, there was also a kindly, concerned expression.


He immediately sized me up and asked if Momodi had sent me.


When I confirmed, he introduced himself as Papashan, the stationmaster of the Dispatch Yard. He waved this away, “An empty title, I assure you. I truly am no more than a tired old Lalafell passing his final years in quiet and solitude.”

Ah! Lalafell!

I finally had a name for these strange people! I tried to hide my excitement at the discovery, because Papashan’s conversation had taken a tired and somber turn. He explained, like others before him, that the Calamity had struck and taken much from the people of the city. I listened as he recounted the rebuilding efforts and difficulties they had faced.

“Ul’dah needs the aid of you and your brethren, friend. In fact, never has our need been more dire. Which brings me to the point, I suppose,” he gave me a look square in the eyes. Not a simple feat for someone so mis-matched in heights. “I do believe I may have some work suited to one of your ability.”

I still wasn’t really there to do work, but his was a rousing story of woe. So, I readied myself for what was to come. Would I be hunting a frightening monster? Would I be seeking out spies? Would I be matched for the daunting task he had in mind?

Papashan told me that he had troops out at posts in the desert. In order to ease their time there, he wanted me to… deliver them pretzels.

Yes, well… not exactly the task I expected for one of my ability.

Before I could say one way or another, he handed me the food and pointed me off in the right direction. Just as he said, I found three different soldiers at their positions. They were obviously worn down from the heated conditions.


Their spirits lifted, though, when I offered them the pretzels from Papashan. As silly as it may have seemed, perhaps there was something to this, after all. The little things sometimes do count.

I returned to the stationmaster to bring their thanks.


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