A different kind of memory came back--from my childhood, from South Thanalan. My guardian was a skilled adventurer--there's no doubt of that--but sometimes an area is barren, and even the best hunters will come back with little to nothing.
Those days, when the stew was watery and had more garlic than meat, he'd gaze at Ul'dah in the setting sun with a sad expression. "One day, we'll live in the city," he'd say, "you'll have a roof and a proper bed to sleep in."
I didn't understand at the time--the warm sand was comfortable to sleep in, even if you woke up half buried sometimes, and the stars were more beautiful than any roof I'd seen. I was more disappointed when it rained at night, since I couldn't trace the constellations he taught me while I fell asleep.
I knew it wasn't paradise--there are more bugs in the desert than you'd expect, and I'd shaken him awake to chase a sundrake off plenty of times--but even if it was humble, it was peaceful. I was happy there, and I didn't understand what the busy and calloused Ul'dah could have for us. That's changed, of course--I'm about his age now, I think, and were I to provide for a war orphan, I'd want the same for them as well....but I still get nostalgia when I camp on the warm desert sands.
Regardless, Ul'dah had little to offer an adventurer at the time--wasn't willing
to offer much other than work, really--and we never so much as slept on its streets before the Calamity took him. Still, he somehow scraped together citizen registration, a carriage ticket, and a place at the Thaumaturge's Guild for me--so I could survive after he was gone. Things that would've come at a premium then--that are still a premium now--and things he only bought one of.
I can't help but wonder--if he hadn't done so much for me alone, if he'd gotten better armor or more supplies instead, would he have come back? But there's no way to say for sure--not when his fate is unknown, and when everyone that might hold a clue has had their memories scalded out.
What I do know is that he has a place to come back to, even if he doesn't know it yet. A little place just off of the Brimming Heart.