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"But if I must meet mine end, then all shall burn upon my pyre!" - Let's Play Heavensward: Final Fantasy XIV!

Büge

Arm Candy
(she/her)


"A heart bleeds, a man weeps, a soul burns. Thence comes the darkness, to consume. Yet even in the depths, the flame endures. Submit to the flame and harness the abyss."
Alexa, play "Bring Me To Life" by Evanescence.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
CHAPTER 2 - THE BULL



Welcome back to the Let's Play of Heavensward! Previously, Satznswys familiarized herself with the lands around Ishgard: the post-Calamity wastes of Coerthas, and the archipelago of the Sea of Clouds. There, she had reunions with both Cid Garlond, as well as Lady Iceheart. She also learned of a threat to Ishgard that she's well familiar with: the primal god of the Vanu Vanu, Bismarck, Lord of the Mists. Between heretics and primals, there's a lot to be done for Ishgard, so let's jump in to it!



Seems Count Edmont wants a word with Satznswys after helping out his sons with their duties in Coerthas and the Sea of Clouds.



Not sure what they're going for with the Dutch angle here, but he's pleased, all the same.



Uh oh...



Oh, goody goody gumdrops. I guess the suspicions on Satznswys about her Dark Knight proclivities don't merit such direct action, but who knows what Tataru and Alphinaud have been up to in her absence? Edmont is incensed.



So, it's a political play, and not one born of actual heresy? Fantastic.



Edmont speculates that Ser Grinnaux is being manipulated into putting forward these charges, as he's not one for political machinations. He might belive the veracity of the charges, but those who might manipulate him know better. Edmont knows that Satznswys has Ser Aymeric's ear, and might be able to more directly name the charges.



The Congregation of Our Knights Most Heavenly is on the left, next to the Forgotten Knight, and is the seat of command for the Temple Knights of Ishgard.



Haurchefant's already here, I see.
 
Last edited:

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


You better believe it, Aymeric. Haurchefant says that the charges came down as he was delivering his report on Bismarck. He calls the charges "ludicrous".



For the outsider's benefit, Aymeric explains. The Heavens Ward is the personal guard of the archbishop--the twelve finest knights in Ishgard, formed in tradition of the Knights Twelve that founded the nation, as we saw during the city tour. Co-equal, but second only to His Eminence, and loyal to him. So, therefore, Ser Grinnaux's testimony is unimpeachable, and it's out of Aymeric's hands.



Aymeric reluctantly says that there's only one option left to clear Tataru and Alphinaud: trial by combat.



Under Ishgardian law, the defendants would face their accuser in battle, and so Tataru and Alphinaud would be expected to face Ser Grinnaux and, likely, another member of the Heavens Ward.



Given that Satznswys has seen Tataru's skill at controlling a carbuncle, yeah, this isn't very fair at all. Aymeric acknowledges Alphinaud's skill with arcanima, but since Tataru's slightly north of useless in combat, she will be granted the right to name a champion in her stead.



Satznswys agrees without hesitation, and Haurchefant departs to deliver the news to Alphinaud and Tataru, telling Satznswys to meet up with him at the Tribunal when she is ready to stand in defense of her friends.



The Tribunal, where Fray met his final fate...sort of.



Haurchefant sets the script with a bit of a flair for the dramatic, Satznswys barging in to demand to serve as Tataru's champion in the trial by combat.



Let's do this.



Ace Attorney crowd noises.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Ser Grinnaux steps forward and makes his claim.



The adjudicator asks if they will take up arms to refute the claims and prove their innocence.



THUD, AS THOUGH A DOOR IS BEING KICKED OPEN.



Indeed we shall, Alphinaud!




Let's do this!
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Done and dusted!



Alright, where's Maya and Detective Gumshoe raining down confetti?



Whew, time to go home after all this mess.



Haurchefant presents Satznswys with a nice prize indeed: a chocobo whistle.



Womp womp.



Alongside the whistle to call the black chocobo, Satznswys gets a compass to detect currents of aether. I'll show this in action when we're back out in the open world outside of Ishgard.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


For the meantime, Haurchefant intends to get through the red tape to get Alphinaud and Tataru out of the gaol, as quick as possible. He tells Satznswys to head back to Fortemps Manor to cool down.



Count Fortemps' sons are disappointed that they missed the opportunity to see Satznswys strut her stuff.



There's a knock at the door, and the steward enters.



Whoa. Really now?



This knocks the socks off of all in attendance. Satznswys is old-hat at this, though. She's met with plenty of heads of state already.



And so, Satznswys makes for The Vault.



Satznswys makes her entrance to the audience chamber.



He says that he would have called on her sooner, but he's old and somewhat infirm, and there are many demands on his time.



Well, since we don't know you very well, I'm sure that erring on the side of forgiveness is all well and good.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


At this point, Thordan dismisses Zephirin to speak with Satznswys privately.



Even Aymeric is shooed out. Thordan laments the lack of privacy that he so often experiences as king of Ishgard.



Well, Satznswys knows that she's killed one.



You...welcome them in your halls?!



Satznswys agrees to at least think on it, but this is something that Alphinaud should definitely be brought in on. So Satznswys heads back to Fortemps Manor to await his release from the Tribunal.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Arriving back, seems Alphinaud and Tataru already beat her here.



I mean...that's not all, Alphinaud.



Dun dun DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN.



Alphinaud insists on moving out immediately to secure Raubahn's safety.



While Satznswys was out helping the Fortemps boys, Alphinaud was negotiating trade deals with House Fortemps and a Lominsan business. He was able to get a message to the Admiral. She's already pledged her support to rescue Raubahn. Alphinaud wants Satznswys to come with him to Limsa Lominsa and discuss rescue plans.



A warm welcome from the Admiral and Storm Marshal.



Merlwyb confirms it: that Pipin's urging convinced she and Kan-E-Senna to pressure the Syndicate of Ul'dah to suppress the news of the Scions' alleged crimes until irrefutable evidence was presented. Without proof, accusing the saviors of the realm of regicide would have the people up in arms.



She reveals the late sultana's plans to abdicate and build a republic in the government's place.



We saw all this in an aside late into A Realm Reborn, that Nanamo wanted the Elder Seedseer and the Admiral to aid Raubahn in keeping the peace during the transition.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


I guess the witnesses who were there when Teledji made his announcement were told to keep quiet? Public word is that Nanamo is convalescing from an illness.



Yeah, seems like there's a lot more going on here.



Raubahn had been held in the prisons of Ul'dah since the Bloody Banquet, but recently, he's been moved out.



"The Crystal Braves." Alphinaud visibly and audibly tenses. Merlwyb has heard rumors that the arrangements between the Braves and Lolorito have been strained of late.



Of course, sending troops into Ul'dah would break the Eorzean Alliance. The only way to rescue Raubahn is for a small independent group to attempt it.



Merlwyb directs the two of them to Revenant's Toll, where her shinobi contact works in a kitchen.



This vibe basically is the reception Satznswys gets from any of the Brass Blades or Braves she meets. They're all too intimidated to even think about trying to arrest her. Interestingly, it might be more her reputation than the giant fuck-off sword on her back.



Higiri says that even as the banquet was happening, the Crystal Braves were taking the Rising Stones by force. A few of the Doman refugees took to hiding, waiting and watching for the Scions' return. She swears that the Domans are on their side, and they will do everything they can to help.



While Raubahn was being moved from the prison in Ul'dah, Yuyuhase and the 3rd Unit of the Braves left the Rising Stones. She thinks that they're going to escort Raubahn to the place of his execution. She's heading to Highbridge in Eastern Thanalan to catch up with her team shadowing Yuyuhase, and asks Satznswys to come as well.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Doware has identified where Raubahn's being taken: Halatali.



Alright, let's do it.



Last time she saw him, yeah, he was in a "everything is screwed and I'm garbage" state.



No news to report on the missing Scions' location, unfortunately. Alphinaud steers the conversation back to Raubahn and his imminent execution.



POOF



Wham boom bam!



FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Alphinaud, I know that we should probably cut him down here.



Interesting theory, Alphinaud, but what's your proof?



Ilberd gives the game away a little, though.



They haven't so far, Ilberd. But you, on the other hand, worked with Lolorito to frame Satznswys for the crime. Why?



Let's keep this one in our back pocket for now.



Flashbang! Nice job taking the screenshot, McDohl.



Yeah, we've got more important things to worry about.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Hang in there, Raubahn. All of us have names to clear.



Yes, Alphinaud. Get out your deer stalker and show us that deductive reasoning.



Ugh, fine.



After subduing the Braves outside, there's been nothing else going on. Seems they might be in the clear.



Okay, but if you're lying, then you can be relieved of your head, yeah?



So...it looks like WE MUST NEEDS RETURN TO THE WAKING SANDS! *canned laughter*
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Man it's been a while. Rare shot of gil farming bots clipping through the walls, completing the MSQ!



Good to see you, Urianger.



And Pipin!



Well, that's all well and good lady, but we've had enough of the Syndicate's machinations for one lifetime. You'd better start explaining yourself. As an aside, the order of Nald'Thal is in charge of the burial rites of Ul'dah's citizens, and controls the mausoleum. It also oversees the Thaumaturge's Guild.



I mean, Teledji barged in right after it happened and was practically giddy with excitement at pinning the crime on Satznswys, so, no, not really.



Dewlala says that Teledji plotted to assassinate Nanamo for true, but Lolorito twisted the plot to his own ends.



Urianger theorizes a powerful sedative to give the appearance of death.



Lolorito might want power, sure, but not at the cost of the stability of Ul'dah.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Raubahn's ready, for sure.



There are still some of the old Scions still about, hiding out. Though, it is difficult to tell apart those who are here to hide out after the Rising Stones was raided, and those who might still be residual ARR quest contacts. Arenvald, though...keep him in your thoughts, because he'll have a big part to play down the line. Urianger back there actually is pre-Bloody Banquet, though, since he's got some quests for some ARR Extreme fights I haven't cleared out of the backlog.



Uh oh. Gonna have to leave this one on simmer for the time being, as they lack any proof of Prioress Dewlala's claims.



Arriving back at Fortemps Manor, Tataru meets Alphinaud and Satznswys outside.



Edmont apologizes for having Tataru recall them so quickly, but given the nature of this danger, it's easily understandable.



Edmont says that he does not want Satznswys to do battle on Ishgard's behalf, because he has a duty of protection as their host. But it's clear he wants to ask for her aid.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


It's a tricky decision to make, owing to the fact that they have yet to find out definitively where our theoretically still-alive Nanamo is, and thus, have yet to clear their names in the rest of Eorzea.



The Ishgardians present all paint a clear picture: to stay would be dangerous.



Tataru is worried, but Alphinaud has conviction. He wants to stay and help, to shine the light of dawn he was talking about in the prologue. He asks Satznswys's counsel.



As if you needed my screenshots to tell what Satznswys thinks. These people opened their home to us, and it would be shameful to repay that kindness with cowardice.



Alphinaud wants to have a meeting with just the Scions to ensure that they're all in agreement.



...Alphinaud, are you thinking what I'm thinking?



Tataru picks up the idea. Alphinaud asks to be reminded of what Iceheart said when they met in the wastes of Coerthas.



Well, hello, there.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Estinien has another proposal: with Estinien and Satznswys's might, they might be able to approach Nidhogg and slay him outright.



Estinien agrees, and assumes that if they can make contact with Iceheart, that she has similar diplomatic immunity from his wrath as well. Estinien cautions against being fully transparent with Aymeric, as what Alphinaud is proposing is tantamount to heresy.



With that settled, Tataru will obviously remain behind to act as liason with Alphinaud and Satznswys by linkpearl, if it is needed, as well as weave the cover story. The trio heads to the Temple Knight HQ to get Aymeric's cooperation.



Aymeric, obviously, is quite busy with preparing for a long siege, but he's happy to see Alphinaud all the same.



Alphinaud knows how to pique interest. He keeps his cards close to his chest, though, and only says that he's making an effort toward a peaceful solution, and asks that Aymeric not launch any preemptive strikes while the Scions work on their plan.



Estinien speaks as an advocate, and the two of them are friends, so that counts for something. The only option that the more hawkish elements in Ishgard propose offers little more than glorious death to their knights and fighting men and women.



Aymeric agrees, and then thinks that the Warrior of Light and the Azure Dragoon sallying forth together to face the dread wyrm Nidhogg has a poetic tenor to it, and gives his blessing.



Estinien is amused at this turn, and Alphinaud is ready to begin immediately. The longer they delay, the more time the hawkish war advocates have to sue for preemptive strikes.



Meanwhile, in the chamber of the Heavens Ward...



Thordan, what are you doing?
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Zephirin's voice sounds imposing and distorted.



Estinien will await them for when they choose to depart.



Satznswys fills her in, and she asks them to be careful. She intends to stay here and keep her ear to the ground for any news of the lost Scions. Alphinaud starts to say his goodbyes.



Tataru is a woman of many talents, though arcanima might not be one of them. Nice threads, Tataru! Definitely more suited to the cold climes of Coerthas and Dravania! But...where's Satznswys's?
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Estinien asks where they plan to start looking, and Alphinaud suggests the trail might be best picked up in the wastes of Coerthas, where Satznswys saw her last. Off to Falcon's Nest to see if there's been any news of her whereabouts after Satznswys finished her work there.



Alphinaud makes quick introductions, and gets right down to business, asking for any information they might have on Lady Iceheart's location. Redwald directs them to a patrol that's due back any moment that they can debrief, and head over to the mills that they were using as a hideout previously. Estinien volunteers to wait here for the patrol, leaving Alphinaud and Satznswys free to get started on the mills.



Ready...BREAK.



Now that we're back in the open world of Heavensward, we can make use of this compass that Haurchefant gave us. By using it, we can get a bearing and range on the nearest aether current in the region. Finding and attuning to all the aether currents in a region will enable Satznswys to fly on mounts in that area!



Furthermore, there are sidequests in each region that you'll want to pick up and complete as well to get additional aether currents. 10 are found in the open world, and 5 are tied to quests. The last quest-related current is tied to the final MSQ quest of that region. This will remain true for future expansions as well. Sometimes, the quests for aether currents will be introductions to side stories as well.



Here's what a current looks like. You interact with it to unlock it, and it's added to your aether current compendium.



Sometimes, the currents are tricky to find, and other times, you might have to do some minor platforming in the region to get to them.



Welp, let's crunch 'em.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Reporting back, Estinien has caught up, but it looks like there isn't much to go on from the patrol.



He says there might be something in the papers the heretics left behind.



Also, we get a mammet reconstruction of Alphinaud. Apparently, Rowena mass-produced these as a recruiting aid for the Braves, and that went about as well as you might guess...



The papers predominantly talk of their compatriots holed up in Akh Afah Amphitheatre, where we fought with Iceheart previously. I guess it would make sense, if the Ishgardians had abandoned watching that place after the Dravanians attacked last time.



An interesting tidbit from Estinien. I wonder if we could pick his brain and translate some of the dragon language lyrics in the Heavensward theme over the course of the expansion?

Dys an sohm in
Rohs an kyn
Sahl djahs afah an
Mah morn narr

Nothing with those words here, but Bahamut did use an attack with the same name in it, "Akh Morn". So it's either "??? Eternal" or "Eternal ???". Perhaps it's "Circle" instead? I might try to use this as an excuse to learn fake languages! Yay!



Yep, had a banger of a music track. It's gonna be a long journey to get there, over difficult terrain. Alphinaud suggests pulling the same trick that Moenbryda pulled to get Satznswys there the first time: through the aetheryte beacon there. Since the heretics holed up here had regular contact with them, chances are they're still using it.



Sounds like a plan. Let's go.



Poor Alphinaud. In to the tunnels they go, and poof!



They're at the Amphitheatre.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


They don't believe Alphinaud's honeyed words, and being with the Azure Dragoon isn't helping his case.



The heretics retreat from the Azure Dragoons' onslaught.



Estinien gives a history lesson: Five hundred years ago, the Azure Dragoon of the age fought a dragon of titanic proportions. After the battle, the dragon was weakened to near-death, and forced into magicked slumber by an entire chapter of the Holy See's sorcerers. In the ensuing centuries, it has been buried under ash and cinders, and finally a thick layer of ice.



The Convictors are dragonslayers loosely associated with Ishgard, but work independently. They might have some news as to what the heretics are doing at The Cinders.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Satznswys detours back to Falcon's Nest to turn in the aether current quest.



There's an aether current on an outcrop just outside the Convictors' camp.



He's saying you're soft, Alphinaud.



Estinien's reputation opens doors for us. Jantellot apologizes for his rudeness, and asks what brings them out this way.



Yep, let's canvass the hunters.



A couple more aether current quests, though this second one is special: there's a dungeon tied into it!



Seems none of the dragonslayers have the stomach to go into Dusk Vigil to retrieve this item.



For the time being, Satznswys asks around.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Yeah, that tracks. Pierriquet says the signal that prospective heretics used was to light a signal fire with purple smoke to let them know they're serious about joining the heretics. That might get Iceheart's attention.



My thoughts exactly, Estinien.



But before that, let's knock out the rest of these aether current quests and stuff in the area.



There's an aether current near the entrance to the Dusk Vigil dungeon, and in the background, you can see what a monster with a Centurio mark over it, meaning they're a target of one of the hunt bills you have on you.



Yep, it's a dungeon alright.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)



As you'll have seen in that video, clearing the dungeon was enough XP to get Satznswys up to level 54! So next time I find the chance to attune to an aetheryte, I'll head back to Ishgard to get the next Dark Knight job quest done.



Seems like there isn't a lot of peace in the clergy.



Estinien, we're not trying to get ahold of Prince, we're trying to get ahold of Iceheart.



Two yak pelts, coming right up!




Geez, these yaks are huge. And we're gonna burn the whole pelt? Geez, Estinien, no half-measures, eh?



Alphinaud, you've had a silver spoon in your mouth your whole life, haven't you? Well, maybe this road trip will be good for you.



Hey, it worked! I figured she'd have sent someone in her stead.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


I mean, that's probably part of the reason we're trying this parley.



Let's hear it.



Unfortunately for them, Coerthas was already home to dragonkind, and they weren't inclined to make way for interlopers. And so war broke out. It would have lasted until one side was exterminated if not for the resolve of one woman: Shiva.



These musings plagued Hraesvelgr, who had found in her an unexpected and beloved soul mate. He knew that death would come for her long before death came for him.



Oh my.



Estinien...
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Oh, he still has that with him. Great. To remind you all, that orb is the eye of which Iceheart spoke, and the same one that posessed Estinien to attack Satznswys in the culmination of her Dragoon training back in ARR.



Yeah, worth a shot, Alphinaud.



Uh oh.



Well, that seems like a good sign.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Midgardsormr muses to himself in an aside.



The Freebird series of achievements unlocks free flight for the various open world zones. It'll be much easier to get back here to rejoin Alphinaud, Estinien, and unlikely new companion Ysayle Iceheart. That'll conclude the MSQ portion of today's update, and we'll finish off with the level 54 Dark Knight quest.



Satznswys heads back to Ishgard, and checks in with Tataru, in a new fancy getup, talking about her stew. Sounds delicious!



Sidurgu says that they need answers, and he thinks that someone who communes with spirits regularly might be the trick. He suggests the conjurers of Gridania.



We'd better be on our guard then. The three of them set out for Gridania.



In Camp Dragonhead, Sidurgu gets that prickly feeling on his neck. He's gonna scout ahead to the Observatorium.



Something tells me this isn't gonna go smoothly.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Sidurgu urges them to press on until they're in the Twelveswood and beyond Ishgard's borders. The three of them press on to Gridania.



Satznswys arrives first, to speak with the head of the Conjurers' Guild. Shortly after, Sidurgu and Rielle arrive, the latter having felt faint and having to be carried part of the way.



You'll get more of this if you started in Gridania and done the stories for Conjurer and White Mage, but the leaders of Gridania are Padjal, chosen of the spirits of the Twelveswood. They are selected by the spirits at a young age, manifest horns, and cease aging.



Whoa.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


Can't say I've read it, no. Neither has Sidurgu.



I mean, Satznswys has witnessed it firsthand several times now.



E-Sumi-Yan wonders if she ingested dragon's blood knowingly or willingly.



Delicious.



I mean, I don't think you ever really let her have a chance to. You're kinda overbearing, Sidurgu.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)


This is a pretty strange dynamic the two of them have.



They can manage the trip back to Ishgard on their own.
 
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