|Occupation||Sign-Painter & Portraitist|
Lalili Lali has only one very simple goal in life: to have fun. Inspiration is the compass that guides her. She skips gleefully after whatever it is that's captured her imagination for the moment; any concerns about the potential dangers or consequences are no more than afterthoughts.
Two years ago, she stuffed all of her worldly possessions into a fraying little rucksack and set her sights on Ul'dah - the (it seemed to her) glimmering city of commerce and opportunity, where she would reinvent herself into a famous portraitist. Naive artist that she was, it never quite occurred to her that five small years after the Calamity, not many people had a mind to throw away gil on frivolous portraits. But shop signs - those were useful. Practical. Financial need drove Lalili to take on the comfortable, if uninspiring, life of a sign-painter. Her creations swing on iron chains above the streets lining the Desert Jewel's alleyways. The designs are grossly simplified; the colours, painted meticulously within the lines.
Something's missing. Inside her tiny body, a hungry little creature is running circles in its cage. It urges her to create, to search, to run.
She hasn't quite figured out yet.
Lalili is small - even by Lalafell standards - rotund, and dark-skinned. She stands only 2 fulms, 10 ilms tall. Her black hair is usually worn in two pigtails, with a few locks left loose to frame her face. Her black eyes are almost always wide with excitement. Her clothing is simple, stained with splotches of vibrantly colourful paint.
Lalili Lali is an unstoppably vivacious bundle of energy. She tumbles through the world with the wonder of a child, as though each day she's seeing her surroundings for the first time in her life. Every new person she meets is fascinating; she yearns to ask their names, to learn their life stories, maybe to paint their faces someday. Lalili almost never leaves the Quicksand without striking up a conversation with a complete stranger.
Unfortunately, she also has no sense of when to stop. Lalili is painfully oblivious to social cues. Others often find her exuberantly inquisitive nature exhausting. Many pessimists and anti-social types find her downright insufferable.
Although Lalili has a never-give-up attitude, she takes criticism poorly. She retreats into sulkiness and passive-aggression, holding grudges against those who insult her or her artwork. She doesn't take no for an answer - she takes it for a challenge. In most cases, that is not a good thing.
Despite her sometimes childishly moody personality, Lalili's default mode is "sunny." She skips, rather than walks, on the path of her life. She hums a merry tune even while doing the most boring of work. Subconsciously, perhaps she's trying to fill the world around her with all of the colour, energy, and vibrance that she sees in it already.
Lalili is certainly not a soldier. Although she has dabbled a little in conjury and archery, she lacks the discipline to have taken them any further than passing phases. Added onto that, she's prone to distraction in mid-battle. All of her duties are forgotten if she catches a glimpse of something particularly beautiful or inspiring. She's more of a liability than an asset.
- Simple food (especially childhood favourites)
- Talking to anyone and everyone
- Wandering through the Black Shroud
- Singing and humming
- Garish, vivid colours
- Waking up early
- Cleaning and chores
- Food with spicy, bitter, tangy, complex, or overlapping flavours
- Celebrity worship/gossip
- Mixing her own paints
- Re-exploring the city or the forest
- Window shopping
Tucked away in one of the less-traveled corners of Old Gridania is a humble little house. A Lalafell couple have called it home for 37 years (even when the Calamity turned it into a heap of scrap wood). Dreaming of starting a quiet and peaceful life as chandlers, they had moved to Gridania to be close to the famous Honey Yards, Eorzea's most plentiful beeswax farm.
The peace and quiet didn't last long, however. The pair would go on to have five children, who filled the house to bursting with shouts, shrieks, laughter, ridiculously petty arguments, and never-ending chatter. Of these children, the youngest was Lalili Lali.
Being the baby of the family, she was always given the easiest chores and the least responsibility. When her siblings returned home with tallow caked under their fingernails or bee stings swelling on their forearms, they'd find Lalili dozing off or playing with her dolls. Of course, it all seemed horribly unfair. Her siblings channeled their resentment into endless teasing and mockery (as siblings are wont to do). Lalili was "the favourite", "Her Majesty", the "spoiled princess."
Now that even little Lalili has reached adulthood, most of the childhood bickering has faded away. Her parents still live in the same modest house in Gridania; meanwhile, her siblings have traveled far and wide, chasing dreams that could not be more different from one another.
Lalili has no shortage of friends... or at least, people who haven't quite been able to shake her off.
While Lalili hasn't done anything drastic enough to earn herself a true enemy, she has annoyed more than a few people over the years. It can be quite difficult to make her shut up.
1554 (age 0): Lalili Lali is born.
1559 (age 5): Lalili begins helping out with her family's candlemaking business. Well, as much "helping" as a five-year-old can do, anyways.
1566 (age 12): Lalili begins learning how to paint, mentored by Gridania's sign-maker.
1572 (age 18): The Calamity. Luckily, none of Lalili's family are seriously harmed, although their home is destroyed. The next few years are spent repairing the damage.
1575 (age 21): With the family home finally fully restored and her parents' business back in full swing, Lalili sets out for Ul'dah to start her own business as a portraitist and sign-maker.
1577 (age 23): Present day.