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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!


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Well...honestly, it was an easy aetheryte jump from there to here.

Sidurgu teaches Satznswys Plunge, an off-global 30-second cooldown that jumps straight to the target. This is the first tank "gapcloser" skill, similar to Monk's Shoulder Tackle. Eventually, every tank got a version of this skill, though it took Paladin the longest, not getting theirs until late into Shadowbringers...

That's gonna do it for this update. Next time, Satznswys, Alphinaud, Estinien, and their new companion Ysayle leave the frozen wastes of Coerthas for the temperate climes of Dravania.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Hello, all, and welcome back to the Let's Play! Previously, Satznswys and the gang got accused of heresy, rescued Raubahn from execution, discovered that Sultana Nanamo is not really dead, reunited with Estinien, and joined forces with the heretic Ysayle Iceheart to try and convince the dragons to please not attack the city that's been at war with them for one thousand years! It was a pretty busy day.

But as Satznswys heads out from Ishgard on her black chocobo, I'm coming to the realization that we're gonna hit level 60 on Dark Knight long before we hit the point of the story where we should. So, to mitigate this somewhat, I'm going to be completing quests on rotating jobs, for the purpose of soaking experience, so please bear with me if there's some discontinuity on which job Satznswys is from quest to quest. Rest assured, dear readers, that I'll be doing all the instanced content on this and later updates on Dark Knight, up until the end of the 3.0 story!

Alphinaud is practically giddy at the chance to see ancient ruins, both as a scholar, and a curious young man.

Estinien is a bit more grim and practical.

Iceheart asks Satznswys and her companions to address her as "Ysayle". She remarks at the historical irony in the Warrior of Light and she allying together for this journey. The four head out for the canopied forests of Dravania, where chocobos roam wild.

Beyond Abalathia's Spine--the great mountain range that spands the continent of Aldenard from east to west...
Into the deepening shadows of Sohm Al, where lies the ancient home of dragonkind...
To a land where the soil slithers, and the skies seethe with sinuous shapes, they came.

~From the memoirs of Count Edmont de Fortemps, Heavensward



The Goofiest Hrothgar


The Dravanian Forelands remain largely un-settled, with communes of humanoid hunters dotting the landscape, though there are many other forms of life in the region, not the least of which being the settlement of dragons in the foothills of Sohm Al, the massive single mountain that dominates the skyline.

I'm guessing this might be a periodical that Alphinaud read during his education in Sharlayan

Estinien can feel the presence of dragons in the region.

Ysayle mentions one such hunting settlement, called Tailfeather. They would do well to stock up on supplies and take rest before they attempt to ascend Sohm Al, and she knows the leader there, a fellow by the name of Marcechamp. Estinien is eager to shake a leg, for every minute wasted is another minute Nidhogg's horde has to advance.

This current is on what appears to be a petrified dead caelumtree root, that straddles the road right as the player enters, bludgeoning them with it during the chat that our heroes have before heading on to Tailfeather.

And Satznswys arrives in Tailfeather, honestly little more than a wide spot on their road, but they should be able to get what they need.

"Hi, Leatherface. I'm Satznswys." Along comes Ysayle and the others, whom Marcechamp greets warmly. She asks for permission to take their rest, and Marcechamp grants it, and furthermore suggests that they not try to push it any further than the Chocobo Forest, as the dragons have been quite murderous of late.

Marcechamp answers with the explanation that the large-rooted caelumtrees that make the Chocobo Forest make it very difficult to see potential prey from the air. So the hunters here hunt beneath the canopy, and leave the dragons to their own designs out west. He realizes that nothing's gonna stop Ysayle once she's got her mind set.

Sounds like one of the Eorzean tribes. He says that they haven't strayed far from their hives in the past, but they've grown more aggressive of late, even being so bold as to harass the Dravanians in their own lairs. The Gnath attack his hunters likewise.

Alphinaud, for all his airs and study, is still a kid.

We get a little into Ysayle's origins: following the Calamity, everyone she knew was dead, her home destroyed. She fled from the cold of Coerthas into Dravania, and strayed out from the forest canopies. It was then that she encountered Hraesvelgr, the dragon that we are on our way to meet, on a hunt for food. She was found, unconscious, by Marcechamp, and recovered here in Tailfeather. Alphinaud asks after the Gnath, by all accounts a peaceful people until recently.

Outside the borders of their homeland, however, they were rarely hostile, and were even open to trade.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

...I was expecting a rebuke. Wow.

Satznswys will catch up with them. There's some aether current work that needs doing here.

Just some hunters that happen to be in the vicinity of some of these aether currents.

Along the road, Satznswys encounters some of these Gnath. They aren't a whole lot of trouble though.

Moving out from underneath the canopy of the Chocobo Forest, the beasties and Chocobos give way to Dravanian wyverns. In the distance, we can see a strange hive-like structure with an odd visible gas hovering over it.

"Just so", says Ysayle. It's a remnant of a time before the Dragonsong War, when the men of what would become Ishgard and the Dravanians lived together in peace. Estinien disagrees, his own schooling telling him that these were built by heretics, in honor of their Dravanian masters.

Satznswys remembers what Midgardsormr said to her at the top of the Agrius.

Alphinaud says that he's put his trust in Satznswys's Echo, that the truth will out eventually.

This is gonna be a very tense road trip, to be sure.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

I mean...I would, if the fog hadn't rolled in RIGHT AFTER THAT LAST DAMN CUTSCENE WHILE I WAS TRYING TO FRAME THE SHOT. She says that if we're going to have any hope of cresting Sohm Al, they need to receive their permission. Luckily, the leader at Anyx Trine is a friend of Ysayle's. The more difficult matter will be dealing with Gnath on the way there.

Things seem pretty rough going though. There's Gnath scouts everywhere.

I mean, I've heard a bit about those crazy inventors at the Skysteel Manufactory and their firearms. Seems like it'd be good to arm the people of Ishgard in defense of their city with those...

They press on.


Arriving at the gates, Ysayle says she should be the one to do the talking, and sternly tells Estinien to keep his murder boner in his pants. He nonchalantly says, "On my word to the Warrior of Light, I shall start no fight...only finish it."

Well, hello to you, too. Ysayle apologizes for not visiting before now, but the urgency of their mission cannot be delayed.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

After the explanation, we can infer that the relations are as such: Vidofnir is the daughter of Hraesvelgr, whose brother is Nidhogg. Ysayle insists that she wants to end this war without further bloodshed.

...really regretting letting you come on this field trip, Estinien.


Ysayle pleads that they should be permitted to bring their suit of peace to Hraesvelgr in person, with their own words.

...Gnath's god? They've got a primal at their call?

Alphinaud and Satznswys share a knowing look.

Vidofnir finds the proposal very amusing, that these mortals could be equal to a task that even dragons have failed.

...I mean, should Satznswys tell her, Alphinaud?

Yeah, it's a bad way of things, but even if the Scions are scattered to the ends of Hydaelyn, it is their duty to slay primals.

Alphinaud? Normally, you'd have jumped at a chance like this. I remember when the Waking Sands had been sacked by Livia sas Junius, just after Satznswys's victory over Titan, and while she was mourning loss, in you barged with a head full of steam to take down Garuda.

...indelicate, but he raises a valid point, Ysayle.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Alphinaud tells the two of them to knock it off, again, and then says that in order to slay this primal, they need to understand about from whence it came: where did the Gnath get the aether crystals to summon it, and what sort of faith sustains it. Ysayle apologizes, and suggests that Marcechamp might know more about the Gnath.

Right behind you guys. Just gonna attune to this right quick.

Back in Tailfeather, they break the news, and he's taken aback. However, he doesn't have much to volunteer, as his experience with them is limited to trade. He says you might have better luck with a small hive nearby, one made up of outcasts from the main tribe.

All about collecting thingummies! Luckily, Satznswys's companions split the workload: Estinien's leaping ability will make getting the caelumtree fruit a simple matter. Ysayle and Alphinaud will collect the nectar, leaving the nanka flesh for Satznswys to gather. Marcechamp marks a spot on Satznswys's map where these outcast Gnath like to make their trades.

...what are you implying, Alphinaud?

After chopping up nanka in the river, Satznswys meets up with the others.

Not to worry, Ysayle. Alphinaud's time will come. :)

The three Gnath are more than happy to receive the gifts.

All three of them are suitably confused, but they head up the hill toward the hive all the same.

Vath? I thought you were Gnath? He says the Storyteller should be the one to explain.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

The Storyteller is confused by Alphinaud's request, but is happy to share, after the bounty they've brought.

He continues: Some months ago, a wounded dragon flew in from the east, and crashed into the Gnath hive. It was quickly slain.

Estinien, are you just doing this to get a rise out of Ysayle? The Storyteller says that the Onemind would cower when dragons came near, but having learned that a wounded Dravanian was easy prey. So the Overmind, the hive leader, heeded the words of black-robed men, to call forth their god, and unleash His blades upon the dragons. Oh dear.

Yep, this is sounding more and more like your standard primal vanquishing. Luckily, you've got an accomplished primal-slayer to hand now!

Yeah, Ysayle, even when you do it, you're still devouring aether to do the Shiva thing. She says that she asks for no forgiveness for damaging the world by her acts, but the Onemind call their primal, heedless of the damage they're doing. Alphinaud doesn't buy the rationalization, but does admit that his own grandfather performed a summoning himself to prevent the Calamity. And of course, it does unsaid that they can't and shouldn't try to call upon the Phoenix's power. All Alphinaud can say is that the understands her position. He agrees that the Gnath can't be permitted to continue, for any reason, least of all their goals of conquest.

Alphinaud is about to retort with, presumably, Satznswys's resume, but stops short, and admits that Estinien is right. He asks Satznswys to forgive him.

Ysayle interjects, saying she's got the Echo as well, and can face the primal together with Satznswys.

Alphinaud decides to poke around this hive and see if he can find out where the primal could be found.

No kidding. Had this been Commander Leveilleur of the Crystal Braves, he'd likely have thrown out a laundry list of Satznswys's many accomplishments and boasted that they would have taken the primal down posthaste. Something's different about him.

I mean, yeah, what you're all saying isn't too far off from how Satznswys faced Ifrit and beat him the first time. One of the Vath asks Satznswys to get some more nanka flesh.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

A hive mind, essentially. Stealth is likely to end in failure then, as if one saw them, however brief, the entire colony would know about it immediately.

Given how Alphinaud and Tataru were brought before the tribunal under trumped up charges, yeah, sure seems that way.

Ysayle doesn't think so: if they let themselves be captured, they'll be taken before the primal to be tempered or just straight-up have their souls devoured.

This is a great plan. Satznswys is excited to be a part of it. She's done this exact thing before. Granted, back then, she had barely any idea what the Echo was, much less how to use it. But it looks like Operation Ifrit 2: Electric Boogaloo is underway.

And, so, Alphinaud and Estinien must sit on the sidelines for this job.

Before we head out that way, we knock out a few aether current quests. Marcechamp's quest here tells you about a Boss FATE in the region, a really ornery chocobo.

This one has a dragon asking Satznswys to teach his three haughty children a bit of humility, that even mortal men can best dragons.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Out by the Gnath colony.

This one has you stealing some of their rifle staves. This one, in addition to the MSQ objective, is sure to make the Onemind aware of their presence.

Ysayle continues to raise hell. Her fighting stance is that of a Thaumaturge with a one-handed scepter, which is something you don't normally see anymore.

The challenge here isn't so much the quest objectives, it's that there are Gnath ALL OVER THE PLACE, and will aggro on sight, meaning you're likely to have to kill more than just the quest objective Gnath to proceed or to get the aether current that's tucked deep in their hive.

Yep, let's do this.

And just like that, they're marched off to meet the primal.

Careful, Ysayle. That fourth wall can be mighty unsteady. Don't lean on it too hard.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

...wouldn't it be harder to break legs if they're fleshy, instead of the carapace things you guys got going on? Of course, all the drones say this.

Kinda waiting for the other shoe to drop here, yeah...

All goes quiet.

And then the silence is broken.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Behold Ravana. The priest beseeches the primal to make an offering of their prisoners' life's blood.

Ravana seems to err in His judgment, assuming that Ysayle is asking on behalf of Ishgard for a pact with the Gnath.

Ysayle asks why Ravana leads the Gnath to war.

She demands that if they prevail, Ravana must withdraw the Gnath from dragon territory.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

I mean...you really have no way to enforce that deal. Both Satznswys and Ysayle are immune to tempering, and could yield, then walk away with very little trouble. But yeah, yeah, glory to the purity of combat, hand-to-hand is the basis of all combat, yadda yadda.

Ysayle steps forward and says "1v1 me, bro."

Since the Gnath need aether crystals to summon their primal, there's actually plenty laying around, meaning Ysayle's own plan is paying off.

And yeah, things are about to...heat up? I guess, but it's Saint Shiva here...damn it. I screwed this up.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

And so did Ysayle, who pulls a full Vegeta on this situation: lay all her cards on the table, and then job as hard as possible. Don't worry, getting pierced by Ravana's blade in Shiva form doesn't seem to have much effect on her in her mortal form, though it does take her out of the fight. If you'll recall, beating her previously at Akh Afah Amphitheatre did not destroy her, only force her out of the transformation.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Bring it on.

And the Gnath scamper!

Yeah, this seems like a somewhat clean victory. Any battle you can walk away from is a good one, eh?

As they depart Thok ast Thok, a figure in a black cloak watches the proceedings.

So far, this is akin to Lahabrea's mumblings after Satznswys beat all the previous primals.

She's eager to get back and share the good news.

After the long trek back, Alphinaud is relieved to see the two of them well.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

...really? That's actually really out of character for you, Alphinaud. Normally, you'd be comfortable and confident in Satznswys's skills.

There's something sort of heartwarming about the dynamic that Alphinaud and Estinien are building over the course of this adventure.

Yep, back on the road we go.

Estinien just shrugs at that.

Once you've completed the quest titled "Lord of the Hive", this quest will be available, to unlock the Vath as a daily tribe quest grind. Unlike the ARR ones, these are MUCH better as far as rewards go. The quests will be synced to the level of whatever job you accept the quests as, and must be completed on that job. You need only be at least level 50 on a job to take the quests, and the quests give really good experience. It's a great way to level alternate classes! I might document these in a separate post at a later date, because the stories are actually pretty good, and show just how dedicated the dev team was to making the experience that much better after ARR. But for now, Satznswys is overloaded for XP, so we'll leave this be.

Yeah...I'll meet you over there.

Vidofnir meets Satznswys and company in the courtyard of Anyx Trine, expecting that they've just up and abandoned the quest of slaying Ravana.

She directs them into the caverns of Sohm Al, called Mourn. There within is an altar called Halo, where they can begin their ascent of the mountain. She warns that Nidhogg's minions will not suffer their presence.

Up we go!


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Here's Satznswys at the bridge leading to Mourn, and, as you can see, we've got a bit of a trek inside the mountain.

There's dinosaurs in them thar foothills!

At the altar, Vidofnir meets our heroes.


To the dragons, the mountain is a sacred place, both as holy ground, as well as a resting place. Nidhogg's minions are likely to take great offense at their presence.

Satznswys says nothing about what happened between her and Estinien long ago. Ysayle says that Nidhogg's consort, the wyrm Tioman, guards the summit. Estinien fears no dragon, though, and will cut through any of them, no matter how much offense it would bring to Nidhogg.

Things are still as tense as ever.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

A roar pierces the silence of the peak.

Estinien says that his fury bleeds through the Eye he's carrying. But he's still able to maintain control. That's good.

Ysayle laments having to kill his consort. And I'm actually gonna leave it off there for today! Check back next time for the exploration of lands no mortal has tread in a millenium.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Let's Play! Last time out, Satznswys and her companions passed through the wilderness of Dravania. There, they met the friendly Vath, and the not-so-friendly Gnath, who had summoned a primal to open hostilities against the dragons of Anyx Trine. After putting a stop to that, our heroes made their ascent of the great mountain Sohm Al, into lands that no mortal has walked in well over a millenium. During the ascent, they were stymied by Nidhogg's consort, Tioman, and came out victorious.

You might be wondering why we're starting things back in Ishgard, and that's because at the end of the Sohm Al dungeon, Satznswys reached level 56, meaning Sidurgu's got some more work for us.

...or I would if I could, as this quest is gated by the MSQ progression for the quest we're waiting to talk to Alphinaud for at the peaks of Sohm Al. So guess we gotta teleport back there, grumble grumble.

Count Fortemps, take things over for a moment.

"To the peak of Sohm Al, at the end of a perilous mountain path...
Whence could be seen a string of pearl-like island,s floating impossibly atop a sea of clouds...
To a domain where dragons and men had once lived in harmony, whose majesty no mortal eye had glimpsed for nigh on a thousand years, they came."

~ From the memoirs of Count Edmont de Fortemps, Heavensward


The Goofiest Hrothgar


Ysayle seems almost excited at being so near their destination. Estinien keeps up his stoic exterior, but it's clear that Nidhogg's wrath is bearing down on him.

Alphinaud is in awe of where they now stand. The castle in the distance, silouetted in the fog, is where their road will take them. Alphinaud is thankful for the warmer clothing Tataru fashioned for him, as the cold at the top of tallest mountain in Eorzea puts Coerthas to shame.

This unlocks flight in the Dravanian Forelands, so it will be much easier to go back there and explore, as well as help the Vath with their tribe quest troubles.

Okay, Alphinaud, I wanted to open with the Dark Knight quest for this update, so ya'll hang out here.

Back in Ishgard, Sidurgu's had some time to think about what E-Sumi-Yan said about Rielle. If she has ingested the blood of a dragon, then it's likely she'll never be safe here in Ishgard. So, he wants to get an unambiguous answer, straight from a dragon's mouth.

...yeah, about that Satznswys has just parted amicably with the leader at Anyx Trine, Vidofnir, and suggests that she could get their foot in the door, so to speak. The three of them set off for the ancient fortress.

Satznswys explains the situation to her. Though she trusts Satznswys, Sidurgu and Rielle will need to present an offering as a declaration of intent: gron ahlm in the area outside the fortress. She warns of the beasts, drawn by the scent of the...flowers?

Rielle confirms it. Sidurgu and Satznswys split up to collect more in a shorter amount of time.


The tooltip says that the flower, translates roughly as "calming tree."

Satznswys arrives back first. Vidofnir says that one of her roostmates here at Anyx Trine prepares to make the journey into the beyond, and asks Satznswys to bring the flowers there.

She hands over the flowers. The dying dragon says that she'll miss this.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Sidurgu and Rielle arrive as well, respectfully asking that this dragon take a look over Rielle.

She speaks, seemingly addled a bit from old age, detecting the scent of her mate on Rielle.

She confirms that the blood of her mate is within Rielle, though, it has been diluted from the passing down of a generation.

Sidurgu is angry, as the Temple Knights will likely pursue Rielle, even if they leave Ishgard.

Sidurgu asks what she means, but there are no answers coming. She returns to Rielle, and bids her to fly free, for her and her lost mate.

Sidurgu bids the group to return to Ishgard.

Rest well, old soul.

Back in the Forgotten Knight, Sidurgu broods. He swore an oath to protect Rielle, no matter the cost.

The voice belongs to a priestess of Halone.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Ystride demands that Satznswys and Sidurgu surrender Rielle to her, talking about her as though she were an object, a beast, rather than a person.

Sidurgu snarls an accusation to condemn the girl to death for the sins of her parents. Is this indeed Halone's will?

Ystride says their only recourse, then, is trial by combat, under Ishgard's law.

She threatens to put the tavern to the torch and kill every man, woman, and child here. Look, setting aside the atrocious threat, one of Satznswys's close, personal friends is working here, and she's not about to let anyone threaten her safety.

Sidurgu accepts the terms.


This shocks everyone, including Sidurgu. He demands an explanation. Rielle says that her mother essentially disowned her.

Sidurgu, enough! He asks Satznswys for some time to think things over. This has gotten a lot more complicated than any of them envisioned.

Abyssal Drain is a targeted AOE attack that cools down once a minute, and each target that it hits will heal Satznswys for a portion of the damage dealt. It'll definitely be of use in the dungeons to come.

As you can see for Satznswys's status window here, though, she's starting to outpace the MSQ for level on Dark Knight. So what I'm going to do for the upcoming update and the updates to follow is rotate around to Paladin, Monk, and Dragoon to soak the XP so that I'll hit level 60 at a natural point. If you see some discontinuity with her job in future cutscenes and screenshots, you'll know why. As for why Red Mage was unlocked? Well, I'll get to that eventually. Don't worry. I have that stuff archived as well, so I'll be able to dig it out if you guys pick Red Mage for me. But enough of this Dark Knight stuff, we need to rendezvous with our party in Dravania.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Here's a better look at the castle I mentioned before.

Indeed. Hmm...

Oh, have you never met moogles, Ysayle?

Alphinaud urges them to catch up to the moogle, as the moogle might know how to get to Hraesvelgr's lair.

The gang splits up to look for the moogle.


Regrouping, Alphinaud is frustrated at how skittish the moogles are. Estinien's senses are really only limited to sensing Nidhogg's presence, and not his brood-brother.

Alphinaud has a plan of attack: to head back to Gridania and petition the moogles there. After all, we helped them with the King Moggle Mog XII - long may his pom be fluffy - and they may owe us a favor.

Estinien feels Nidhogg's rage, even now, and he wants to remain in a place where he won't risk bringing his wrath down on Ishgard.

One step ahead of you, Alphinaud. Who's been putting up these aetherytes, anyway?


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Good to go.

Alphinaud explains the situation to Kan-E-Senna.

Kuplo Kopp confirms the legends: long, long ago, when the world was young, it is said that ancient moogles served the gods up in the heavens. Eventually, their masters took to bickering.

Legends and myths do often have a kernel of truth to them, yeah. Kuplo Kopp suggests that where there's one moogle, there's likely to be many more. He decides that he'll go up to the clouds with Satznswys and the others, perhaps as an envoy.

Well! How kind of you to offer, Seedseer. Everyone present is shocked.

She says that too many times, has she asked the aid of the Scions, and never been refused. It's time to repay the debt.

Off we go then!


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Alphinaud will escort her and her contingent up the mountain, and asks Satznswys to go ahead via aether teleportation and let Estinien and Ysayle know what's happening.

Satznswys finds Estinien in the cavern area, with very little changing. He's convinced that Nidhogg is watching them, though.

Some time later, Alphinaud arrives with news from the road. He introduces Estinien to the Elder Seedseer.

She senses that there are a lot of moogles in the neighborhood, using aether to hide themselves. And so she makes her introduction.