Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn won’t just be a relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV, but also a direct sequel set five years after the events that ended the first game. With Final Fantasy XIV now closed, many missed the chance to enjoy its story. Since the two games will be deeply linked, knowing the story behind Final Fantasy XIV will most probably enhance the enjoyment of A Realm Reborn.
Final Fantasy XIV – The Story So Far is a weekly episodic column that will tell the tale of the heroes of Eorzea, from the very beginning to the final, climatic battle against the 7th Imperial Legion. It will also include the cutscenes of the main storyline (and a few relevant extras). If you didn’t play Final Fantasy XIV, when you saw the beautiful “The End of an Era“ trailer, you probably asked yourself who the characters portrayed are, and how they gathered together to fight against the Empire. This is your chance to know in order to better enjoy A Realm Reborn when it’ll be released.
This column will follow the story from the point of view of a character hailing from the city state of Ul’dah and belonging to the Immortal Flames grand company. Some of the cutscenes for the other cities and grand companies are different, as the story branches, but the general events and characters are the same. For narrative purposes the main character is named Abriael (after the author’s personal toon), but of course the story applies to any character in the game.
In this episode another Primal falls, and the City States of Eorzea steel themselves for war against the Garlean Empire. You can read the other episodes here: Episode 1: Beginnings, Episode 2: Awakening, Episode 3: Confrontation, Episode 4: A New Beginning, Episode 5: Madness, Episode 7: End of an Era, Extra Episode: Agent of Enquiry.
Chapter 18: Careless Whispers
Upon his return to Ul’Dah Abriael reported to the Hall of Flames, and there was told that the Syndicate was about to move to deal with the Imperial plan known as Meteor. New orders prompted the adventurer to visit the Royal Promenade, where he was to meet with Flame General Raubahn.
The leader of the Immortal Flames informed Abriael that Teledji Adeledji of the Monetarists brought information on a new Juggernaut developed by the Empire and probably already unleashed on Eorzea. He dispatched the adventurer to the area near the ferry port in order to gauge the power of the new Magitek weapon.
Abriael immediately rode his faithful chocobo Alagos towards the coast, but was faced by a gruesome sight upon his arrival. The new Juggernaut had already single-handedly annihilated all the Flames that were sent to fight it. The battle that followed was terrible, but in the end Abriael’s blade, together with the strength of thevaliant companions that came to his aid, managed to fell the terrible Machina.
After running to the docks the sight that appeared in front of Abriael eyes was even more terrifying than the one witnessed earlier. The Juggernaut he defeated was just a diversion, as several others had just attacked the port, sinking two of the vessels and causing several casualties. A grim-faced Raubahn, accompanied as usual by the charming second-in-command of Ishgardian descent Eline Roaille, briefly commended the adventurer for his service before dismissing him.
Chapter 19: In for Garuda Wakening
After the debacle at the Ferry docks Abriael was contacted again by Archon Louisoix of the Circle of Knowing. After traveling to Gridania to meet with him, the adventurer was asked to investigate the cause of the unnaturally strong winds that were causing trouble in the hamlet of Quarrymill at the edge of the forest. Louisoix feared that the cause might be the primal Garuda herself.
Abriael traveled to the endangered hamlet and indeed discovered that Louisoix wasn’t exaggerating the threat. The gale devastating Quarrymill was nothing short than a Tornado summoned by a crazed creature that looked like a hybrid between a woman and a bird. Unable to help the inhabitants of the village, Abrael rode back to Gridania as quickly as possible to report his findings to the Archon. His fears were founded: the eerie creature was indeed Garuda.
Thanks to the help of Louisoix, that enchanted a feather obtained during the brief encounter with the Primal, Abriael managed to travel to the Howling Eye with a group of stalwart companions, in order to meet Garuda in battle. The fight raged on for several bloody minutes, until the Primal was finally vanquished.
Unfortunately victory was again spoiled by tragedy, as the power of the crystals escaping the defeated Garuda was immediately absorbed by the bloated red moon Dalamud. The appearance of Nael van Darnus topped the adventurers’ disdain, as he mocked Abriael and his companions for basically doing the Emperor’s bidding in slaying not one, but two Primals. The Legatus also encouraged Abriael to continue struggling, because every act of defiance would ultimately be a sacrifice to Dalamud and its destructive power.
After the ill-fated battle Louisoix told Abriael that he suspected that van Darnus’ objectives could very well be different from what the Emperor planned, but he needed to consult with Cid in order to better understand what the Legatus was seeking by channeling more and more energy into Dalamud.
Back in Ul’Dah Abriael met Cid himself at the Hall of Flames. The engineer told him that Dalamud was indeed drawing nearer and nearer to Hydaelyn, on a course that would inevitably bring it crashing upon Eorzea. The Empire evidently had a mean to control the moon’s trajectory and discovering it was of primary importance.
At the Hall of Fragrance on the Royal Promenade Abriael presented his report to general Raubahn. The leader of the Flames revealed that the coming of the Imperial vanguard served his purpose in scaring the syndicate into action, and he had found an ally in Teledji Adeledji. He and his monetarists were previously harboring plans to reconcile with the Empire, but after the past battle they were backed against a wall, and pledged their full support to the Immortal Flames.
The General told Abriael that while the shrewd lalafell bemused the Empire with idle negotiations, he planned to bolster the strenght of the Flames and to reunite the old Eorzean Alliance that used to bring together all the City States. He requested the adventurer to become the standard bearer of that alliance and to fight as Eorzea’s champion. Inflamed by Raubahn’s words Abriael agreed with enthusiasm.
Chapter 20: Don’t Hate the Messenger
At the Hall of Flames Abriael learned from Flame Lieutenant Aubrey that the Garleans had established a new stronghold in Mor Dohna, dangerously near to the Gridanian Border. General Raubahn had just received a distress call from Elder Seedseer Kan-E-Senna, requesting his support in reforging the Eorzean Alliance. All the pieces were falling into place, and the adventurer was ordered to travel to Gridania to parley with Kan-E-Senna as the general’s personal emissary.
At the Lotus Stand in Gridania Abriael found both the Elder Seedseer and Cid. The Engineer told him that the new Garlean stronghold was indeed relevant, as it was the probable location of the Lunar Transmitter, the device used to control Dalamud’s trajectory.
Kan-e-Senna added that Gridania wasn’t able to withstand the full burnt of the Garlean might alone, and she asked Abriael to intercede with Raubahn and convince him to commit to the reforging of the Eorzean Alliance. Cid Agreed, as there was no hope for any of the City States to stand against the Empire by itself.
Back in Ul’Dah to give his report to the General, Abriael learned from Raubahn that Kan-E-Senna’s request would have strained the Flames’ resources to their very limits, and that he was hesitant to commit to a full alliance until he knew the intentions of Limsa Lominsa. He could not agree to ally with the maritime City State if they claimed the majority rule in the pact. He wrote a letter to Admiral Merlwyb, summarizing both his terms and Kan-E-Senna’s requests and sent Abriael to deliver it.
After crossing the strait to Limsa Lominsa on the ferry Abriael met with the fiery Merlwyb, that seemed to share Raubahn’s concerns on logistics. In addition to that she confided that, in order to honor an alliance, she’d have to rely on the untrustworthy pirates of her nation. While she was willing to take the risk, she needed insurance that Ul’Dah’s ambitions would have been kept in check.
Just after his meeting with Merlwyb Abriael was suddenly summoned to Mor Dohna by Cid. The engineer told him that forces at the service of the Ironworks managed to shoot down an Imperial Airship en route to Castrum Novum. He then asked the adventurer to investigate the wreckage and recover any useful data on the Garlean stronghold and on the location of the Lunar Transmitter.
Abriael immediately rode to the warship’s wreckage, and after defeating a group of Imperial soldiers he managed to recover a set of schematics of Castrum Novum from a strongbox. Suddenly, though, he was waylaid by a known face: Gaius van Baelsar, Legatus of the XIVth Imperial Legion.
Surprisingly, the powerful enemy didn’t attack. On the contrary he allowed Abriael to keep what he found, warning him against the ambitions of Nael van Darnus. He specified that his was not an act of mercy, as the destruction of the Primals and the conquest of Eorzea were inevitable, yet he allowed the adventurer a choice on how that could come to pass: with the devastation of the continent following the fall of Dalamud, or by the Empire’s might.
He revealed that in order to destroy the Primals and eliminate the stalemate that slowed down Eorzea’s conquest Van Darnus had planned to bring the red moon down on the land, and the Emperor embraced the scheme due to its effectiveness. But Dalamud was no mere rock, despite van Darnus’ deceitful reassurances. He suspected that the Legatus of the VIIth legion himself had been altered by Dalamud’s influence.
Van Baelsar encouraged Abriael to oppose van Darnus and Meteor, as it was the only hope of sparing Eorzea from complete annihilation, after all he sought to conquer the land, not to destroy it.
Back in Gridania Abriael met Cid, and delivered the schematics of Castrum Novum. The Engineer’s fears proved founded as the stronghold had indeed been built to house the Lunar Transmitter. Further study of the documents could yet reveal a way to destroy the device, but even if one was found, only the combined might of the three city states could hope to challenge the gates of the fortress.
Before meeting with Kan-E-Senna Abriael was joined by Thancred, Y’shtola, Yda, Papalymo and Urianger, that, not so surpsisingly, revealed themselves as the other Archons of the Circle of Knowing, under the guidance of Louisoix. More pieces were falling in their respective places, as they all walked into Stillglade Fane to attend the council between the three nations called by the Elder Seedseer.
The council began on a sad note, as Kan-E seemed discouraged by the grim battle that awaited Gridania and the other nations. Hope was revived, though, by the arrival of Cid, Merlwyb and Raubahn, that chided the fair padjal for her gloomy words. The Admiral and the General declared that Abriael’s courage had inspired them to abandon their hesitations and to pledge their full might to the alliance in order to send Dalamud back to its seat in the Heavens.
The Eorzean Alliance was forged anew, sealed by the joining of the three leaders of the Grand Companies. Unfortunately the jubilation for the renewed bond was interrupted by a message from the scouts stationed in Mor Dhona. The Lunar Transmitter had been activated.
Abriael was immediately ordered to travel to Mor Dhona to join the forces gathering to stage an assault on Castrum Novum. The hour of battle was nigh.
And that’s it for this episode. The second Primal has fallen and the City States of Eorzea are now united into an alliance and ready to face the might of the Empire on the battlefield. In the next episode tension will continue to grow and explode in the final, climatic battle that will decide the survival or the annihilation of the whole continent.
If you’re eager to see what I mean, and to see more of the lovely cutscenes that accompanied the story, all you have to do is to come back next Wednesday and read Episode 7 of Final Fantasy XIV – The Story So Far. Despite the conclusion of the storyline, it won’t be the last, as we will have a final special episode on January the 2nd to greet the new year. What will it be about? You’ll see. I won’t spoil the surprise.
If you missed them, you can also read the other episodes here: Episode 1: Beginnings, Episode 2: Awakening, Episode 3: Confrontation, Episode 4: A New Beginning, Episode 5: Madness, Episode 7: End of an Era, Extra Episode: Agent of Enquiry.
If you have any further question about the story, do ask in the comments.