Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy Au Ra, Final Fantasy Writing, gaming, Player perspective

A “Little Sun” can Brighten the Darkest Days

In Final Fantasy 14 there is a character named Magnai Oronir. The Warrior of Light meets him in the Stormblood expansion and he’s quite a character indeed. He is a Xaela Au Ra and he’s forever searching for his Nhaama, IE his perfect mate. Despite his overly smug attitude and lack of humility, I really like Magnai and I was always happy when he’d show up in the game to help us out with his giant axe. My fondness for Magnai eventually led me to create my own version of him as one of my playable characters.

My version of Magnai is a bit different than the NPC version. First of all, he has a different last name of Xyth, which was suggested by my oldest daughter because it just popped into her head. His skin is also a bit darker than Magnai Oronir’s and I think I tweaked the hair color I bit, but the hairstyle, facial features, height, etc. of my Magnai are otherwise identical to the NPC. What is the most different between my Magnai and the NPC, is the background of my character.

Although my Magnai comes from Azim Steppe, he is not the leader of any tribe. He is a member of one of the tribes, but I haven’t decided which one yet. He is just another Xaela among many. While he does know how to wield an axe, he actually prefers being a rogue/ninja who wields daggers. I originally created my Magnai as a warrior but decided to switch him to rogue at level 10 because it seemed like a fun direction to go. I was right because playing a max-height Au Ra male as a stealthy rogue is quite enjoyable.

Magnai Xyth left the Steppe in search of adventure and he isn’t obsessed with finding his soulmate. He can be a bit arrogant and lack humility, but not long after arriving in Eorzea, he met someone who helped him become a bit more grounded. That someone was my Veena Viera, Rajilo. My girl Raj would’ve had nothing to do with Magnai had it not been for her baby brachiosaur, Waffles wandering up to the Au Ra man and taking an immediate liking to him. Rajilo is not trusting of men or other people in general, but she trusts Waffles and thus gave Magnai a chance.

I have yet to entirely sort out the details of the relationship between Rajilo and Magnai but it eventually becomes romantic in nature and Magnai becomes one of the few people Raj trusts. And Raj trusting someone means that she’s herself with them and can be quite devilish and mischievous. For example, sending Magnai an witch’s outfit, complete with pointed hat, and insisting that he wear it and meet her in Gridania for All Saints’ Wake. Magnai knows better than to question Raj, so he does as she asks, and I must admit that I rather like Magnai in the attire.

Playing Magnai with more of a fun side as my own character has made him a lot of fun and now whenever I want to see him, I just login and play as him. In Stormblood, the NPC of Magnai is called “Little Sun” at one point by Y’shtola when she rejects his attempt to claim her as his Nhaama. While my Magnai is not that “Little Sun” he is definitely a bit of sunshine and I paid tribute to that term by naming his chocobo Lil’sun. And well, during a recent time when I really needed some metaphorical sunshine on a dark day, Magnai Xyth was that for me.

My need for that metaphorical sunshine was because October 21st is the anniversary of my father’s death and he died in 2009. Now I’ve written blog posts about the date before and discussed it with close friends, but I don’t feel the need to point out every year how the date weighs on me. Yesterday, Friday, was October 21st and while I thought about mentioning it to a couple close friends, I chose not to. My mood on the day varies yearly and this year I just didn’t feel like being a burden. I got some work done in the morning and took a walk in the literal sunshine of the day to try and lift my spirits, but by the afternoon, I was feeling grumpy and sad. I don’t want to bring anyone else down and while I would’ve liked to play FFXIV with friends, I didn’t want to “guilt” anyone into spending time with me online.

So instead, I decided to play alone and spend time with my bit of sunshine, my Magnai Xyth, and get him to Gridania for All Saints’ Wake. I was trying to be patient and level him through ARR to get him there but yesterday was not a day of patience, so I got a skip pot for him into Stormblood. He’s got a long way to go to get to Stormblood level, but I don’t mind, it’s a journey I’ve taken many times before. And the freedom of being able to finally glam him, move around freely via mounts, and apply the bat face tattoo I got him was well worth the investment.

After playing Magnai through the All Saints’ Wake event, I ran his first dungeon with randoms and it was Sastasha because he was level 16 at the time. The tank tried to pull the entire dungeon up until the first boss and it didn’t go so well, but after that we all regrouped, and it was fine. Everyone had a good attitude about it and I’m used to dying in dungeons regardless, so I didn’t mind. It just felt good to be among people, even though they were all strangers and in an online world. By the end of the dungeon, Magnai was level 20 and it won’t be long before he’s level 30 and ready to become a ninja!

While playing Magnai and needing to lift my mood, I decided to make a Spotify playlist for him. I don’t have playlists for all of my characters because the mood has to hit me just right, but last night for Magnai it finally did. The list isn’t done yet but I started it off with “Hole Hearted” by Extreme because while it’s an upbeat song, it also explains how I’ve felt since my father passed away, like there’s a hole in my heart that will never be filled. And it applies to Magnai Xyth and his relationship with Rajilo. While he was not searching endlessly for his Nhaama, he found love with Raj, and without her, he would be missing a very big piece of himself. “She’s Too Good For Me” also applies to their relationship. 😉

Thus far the songs in Magnai Xyth’s playlist are all pretty “jammy” with good guitar and drums and fun lyrics. Most of the songs were played to death on the radio when they came out, but they all hold good memories for me, memories of when my father was alive, I was much younger, and life was easier. I don’t think the playlist is complete by any means, but it’s got a good start and I’ve established the theme of it. Plus it was a lot of fun to make and listen to last night when my spirits needed a boost. I can picture Magnai playing drums and Raj playing bass guitar with some of my other characters filling in on guitar, keyboards, and vocals. What a band that would be!

If you’re curious, this is the playlist so far: Magnai Xyth Playlist

Now that October 21st has come and gone, I’m okay and my mood has much improved. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to forget about my boy Magnai or how his sunshine brightened one of my darkest days. It will be a blast to continue to level him and see what other crazy outfits I can put him in that the NPC Magnai would never wear. And while I could not bring myself to share my sadness with my friends on the day, it does bring me comfort knowing that I have some good online friends that are there for me even when they don’t really know how much I need them. I am also grateful for the FFXIV community as a whole because they have all made playing the game such a pleasure and helped stave off the loneliness that can haunt so many of us these days. May we all be the spark that keeps on shining!

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