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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!

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Hello, Chieftan Moglin!

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The Seedseer presents our heroes' case on their behalf.

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Moglin says, looking at Estinien, that some dragons crave peace, and others the opposite. Again, the reason why Estinien is here is brought into question. However, I think I have a good explanation: Estinien bears Nidhogg's eye, and thus, one half of his source of power. By bringing it closer to Nidhogg, he might be distracted by its presence, and hold off on making his assault on Ishgard.

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So, essentially, we'll need to do chores for the moogles to earn their trust.

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Quest rewards are now starting to out-pace the Ironworks gear Satznswys got. This is all high-quality crafted gear as well, so you'd be wise to take what you need for your primary jobs, or possibly an alternative job if none is available.

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While Satznswys goes around on her appointed tasks, her companions have some things to say. Estinien, in particular, is too cool for school.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Satznswys's tasks: find a pebble, kill a couple of things, and collect some herbs.

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Done and dusted!

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He bids Satznswys gather her companions so he doesn't have to repeat himself.

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There are some other jobs to be done though.

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Ysayle seems distracted at the fluffiness.

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Huh. How about that.

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Estinien is eager to get back on the road.

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So's Alphinaud.

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Estinien is not amused.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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This all seems on the up-and-up, yeah. Ysayle thanks Moglin for his efforts.

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Moglin goes uncharacteristically quiet, and Estinien urges them to get back underway.

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And so our heroes depart from Moghome.

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Kinda. After a quick explanation about the horn, Alphinaud and Satznswys approach the Elder Seedseer to convey their gratitude.

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She takes a moment to express concern at Estinien's state.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Yep, let's get on the road already. Moghan has volunteered to guide our heroes to the castle of Zenith

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Another aether current quest to pick up.

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Looks like trouble on the road, and an aether current besides.

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I would say that the Churning Mists region is a good example in environmental storytelling. Just like down at the base of Sohm Al, around the fortress of Anyx Trine, there were ruins of stone buildings that no dragon would have business living inside. Likewise, we see much of the same up here, left to crumble for a thousand years.

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Satznswys arrives at a bridge that the locals call Asah, which will let them cross the gap between two of the larger islands.

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One sec, guys.

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Framed the shot better than when we were looking at Anyx Trine. At least the weather is cooperating right now.

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Side-eye at Estinien.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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New snazzy tank armor from that quest.

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Moghan suggests that they find a campsite and wait for the winds to calm more, to await Hraesvelgr.

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Again, hold that thought, guys.

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Alphinaud volunteers to get firewood.

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Estinien is worried that he might run afoul of the angry dragonkin in the area.

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Dangerous beasties, but no sign of the kid.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Night falls, and everyone takes this rare moment to relax.

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Well, well, well, Alphinaud has started to develop something of a sense of humor.

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He reflects on his privileged upbringing in the far-away land of Sharlayan, and how it lead him and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to betrayal and ruin.

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Ysayle clearly thinks that her path is the righteous one, though it may leave bloody prints in the snow in her wake.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Even Estinien is starting to question what he's been taught in Ishgard. But, to him, the fact remains that Ishgard and the dragons are at war, and his family are casualties of that centuries-long conflict, and he can never forgive Nidhogg for their deaths.

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This spurs Ysayle's anger, but neither start to argue like before. In fact, she softens a bit.

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This is one of the strongest scenes of the expansion, and gives Alphinaud some character growth. We see that he knows his shortcomings, and is working to overcome them. For Ysayle and Estinien, their animosity is still present, but they are willing to express doubt in their own convictions in each others' presence.

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The next morning, the weather turns foul, into an umbral aetheric storm. This bodes well.

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Moghan beats a hasty retreat back to Moghome, and our heroes make their ascent toward the palace called Zenith.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Hraesvelgr calls her a fool for thinking that Saint Shiva's soul has entered her being. He's practically incensed at the claim.

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He calls the will within Ysayle not Shiva herself, but a shade conjured by her own imagination. Just like King Moggle Mog. Long ago, Hraesvelgr explains, dragonkind were guilty of the same folly. Ascians in ages past convinced the dragons to try and resurrect their king, and it took the form of Hraesvelgr's own brood-brother...Bahamut.

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Oof. Right in the foundational belief.

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Alphinaud asks that in the spirit of Ysayle's desire to end the war, that the great wyrm join his voice in theirs to call for peace.

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Story time!
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Though Nidhogg slew Thordan and some of his knights, the Elezen knew where to hit dragons where it hurt, and the remenants drove Nidhogg from the field of battle. This is the truth that the Holy see keeps hidden, about the beginnings of the Dragonsong War.

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Estinien...we're still in parley mode.

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History will ever be written by the victor. Though, the loser will have their own version of events as well. Which is really the truth?

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Nidhogg's campaign is one born of vengeance for Ratatoskr's death. As he is a creature capable of living centuries, he wages this war not to end Ishgard, but to see her people, the decendants of those who betrayed them, punished for as long as Nidhogg still yet lives.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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...Oh dear. This is a lot. Alphinaud comes to the realization that the dragons that they've killed up to this point might at one point been men like themselves.

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Yeah, sorry for getting ahead of that one, Estinien.

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Hraesvelgr says that though she is many generations removed from the treachery of her ancestors, for dragons, who live years as we might live days, the wound is just as fresh on Nidhogg's soul as it was one thousand years ago.

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Hraesvelgr has essentially written mankind off, and is content to wait out his days in solitude.

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And with that, he leaves.

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What, indeed?
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Alphinaud is frustrated at this turn of events. To come this far, only to find out that their mission of peace was folly.

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Apparently, Nidhogg's lair, called The Aery, is to the east, and the Eye he carries is giving him the itch again.

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I'm sorry, Ysayle, but it really does seem like the only option left to us. Just like with the primals, the problem is here now, and we don't really have any other choice but to deal with it by force.

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Estinien says that his purpose is Ishgard's salvation, and the only way to end the war is for Nidhogg to die, lest he keep his campaign of torment going for as long as he lives.

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Estinien counters with the meaning that he does not mean to continue the war, but to cut the serpent's head off and put an end to it that way.

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...So yeah, this is a slight change in the dialogue, if you've completed the ARR Dragoon story. But first, they have to pinpoint where the lair actually is.

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Not much to comment here. Yeah, Ysayle's entire worldview has been shattered.

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Satznswys makes her way back east, dealing with dragon ambushes the whole way.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Another aether current quest, enough to get Paladin up to level 56. Swapping over to Monk!

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At the small abandoned fort, they find what they're looking for.

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The storms are conjured by Nidhogg, after we killed Tioman.

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Estinien grins slightly, and Alphinaud suggests calling on Cid's aid, just like that time with Garuda.

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Estinien agrees, and Alphinaud cautions him to not bait Nidhogg out of his lair before they return. He agrees to remain on watch, and conctact him by linkpearl once Cid's on board.

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Back to Ishgard!

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Cid could be anywhere in town, probably too long for two people to track down. Then he hits upon Emmanellain, who's all about rumors and gossip.

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Back at Fortemps Manor, we find Emmanellain already on the case. Seems there's been some difficulty in getting the big dreadnought airship that Ishgard commissioned airworthy. He's seen Ironworks folks busy down by the the airship landing.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Bingo!

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Alphinaud opens with the bad tidings. Cid says that while the Enterprise could breach the storms like it did against Garuda before, the problem is that the airborne Dravanians are much more manueverable, and would likely pulverize her.

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Alright, looks like Biggs and Wedge have an ace up their sleeve.

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Oh, damn. This looks slick.

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The cutter works based on corrupted crystal technology, using an engine that takes in surrounding aether, converts it into elemental wind, and then with its sails, provides thrust and lift. So essentially, you're gliding on a current of air of your own making.

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The problem is that the conversion mechanism isn't too efficient, and can only really work in an area with a lot of wind-aspected aether. Well, I'm not sure if I made it clear in the screenshots, but there are a lot of wind aether sprites in the Churning Mists, meaning there's a lot of wind aether in that area.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Heh.

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Oh, Tataru! We meant to check in with you too...

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Oh, well then! Looks like there's naught for it but to work this sultana thing while the Ironworks boys sort out the manacutter.

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Welp...it looks like...

...

...

...

...

WE MUST NEEDS RETURN TO THE WAKING SANDS! *seinfelds out of the room*

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Well, glad to see you up and about, Raubahn.

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Prioress Dewlala informed them that a large batch of alchemical supplies has been delivered to the palace in Ul'dah some few days past.

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Some of those supplies included an agent that sustains patients trapped in death-like slumber.

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So, in order to get the Sultana up and about, Yugiri thought it prudent to find out what caused the torpor in the first place. Since Satznswys didn't get a chance to get a good look at it before the Brass Blades arrested her, Yugiri sought to track down the handmaiden who most likely administered it, by the name of Meriel.

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Yeah, best to tread lightly.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Satznswys agrees.

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Huzzah!

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On our way!

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The fastest way to Silver Bazaar is via the ferry at Crescent Cove, near Vesper Bay.

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Even Dewlala is here!

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Found you.

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This is just a really good scene. No dialogue, everything being told through the characters' expressions.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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...Oh.

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Dewlala, did you betray us too?

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He explains that Teledji found out about Nanamo's intent to abdicate, and he had to shift his plots, though toward assassination might be a little extreme.

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Well, you could have come forward sooner, no doubt?

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I mean...he was a piece of garbage, so no small loss to the world that he's dead, but again, this anti-Xanatos Gambit you pulled could have done with a little more transparency to the people who are now missing in action, or presumed dead.

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Lolorito contributed a lot to the Braves' startup capital, and with how much was moving around, it was trivial for him to disguise his involvement in the Braves.

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...Lolorito, I think he's about to teledji you with one arm if you keep this garbage up. (teledji (v.) to chop a potato person in half) Lolorito could have cared less whether or not Raubahn were executed, but Ilberd insisted, and became harder to control. And so, he's ended that particular partnership.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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...Ul'dah. Just...fucking Ul'dah, man.

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Lolorito provides the draught needed to wake Nanamo. He's willing to accompany them to where she is resting as a hostage: the sultana's own chambers.

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I'm not sure what authority she has to decree this at some bolthole in the butt-end of Thanalan, but we'll take it.

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The entourage departs for Ul'dah.

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Easy as you please.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Nick Boulton and Joanna Ruiz, the two voice actors who play Raubahn and Nanamo after the voice cast change, really give this scene life. There's a quiver in Raubahn's voice as all the pain and fear that's been everpresent in his days since the Bloody Banquet melts away, and he feels relief to see Nanamo awake once again.

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Mission accomplished, Alphinaud.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Lolorito has misgivings. Hey, buddy, you want competition? How about a presidential campaign. That competitive enough for you?

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I mean, also that. Seems Lolorito is more content to pull strings than to hold the reins of power himself, and so he so conveniently waited to reveal this little tidbit until now.

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Neither Alphinaud nor Satznswys are convinced.

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You'll get no argument from Satznswys. He says that there are those among the Braves who sincerely believed his ideals, and he hopes that those will stick around as members of the Scions.

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"Hey, look, kid. We're in this thing together. Neither of us could have made it this far without the other. What about Garuda? What about the thing with your sister? What about your trial by combat in Ishgard? We're a team, you and I, and we're gonna make all this right one day."
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Glad to hear it, Yugiri. Seems that things are finally going to settle down here in Ul'dah. Alphinaud asks about what goings on are happening at the Rising Stones. She responds that since we routed Ilberd and his men at Halatali, the Braves have all but fled Revenant's Toll. The only blue uniforms of the Braves that remain are worn by those loyal to Alphinaud.

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He wants to head there to see how things are going, and to deliver the news of the Braves' dissolution himself to those that remain.

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Alphinaud starts to tell them about the news, but Riol interrupts him.

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"...welcome home, kid."
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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So, the Scions start the process of moving back into the Rising Stones. Plus, now we have some allies to aid in the search for the missing Archons!

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While Alphinaud gets things situated here with the Scions, he wants Satznswys to check back in with Cid to see how the manacutter project is going.

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Oh, Estinien's back in town?

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No movement on Nidhogg, so that's good news. Estinien asks if they should inform Aymeric of the plan. Couldn't hurt.

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Yeah, it certainly was illuminating. Estinien says that it is regrettable that Hraesvelgr was not more receptive, but the journey was not without gain: slaying Tioman gave Nidhogg pause, and likely stopped him from assaulting the city.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Two Azure Dragoons, how can we lose?

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Aymeric, you're likely the only sane member of the leadership of this city, so I'd feel la lot more comfortable with you here keeping a cool on things.

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Satznswys has her misgivings.

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Estinien thinks that, with experience, Alphinaud will be an incredible tactician and commander. He just needs that experience, but he can't really get it where we're going. As Estinien puts it, one doesn't practice on a great wyrm like Nidhogg. They depart to saddle up on their manacutters.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Suit back up to Dark Knight, and let's get this done!


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Nidhogg swoops back down!

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And he's none to happy with his own eye being used against...him...wait. He's got two eyes in his head. One's red, to match the one Estinien is holding, and the other is...gold.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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The blessing of Light continues to reassert itself.

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And an Echo flashback too!

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Dead knights.

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Haldrath?! The first Azure Dragoon! We're witnessing the first Knights Twelve and the aftermath of their battle against Nidhogg.

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The price was high: Haldrath's father, Thordan, dead, and so many of their brother knights as well.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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With both Eyes in his hand, none other could possibly challenge Haldrath in a bid to lead Ishgard.

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Haldrath drank the blood of Ratatoskr, same as the rest of them, and with it came the power, but he refuses to take the throne. His remaining days will be a life of battle, not of holding court in Ishgard.

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Haldrath departs, along with the other two survivors of the Knights Twelve, leaving...

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Yes, Ser Flavien. The four Great Houses.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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The other three agree to the concealment. So, yeah, this is pretty fucked up. Not only is Rielle's problem hers, but, presumably, it's everyone else in Ishgard's as well! It's important to note that the visions of the Echo are the objective, factual events involved, without bias of personal interpretation or feeling.

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Back in the waking world, Satznswys tells Estinien what she saw.

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"Estinien, we both know this story. It's like it's part of us both."

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Yeah, Estinien. Hey, buddy, you wanna wash your armor off?

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He wants to return to Ishgard to deliver the great news, but something continues to bother him. He wants to talk to Hraesvelgr again. Something in this story doesn't add up.

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Finishing this quest grants the last aether current for the Churning Mists, and a key to allow you to ride the manacutter freely.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Just in time to fly back over to Zenith, and hopefully an audience with the great wyrm.

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Ysayle is right where we left her.

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Angrily, she asks if their blades are not yet slaked enough, and demands they let Hraesvelgr mourn the death of his brood-brother in peace. Estinien retorts that they have a gift for the dragon, and that there's a truth that must come out. He says that it's time for Iceheart to learn the truth of the Dragonsong War she has fought.

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Estinien calls out what is plain: he pulled Hraesvelgr's left eye from Nidhogg's left eye socket.

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Another echo vision!
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Nidhogg crashes into Hraesvelgr's lair.

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Nidhogg says that he has never trusted the short-lived Elezen.

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