Let me tell you a story about my old adventuring friend, Groffi. He was the kind sort – always willing to lend a helping hand, always friendly and charming. He was a miner by trade, though took more pleasure supplying the world with iron from La Noscea than the more profitable darksteel of Coerthas. “Darksteel is durable, but there is no substitute for the reliable La Noscean iron!” he’d say.
One evening as he was passing through Bloodshore he happened upon a Burble – that’s what they call the Snurbles in those parts, anyhow. The Burble, light as a feather, bounced high over Groffi’s midlander head with a happy chortle and cast its little protection spells on him. What a happy sight he was! Grateful of this added assurance to his survival on the way home, Groffi thanked the Burble with a bow and continued south to Limsa Lominsa.
He had not long passed Cedarwood when he was shocked to find the same Burble at his feet! Now, any adventurer with his salt knows that critters and monsters alike seldom stray far from their homes, even if giving chase. But there it was, fluffing about my friend in jolly circles. Groffi gently urged it to return to its home lest another adventurer slay it for its tufts.
In the La Noscean twilight, as he crossed the Procession of Terns into Limsa, he once more crossed paths with the Burble. Seeing this as a sign of its devotion to him, he brought it home, cuddling to sleep with it in his bed.
The next day I met him at the Drowning Wench to share both drinks and adventuring stories, and he told me of the wayward Burble that followed him home. He seemed overjoyed that such a rare creature would willingly become his pet, and asked me if I knew anything about raising Snurbles. Though I told him I did not, he still offered to introduce me to his fuzzy little friend. So we paid the barkeep and made for his home at the northern islands.
When we arrived, he flung open the door and cheerfully called into the quiet room. He then knelt abruptly and reached out his hand, as if stroking the air. “Here he is! Feel how soft his fur is! It’s no wonder they make such comfortable clothing with these little guys.”
Confused, I observed his vacant hand, and then cast my gaze about the empty room. “Is this a joke? I see nothing,” I chuckled. I knew he couldn’t hold his ale, but I never thought he’d be given to hallucination. Yet still he insisted the Burble was there, and even began to grow angry and defensive before finally throwing me out! I lost touch with him for several days after that. I assumed he wanted me gone for insulting his imaginary Burble pet.
I worried about Groffi until over a week later, when he called me back to his home. “It’s still there,” he said, his face pale. When I confessed my failure to understand, he related to me the details of his past several days:
The Burble refused to leave him alone after I’d left. He’d asked others if they could see it, and though they all answered in the negative he could still feel it snuggling up next to him. It would not let him sleep nor eat, and bounced about as if laughing at his misery! On the fourth day, as he was trying his best to mine in spite of fatigue, he could stand its fluffy taunts no longer, and brought his pickaxe down hard upon its head. It collapsed, dead on the La Noscean grass.
Thinking himself free, he hurried home to his bed and dreamed of rolling in Snurble Tufts and wearing the finest felt! And when he opened his eyes…the Burble stared back into them, its body nestled softly on his chest... Thereafter he locked himself away.
He begged me in earnest to find a solution, so I quickly flew to Gridania to consult the Conjurers… but I was too late. Groffi was last seen fleeing an invisible foe before casting himself into the sea, where he died.