No 1 Lady Shantotto Exposed!

This page has been archived here from official Square Enix sources. It was originally posted on 30/11/04.


"The secrets of my soft, supple skin, you ask?
Beauty on the outside comes from the beauty within, and let me tell you, maintaining it is not an easy task.

However, living by the words of my dear old mother—
This alone has given me an advantage over all others.

Do not hate, be hated
Be outspoken, but never jaded
Do not loath, better to be loathed from birth
Before being cursed by a fool, make sure he is the one who gets cursed!

O-hohohoho!"

As I walked through Windurst Walls for the first time, I was amazed by the district's layout. A labyrinth of waterways and bridges connected countless tiny islands that encircled the towering Great Star Tree—the center of Windurstian prosperity. However, what immediately grabbed my attention were the extravagant mansions that dotted the district and put all other Federation residences to shame.

I later learned that not just anyone can hang her hat in Windurst Walls. The district's land is exclusive—prime real estate set apart for the elite members of the Federation. Along with the Star Sibyl and her ladies-in-waiting in the Great Star Tree, the only other people who call the Walls their home are those who have spent their lives contributing to the welfare of Windurst, and in many cases it is this handful of select citizens that represents the true ruling force of the Federation—the professors.

And among these former government ministers, there is one who stands out above the rest. Her presence is felt, not only within the Federation, but across Vana’diel. She is admired by some, despised by others, but feared by all. Her name is Professor Shantotto.

At a glance, the professor is far from imposing. Her wide brown eyes and golden blonde hair, coupled with her child-like Tarutaru features and innocent smile, are anything but frightening.

However, beneath that schoolgirl facade lies a powerful woman whose skill and cunning lifted her to the position of Orastery minister and won her countless battles during the Great War.

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Even after her official retirement, the outspoken professor still spends most of her time advising young wizards, and is respected by adventurers and peers from nations across Vana'diel.

Beautiful and talented. Admired and feared. But what kind of life has one of Windurst’s most popular characters led?

"Ohohohoho!

So you're interested in my past?
Ask the right questions and your career is sure to last.

From a long line of powerful black mages came both my mother and my father; In this I take great pride, though keeping track of all my great ancestors is often quite a bother."

A laugh laden with sophistication and refinement rang through the room as she answered my question. Her eyes sparkled as she reminisced about her childhood.

"While quite embarrassed to say,
I was a proverbial angel in my younger days.
Healing the world and spreading love were my dreams.
I was still a child—I hadn’t come to my senses, it seems."

Such an answer could only have come from someone who was cared for and nurtured by the finest of parents. I decided to ask the professor to briefly describe her upbringing.

"My mother and father were the finest of wizards.
Rather than wait, they would seek out their enemies and crush them with powerful lightning and blizzards.
To make sure that I followed in the family line,
They spent hours lecturing me on the dark arts until my skills were honed and refined."

It seems that from a young age, the professor strived to live up to her parents’ high expectations.
When I asked her whom she admired the most during her childhood, I was given a quite intriguing answer.

"Why, my loving father, of course!
He taught me the only way to be strong was through utter lack of remorse.
To make sure I did not end up like one of those pansy white or barbarian red mages,
He taught me that death and destruction are what truly great black mages contribute to the history pages."

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However, Professor Shantotto is not only blessed with a caring family, but countless friends as well—some of the best residing right here in the Walls District.

"Why, I'll never forget my fellow comrades!
I never would have passed Advanced Curses back at the academy without testing on those lads."

She also told me how she would go out with her friends and compete on how many Mandragoras they could squish, slice, and/or fry with their academy-issued magic dolls.

"But it is not only my friends who have brought me such amusement.
There are a few ‘total loser’ adventurers whose antics I often believe are heaven-sent."

Even after her retirement, Professor Shantotto is leading what seems to be a truly fulfilling life. However, I asked her if there was anything that she would like to go back and change.

"When I finally became a mage, my family experienced a touch of misfortune.
My parents divorced, our home was destroyed, and my dog drank my shrinking potion.
However, I have never questioned the directions of my life’s vectors.
Not only have I preserved the family line, but I’ve wiped out my share of assassins and debt collectors."

And with that answer, she smiled and quietly set her teacup on the table—her radiant aura leaving a mark on me so deep that all the soap in Kazham could not wash it from my soul.

Finally, I inquired if she had any message for the up-and-coming black mages in Vana’diel.

"Nowadays, black mages are a gil-a-dozen.
Everyone wants in on the act, from their grandmothers' hairdressers to their dogs' cousins.
However, a true delver of the dark arts has to think and act positive—
In order to positively crush all those who do not deserve to live.

I leave these words to all my loving fans—
Because when I’m gone, the fate of Vana’diel will be in their hands:

Why be led, when you can be leader?
Why bow to lady luck when you can beat her?
Why sit back and relax if you can pull your fill?
Before you are taken, why not go in for the kill?

O-hohohohohoho!"

A fulfilling childhood, an iron-fisted reign as Orastery minister, and a relaxing span of luxury during her golden years. Professor Shantotto's beauty, and an unwavering sense of direction in life, have made her an unforgettable figure in the annals of modern Windurstian history.

But, just how old is the professor…?

"Why, the nerve you have to ask a lady her age!
I hope you have life insurance, because you’re about to feel Lady Shantotto’s rage!

O-hohohohohoho!"

Illustration by Mitsuhiro Arita


Category: News

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