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May you ever walk in the Light of the Crystal! Let's Play Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
The following posts are cross-posted from the archived Talking Time Forums.

So, we all remember what happened back in 2010, right? That thing where Final Fantasy XIV came out, and it was critically panned for being basically unfinished out the gate?

Well, someone here remembered, and we love him for it. TheSL graciously took us through the story of 1.x, which at the time, was still being maintained and prepped for its eventual rebirth into the game that 14 million people are playing now. If you're interested in the story of how things went down, I recommend checking out TheSL's previous LP for the in-game story of how things went down, and a series of documentaries by Noclip, "The Death and Rebirth of Final Fantasy XIV".

But enough looking backward! This is A Realm Reborn from the ashes of the fall of the red moon Dalamud, the sundering of the Elder Primal Bahamut, and Archon Louisoix's sacrifice to save the realm. In-game, that was five years ago, and now, Eorzea is awakening to itself once again. People are heading out into the world to rediscover the history of their land, now changed forever by Bahamut. But they will never forget the sacrifices of those who fought the Garlean Empire's advances on Carteneau. Y'know...like...wossername. As will be revealed, those heroes are in the people's memories, but they cannot call to mind the details of their faces.

It is this world that our new hero or heroine awakens to, ready to make his or her mark. What I need from y'all is the answers to the following questions:

1. What race and gender is our new hero?
2. What combat class do they focus on?


My intention is to keep this rolling all the way through the current expansion, and to enlist the help of our very own Free Company, The Talking Tyrants on the Sargatanas server, to proceed through the game. If you want to get in on the action and be seen in the videos and screenshots, feel free to pop on to that server and send whatever I name this character a friend request!

Race and classes in the posts to follow!

This 12 minute video of the introductory cinematics, and the "Answers" trailer from the end of 1.x will give you the lore introduction to the Realm Reborn.


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Here's some really good resources if you're interested in playing along!

Droewyn's breakdown of the configuration menu, plus a link to a very good controller guide
 
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TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
Races of Eorzea and Beyond

Despite what the character creation menu might suggest, the races of XIV are interchangeable and you're not going to screw yourself out of a build or plan. Any race can play any class and be successful.

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Hyur
The ubiquitous "generic human" race. Serious lack of pointy ears or fur or tails or whatever. The main character you see in the various trailers for Final Fantasy XIV is depicted as a male hyur, affectionately called "The Derplander".

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Elezen
Hailing primarily from the northern nation of Ishgard, the Elezen are your elf analogue. Affectionately called "giraffes" by players, owing to their pronounced necks.

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Lalafell
The short and rotund race, analogous to the Tarutaru of Final Fantasy XI. You see them most commonly in the city of Ul'Dah, jewel of the deserts of Thanalan. Players call them "potatoes", or the lore-compliant "popotoes".

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Mi'qote
The expy of the Mithra of Final Fantasy XI, now with boys! The male mi'qote have a stereotype of being horny airheads, and that couldn't be further from the truth. Just keep away from the Balmung server's Quicksand bar in Ul'Dah at night... You see a lot of Mi'qote in Gridania, the verdant forest city in the Twelveswood.

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Roegadyn
The analogue of the Galka from XI, now without tails. And beautiful ladies now! The lady Roegadyn, or "Roegadame," is a low-key popular choice among the Talking Tyrants. Roegadyn are most commonly seen in the lands surrounding Limsa Lominsa, the city of La Noscea.

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Au Ra
Introduced in the [STRIKE]second[/STRIKE] first expansion, Heavensward, the Au Ra hail from the far east continent of Othard, in the steppes of that land. It's canon that they show affection by rubbing their horns together, Producer Naoki Yoshida said so.

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Hrothgar
Based on the Ronso of Final Fantasy X, the Hrothgar are my personal choice. The player options are male-only, unfortunately, and their customization in appearance is somewhat limited. They hail from lands currently occupied by the Garlean Empire, and they developed the style of gunblade combat that Garlemald appropriated for their own use.

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Viera
From Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy XII, the Viera are the tall bunny women (and men you're not allowed to see) of lands occupied by Garlemald in the Far East. A lot of Roegadames "turned traitor" for a while and Fantasia'd into Viera.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
Classes

Final Fantasy XIV is a class-based game, where your class dictates what skills you obtain. Once you attain level 30 in a class, you have the ability to transition into an advanced version of the class, called a Job, complete with a Job Crystal like this is Final Fantasy V. Your selection of class determines what role you take in combat: Tank, DPS, or Healer. It also determines what city you begin in, and how the story plays out for the first few hours.

Tanks

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Gladiator/Paladin - Ul'Dah
Gladiators, and later, Paladins, fight with a sword and shield, and focus on a mixture of physical and magical damage, and protecting their allies in a variety of ways. The order of Paladins in the game, the Sultansworn, hail from Ul'Dah, and, as you might guess, are charged with the protection of the current ruler of the city-state, the Sultana Nanamo Ul-Namo.

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Marauder/Warrior - Limsa Lominsa
Marauders and Warriors fight with huge axes, and protect their allies by being the biggest, scariest-looking mean sumbitch on the field, and can briefly turn into a feral buzzsaw of death and blood. Marauders train in Limsa Lominsa and generally have a career path into the Lominsan protection force, the Yellow Jackets. Rumor has it that there is a Roegadyn man who is possessed by the beast within, training his mind and body near the La Noscean village of Costa Del Sol.

Healer

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Conjurer/White Mage - Gridania
Conjurers and White Mages use staves to channel life energy and the elemental energy of water, wind, and earth to heal allies' wounds, and attack enemies. Conjurers train under the tutelage of the Padjali of Gridania, and those who show promise may find even greater power of healing.

Please note that, yes, there is only one healing class to start the game with. However, that will be addressed shortly.

DPS (Damage Per Second)

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Arcanist/Summoner/Scholar - Limsa Lominsa
Arcanists can be considered the strategists of the battlefield, by shunting their primary source of damage from themselves to a condensed form of their aether, a summoned carbuncle pet. Upon reaching level 30, you have a choice of going to one of two specializations, either dealing more damage with even more powerful summoned creatures, or focusing on the strategic aspect, honing your healing abilities to become a strong supporting teammate.

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Thaumaturge/Black Mage - Ul'Dah
The Thaumaturge's Guild is lead by a quintet of Lalafellin spell slingers that are charged with monitoring the incursion of the Void into the world of Hydaelyn, and dealing with the threat. Adherents will learn all about the elemental forces of fire, ice, and thunder, and the balance between the three to create a clever fighting style of "NOT THE FACE, PLEASE". Not all followers of thaumaturgy are sanctioned by the Guild, and through them, ways to even greater power are possible...

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Archer/Bard - Gridania
The archers of The Gods' Quiver in Gridania are expert marksmen, able to hit their target from yalms away. They're expert poisoners and able to apply a debilitating poison to their arrows. In addition, the bow is the preferred weapon of battle musicians, capable of inspiring their allies to greater heights of combat prowess. Maybe someone in the Twelveswood knows something about it...

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Pugilist/Monk - Ul'Dah
The Pugilist's Guild teaches a flashy style of unarmed fighting, developed from a mixture of martial arts from all over the land. Pugilists dance around their opponents, raining down lightning-quick blows. Part of any martial art is the study of incorporating new techniques from other fighting styles into your own, and there is no better group of fighters, the Fists of Rhalgr of Ala Mhigo. But with the occupation of Ala Mhigo by the Empire, those fighters are hard to come by...

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Lancer/Dragoon - Gridania
The Lancer's Guild provides spear training for the Gridanian Grand Company, The Order of the Twin Adder. But the true experts of fighting with a spear are the Dragoons of the reclusive Ishgard. The Holy See does keep garrisons outside the walls of their city, and perhaps someone there knows these techniques developed over centuries of their war with dragons...

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ROGUE/NINJA - Melee DPS
Rogues eschew brute strength for quick, precise strikes to a foe's weak points, and, commensurately, wield daggers to enable such a fighting style. Always keeping an eye out for opportunity, they can also increase the chances of an enemy dropping an item. It's not entirely clear how someone would join a clandestine guild of thieves and assassins, but such a guild is likely found in a den of pirates...

Ninja take the silent, swift, and precision strikes to the next level, but have a flair for the dramatic. They utilize a style of magic that uses one's own body as a conduit for Aether to control all six natural elemental forces, through the use of hand gestures, called mudra. The art of Ninjutsu is relatively new to Eorzea, coming from Othard, a land far to the east of Aldenard. Naturally, with such similar fighting styles, the Rogues of Eorzea might know someone from Othard that practices the art of the ninja...

SAMURAI - Melee DPS
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Samurai are experts of the blade, using quick and precise strikes to attack a foe's vital areas. While Samurai aren't exactly going to be carving up organs in alphabetical order, that kinda gives you the gist of what they're about. They have a slightly complex combo tree that gives them resources to put toward a powerful single strike. Obviously, they wield a katana, a curved blade made by craftsmen in the far eastern lands of Hingashi and Othard. Recently, an older hyur gentleman with a fighting style matching this description has been making a name for himself in the bloodsands of Ul'dah.

RED MAGE - Caster DPS
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Red Mages are a product of the War of the Magi. In the aftermath, white mages and black mages of the nations of Amdapor and Mhach came together to research how their powers overlapped with each other, and this eventually evolved in to a completely new style of magic. By using a spell focus and channeling magical energy through an enchanted rapier, this fighting style was seen as flashy, but very esoteric, and it did not see widespread adoption until fairly recently. A mi'qote vigilante has been operating in the vicinity of Ul'dah, righting wrongs that the corrupt Brass Blades may see as beneath their notice.

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Dark Knight - Tank
Every light casts a shadow, and a person's heart is no different. A Dark Knight walks a razor's edge between order and chaos, utilizing the darkness within to grant strength to protect what is most important to them. It is important to note that light and dark are not synonymous with good and evil.

Astrologian - Healer
Alphinaud and Satznswys briefly met the astrologians of Ishgard during their search for the wreckage of the Enterprise. They utilize the power of the movement of the heavens to heal allies and damage their foes. In addition to their healing abilities, they draw cards from a deck to cast fortunes on their allies to increase their damage capability. The Astrologian, in many ways, is analogous to the time mages of previous entries in the Final Fantasy series.

Machinist - Ranged DPS
The march of technology moves ever onward, and new discoveries and breakthroughs are always being made at the Skysteel Manufactory in Ishgard. One such breakthrough is the firearm, a weapon that propels a small ball of iron at high speeds by means of controlled explosive kinetic force. The Manufactory has many other discoveries within its doors for tinkerers and improvisation, though the power of machines does give the nobility of Ishgard pause…
 
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TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
TheSL;2627914 said:
The one part of my LP with the
Ascians
in it, hoo boy. It looks kind of weird in retrospect after *this* version of the game:

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That "whatever" is an Ascian, some sort of grim reaper style monster. This is the one and only time this monster ever appears and there is zero interaction with it. It doesn't show up as an area monster, a Notorious Monster or even a boss. No reason to be scared of it because as far as I'm concerned it doesn't exist.

And then they didn't even use that model in the redo until
Aetherochemical Research Facility
in Heavensward.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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After selecting our character's appearance, we are given a few more fluff options to round out the character. This might've meant something back in the day, but this is mainly for roleplaying purposes, and one very notable event that players can attend in-game, and one that our heroine might get a chance to get into! The Hydaelyn calendar is fairly close to our own, being able to be separated into twelve 32-day months, which is determined by the moon revolving around the astral and umbral poles of the planet. Nice and convenient of the heavens, eh? I usually just pick this stuff at random.

Following that, we are then prompted to select our guardian deity.

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Hydaelyn has twelve commonly acknowledged gods by the player races of the world, each with its own relationships with the others and portfolios. Some rise to prominence at various places of the world. For example, Nald'Thal, guardian deity of Ul'Dah, carries the portfolios of the underworld and commerce. As Ul'Dah has a large mausoleum under the city, and is a bustling mercantile metropolis, this is an obvious symbiotic relationship. I went with Althyk, the god of time.

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Roegadyn naming conventions are based on the ancient Roegadyn language that they spoke before coming to Eorzea. Our heroine, Satznswys Rosnsathwyn (SAHTS-n-swees ROSS-n-sahth-winn) roughly translates to "Dancing Sister, Daughter of Rosnsath". Roegadyn surnames are Viking-esque in how they are determined (Leif Erikson).

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So now we have a name, a server, and a beat up sword! Let's get to adventuring!

A REALM REBORN CHAPTER 1 - Hear, Feel, Think
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Our story begins with a dream sequence, with Satznswys hearing a feminine voice beseeching her to hear.

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She's accosted by a man in a black cloak, and the voice tells her to feel, in addition to hearing.

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One flashy transformation later, she's got a sword and shield made of light, and is ready to face the man in the cloak. The voice tells her to think, too.

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But as dreams must, they vanish when some guy wakes you up.

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Seems like we've negotiated passage with this merchant, Brendt, who wants to strike up a conversation, since our mutual traveling companions, a pair of Elezen twins, are asleep or keeping to themselves.

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The carriage is stopped by the Brass Blades, obstensively Ul'Dah's analogue to a police force, and, predictably, they shake down our new merchant friend for herb and bribes.

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This is interrupted by an assault by the Amaljaa, the lizard-folk of Thanalan. While the Brass Blades might be corrupt, they still stick to their duties.

Later, Brendt asks why we became an adventurer. Satznswys is unsure how to answer.

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Finally, we arrive at Ul'Dah.

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TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
We're given an option to select either keyboard/mouse controls or gamepad. I personally use a PS4 controller, so that's with what we'll be using.

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At the bottom of this screenshot, you'll see the Cross Hotbar. Each one of those squares corresponds with pulling either the L2 or R2 triggers, and pressing the face button or D-Pad arrow to activate the action depicted by the icon. I'll be fiddling with this, to be sure.

We're not actually in Ul'Dah proper yet. We're actually in an instanced version of it to allow us the time and space to get used to the controls before setting us out into the bustling streets and buildings of the live server.

The window at the top left is the Active Help system. It gives you information about things you're doing at the moment as a pseudo tutorial. I'll be turning these off.

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Our first quest is to check in with Momodi, the proprietess of the Quicksand tavern, and hub for the Adventurers' Guild, where all good adventurers make their start. Bringing up the map with the square button, we can see the quest objective in the building directly ahead. The compass minimap in the top right will show quest objectives on the current map, and point you in the direction you need to go. That green check mark Quest icon means that the next interaction will complete the quest.

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Momodi takes it upon herself to operate the Adventurers' Guild in Ul'Dah and steer greenhorn adventurers right. She lays out the various woes in and around Ul'Dah: the Amaljaa raids, the encroaching Garlean Empire.

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We learn about the five-year history of what has gone down since the red moon Dalamud fell, and how nobody can remember the brave heroes, the Warriors of Light, that put their lives on the line at the battle of Carteneau. But that's why all three city-states of the Eorzean Alliance pay great respect to those who take up the adventurer's mantle.

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The ink has yet to even begin to dry on our name in Momodi's register when we hear a disturbance in the tavern.

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Momodi watches this with almost dispassionate bemusement, and says that as long as we keep our nose clean, we won't end up like the poor sod who's up to his earballs in gambling debt.

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With that our very first quest is complete, and you'll notice, now that Momodi's got a new quest icon above her head. This meteor-shaped quest is the Main Scenario Questline marker. Up in the top left, you'll see the Main Scenario Quest(MSQ) guide, which gives the player a quick button to see where the next MSQ location is.

The biggest piece of advice any veteran XIV player will give is to prioritize completing the MSQ. All of the content in this game is gated behind the MSQ in some fashion. But anyway, let's get on with it!

Momodi tells us to do three things to settle into life here in Ul'Dah: First, visit the Aetheryte plaza in the city. This will allow us to teleport to the city whenever we want. Second, to visit the Gladiators' Guild, to start our training in swordplay so we don't look like a damn fool waving this bit of metal around. And third, Sapphire Avenue Exchange, the biggest marketplace in the city, where we can obtain equipment and sundries.

At this point, we are quietly dropped into the actual Ul'Dah, where we can see and interact with other players, and we're off!

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After setting up my HUD and hotbars and futureproofing them a little bit with my preferred controls, I decide to detour to the Ruby Road Exchange, where the postmoogle is, which is the in-game messaging service that lets you send notes and items to people on your friends list. In addition, it lets you receive rewards from the various campaigns and ongoing promotions. In fact, Satznswys has so much mail the moogle has to hold some of it!

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After claiming her mail, Satznswys has lots and lots of stuff!

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Like miniature Final Fantasy characters!

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And very familiar outfits!

But there's some important accessories we needed from those letters to make our early game a lot easier.

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The feathered hair clip and the crystal earring she's wearing are both stylish, and will boost the experience she gains from level 1-25, and the earring from 1-70! These effects stack, and will stack with another accessory we'll be getting later that will boost XP gains from 1-30! But I'm getting ahead of myself.

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Down the street from the Ruby Avenue Exchange is the Aetheryte plaza, where we attune to the aetheryte. A helpful Brass Blade comes along to give us the scoop. tl;dr, these giant crystals act as waypoints to teleport to, and for a fee dependent on the distance you wish to travel, you can teleport from anywhere except instanced duties to one of these aetherytes. In addition, you have the option of setting a home point, where if you are defeated or cast the Return spell in the open world, you can return to your designated home point.

Further down the street, we find signage for the Gladiators' guild. Lulutsu here gives us the skinny.

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Be on the lookout for quest icons that are blue and has a little plus icon next to it. I call these quests "Quest Plus"es, because these quests should be a priority as well as the MSQ progression. These quests will unlock some kind of content behind them, whether they be optional dungeons, new classes, trials, and so forth. All of the side content in this game that isn't gated by the MSQ will have this icon. Lulutsu tells us to say hello to the Gladiator guildmaster, First Sword Mylla.

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She gives us our first task in the Gladiator questline: slay rodents and bugs outside town. Easy peasy.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Heading back out to the Gate of the Sultana leading into Western Thanalan, we earn our first achievement. Achievements are a thing in this game and can grant you titles, mounts, minions, and clothing.

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See that Star Marmot down there? He's got a quest icon above his head, meaning the enemies you need to kill for quests are clearly marked. Alright, let's get to choppin'!

The main piece of advice that you should take in playing FFXIV is to keep the GCD spinning and always be using abilities. Most of your attacks will be on the global cooldown (GCD), which defaults to 2.5 seconds, but is adjusted by the skill speed and spell speed stats. As you gain levels, you'll start picking up new skills that will be off the global cooldown, or OGCD. Optimizing your combat is learning how to weave these OGCD skills between your GCDs to keep that GCD spinning.

Killing three Star Marmots is enough to complete that part of the quest objective, and earns Satznswys her first level up!

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She also picks up a new skill, Fight or Flight, our first OGCD skill. It takes a minute to cool down, and grants a 25% bonus to physical damage for 25 seconds. Nice!

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Also, note that whenever you mouse over an icon of an item or skill, a tooltip will appear to give a description of the item or skill. A fun pastime is reading the tooltips of items to get little snippets of world lore, or silly memey jokes by the localization team.

We pop over to Central Thanalan to finish the rest of Mylla's requests.

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Stabbing a few more huge hornets and shrews, we finish the quest! I decide to head around the curtain wall of Ul'Dah to the Steps of Thal to enter the city from the other side, so I can pick up the Sapphire Avenue Exchange quest objective on the way.

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Seseroga here tells us the skinny of the marketplace. You can find basic gear for a variety of character level ranges between 1 and 50, and various consumables, crafting materials, and other sundries.

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Every piece of gear in the game has two levels to consider: character level requirement, and item level. Item level denotes its relative power level, so the higher the i-Level a piece of gear, the stronger the stats on it. The character level requirement requires a character to be a certain level or higher to use the gear. For example, this Hard Leather Harness requires me to be a Disciple of War of level 12 or higher to use it. And I would be remiss if I did not mention that high quality gear of the same name has the same i-level and character level requirements, but confers higher stats. The only way to obtain high quality pieces of gear is through the game's crafting system, which I simply do not have the time or space to explain right this minute. I'm sure that someone around here will bash through a wall to talk about crafting though...

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Mylla is impressed with our ability to slap giant bees with a sword, and hands over a Hunting Log, and enough experience points to push us to level 3.

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The Hunting Log is a source for novices of particular classes to get practice with their skills. Completing the hunting log can grant a decent chunk of XP. Each rank tier has a bunch of critters to kill, some of which we've already seen. Once we've attained a certain level and completed all the hunt logs, the next rank will open up for more critters to hunt!

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Satznswys decides to take a tour around the town and check out the Aethernet shards all over town. These are free teleport nodes that you can warp to within the city to make getting around easier. Know that your next destination is right near the Gladiators' Guild? Just touch the main aetheryte or any of the aethernet shards in town, and you'll be there in a jiffy!

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Once you've attuned to every aethernet shard in town, you'll get a few bonus destinations: a direct line out of town via any of the gates, and the airship ticketing office. The latter we won't be using for a while, but the gates will let Satznswys get back out on to the killing fields to thoroughly knock out the rest of her hunting log!

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Here's what the hunting log marker looks like.

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Knocking out a few hunts gets enough XP to put Satznswys to level 4, and gives her a new attack: Riot Blade! This is a combo skill that deals more damage if the last GCD skill you used is Fast Blade. For most battle classes, there will be some sort of combo that you cycle through to maximize the damage you deal.

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A few more hunts down, and Satznswys advances to level 5, and with it, she unlocks the next step in the Gladiator quest line. After the introductory quest for every class, from level 5 to 50, there will be a new quest available for you to complete, and it is highly recommended that you do, because you'll get equipment and most importantly, new skills, commensurate with your advancement. The scheme changes a bit over level 50. So we break off killing stuff to go pick that quest up from Mylla.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Momodi has sent word over to Mylla that there is a group of Lominsan ruffians causing trouble. Mylla instructs us to get rid of them without using violence, but by our sheer force of personality. She also tells us that our role in combat is not solely to kill the enemy in front of us, but to aid and protect those alongside us. The tank roles have high health and defense, which are to be used to make the enemies focus on us rather than the squishy healers or DPS people.

However, the fastest way to make yourself the most threatening thing in the fight is to hit everything fast, and deal as much damage as possible. Therefore, it's a tank's responsibility to deal as much damage as possible to keep the enemy from finding an easier target. In Final Fantasy XIV, Everyone Does DPS.

We chase off the Lominsans, but one inside the Quicksand proves to be a bit more stubborn.

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Our mysterious stranger here bears a unique blade that this ruffian recognizes, and quickly bails based on this guy's reputation alone. He introduces himself as Aldis, a former member of the Gladiators' guild turned wanderer. He excuses himself to, in no uncertain terms, have the sex. We check in with Momodi to resolve both the job for the Gladiators' guild and to report back on our tour of the city. In addition to telling us not to talk to Mylla about seeing Aldis (apparently, they have some kind of history), Momodi is pleased that we've gotten a feel for the city, and then tells us to head out of town to meet a man named Papashan. We'll get on that in a moment but first...

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Back in the Guild, Mylla tells us that her people saw the Lominsans flee town and were regrouping in Western Thanalan, and that we need to go deal with them now that they're outside the city walls. We find the villain near Scorpion Crossing, having harrassed and stolen a merchant's goods. A few slaps with sharp metal puts him on the ground, and we retrieve the merchant's stuff. He quickly thanks us, and we report back to Mylla in town.

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In addition to the usual experience and gil reward, we get a new sword, a slight upgrade over the dull slab of iron we were bashing people with.

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Satznswys makes the hike out to the settlement of Horizon in Western Thanalan and attunes to the aetheryte there, allowing her to freely teleport around the world she's explored.

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Some clever positioning and manuevering, and Satznswys earns another notch on her hunting log, and enough XP for level 6, giving her the Total Eclipse attack.

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This is a quick whirling blade attack that hits all enemies around her, and is key for establishing threat on multiple enemies at once.

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Taking out the last few hunts on the log, Satznswys makes it all the way to level 8, and earns her first Role Action, Rampart. This skill reduces all incoming damage by 20% for 20 seconds. Role actions are actions that are shared across all the classes in a role (Tank, Healer, Melee DPS, Ranged Physical DPS, and Magic DPS). If we're in the thick of it (which we should be as the tank), hitting Rampart and other defensive cooldowns can mean the difference between winning and a party wipe and a group of angry players.

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Since we're in the neighborhood, let's check in with Papashan like Momodi told us.

Papashan is an old soul who lived through the Calamity of Dalamud and its intervening years, and works tirelessly to restore Ul'Dah to its former glory. Reflecting on the time he's spent working to this end, he then gets to the point of the job he sent word to Momodi for: delivering food to sentries in the area.

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Hey, it's a living.

Satznswys makes her Doordash deliveries, and finally, Papashan gets to the point: a noblewoman from a prestigious house in Ul'Dah has gone missing, and he and the Sultansworn are out here looking for her. He kept things vague to prevent more unsavory types from finding out about this work and perhaps trying to cash in on a ransom. He gives us a name and a direction: Lady Lilira, and to start the search near the Sultantree in the area.

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Here, in the shade of the Sultantree, we find a hooded Lalafell, in a glowy aura. This glowy aura means that to proceed, you'll need to go into a solo instanced mission. If you fail, you'll have to try again from this point. But we're scrappy. Let's do it!

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She yells at us to show ourselves, but when the camera reverse angles, we see that there's a hyur man standing behind us! He's a sneaky one!

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She has none of his snark and tells him to buzz off. the white-haired man says nothin' doin'. He mentions an aetheric disturbance, as though the dead were watching. Ominous!

Apparently, this man has been enlisted by Papashan as well, so our job complete, time to return to Papashan with our wayward noble and...

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Of course I spoke too soon.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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The Handsome Stranger here will take care of the tanking duties against this monster, though as the fight progresses, some additional lesser monsters will show up, and he'll ask you to deal with them.

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After the battle, there's a crystal on the ground.

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Whoaaaaaa. Just like the dream!

The voice from the dream finally has a name: Hydaelyn, the spirit of this world. She beseeches Satznswys to find the Crystals of Light to banish the darkness set to swallow all life in the world. And it looks like this one was the first.

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We awaken to the Handsome Stranger and Lilira discussing the creature that attacked. A creature of the Void, as far as he knows. He mumbles some cryptic thoughts to himself, and then excuses himself, leaving us to escort Lilira back to Papashan. Lilira has none of it.

The Handsome Stranger heads off, saying he suspects we'll meet again. We return to Papashan to find Lilira being admonished by the elder Lalafell.

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The seneschal and all three of the Sultansworn escort her away. She must be someone of importance.

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We get a name for the Handsome Stranger: Thancred. An investigator of aetheric disruptions. Papashan thanks us and sends us off to our next objective.

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We'll get into it next time!
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
Kazin;2628461 said:
I assume nobody in the FC messaged me about this LP because they didn't want me to create thirty puppet accounts to vote catboi. At least Roe came out on top!


Anyway, McDohl, you're barking mad for doing this but I'll be reading. Good luck!
Mightyblue;2628467 said:
We have been discussing it in the FC discord tho? PAY ATTENTION TO SOMETHING ELSE BESIDES BALLS KAZIN
Kazin;2628470 said:
WELL IF YOU PUT SOME FUCKING BALLS IN THER-



...I suppose I had that coming
Torzelbaum;2628493 said:
😏
(ED: This was originally the Wily Eyebrows Emote
TirMcDohl;2628503 said:
No, you don't understand. Kazin's obsession with balls is well-documented, and Final Fantasy XIV is the perfect game to scratch that itch.





TheSL;2628173 said:
Thancred was the best NPC in 1.x and continues to be to this day.
Gaer;2628197 said:
Hey don’t look at me like that. I like Thancred a lot even if
he needed constant slapping with the way he was essentially emotionally abusing Minifillia
in ShB.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
A Realm Reborn: Chapter 2 - The Sultana's Crown

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Welcome back, ya'll! When we last sleft Satznswys, she had just rescued the Lady Lilira, and met the sketchy Thancred, and then decided to go back to her Doordash job, delivering pumpkins to Black Brush.

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The Coffer and Coffin is a watering hole just outside Black Brush Station in Central Thanalan, serving miners and transporters using the Ul'Dah rail lines.

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The proprieter is happy to recieve the pumpkins, and then decides that Satznswys would be great at waiting tables. Without even a moment to let her protest, Roger sets her to work.

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Before that can begin, a band of Qiqirn (rat-like beast folk) raiders attacks the settlement! Satznswys hefts her blade and charges in to protect the area!

This is what is called a Free Active Time Event, or FATE. FATEs are open-world quests that appear periodically all over a zone in the world. They are completely optional, but participating in them grants you extra XP, Gil, and other rewards. There are even boss-level special FATEs that take certain conditions to make appear, and there are lots of special rewards for those, such as special mounts or minions and the like.

Having stopped the Qiqirn assault, Satznswys returns to the Coffer and Coffin and gets back to her waitressing duties.

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Her duties satisfied, plus the talk of her performance in the battle against the Qiqirn by the Brass Blades, Roger has more meaningful work available for her: antling spawning that has gotten out of hand. Collect five [strike]bear[/strike] ant [strike]asses[/strike] mandibles!

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Thal's balls.

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This is the English localization lead for Final Fantasy XIV, Michael-Christopher Koji Fox, or Koji Fox for short. He is featured prominently in the Noclip documentary linked in the original post of this thread. He is an absolute madman, and I'll let him explain why this epithet of "Thal's balls!" is in this game.


Satznswys ignores that and continues talking to Warin, the captain of the guard here at Black Brush Station, and Warin has a very practical lesson: ensuring you're geared properly for the dangers in the world.

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Eorzea, feast your eyes on your savior!

Now that Satznswys is properly protected, Warin feels comfortable sending her out to deal with some coblyns in a mine tunnel.

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Dealing with the coblyns with her new equipment, they prove no match. Warin is impressed, and Satznswys finally reaches level 10, netting her an achievement, her next Gladiator quest, and two new abilities: Shield Bash, which is a GCD skill that causes the enemy to be stunned for a moment, and Iron Will, the Gladiator's "Tank Stance".

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Each tank class in the game has a toggled ability called, collectively, "Tank Stance", and the Gladiator's is Iron Will, but they all effectively do the same thing: increases threat generation on each hit landed. This allows tanks to generate threat rapidly to ensure that none of their allies get attacked. This should be on all the time in dungeon content. That winged shield indicator at the bottom of the screen indicates that Iron Will is on, making it easy to tell if you've got it on. This is our first look at the Job Gauge. Each Job has some kind of HUD element that gives quick information at a glance. Right now, there isn't much to the Gladiator job gauge, but that will change in the future.

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Warin's next job for us is to find out who has been dropping silver ore on the tracks, effectively pennying the tracks.

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These are spriggans, adorable little bunny-like creatures that carry rocks around.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Having dispatched the spriggans, our next job entails someone staking a claim of ore beneath some Sil'Dih ruins in the area, the representative of which is this fellow, Wystan.

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He wants us to hand out cookies to these children.

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The Brass Blades he hired have found the vein, so off we go to check it out.

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Oh boy.

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Not only do the Brass Blades turn coat on Wystan, the figure from Satznswys's dream lies in wait and conjures a golem!

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It's easily dispatched, but you may have already seen these orange glowy bits on the floor when fighting other monsters. These are telegraphing big damage attacks, and you need to get out of the area before the glowy bit vanishes, or you'll take significant damage, debuffs, and other misery. Basically, the rule of thumb in Final Fantasy XIV is "Don't Stand In the Bad."

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The cloaked figure vanishes in the aftermath of the battle, and who shows up but our sketch investigator, Thancred.

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And then we are overcome by an ice cream headache, and have a very clear vision of Thancred in the streets of Ul'Dah.

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Perhaps his younger days, as we can see the lesser moon, Dalamud in the sky?

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Sharp-eyed viewers will note that this is where Thancred was praying during the Answers trailer, at the shrine of Nald'Thal.

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We recover from the very detailed vision to Thancred cleaning up here.

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Apparently, Wystan was set up by one of the most powerful Monetarists of Ul'Dah, a man named Lolorito. Wystan is eager to put this all behind him, and cover up his savior's involvement, so he suggests heading back to see Momodi. This will also give us a good opportunity to check in with Mylla and the next Gladiator quest.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Mylla informs Satznswys that there has been a series of grisly murders, all involving hyuran men, and that a group of lancers are the suspects. She goes to investigate in Central Thanalan.

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When we got to level 10, that unlocked the second tier of hunts in the Hunting Log, so that's something to nibble away at while we continue working in and around Ul'Dah.

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This gladiator, who I have on good authority is gutless, is assaulted by lancers, asking if he is Aldis, who we met in the previous quest! Seems Satznswys has no choice but to broach this subject with Mylla.

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She manages to not bring up Aldis when discussing this, and is saved when another gladiator, Bruce, runs in and reports another contingent of freelancers near Black Brush Station. Rather than run out there, Satznswys decides to try her hand at teleporting.

On the way to the reported location, Satznswys decides to try her hand at fighting stronger monsters.

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It, uh...doesn't go to well.

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Penalties for being defeated in combat are pretty light. Your equipment is damaged slightly, and you have a choice to either wait for a raise from a good Samaritan, or just return to your home point, so Satznswys quickly reappears in Ul'Dah. She decides instead, to hire a chocobo porter to head out that direction.

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Arriving at the location, we see the Glowy Solo Duty Spot again.

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This is a pretty simple group of waves of enemies. Bruce is on hand and knows some rudimentary healing magic if you get into a pinch, but by using Rampart to mitigate damage, and Fight or Flight to increase your damage, you'll easily clear this fight. A job well done, and Bruce heads off to the pub and leaves Satznswys to report in to Mylla.

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Having completed this, Mylla feels comfortable letting Satznswys explore other combat specializations, if Gladiator wasn't to her liking. However, we're just fine as we are.

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Completing your starting class's level 10 quest grants access to the Armory system and gear sets. Since Final Fantasy XIV allows you to play any class at any time, juggling all those various pieces of gear would be extremely obnoxious, especially now that there are 18 different battle classes, 8 crafting disciplines, and 3 gathering disciplines. Now you can register a full set of gear to a preset in your Character menu, so switching classes and to the proper gear is as easy as the press of a button.

So I've registered my current equipment as a gear set. Now, let's say I wanted to do mining on the side.

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Unlocking the Miner class is as easy as going to the guild, speaking with the receptionist, and doing the introductory quest.

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After getting handed a pickaxe by the guildmaster, Adalberta, we need only equip it to change class from Gladiator to Miner.

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...whoops. Any incompatible gear (like the Disciple of War gear we were wearing) is automatically removed.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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There. I'll just be dressed like Zidane from FF9 while doing this.

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By adding this as a new gear set, I can now switch back and forth quickly without any need to shuffle through my inventory looking for gear.

Another important thing to note is that catching up with other combat classes is really easy, because of the Armoury Bonus. You get a 100% experience bonus for every combat class that is below your highest-leveled class. It's things like this that let me allow everyone the option to change jobs as we proceed through the main story.

Anyway, back to Momodi!

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After getting the lowdown on just who Wystan crossed, Momodi sets Satznswys aside a room at the inn, and gives the lowdown on Guildleves.

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The inn in every major city of the game has a bunch of services and such that we can make use of at any time, no cost. The summoning bell lets us handle retainers, which will come later, as will the Crystal Bell. The Toy Chest lets you play minigames from events past. The glamour dresser lets you set up glamours on your gear to make them look like other pieces of gear. ...does anyone hear a rumbling sound? The armoire lets you store certain outfits that you obtain from special events and rewards, like the Cloud or Zidane outfits we've seen so far.

The feather bed lets you log out or quit the game, and you get a cute little cutscene of your character crawling into bed, and when you log back in, waking up.

The Unending Journey lets you view most of the cutscenes from any quest you've previously completed.

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The guildleve contact, Eustace, sends us out to Horizon to learn more about leves. Leves are repeatable quests that you can take from a contact, and can be used to supplement your experience gain. They're especially useful with Fieldcraft (gathering) and tradecraft (item crafting), and can help a character get those classes leveled up very quickly. Battlecraft leves are not especially useful, but doing the introductory leves in an area at the very least will give you access to those fieldcraft and tradecraft leves. In the original trailer for Final Fantasy XIV, we could see the characters looking over stained glass-like plates over a lighted table. These plates are the leves.

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To complete a leve, you accept it from the levemete, head to the location marked on your map, and then initiate it from your Journal.

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After completing the objective, you have the opportunity to teleport right back to the person you accepted the leve from to turn it in. You can earn bonuses for completing it quickly or clearing optional objectives. The rewards from this quest is enough to push Satznswys to level 11. And Totonowa here has more stuff for us to do!

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Guildhests are short multiplayer battle events that are designed to get you used to the way party-based content works. Sort of an introductory minidungeon.

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This opens up the Duty Finder, which is a way of building a party to do multiplayer content in Final Fantasy XIV. By selecting the duty you want to do, and registering, you'll be put in to a "hopper" of sorts, looking for other players wanting to do the same or similar duties. It prioritizes people who have been in the queue longer. Generally speaking, though, tanks have the shortest queue times, and DPS have the longest, owing to the player population and role spread. You can queue with a partial party to shorten the time if you have a tank or healer friend.

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Completing a multiplayer duty will let you choose a player to commend, for whoever you think did a good job. Smart play, being a helpful player and explaining mechanics, whatever you feel like if a player did a good job.

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In addition to the exp and gil rewards, we earned two commendations! Nice!

There's two guildhests for every five levels above 10 (15, 20, 25, 30), and an 8-player guildhest at 40. For players starting out, these are decent sources of experience, and it's recommended that you do them at least once, as you get an experience bonus for the first time you clear each one on each class.

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In addition, once you've unlocked the second guildhest, a feature will be quietly added to the Duty Finder: Guildhest Roulette. By entering roulettes, a duty that you meet the level and i-level requirements for will be selected at random, or for one of those duties a player has specifically picked to fill out the party. These roulettes can be done as many times as you like, though you'll only get the full reward for completing a roulette duty once per real world day. We take the time out to complete these hests, and then complete the Guildhest roulette for the extra experience.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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In addition, talking to Momodi at the end of the last MSQ quest gave us the Recommendations window. If you're not sure what you want to do, you can pop open the Recommendations window, and quests and duties and hunts will be listed in this window to give you ideas of what to do in that area. It is useful if you're interested in clearing out all the side quests in an area.

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Just before I get back to Momodi, the queue for hest pops, and that gives enough XP to get to level 12, and our next role action, Low Blow. This OGCD skill deals no damage, but it stuns the target. It's very useful for interrupting enemy attacks.

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Momodi sends us to Horizon to meet someone named Dadanen. Well, I did things dumb and out of order. More fool me.

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Dadanen wants us to light a fire under the manager of Copperbell Mines nearby. This is what supply chain work is like: nagging people to get the things where they're needed.

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However, it looks like Copperbell is shut down due to some incident or another. But he managed to have a supply of the ore that Dadanen wants already out, but coblyns are crawling all over it.

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My attempt to show Low Blow in action, stunning the coblyn before it can use its Shatter ability. There's also some hunt targets in the neighborhood, so I take the opportunity to get those knocked out.

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Drunken Stag is happy to receive what little Satznswys managed to recover from the coblyns, and in gratitude, gives her a tip: kill more things and get rewarded!

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By now you might be noticing a little bit of padding. A lot of this was to alleviate the load on zones at launch, and to slowly let players spread out to keep the zones more or less equally populated. It's why classes start in specific cities, to spread out that load. If this does seem like a mess and a little tedious, take heart! The development team is working on streamlining and revamping the main scenario path for A Realm Reborn and its patch content, and hope to have it done before the next expansion pack is due out.

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Anyway, we get the run around, talk to this person, kill that monster, fetch the other thing, when we find out that a corrupt member of the Black Blades is on the take from some bandits near Crescent Cove, the halfway point between Horizon and Vesper Bay. Satznswys takes the opportunity to introduce herself to the chocobokeep in Vesper bay before dealing with the bandits.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Also, Satznswys gets to level 15, which is a fairly important level for the early game of FFXIV, but we'll deal with that all in a bit, after I've taken care of these bandits. But quickly, Level 15 for tanks gives the role action Provoke, which takes one enemy and puts you at the top of their threat list. It's good for when an enemy escapes your threat, and is beating up on someone else.

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Okay, Bandit time.

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So this fellow, Baldewyn, is a disgraced member of the Brass Blades, and Fufulupa is an overzealous, but well meaning Brass Blade. Baldewyn thought that he was on the take from Lolorito, but Lolorito wouldn't waste his time with this small time operation. Basically, a lot of the Black Blades are in it for the coin and ways to skim, but people like Fufulupa who are genuinely in it to help people are quietly reassigned and disappeared to not make waves against the Syndicate.

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Baldewyn is arrested, and, among his effects is a letter linking him to a member of the Sultansworn. Fufulupa believes this could be evidence of some conspiracy, and he bids you to take the unopened letter to Momodi, who should know what to do. So back to Ul'Dah we go!

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But now that we're level 15, a few important opportunities are open to us.

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First, the Gladiator quest for level 15.

The Immortal Flames and Brass Blades have requested additional security from the Guild to Camp Drybone due to increased Amalj'aa activity in the area. We'll head out that way shortly.

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Back at the Quicksand, The Smith here represents the Hall of the Novice, a series of tutorials that are designed to get you ready for prime time, actual dungeon content. But we can do it now, and in, fact we will, because for completing these tutorials, we get pieces of gear that are far better than anything we could pick up from gear vendors right now.

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Here, we officially learn about how to avoid AOE damage areas, attacks that combo, building threat on single and multiple enemies, and dealing with enemies appearing in the middle of a fight.

A couple more pointers for tanking:

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- Face the enemies away from the rest of your party. This allows your melee fighters to safely get positional attacks, and directs conal and line AOE attacks away from the rest of the party.

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- Don't be stingy with your cooldowns. Learn the timing of how long it takes them to activate, and how long they're on cooldown. As you do dungeons multiple times, you'll get an idea of how your cooldowns should flow, and when things are going to be up. This will allow healers the time to cast damaging spells rather than heal, and can increase the speed at which you clear dungeons.

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Pro-tip: finish your level 15 class quest before doing Hall of the Novice, because this happens. I haven't been to Camp Drybone yet, so I gotta leg it from Black Brush.

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Traveling to East Thanalan for the first time is enough to push us to level 16.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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We run into our gladiator brother next to an overturned wagon, and can barely get two words out before some Almalj'aa archers pelt the area with arrows.

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Reporting back in with Mylla, she's very impressed with our work, when who saunters in but...

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Mylla is less than pleased to see him. After some playful ribbing, he asks Satznswys to the Quicksand for a drink.

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...methinks this is going to be an issue.

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Yep, some archers barge in to the Quicksand. Not pictured is Momodi's roll of the eyes, as though this were a regular occurrence in her taproom.

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Aldis has some fancy moves, including some that Gladiators don't even get anymore!

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While she's here, she drops that letter off to Momodi. The thought of the two in some kind of conspiracy gives her the chills. She asks Satznswys to keep this under her hat. While the rest of the world believes the city of Ul'Dah to be lead by the Sultana, in truth, a council of six, called the Syndicate, call the shots.

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I miss a screenshot, but a familiar pair of Elezen twins are exiting the Quicksand in the background. Oh yeah, bee tee dubs, the sultana's crown has been stolen, and the guard on watch was none other than Owyne, the alleged accomplice. She says to deliver the letter to Owyne and press him on it. I'll get right on that as soon as I'm done with Mylla.

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Mylla teaches us the final piece of the Gladiator's basic kit, Shield Lob. This allows us to strike an enemy from afar and generates a lot of threat on it, good for starting a pull against a single enemy, or used in conjunction with Provoke to get an enemy off an ally.

Anyway, now we should go see about finishing those Hall of the Novice battles.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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This is the final exercise, to bring it all together, but there's not much to write home about it. Just do all the stuff you learned in the previous lesson, and you'll win.

Completing the Hall of the Novice gets you pieces of armor good for a level 15 character. There are sets for the various roles, so if you plan to level classes other than your main, it can be helpful to keep these pieces around even if you outgrow them.

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You also get the Brand-new Ring, an accessory that grants you an XP bonus up until level 30, and, as I said last time, it does stack with other XP-boosting pieces of gear.

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Anyway, let's go have words with Owyne.

He cops to the theft in his dereliction of duty, and says he is willing to pay the ransom the thieves demand for the crown. Instead of his entourage, he asks instead that Satznswys head to the exchange with him.

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Yep, saw this one coming.

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Owyne offers the exchange, and the thieves refuse to hold up their end of the bargain, big surprise. There's a lot of guys around.

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Luckily, the cavalry arrives, in the form of Papashan?! I knew that old man had to have been more than he seemed.

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The battle is pretty large-scale, with lots of enemies to fight. Papashan takes the leader, and entrusts the rest of the enemies to you. Keep an eye out for healers, and prioritize taking them down. Once the leader takes enough damage, he will call a voidsent, in fact, the same voidsent who accosted Satznswys, Lilira, and Thancred by the Sultantree.

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After the battle, Papashan leads the Sultansworn to route the rest of the thieves and recover the crown.

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Also this guy.

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He calls a voidsent to assassinate our heroine.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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"Just in the nick of time" as she finishes off the voidsent, who else shows up but Thancred, and the two team up to take care of the masked mage.

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In the aftermath, Thancred seems to have his suspicions confirmed as to what all these aetheric disturbances are being caused by: the Bringers of Chaos, or Ascians.

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She lets slip that vision that gave us insight into Thancred's past, that he is Sharlayan, and he calls her "one of the gifted." He mocks her playfully, calling her a lodestone for trouble, since we've crossed paths three times in relation to these aetheric events.

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The evil-looking crystal shatters. That business concluded, we return to the Sultansworn in Ul'Dah.

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Papashan is pleased with our performance, and somewhat with Satznswys' surprise at his station. On behalf of the rest of the Sultansworn, he gives her their thanks.

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Immediately afterward, the Sultana arrives, and everyone takes a knee. Except Satznswys. Probably from shock?

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She bestows a ring as a token of her gratitude, and greets us with an unusual familiarity, and then directs her retainer, Raubahn, commander of the Immortal Flames, to see that Satznswys gets an invite to a banquet.

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Raubahn Aldynn introduces himself formally. We learn more about his backstory later, but suffice to say, he has earned the moniker "The Bull of Ala Mhigo" from his fighting prowess in the bloodsands of the arena, all the way up to the command of Ul'Dah's military, the Immortal Flames.

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After the sultana departs, Owyne tells Satznswys to go check with Momodi about some matter of protocol before the banquet.

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She sends her to the Goldsmith's guildmaster to retrieve the earrings, and one quick fetch later, we're back, and ready to par-tay!

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At least Papashan's here so she has someone to talk to. Up until Raubahn announces the Sultana's arrival.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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The accolade is cool, though. Also, Raubahn puts Nanamo up on his shoulder to help her project her voice. It's really adorable.

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Raubahn knows how to bring a party mood down, though. The Syndicate keeps the working people down, after all. She might put up a stoic, ruler-ly face, but deep down, Nanamo is torn up about how the common folk are exploited.

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The blue crystal we picked up earlier shines, and Raubahn seems to recognize it. He draws a comparison between her and the Warriors of Light of the past, and their deeds at Carteneau.

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He feels that the fate of the realm may hang on Satznswys's deeds.

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Ice Cream Headache!

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Also featuring Kan-E-Senna, Elder Seedseer and ruler of Gridania, and Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn, Admiral and leader of Limsa Lominsa!

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Snake? SNAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!

They were there on that day Archon Louisoix sacrificed himself.

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Satznswyn also get a vision of one of those cloak guys gloating over the Elder Primal Bahamut having his little tantrum.

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She awakens in her inn room, with Momodi checking in on her. Seems like she passed out.

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So off we go to find Raubahn.

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Raubahn gives Satsnswyn letters for his counterparts in the other nations of the Eorzean Alliance, to propose a memorial service on the fifth anniversary of the Battle of Carteneau. To expedite the delivery, he gives her an airship pass to book private, on-demand passage on airships to the other city-states.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
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Momodi is overjoyed at how far we've come in such a short time. She says that, obviously, Ul'Dah isn't the only place with its share of problems, and surmises that Raubahn wants Satsnswyn to see that too. And so, she heads to the airship landing.

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All of our friends see us off in their own way!

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MEANWHILE...

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All you party people, please say hello to our villain of this story arc: Gaius van Baelsar. He reflects on the events of 15 years ago, when the battleship Agrius came to begin its conquest. They fought at Mor Dhona with the great wyrm Midgardsormr. In a stalemate, as both the dragon and the ship were felled, it caused a huge aetheric disturbance in the area near the lake of Mor Dhona. This will be important later.

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That can't be good.

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A look from the lower decks, at these two rank-and-file engineers, conscripts from Othard and Ala Mhigo.

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One of Gaius's lieutenants and an accomplished engineer, Nero to Scaeva, overhears them.

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He calls out the Ala Mhigan engineer out as a spy, and cuts him down with no impunity.

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And so Satznswys arrives in Limsa Lominsa, where we'll call it a day.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
Kazin;2629046 said:
It's so weird seeing all this content I first played like six years ago. I barely remember a lot of this. Thanks for doing this, McDohl.

Büge;2629103 said:
I'm enjoying seeing the beginning quests from a different perspective. I picked Limsa as my starter city, so it's fun to see what-could-have-been.

Juno;2629933 said:
I've been interested in the idea of doing an LP of this game for years, but I had no confidence in my ability to actually put it together- large projects like all these posts would have me feeling overwhelmed. So I'll be paying attention to this, and I'm also totally open to helping you run content, McDohl.

Also, Shadowbringers spoiler stuff:
It is interesting seeing the vision of the meteors falling down and knowing now what it is referring to- it's clear that the devs had some conception of how Amaurot influenced FFXIV's cosmology even as far back as 2.0

TirMcDohl;2630468 said:
I will say, the next stretch of game I'm writing is a bit of a pain, because I wanted to have a video companion for the dungeons and trials. The game throws three dungeons in quick succession, so I'm having to shoot, script, edit, and render three videos for it. I have two done, I just need the spoons to get the third done. Thank you all so much for your patience!

Thankfully, I shouldn't have to do that again.
Mightyblue;2630475 said:
*whispers* level 50

Gaer;2630886 said:
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
A REALM REBORN CHAPTER 3 - The Scions of the Seventh Dawn

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Last time, we had just touched down at Limsa Lominsa, the capital of La Noscea, and we have an escort to speak with the Admiral right away.

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We get a formal introduction to Admiral Bloefhiswyn, even though we kinda already know who she is because of that Ice Cream Headache we got from talking to Raubahn the other day.

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Merlwyb sees the memorial as a great idea to strengthen ties between the three nations, and she reflects on the Garlean Meteor project, and Legatus Nael van Darnus' plan to drop the red moon on the continent to cleanse it. It also was bad that there was a giant dragon monster inside.

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She signs off on it, and sends Satznswys off to Gridania with a cryptic message for the Elder Seedseer: "the wolf has been sniffing around the stables".

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Satznswys decides, while she's in town, to attune to the aethernet for the next time she needs to come back here.

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Her business in Limsa Lominsa concluded, Satznswys moves on to Gridania.

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Before taking care of her message for the Seedseer, she takes the opportunity to tour the city like Limsa Lominsa.

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This guy, Jonathas, is a pretty important guy. He hangs out near Apkallu Falls in Gridania, and he gives out rewards based on the achievements you've earned. Alongside certain achievements, you'll earn currency that you can trade to him for various bits and bobs like unique minions, mounts, and the like. Also, for achievements that have rewards behind them, you can cash those in with Jonathas as well.

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Kan-E-Senna exudes serenity and poise, but she is still a head of state and a military leader. Satznswys gives her the message from the Admiral as well. The Seedseer takes the opportunity to inform Satznswys of the state of things now with Garlemald: after developing modern magitek and weaponizing it, the nation became expansionist, conquering the other nations of Ilsabard, then turning its sights on Eorzea. A lot of its conquest was down not to the overwhelming magitek power, but its leader, Solus zos Galvus. And now, he is on death's door, by all accounts. The matter of succession has apparently paralyzed the Garlean expansion. But they never retreated, and left behind the occupying forces of the XIVth Legion and the aforementioned Gaius van Baelsar.

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Furthermore, the beast tribes of Eorzea have their patron deities, the primals. In short, Eorzea is not ready for another sustained conflict with Garlemald. She agrees to the memorial service, and proposes to hold it at Mih Khetto's Amphitheatre in Gridania.

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Now that Satznswys has traveled to all three cities, she can now travel between them for a fee of 120 gil. The Yellow Serpent escort nearby has a lead on some new work in Limsa Lominsa, from Momodi's counterpart there, Baderon. So, time to make use of our new airship privileges.

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Arriving in Limsa, we head to the Drowning Wench and meet Baderon, who gives us the scoop: some suspicious lot have been slipping in and out of Sastasha Seagrot, near Aleport in western La Noscea.

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The Commodore of the Yellowjackets, the police force of Limsa Lominsa, analogous to the Brass Blades, comes along to give more information: there's a mysterious ship skulking about in the bay near to Aleport as well. Reyner asks Satznswys to investigate, as her reputation is starting to preceed her now.

Near the Fisherman's Guild, there's a ferry that runs back and forth between Limsa Lominsa and Aleport, so we'll hop that ferry. But first.

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This is a short Quest Plus that gives you access to the Challenge Log. The Challenge Log is a weekly personal challenge list that resets every Tuesday morning. By doing duties, commending players, running FATEs, and many other things, you get bonus XP and gil and other rewards. It can be helpful if you're trying to crest that last little bit of XP to get to the next level.

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Arriving in Aleport, the Aetheryte gets tagged, and Satznswys heads out to the Hall of the Novice, where the game leans on the player to take a look at the tutorial duties that are there. Since that's already been done, we don't need to do it again.

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Up near Sastasha Seagrot, Satznswys runs into an adventuring group who seems primed to take the den of (probably) pirates on. Avere is berating the team's healer, Edda.

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So Satznswys graps a few random idiots nearby, and in she goes!

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VIDEO TIME!!!

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Having cleared Sastasha Seagrot of pirates, Satznswys returns to a hero's welcome in Limsa.

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Upon returning, she finds that she's beaten another adventuring group to the punch.

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No rest for the weary, though, as Baderon passes on word from his and Momodi's counterpart in Gridania, Mother Miounne. She is in need of a good adventurer such as our heroine. So back to the airship docks once again!

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In Gridania, Miounne and the leader of the Gods' Quiver give us the down and dirty: there's a mausoleum in Central Shroud called Tam-Tara Deepcroft. Lately, shadowy figures have been skulking about there, rumored to be a cult called the Lambs of Dalamud. The task is simple: root them out.

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Outside the Deepcroft, Satznswys runs into the adventurers she bested before at Sastasha. Something tells me we'll be going 2-0 here!

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VIDEO TIME!

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Now that the cultists have been dealt with, and the void-altered Galvanth the Dominator destroyed, Satznswys heads back to Gridania.

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It seems that Avere and friends met with ill-fate, and Avere died due to Edda's struggling to heal him, though he left the range of her healing magic? Of course, this is all second hand information being gleaned from a conversation.

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...uh, there's nothing ambiguous about that, though. Gross.

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Oh, seems like we're going back to do some more work for Momodi. Great!

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Seems our petitioner is none other than Papashan. Calling back to the disturbance we heard about at Copperbell Mines near Horizon, we find out what the problem was: giants have taken over the place. Apparently, an ancient civilization had enslaved these giants to do the heavy manual labor, and the giants finally broke through to where the Copperbell Mines were, and started running amok. So it's up to Satznswys to take care of business.

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VIDEO TIME!

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And that's all she wrote for this job. Time to report back in. But first...

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With all the myriad bonuses to XP that Satznswys is getting, that dungeon bumped her from 22 to 24. Also, take note of the blue and gold bar at the bottom. This is a visual indicator of our XP gains. When the gold bar fills up, it goes ding, and Satznswys gains a level. The blue bar is Rested Experience. When you log out or idle in a sanctuary (generally a major city or near one of the big aetheryte stones, indicated by that moon icon next to the XP bar), you will start to slowly accumulate Rested experience. It will either be blue, or a slightly different color of gold. When it's blue, you have at least enough rested experience that you can gain a level off of it. The Rested experience bar translates into a bonus of 50% extra experience from defeating enemies only.

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You'll also notice the <<SPITE>> tag next to Satznswys' name. That is a Free Company tag, that shows the player is a member of a Free Company, this game's version of a guild system. This Free Company is the Talking Tyrants, our own Free Company. I'll talk about Free Companies later, but suffice to say that the Free Company can provide even more XP buffs as well. It's pretty wild.

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But with all the XP bonuses and traveling around Eorzea, we're a little behind on the Gladiator questline. So let's get that caught up. Another gladiator has been assaulted by assassins, like before. He's laying low at the Coffer and Coffin.

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After administering some field medicine, Satsnswys searches for clues near Black Brush Station.

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While searching, she takes the opportunity for a little revenge for the other day now that she's about 10 levels higher.

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He recognizes it immediately, and gets really scared at its meaning: it's a signet of a criminal organization called the Alacran. They have their fingers in a lot of pies.

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Mylla seems dubious, but the evidence and the witness that Satznswys found suggests they're heading to the Silver Bazaar in Western Thanalan.

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Aldis pokes his head into the guild again, and comes clean: the Alacran are after him. We fended off one attack in the Quicksand before, and Aldis is interested in just being done with this bad business. Very reluctantly, Mylla agrees to go with Satzswyn to deal with this and save the innocents in Silver Bazaar.

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Yep, that's about right.

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Easily done.

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Okay, it looks like that guy had the twin to Aldis's blade. Not a lot of time to reflect on this until we go back to the guild for our customary debriefing.

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Aldis comes back, and lays it out: that guy with his sword's twin is named Leavold, and was his partner in the bloodsands. When Aldis learned that Leavold was building up the Alacran into the criminal empire it is now, he had to come back and deal with this.

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And off he goes.

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When we unlocked Tam-Tara Deepcroft, just like the Guildhest Roulette, we unlocked Leveling Roulette. The same rules apply, but this is one of the best ways to gain XP, by running this roulette daily. It will keep you ahead of the MSQ's XP curve. Satznswys doesn't really need it at the moment, but we are just a stone's throw away from level 25 and the next leg of this Gladiator story.

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Not only 25, but 26 by the end of the dungeon! That's enough to get the third hit of Satznswys's main GCD combo: Rage of Halone!

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On its own, it deals very little damage, but when it follows up Riot Blade, it deals a lot!

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Anyway, Mylla's got more work for Satznswys. She sent out scouts to determine Leavold's location, and has lost contact with one of them. That seems like a likely hit, so off we go to the Hammers in western Thanalan, his last known location.

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The wounded gladiator is bait for a trap, but with her new Rage of Halone attack, Satznswys makes short work of the Alacran. She returns to Ul'Dah to report.

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The guild manager tells her quietly that Aldis sent a message for her to meet him at the lichyard near Camp Drybone.

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...Aldis, you're like a lodestone for trouble. Having dealt with the Alacran assassin, Mylla warns her to be on her guard.

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For the time being, Satznswys decides to catch up on things that are still pending, such as her hunting log and old guildhests.

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She also takes a trip out to Little Ala Mhigo in Southern Thanalan to see the rebels and refugees from the conquered Eorzean nation.

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This update has had a decent chunk of time during the writing, because of the new patch's content I needed to get done on my main, and also focusing on getting the raid group's gathering needs done, but in the mean time, I've had the opportunity to pop over to Satznswys to run a leveling roulette or two, and as a result, I've managed to gain a few levels, so much so that we are now at level 30, which means we can complete the final quest in the Gladiator story!

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Seems Aldis has been pinched for sedition. That ain't good. What's more, he's accused of using poison to do the deed, which seems very out of character. That's utterly absurd. Poisoning anyone like the Sultana, with all her attendants and retainers, should be impossible. Mylla suspects the Alacran, and that theory does fit. Mylla sends Satznswys to see a fellow in town.

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He gives us the lowdown: Aldis and Leavold fought in the bloodsands, and Aldis thought he could make a bit of coin on the side by fixing matches. Thus we know now why he and Mylla have such a rocky history: he was caught, kicked out of the Coliseum, and his wins were stricken. Plus, this all went down when Mylla's father, the previous First Sword, passed away. Rumors abound that it was suicide out of Aldis's disgrace, or perhaps murder by Aldis's hand. So Leavold was forced to go at it alone, but when you've got the doubles schtick going on, it's really wierd to go solo, especially when your partner is drummed out in disgrace. So he was done by association.

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The rumor is that Aldis planned to do the deed with a virulent poison called Rhalgr's Bile, used by the Corpse Brigade in Southern Thanalan, that region's band of brigands. Wymond suggests Satznswys question them. The closest settlement is Little Ala Mhigo. Donning some shiny new steel armor that Satznswys' new friends in the Free Company made for her, she sets off for the Corpse Brigade's hideout.

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Coming here right at level 30 can be dangerous, as the Corpse Brigade ain't no slouch, plus when Satznswys finds the evidence she's looking for, Alacran goons show up to take her out. Be very careful not to grab too many enemies in the process of taking out the Alacran, or you could easily get overwhelmed.

Returning to Ul'Dah with the evidence in hand, Mylla has even worse news: Aldis's head is all but on the chopping block. The Sacrarium have marched him out to East Thanalan's Highbridge for his execution.

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And yep, you better believe there's a solo duty for this event.

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The priest of the Sacrarium is dubious to be sure.

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Money buys a lot of things in Ul'Dah, including a man's death.

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Aldis got swagger, yes he do. The priest and headsman quickly flee.

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Leavold's here too. The gang's all here!

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Don't get overzealous and AOE a bunch of enemies. Grabbing threat on too many will spell doom. Let Mylla and the other gladiators keep threat, and pick enemies off one at a time, starting with Gotwin, the Roegadyn in the cowl, as he's a healer.

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Aldis beats Leavold in one-on-one combat, and he's so infuriated, he throws himself off the Highbridge.

There isn't much to be said, so Mylla says they'll talk back at the Guild.

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Aldis suggests that Satznswys would make a fine entertainer in the bloodsands, if she had a proper title. Mylla cuts through the BS and asks if Aldis will be staying now that this business with Leavold is over. Aldis says no, that the Alacran are still out there, and if given the chance, they'd regroup and consolidate their strength to take their revenge. Better he go out and nip that problem in the bud.

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Aldis, you chocobo's ass.

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Fair enough. He muses that he wouldn't be able to learn any lessons if relieved of his head. He parts with simple words of encouragement to Mylla: "Your father would be proud of you, Mylla. Don't ever change." For Satznswys, he gives the first-hand account of the rumors we heard in town earlier: He was offered a lot of coin to throw a match. Leavold wanted him to take the dive, but Aldis wouldn't have it, whether it be for honor or pride. He holds no regrets with how things turned out. "It's a simple thing to know what's right. Listen to that heart of yours and it will never lead you astray."

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And with that, he's off.

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So that concludes the Gladiator story. Now, we need to proceed in the main story quest before the quests to become a Paladin become available to us. That is still a little while off, so better hop to. Satznswys heads back to The Quicksand to report in about how things in Copperbell Mines went down.

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Oh boy.

Painted Mesa is happy that the giants have been routed, and they can get back to normal operations in Copperbell.

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Outside the Quicksand, there's a commotion. This jerkbag with awful hair accuses the lady of thievery. He even goes so far as to suggest that certain...favors might sway him to not turn her over to the Brass Blades.

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Obviously, Satznswys isn't trucking with that.

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With all she's been through so far, this is a walk in the park compared to taking down the Alacran.

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The damsel comes up to thank us when...

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Oh boy, another Ice Cream Headache!

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We get an assessment of the Calamity, and how it's affected people: villages that were once prosperous found themselves cut off from the normal trade routes, having been destroyed by Bahamut's wrath. So people flocked to the cities, and Ul'Dah was hit hardest by this refugee crisis, due to its prosperous reputation. Satznswys also learn that the goods the damsel was alleged to have stolen were, in fact, legitimately purchased. But what is this Ice Cream Headache she keeps getting, and how come it gives her clarity and insight into those around her?

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Armed with this clarity, Satznswys and the crowd that has gathered to watch the spectacle all turn on the guy with the worst hair in Ul'Dah. He scarpers.

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Well, lookie who it is! Still chasing skirts, Thancred?

On the contrary, he is genuine in his praise of Satznswys' deeds up to this point. She has been Raubahn's envoy to the other nations, conversing diplomatically with the other heads of state, and courageously putting herself in harm's way for the betterment of others. He still admits to being taken with her. Now he cuts to the chase.

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He knows a woman who, like Satznswys, receives visions of insight and clarity from those Ice Cream Headaches, and that he and she are members of an organization.

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"Her" means Momodi, probably the most connected woman in Ul'Dah, obviously.

Momodi is giving some advice to another greenhorn, just like us not so long ago. She calls someone over.

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Oh. Edda. Hi. You're still not carrying around your friend's head, are you?

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...she doesn't answer the question, and asks Satznswys for her name.

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Now to the business we came to Momodi for. The Scions are a cut above the average people of Eorzea, and her warnings that the stuff they get into is dangerous and dire. But that's just the kind of life that Satznswys has found herself in, isn't it? Momodi tells her to keep under her hat the info of where the Scions keep their headquarters: Vesper Bay, at a place called the Waking Sands. Luckily, we've already opened the Chocobo porter route to Vesper Bay, so off we go!

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Arriving in the small settlement of Vesper Bay, it doesn't take Satznswys long to find the Waking Sands, and inside she meets...

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This is Tataru Taru, kind of the everywoman of the Scions. She takes care of the finances, and all the mundane stuff that they need to have done so they can focus on their important work. Satznswys drops Thancred's name, and it seems she's on Tataru's list. She ushers Satznswys downstairs.

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And here we have the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, followers of the late Louisoix Lleveilleur that continue their work to secure Eorzea's future in the wake of the Calamity that took his life. From left to right, we have:

Urianger Augurelt, the Scions' chief researcher, thoroughly knowledgeable on the tribal gods of Eorzea.

Yda Hext, Papalymo's Ala Mhigan companion and expert hand-to-hand martial artist. Very excitable and hot-headed.

Papalymo Totolymo, accomplished thaumaturge and extremely well-studied in aetheric theory. Together with Yda, they keep an eye out for trouble in the Twelveswood.

Minfilia Warde, the leader of the Scions. Possessed of the same Ice Cream Headache power that Satznswys has.

Y'shtola Rhul, expert conjurer and Minfilia's eyes and ears in La Noscea.

Thancred Waters, master of espionage and, as we already know, the Scions' investigator in the Thanalan region.

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Minfilia begins by explaining the Scions' mission statement, as I said before, the preservation of Eorzea's future. They are an apolitical organization that does not swear fealty to any nation. Their current concern are the tribal gods, called primals.

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...yep, that's it. Minfilia gives Satznswys's Ice Cream Headache Power its true name: The Echo. It is a manifestiation of the ability to trancend the boundaries of the soul. This power is what was giving her the flashbacks and insight into Thancred's soul, and that of the woman she rescued in Ul'Dah. In certain cases, Satznswys can even push her own will into the vision, and interact with it in limited ways. Its drawback is that its effects are uncontrolled. Satznswys could have an attack like this at any time.

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Back to the subject of the primals, the Echo will be the key to stemming the primal threat.

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Joining up with the Scions will have its perks as well. It won't be just chasing down the tribes' theft of the crystals they need to allow their gods to gorge on aether. Minfilia pulls some strings and allows Satznswys to hire retainers, which I'll get in to later.

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Having more or less officially joined, Minfilia gives Satznswys a code word that the Scions' operatives outside Vesper Bay will know that she is one of them, and that password is "Wild Rose". Final Fantasy II reference, obviously.

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Chatting up the Scions' in Minfilia's solar gives us a little bit more. Speaking to Thancred in particular gives us the lowdown on why the primals are such a threat: The tribes take crystals to basically kickstart the manifestation of their gods with a heavy influx of aether. Once manifested, the primal continues to gorge itself on the aether of the land, and, if left unchecked, would consume everything it could.

And so, next time, we'll get started with Satznswys's first job with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn!
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The following post may or may not be accurate to actual events. Based on a true story.

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Satznswys decides to step out into the village of Vesper Bay to get used to her new base of operations.

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So we've unlocked the glamour system, which allows you to make gear items appear as other items, allowing for full customization of your appearance...and wait...what's that?

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GAERLON: Why are you wearing that?

SATZNSWYS: What...what do you mean?

GAERLON: Why. WHY? Why do you do this to me?

SATZNSWYS: This is all the vendors had in my size.

GAERLON: No. NO. BAD. You're coming with me.

SATZNSWYS: Who are you?

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GAERLON: Put this on and get in. I'm going to make you not a fashion crime.

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SATZNSWYS: So...who's the Mi'qote? Hi, who are you?

GAERLON: There's two rules for the free company: 1. Wear high-quality gear. 2. Have good glamour. Arus here forgot rule number 1, so his glamour privileges are revoked.

GAERLON: You're new, you didn't know any better. But Arus...

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GAERLON: Alright, get in the inn room.

One Fanciful Glow-up Session Later

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The way the glamour system is that you cast the image of an item over another item of equal or lesser item level. There are thousands of items whose sole existence is to be glamoured, such as the Zidane or Cloud outfits we've seen up to this point.

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From this menu, you can select an item that is at 100% or higher repair, and store it in the glamour dresser as a prism. You can later extract the item from the prism fully intact.

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Once you've gotten some items stored in the dresser, you can then assemble them into presets, called Glamour Plates like you would any gear set. Any items you have stored in the glamour dresser, or event items in your armoire, are available for use.

The moral of the story:
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TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
A Realm Reborn: Chapter 4 - Lord of the Inferno

Welcome back! Last time, Satznswys was inducted into the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, and Minfilia told her that when she was ready, they would begin the work of protecting the land against the primal threat. But first!

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Minfilia did promise to send a letter to allow us to hire retainers in the cities, and that has indeed come to pass. Talking with Chachabi or the retainer vocates in the other two cities will allow you to hire a retainer.

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You're able to customize your retainer's appearance the same way you could your own.

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I figure that's a silly enough name.

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From any retainer summoning bell, you can call on your retainer's services, which, at the start, consist of storing items you don't need at the moment, banking gil, and selling items on the market board. They'll be able to do other things later.

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Back in Limsa Lominsa, there is a quest we neglected taking until now. Seems there's some kind of commotion just outside the Drowning Wench.

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This lady is inconsolable, having scrimped and saved every shaving of gil she could to meet this flustered man, a so-called aesthetician, for the purpose of a glow-up.

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However, it seems that the tools of his trade have either been stolen, or lost. As such, he bids us to go to three craft guild masters to procure some new tools. He also gives us his name: Jandelaine.

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H'naanza, the armorsmith master, has no patience for Jandelaine's nonsense.

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Beatin, the master carpenter, is in agreement, but still hands over the tools he's made.

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Sevarian, master of the Alchemist's Guild in Ul'Dah, is a bit more sympathetic to Jandelaine's plight, and hands over a parcel of oils.

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Returning to Jandelaine with the tools of his trade in tow, he is overjoyed at Satznswys efforts.

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She is overjoyed at the transformation, and thus does Jandelaine declare her...

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Jandelaine expresses his gratitude by offering her the use of his services any time.

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He leaves behind a coupon for a free session from any crystal bell in an inn room or player house.

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Satznswys saw this hairstyle in a catalogue with the name "Louis Vuitton", and just had to have it. Further visits from Jandelaine will run you a paltry (by player standards) 2,000 gil.

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This quest becomes available when you first hire your retainer, and can be found in any of the three cities. Seems this adventurer's retainer went out at his behest to do some errand, and he got into a scrape near Aleport.

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Rescuing the poor lalafell, he tells us to tell about the deed to Frydwyb, the retainer vocate in Limsa.

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Frydwyb rewards Satznswys by telling her about ventures. By paying her retainers ventures, they can be dispatched throughout the world to procure items.

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In order to dispatch your retainer, you must assign them a Disciple of War, Magic, or Land class. Crafting classes are not available. You must be of a higher level than your retainer for them to gain experience in a class. As they gain levels, they will be able to bring back better and more rare items. Satznswys assigns Cheemahree to be a gladiator, hands him her old beat up sword, and sends him out on his way. It is recommended that you assign one retainer to your main battle class, and then pass them your hand-me-down gear as they are able to equip it. A player can hire up to two retainers, and each additional retainer costing a little bit extra on your monthly subscription. Most players will only ever need the base two, unless you get hardcore in to crafting and want to have materials on hand to make equipment for your friends. Then, the extra storage space for your retainers becomes crucial.

There's one more thing I want to take care of in Ul'Dah before we get on with the Scions' first job.

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This kid's manservant is carrying quite a few packages. Where did he get them? Prizes at the Gold Saucer.

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What's the Gold Saucer? Besides a very blatant Final Fantasy VII reference? It's a facility of entertainment and merrymaking!

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How do we get there though? Apparently, you have to know someone who knows someone. Luckily, this exuberant noble is perfectly fine with parting with a second golden ticket that the airship ticketer will know what to do with. Well, Satznswys is the curious sort, so she decides to hop on the airship.

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So this is the MANDERVILLE Gold Saucer, so named for its proprieter. It's the party destination of Thanalan! And the ticketer here is more than happy to give us the grand tour.

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The receptionist at the main service counter introduces the services that are offered: prize claims, MGP exchange, Triple Triad cards, Chocobo Races, and Lord of Verminion. We'll get to all this shortly. But first, we need some MGP to actually play at the attractions here.

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For a starting kit, you can purchase up to 500 MGP at an exchange rate of 10 gil to 1 MGP from this attendant, so if you ever run out (unlikely unless you purchase a prize that puts you down below 500), just talk to him and throw him 5000 gil, and you're set. If you have over 500 MGP, the game will not let you have more from him. You have to earn them prizes, after all.

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Down the hall from the main service desk is the Card Square, which is host to all things Triple Triad. That name will likely strike fear in to the hearts of veterans of Final Fantasy VIII, and yes, the game works mostly the same as it did in FF8, with a few new rules to throw a wrinkle in things.

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The master here gives us a starter hand. You can set cards up in presets for various strategies, and as you complete duties, earn achievements, or spend MGP, you'll get more cards to add to your collection. Unlike FF8, you can only have one copy of a card in your collection, so any duplicates you earn can be sold back to the Gold Saucer for MGP.

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NPCs that you can challenge to Triple Triad will have this card-shaped exclamation point marker over their head. This guy is a tutorial for now, and takes it slow to explain things. He even plays with the All Open rule, and extends the play clock to 1 minute to give you time to consider your options.

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Satznswys is victorious! And you'll now notice that the ! icon has changed to a star icon. This indicates that the Triple Triad NPC has been successfully defeated, but they still have cards they can drop. Every time you win a game, you'll have a chance for them to drop a card.

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Satznswys is about to continue her tour when there's a PA announcement: a limited-time event is happening in the Round Square!

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This is a Gold Saucer Active Time Event, or GATE, which appear every 20 real world minutes, at the top of the hour, :20, and :40 after. There are a variety of events, and the one we've entered is called Leap of Faith, and is a jumping puzzle, where the objective is to get to the top of the obstacle course with a bunch of tricky jumps. To incentivize exploring the course, there are bronze, silver, and gold cactuar statues to find as well, that will give you bonus points at the end, with the maximum reward for finding all ten statues.

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Satznswys is amazing at jumping, so she easily gets the full reward, 4000 MGP. Not a bad haul! So for just one GATE, she's easily cleared the threshold to buy more MGP from the attendant.

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The Wonder Square holds a few ticket-style arcade games, and is the station of one of the many GATE Keepers around the Saucer to help you get to the GATEs as they happen: they'll teleport you to where the GATE is starting instantly! How convenient!

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Monster Toss is literally the basketball shooting minigame from Final Fantasy VII. The goal is to shoot as many baskets as you can within 30 seconds, with the maximum reward being given for 5 shots.

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THe Moogle's Paw is a UFO catcher game with limited inputs: press and hold the button, then release it when the moogle is lined up with the prize ball to win. The smaller ball is worth more, but is much harder to collect.

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Cuff-a-Cur is one of two "test-your-might" style games, where you have to hit the indicator as close to the center as possible for the maximum prize. Also, the Cur we're Cuffing looks rather familiar...

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Crystal Tower Striker is the other, where the indicator, instead of bouncing back and forth, resets to 0 when the gauge gets to full. Hit it closer to full for the biggest prize.

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There are also tables for Mahjong, a tile based game from Doma, a nation far to the east. I know nothing about real world Mahjong, so you'll have to forgive me if I don't really talk about it much.

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Next is the Event Square, where there is a big stage for a couple of GATEs.

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Upstairs is the the Jumbo Cactpot board. This is a simple lottery. You can buy up to three tickets per week, where you can select a four number sequence, from 0-0-0-0 to 9-9-9-9. The drawing is held on Saturday nights for this 3 in 10000 chance to win.

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One of the attendants hands Satznswys a voucher for 100 MGP, enough to buy one ticket.

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Here's an example of the payouts. Numbers on your tickets are read from right to left, and if the last number matches, you get 4th prize. And the prizes get progressively larger the more numbers you match. You'll also notice something. The absolute minimum payout you can get from each of your tickets is 1000-ish MGP. So basically, every week, you're investing 300 MGP to get a guaranteed 2700 MGP profit here. Also, for winning the jackpot, you get a special ring. This is probably one of the hardest items to get in the game.

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This is the Round Square, which holds the entrance to several of the attractions that open up during GATEs, and Mt. Corel, another jumping puzzle. I think that the GATE associated with Mt. Corel has been removed from the game, but I could be wrong.

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Back at the info desk, Satznswys is about to claim her complimentary gift when...

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This is Roland, the manager of the Gold Saucer. He oversees the operation on behalf of the proprietor. He explains the reason for this extravagant pile of money that has been built for decadent luxury and frivilous entertainment: a boost to the economy of all three nations in employment opportunity, and escape from the troubles of the world for those looking for entertainment, especially in the wake of the Calamity. Roland speaks very highly of the patron of this establishment, Godbert Manderville. He seems like a nice guy. Maybe Satznswys will get to meet him one day... Also, Roland's outfit is based on Setzer's outfit in Final Fantasy VI, and you can obtain that look here in the Gold Saucer for a bunch of MGP. Roland hands over five vouchers for any of the Gold Saucer's paid attractions and takes his leave.

One last thing to look at on this floor: the Mini Cactpot.

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For 10 MGP, you get what are essentially lottery scratchers: you have this grid of numbers 1 through 9, arranged randomly. You start with one number revealed for free. You can then scratch off three additional numbers. Then you select a line of three numbers. The numbers are all then revealed, then the sum of the line you chose is taken, and the payout is determined by the table on the right of the card. The goal is to get one of the higher payouts by selecting a 1-2-3 line, or barring that, a 7-8-9. You'll notice here that the absolute minimum payout is 36 MGP, so you're still making MGP with each scratcher played. You can play up to three times a day, with the timer resetting at the same time your Duty Roulette bonuses reset.

So, what are some of the prizes you can get? Unique-looking weapons, special emotes, hairstyles for Jandelaine to put on you, mounts, minions, Triple Triad cards, and the list goes on. And I haven't even gotten in to all the attractions the Gold Saucer has available!

Her purse flush with MGP, Satznswys's mini-vacation has been quite successful, and she now feels ready for whatever Minfilia and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn can throw at her, so back to the Waking Sands!

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Before she reports in, she takes a look around the basement of the Waking Sands, and meets a few other members of the Scions. Arenvald here in particular explains that his manifestation of the Echo is very similar to her.

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...cute, Square Enix.

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I mean, you already went to the trouble of hooking Satznswys up with a retainer and all. Plus you guys seem like you're sincere in your beliefs that the realm is in danger, and Satznswys has seen a lot of it first-hand already.

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Minfilia lets us in on the Sharlayan nation, and when the chaos came to Eorzea, these seven people stayed to stem that tide. Introductions are formally passed around.

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The introductions over, Urianger comes forward with documents from some organization called the "Students of Baldesion", which turns out to be a request from the Immortal Flames, the military arm of Ul'Dah, under the command of Raubahn Aldynn, the fellow who sent us out to meet with the other Eorzean heads of state.

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Thancred puts out the details: within a bell (the Eorzean equivalent to an hour) of the robbery, several people were reported missing from one of the shantytowns outside the gates of Ul'Dah. On its surface, seems the work of bandits, but Minfilia and the others believe a primal may be involved.

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So the Amaljaa are most likely behind this theft and kidnapping. Minfilia puts Satznswys in charge of the investigation to help her get a better understanding at what is exactly at stake when combatting the primal.

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She assigns Thancred to work with her, as Thanalan is his area of responsibility.

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Thancred gets down to business. Amanjina and Sons have doubled the security on their crystal shipments, so he believes they should focus on the missing people. Sightings place them in the vicinity of Camp Drybone, so that's where our heroes are heading first.

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Arriving in Camp Drybone, the leader of the settlement, Isembard, greets her warmly, having already received word from Minfilia as to why she's here. Isembard says that, recently, there was an Amaljaa attack on a caravan to the south. He suggests taking a look around there to possibly glean some clues.

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They didn't stand a chance with how much Satznswys has progressed in her swordplay. She gathers the corpses for a proper burial and returns to Isembard.

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Isembard commends Satznswys on her compassion, and then muses as to why the number of kidnappings has increased so rapidly.

Suggesting that we put an ear to the ground, he points us at the local watering hole.

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...oh. Hi. Nice to see you. Assault any women on your way here, you chocobo's ass?

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...so what's stopping Satznswys from putting her sword through your belly?

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Talking with the locals isn't very helpful, as they're all scared out of their wits. Satznswys reports back to Isembard.

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He then suggests that, since the people here are fairly devout in their faith, the clergy might know something. It also gives him an opportunity to have Satznswys move the corpses to the lichyard for him.

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He sends us to this fellow up at the church and lichyard, Marques. Nice...circlet? I think?

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He directs Satznswys to lay the body to rest up on the ridge, which she does.

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Marques doesn't know anything about missing people, but he directs her to Sister Ourcen, muttering that she and everyone here has been so kind to him.

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Ourcen is a little more in touch with the people of the area, and explains that Marques is suffering from some kind of post-traumatic stress from the horrors of the Calamity. Apparently, Thancred had a bit of a row with him recently.

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As Satznswys is talking with Isembard back in Camp Drybone, Thancred shows up.

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Thancred suspects Ourcen might know more than she's letting on. In fact, she was pretty cagey earlier. Marques has Thancred spooked as well.

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Isembard is concerned, and suggests we talk with some of the people in the Golden Bazaar, another small settlement to the north.

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This child in Golden Bazaar says that Ourcen was here, but that she had gone missing while looking for a trinket that they lost. Time to do that rescuing thing!

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Ourcen thanks Satznswys for the save. She seems the kind sort of soul, not anyone up to anything nefarious. Satznswys decides to return to Camp Drybone.

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Isembard agrees, and completing this leg of the MSQ gives Satznswys enough XP to get to level 32, and grants her her next role action: Arm's Length.

Role actions can be used at any level, regardless of what level you're synced to, once you've unlocked them on a class. So, even if we go back in to Sastasha for a leveling roulette, she'll still be able to use Arm's Length. And it's a good skill, another defensive cooldown that prevents knockback effects from taking hold, allowing you to remain in place. It's very useful in raid situations, when enemies will push you back off doom cliffs, and it has a secondary effect: every enemy that strikes you while Arm's Length is active will be affected by Slow, reducing their auto-attacks for 15 seconds. It's amazing when pulling lots of enemies, reducing the amount of damage taken overall.

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Seems Ourcen took a little more injury than she let on. While we were out, Thancred came by and left word for Satznswys to meet him near an Amalj'aa camp southeast of here.

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Thancred suggests that there might be a lead inside this encampment, and invites her to take a look around.

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Enemies in the open world that are more than ten levels below you will not engage with you unless you attack first. This is a blessing because it will make this investigating here a lot easier if Satznswys isn't having to fend off Amalj'aa warriors, but it does break immersion a little bit. Or maybe Satznswys is just so stronk and has so much swagger that these guys just know they can't step to her.

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Satznswys finds an odd leaflet among the weaponry and supplies, and brings it back to Thancred.

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Thancred reads it over and finds it pretty sketch. He suggests that they take it to Sister Ourcen, who is in bed rest at the inn back at Camp Drybone.

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Presenting it to her, she finds the whole thing blasphemous, and that any true brother or sister of the order would make no such thing, confirming Thancred's suspicions that this leaflet might not be on the up-and-up. In addition, Ourcen says that several weeks ago, several sets of clothing went missing at the church, and suspects that someone is posing as a priest.

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Thancred heads off to look into more leads with this new evidence, while Satznswys reports on what they've found to Isembard.

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Isembard is very troubled by the news.

Thancred comes back with a plan: turn the tables on the charlatans, and have he and Satznswys pose as down-on-their-luck paupers and catch this alleged false priest in the act. Isembard likes the idea, and gives the go-ahead, but suggests they change into less...adventurey clothing.

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Not exactly fashionable, plus the sabatons she's wearing still cover up the squalor intended in the costume. Oh well, this should be fine.

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Chatting up a few of the locals perks Thancred's ear, and they find out that the down-on-their-luck congregate by a pond to the east.

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Looking sharp as a styrofoam cup, Thancred.

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It's not long before a man in robes appears, claiming to be a priest of Nald'thal.

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Turns out it's Ungust. Oh joy. Please give her a reason to run you through.

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Ungust is from Golden Bazaar, and the Amalj'aa attacks have been increasing in recent weeks, plundering and pillaging. Ungust wanted to stop it, but he's about as useful with a blade as teats on a shark. So he tried to broker a deal with the Amalj'aa. In exchange for stopping the raids on Golden Bazaar, the Amalj'aa demanded the schedule for Amanjina and Sons' crystal shipments, which he bribed a worker to get the info. Then, they wanted people, so he took the priest disguise to lure people to being taken by the lizard folk.

Thancred presses the "Why" of the arrangement.

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...yeah, I'm all for putting a blade between this guy's ribs.

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...hah.

He denies leaking the patrol routes of the Immortal Flames, so that's at least one mystery solved. Thancred tells Satznswys to report back to Minfilia while he closes matters here. Thus...

WE MUST NEEDS RETURN TO THE WAKING SANDS

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This is a meme that was born from the sheer number of times that the Main Scenario Quest directs the player to return to the Waking Sands to chat with Minfilia. It's one of the more annoying aspects of the ARR MSQ that has turned players off. My advice is to just stick it out. It's not as ornerous as people make it out to be, and you can either teleport to Horizon and take a chocobo porter to Vesper Bay, or you can alternatively teleport to Limsa Lominsa, and take the ferry across to Vesper Bay from the docks near the Arcanist's guild, if you have a SSD to reduce the loading times of the zones.

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Minfilia feels that bloodshed may be necessary to see those people rescued.

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She decides to introduce Satznswys to a goblin aquaintence of her near Black Brush Station: Mutamix Bubblypots.

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This gang is pretty quirky. But Mutamix knows his stuff, and shows Satznswys about the process of melding materia into equipment.

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Swynbroes gives the less gobbly-speak version of what's going on, but the way materia melding works has recently changed, and I'm not 100% on how these changes have shaken out.

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One of the changes I am very solid with, though, is how materia is extracted from gear.

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When you use gear for battle, gathering, or crafting, you'll begin to generate spiritbond with the item. Once the spiritbond is 100%, you can then extract materia from the item. This causes the spiritbond to reset to 1%, and the process begins again. Previously, this converted the item completely into the materia, resulting in you losing the item. This was a boon to crafters and gatherers, to give them more resources to meld their gear instead of having to pay insane gil prices on the market board to have the resources to attempt the high-end materia melding.

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As for melding materia, you can either commission certain NPC vendors to do it, or you can request another player to do it for you, or you can do it yourself if you have suitably leveled a crafting class. Satznswys decides to drop by the Free Company house, who employs a materia melder, just to experiment a bit.

Each of the empty green circles indicates the number of guaranteed slots an item has. Players can attempt to over-meld the item, up to five slots, with diminishing chances of success with each slot. NPCs cannot overmeld. This is getting a bit into the weeds, as you don't need to fuddle with materia until you get to the current end-game and are doing Savage or Ultimate difficulty content. Your gear, as-is, will be enough to get you through the main story, provided you update it regularly. If you're playing on Sargatanas with the rest of the Free Company, or anywhere on the Aether data center, you can ask several of the FC members, myself included, and we can set you up with level-appropriate gear in short order.

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Returning to the Waking Sands (count: 2), Minfilia has news from Thancred: Ungust has another meeting due with the Amalj'aa soon, so the Immortal Flames are going to use him as bait to capture the Amalj'aa responsible for the kidnappings. The Flames have requested the Scions' support, so Minfilia asks Satznswys to go out there and support them, as she has Thancred working on something else. So we're flying solo.

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A little bit unusual, sticking the materia tutorial in the middle of this story arc, I'd say.

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This sergeant has come up with a plan: a small, stealthy strike force to lie in wait and ambush the Amalj'aa as they are dealing with Ungust. The rendezvous will take place in the Invisible City, some ruins east of Golden Bazaar.

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Yep, figured this was coming.

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Yeah, turns out Ungust is a piece of crap, and warned the Amalj'aa, turing this ambush around.

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...oh, and yeah, the ranks of the Immortal Flames aren't pure as the driven snow.

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The Amalj'aa have the lot of us by numbers.

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Punked out by a sleep spell from the thaumaturge.

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Satznswys awakens in a cave somewhere. The Flames are of the idea that the Amalj'aa mean to sacrifice the lot of them to their primal, Ifrit.

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I'm never sure as to what is canon in these multiplayer duties, if Satznswys is really with a bunch of yahoos she found hanging around, or if she's doing this solo. This changes when we get to Shadowbringers a little.


Part of the issue that some players have with the early ARR story is this situation where you have a fairly lengthy cutscene both before and after, while you're still in the duty. While that opening cutscene was playing, the players were stuck in the forcefield donut thing until Satznswys was done. And then there's a cutscene going on afterward, with Livia and Nero. The developers will get better about this in the future, saving the cutscenes to just before you enter, and just after you exit the duty.

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Back in Camp Drybone, seems that those who were spared Ifrit's breath are none the worse for wear. Thancred is apologetic that he was unable to assist when Satznswys got captured.

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As for Ungust and the traitor, they've been tempered, their minds remolded to be devout in their adoration for their god. As far as anyone knows, there is no reversing the tempering. Thancred doesn't dwell on that though. Satznswys defeated a primal! He heads off to deliver the good news, and asks Satznswys to return to the Waking Sands (count: 3) to what is sure to be a hero's welcome.

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Back in the Waking Sands, Thancred is profusely apologizing for leaving Satznswys high and dry. Minfilia trys to assuage his guilt when Satznswys comes in.

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Seems as though with the Amalj'aa driven in to hiding, this case is pretty much closed, though it could happen again, given the opportunity.

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Thancred and Minfilia explain how primals manifest: Normally, they are formless, existing within the sea of aether that surrounds and permeates the planet. But in times of desperate need, the cries of the devout followers can call the primals into physical form. In order to maintain the physical form, the primal must consume aether, and the stronger it gets, the more aether it needs. It's a vicious cycle that will end in widespread destruction.

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One way they can supplement their physical existence is by enslaving mortals, and rewriting their minds to be devout and reverent in belief in their new god. The Scions call this process tempering, and Satznswys, Ungust, and the traitor were subjected to this process. However, Satznswys was protected by the Echo. No one is sure why this side effect of the Echo happens, but never look a gift chocobo in the beak, as it were. Thus, this is why the Scions seek out people with the Echo.

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Minfilia bids Satznswys to take some rest, because news like this spreads like wildfire, and she's likely to become Eorzea's new celebrity.

She leaves, and Thancred pulls Satznswys aside, telling her that those who suffer the effects of tempering are to be put to death. It's a sad state, but when their very existence gives strength to the primal, there is no way to stop it other than putting them to death, since there is no way to reverse the tempering process.

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Thancred takes his leave, and stews in his guilt.

Later, Minfilia calls Satznswys into the solar once again, this time with vistors.

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A trio of recruiters, from each of the Grand Companies.

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So the Flames would know about Satznswys's deeds, but how could the Twin Adder and Maelstrom hear of this?

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So in order to continue, these guys aren't going to take "no" for an answer, but the answer won't be set in stone. Satznswys can enlist with any of the three, and change at any time. But before the decision is made, Minfilia mentions the memorial services that Raubahn suggested to the other heads of state. The leaders of the Grand Companies will be making speeches at those services, giving Satznswys an opportunity to take a measure of them and figure out which one suits her best.

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Minfilia hands over a linkpearl, allowing Satsnswys to maintain contact with the Scions.

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Oh, hello again! Seems like he's delivering goods and supplies.

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Thanks, Tataru. Anyway, she gives Satznswys her travel itinerary to give her plenty of time to make it to all three services. First, it's off to Gridania, then to Ul'Dah, then to Limsa Lominsa.

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Arriving in Gridania, Satznswys heads over to Mih Khetto Amphitheater, where Kan-E-Senna is delivering a speech.

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Well, look who it is! Those Elezen twins we rode into Ul'Dah with.

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Kan-e-Senna calls for a moment of silence in remembrance of the Warriors of Light, and those who died during the Calamity.

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After the speech, the Elezen introduces himself, and his sister. He calls them students of history, and explains that Gridania faces two tribes: The Ixal, the bird-like people who worship the primal of wind, Garuda, and the michevious Sylphs, who worship Ramuh. As noted in Kan-E-Senna's speech, Gridania abhors warfare, but will engage in it if threatened.

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And with that, Alphinaud and Alisaie take their leave. Satznswys makes for Ul'Dah by airship.

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Raubahn addresses the crowd in the Royal Promenade.

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...well, you two get around, don't you?

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Raubahn says that none spent more in coin and blood than Ul'Dah, prompting a snide comment from Alphinaud. Alisaie is quiet.

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We have witnessed this first hand, obviously.

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All three commanders give generally the same speech, addressing the primals that each nation faces, as well as the Garlean incursions all over Eorzea.

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After Raubahn and Nanamo's speeches, Alphinaud pulls Satznswys aside.

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...Satznswys should say the same, kid.

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Last on the trip is Limsa Lominsa, and up to the Stateroom where Merlwyb makes her address.

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...REALLY? What is your deal, kid, why do you keep following her around?

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...also, your cynicism is really starting to be a drag.

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After the Admiral's speech, Alphinaud brings up the beast tribes that she mentioned: The Sahagin, worshipers of Leviathan, and the Kobolds, worshipers of Titan.

Alphinaud mentions after each speech that Satznswys's skill would be welcome in all three of the Grand Companies.

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Once all three speeches are seen, Minfilia calls on the linkpearl and bids her to return to the Waking Sands (count: 4) to give the recruiters her choice.

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So I ask you: Which does Satznswys choose? The Order of the Twin Adder, The Immortal Flames, or Maelstrom?
 
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TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
A Realm Reborn: Chapter 5 - Flibbertigibbet

Welcome back, everyone! Last time we were about to make the decision as to which of the three Grand Companies of Eorzea Satznswys was going to join, and I'll get to that eventually! But first, let's talk about the elephant in the room.

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Yes, that is Lightning's hairstyle you saw on both Satznswys, and Jandelaine's customer when we unlocked access to the Aesthetician's services. However, this is not an item that comes stock with the game; it is purchaseable for real-world money on Square Enix's FFXIV storefront, Mogstation.

Unlike a lot of real-money stores in MMOs, Mogstation has no "pay-to-win" items to buy on the store. Instead, it's all cosmetic items that you can purchase such as mounts, minions, clothing items, hairstyles, rare dye that is still obtainable in-game, items from previous holiday events, and so forth.

Some other items that are available that don't fall into that category are the Main Scenario Progression books and the level boost books.

The first books will skip you to the beginning of any of the expansions' main story quest. These were created to give new players an option to get straight to the new content, or to allow players with an alternate character to get caught up quicker for raid content purposes.

The level boost books allow you to boost the experience level of one class to level 70, 10 levels below the current level cap. These are updated periodically as the level cap increases with each expansion.

The other thing I would be remiss in noting is Fantasia, a super special magical potion capable of changing a character's appearance completely.

The aesthetician's options for changing your appearance are robust, but still limited. You cannot change your race, gender, voice options, and a few others.

Fantasia allows you to change your appearance completely, as though you were making a completely new character. The properties of this potion are reality-warping, as none of the characters will notice this change. For them, Satznswys would always have been a Viera or a Lalafell. We're not doing that, obviously, but Square Enix is nice, and realizes that people may tire of the appearance they started with. One of the rewards for completing the ARR 2.0 storyline is a fantasia potion, which will sit in Satznswys's inventory forever.

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We're returning to the Gold Saucer today, because there are some attractions I failed to show you the last time, and not just because I forgot to hit the aethernet shards and main aetheryte, no sir.

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This mysterious masked man, The Masked Rose, has sponsored a weekly challenge to glam up Eorzea.

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Satznswys sees through the disguise.

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Here's how the Fashion Report works: Every week, starting on Tuesday, Masked Rose will release this week's theme, with descriptions of several gear pieces, and it's up to the players to come up with what he's going for. Then, on Friday, he becomes open for judging.

I'm not the most experienced at parsing the Fashion Report's clues, but I could hazard a guess that the earrings he's looking for need to be red in some way.

A member of the Sargatanas community, Kaiyoko Star, has taken it upon herself to catalogue the Fashion Report for every week, and gives helpful infographics on how to obtain pieces to get the full 100 points.

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A middling score, and we earn 10000 MGP just for participating. If you score above the 80-point threshold, you earn another 50000.

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Here's another GATE, the Slice is Right, featuring the one and only Yojimbo, of Final Fantasy X fame.

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The idea is that he will summon giant pillars of bamboo from the floor, and slice them. They'll fall over, knocking anyone hit by them off the stage and out of the contest. I've never actually done this GATE before, as it was added recently, so I'm knocked out almost immediately.

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Daigoro, his faithful hound shows up as well!

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On the upper level of the Wonder Square near Masked Rose are the Manderville Tables, where this lady is teaching people how to play Doman Mahjong.

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Near as I can tell, it's played similar to real-world Mahjong, in that you have to build a hand of fourteen tiles, consisting of four sets of three, called triplets, and a pair of identical tiles. The triplets can be either sequential tiles from a suit (4-5-6, 2-3-4), or three of a kind. You draw a tile, then discard a tile. You can draw from either the draw pile, or take the tile that the previous player discarded. That's the basics, but there's a whole lot more to the game.

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And there's a whole upper level that we didn't go to last time!

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These two arcade machines are actually a repurposing of the original Final Fantasy XIV 1.0 mining and botany "minigames"

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Further in, we arrive at the Lord of Verminion plaza, and I realize I've never really explained what minions are!

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Minions are miniature pets that follow you around. They have no effect on combat or crafting or anything like that, and serve as a fashion item. But they also have another use, in this Lord of Verminion minigame. It's a real-time strategy game, akin to the Fort Condor defense game in Final Fantasy VII. You deploy your minions to destroy the opponent's armies and their crystal bases. The first one to destroy all three is the winner.

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And up here, we have the Chocobo Square, where you can raise and race chocobos!

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One quick trip to Bentbranch Meadows, and we have a racing Chocobo!

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Pictures unrelated.

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Hmm....

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Now we get to name our racing chocobo, by picking from a list of pre-selected words.

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Chocobo Racing runs similarly to how it works in Final Fantasy VII, where you guide your chocobo around the track. Holding up on the stick causes the chocobo to run faster, but will cause a lathered status, and their stamina to drain faster. Pull back on the stick to slow down and clear this status. There's also a little bit of Mario Kart, or the PS1 Chocobo Racing game in it as well, with panels on the ground that can (usually) cause you to speed up, but there are bad panels as well.

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In addition, there are treasure coffers that appear on the track that will give you items that you can use to turn the tide of the race. In the tutorial, it only gives you Sprint Shoes, like a Mario Kart mushroom, but there are others as well.

And that's the basics of Chocobo racing, and with it, the rest of the Gold Saucer stuff I didn't cover!

So, tabulating the votes, and Maelstrom is the winner, Until Sea Swallows All! Satznswys heads back to the Waking Sands to give Minfilia her decision.

Meanwhile...

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Alphinaud and Alisaie are hanging out in the Quicksand.

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Alisaie is bugged that the speeches and ceremonies of the three nations were little more than "rah-rah" speeches, giving little mind to the Calamity and Seventh Umbral Era.

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Alphinaud suspects that the people have forgotten the Warriors of Light who stopped awful things other than the Calamity.

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I disagree with Alphinaud's scathing comments and tone here. We don't really know why nobody can recall the faces or names of the Warriors of Light, but it's no reason to hold it against the people. Besides, one of the first things Satznswys was told about when she got her start in adventuring from Momodi was about the Warriors of Light and how try as they might, nobody can remember them.

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This sets Alisaie off, and she's out.

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Alphinaud is a smug little bastard.

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Honestly, Alphinaud leaves a lot to be desired from his first impression. He's cocky, smug, and a little too sure of himself. As you might guess, since we've been seeing these two since the beginning of the game, he and Alisaie are focal characters in the story of Final Fantasy XIV, and we will be seeing these characters evolve significantly over the course of A Realm Reborn, and the three expansions to date.

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Alphinaud muses that only by working together, probably with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, will Eorzea be healed of its wounds, and preventing older ones from being torn open.

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Back at the Waking Sands, Satznswys gives the recruiters her answer: Maelstrom it is. The recruiter sends her off to Limsa Lominsa to fill out her enlistment papers.

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The other two recruiters are disappointed, but leave the door open if she ever changes her mind.

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Here at Maelstrom Command, Satznswys introduces herself to the personnel officer, but just as they are about to administer the oath...

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Seems there's a bit of trouble regarding Imperials shooting down an airship in lower La Noscea. There's very few able bodies to spare in the area, having deployed their troops to handling the sahagin threat elsewhere, so Satznswys is tasked with handling this in sort of a trial-by-fire basis.

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Satznswys finds the downed airship, and a squad of Imperials.

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They're a jumpy bunch. But this Roegadyn crewman and our heroine avoid detection.

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He's still a little skittish after they get away from the wreckage.

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A Storm officer comes along to check up on things, and smoothing things over quickly with the jumpy Roegadyn.

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The Imperials look over the wreckage. One comments that magitek does not belong in the hands of "Eorzean savages". Great bunch, these guys. They mean to take the engineer, hiding aboard the wreckage, back to Castrum Occidens.

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The Roegadyn gives the Lalafell engineer a name: Wedge. And the name of their ship is the Tiny Bronco. Very cute, Square Enix.

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This Master Garlond seems like a handy guy to have around. Too bad he's missing, presuming he's not dead... Wedge and this guy, Biggs, were taking the Tiny Bronco out on a test flight when they were fired upon by the Imperials. So the officer says to the hells with the lot of the Imperials, and to protect Wedge.

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The soldiers have a trick up their sleeve: a Magitek automaton weapons platform, with drill cannon arms!

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Wedge comes out of hiding after the fight is over, and Biggs chides him for staying with the ship. Luckily, Wedge had the time to take a damage assessment, and determined that they can at least get the Bronco airborne long enough to get the ship back home. Biggs is grateful for Maelstrom stepping in when they did. And so they set to work repairing the ship while Satznswys goes to report back at Maelstrom HQ.

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Before asking for the oath, the personnel officer gives us what the enlistment entails: meeting the Garlean and primal threats to Limsa Lominsa. They see joining this military force as joining the crew of a ship, that ship being the city-state itself.

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Satznswys is assigned the rank of Private Third Class, and that's it.

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Those that are here let out a round of applause.

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Minfilia calls to congratulate her on her enlistment. Geez, news travels fast in Eorzea. She asks that Satznswys not forget that she is a part of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn as well. Then bids her to return to the Waking Sands (COUNT: 5) to meet some new people.

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But first, Commander Rhiki here has some work for her.

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Oh yeah, she's been schlepping around Eorzea on foot, mostly. The occasional airship trip or chocobo porter here or there, but Commander Rhiki has a better idea: her very own chocobo! Satznswys just needs to get 200 of a new currency: Storm Seals.

By doing work under the colors of a Grand Company, you'll earn Grand Company Seals for your GC of choice, which you can exchange for supplies, gear, and the requisition papers we need to get our own Chocobo. Luckily, one source of GC seals is a new page added to the Hunting Log, whose rewards are GC seals. Clearing any one of these hunts will be enough to get what we need to proceed. For Maelstrom, there's a particular type of kobold in Upper La Noscea which should be within Satznswys's strength to take.

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Alternatively, Leveling Roulette rewards now include Grand Company seals as well, and the rewards for filling the role in need will be more than enough as well!

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Having taken care of the work for Maelstrom, Satznswys has enough seals to get the issuance she needs, and then meets her new steed.

We can, of course, name him.

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I choose a lore-compliant name.

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And with that, Satznswys can now call her very own chocobo as a mount!

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From the Mount Guide, you can select any mount to ride around on. There are hundreds of them, and some players like to collect as many as they can. There are mounts that can be crafted, for beating hard-difficulty fights, rewards from the Gold Saucer, and many more. Some are even Mogstation-exclusive.

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Some are absolutely ridiculous, like this Strife Delivery Service Fenrir bike, from the Final Fantasy motion picture, Advent Children. This one in particular was given to everyone who attended the Square Enix convention "Final Fantasy Fanfest" prior to the release of Shadowbringers, and then was later released on Mogstation. It even plays the music "Crazy Motorcycle Chase" from Final Fantasy VII.

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We'll stick with good ol' Boco for now, though. You can ride in any open world zone, except for cities. In addition, mounts start out a little bit faster than a permanent Sprint effect, and their speed can be increased by obtaining riding maps, and for story completion.

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There's one more thing that can be done with our new friend Boco, in South Shroud.

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She sends us to introduce Satznswys to another chocobo fan at Bentbranch Meadows. This has pretty much turned out to be the Chocobo Update for Final Fantasy XIV so far.

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Luqulot tells Satznswys that she can summon her chocobo to fight on her side!

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All we need are a bit of Gysahl Greens, a series-staple chocobo feed.

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You might not have noticed, unless you were carefully watching the screenshots of each of these updates for the various interstitial quest names, but Koji Fox and the other localizers were given a lot of liberty to crack jokes in this game, for example, the quest that we just did to unlock our Chocobo mount is named "My Little Chocobo". Later on, we will get a quest to fight a harder version of Ifrit, and that quest's name is "Ifrit Bleeds, We Can Kill It". Koji Fox is a madman.

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When using Gysahl greens, you get a 30 minute timer to call out your Chocobo friend, and he or she will fight on your side as a simplified pet. You can give them general commands to attack, hang back, or fight only when you're attacked. You can use a second green to extend this clock up to 60 minutes. Note that when you're in a city or residential zone, or when you are mounted, this clock is paused. You can easily see how much time you have left in the party list.

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Your chocobo gains experience as you and they kill enemies in the field, and each time they level up, you earn a stipend of skill points to allocate into one of the three roles: Defender gives the Chocobo skills with increased emnity generation, allowing it to hold a little bit of threat off you, but not enough to hold a candle to a real tank's threat. Healer gives your Chocobo direct healing abilities, and a decent heal-over-time. Attacker gives them stronger auto-attacks, a DoT skill, and AOE damage skills.

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Generally speaking, you'll want to focus your SP growth into Healer, unless you yourself are a healer, in which case you want to put points into either Attacker or Defender. A fully maxed out Chocobo will have all skills learned, though, and will be a beast to contend with. These can be re-specced at any time by feeding your chocobo some Reagan Greens.

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Having negotiated that, Luquelot also hands over some saddlebags for the Chocobo. This is additional storage space that you can keep items in, but you cannot access them while in a duty or combat. Please note that you only get 70 inventory spaces as a part of the base game. To get the expanded Chocobo Saddlebag, you will have to have purchased a subscription to the FFXIV companion app on your phone, which lets you manage your retainers and buy and sell items on the market board from your Android or Apple smartphone. This service also gives you one additional retainer you can hire.

All that done, and now that we are established in a Grand Company, Satznswys has a couple of dungeons on the docket that you might've noticed in the Quest Log on the right side of the screen for a while.

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The one we'll be tackling today is near Camp Drybone: Halatali. This place was built by Ul'Dah to house monsters for bloodsports. The place was abandoned after the Calamity, and the beasts bred into feral creatures, and so Satznswys has to go clean 'em out.

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Another job well done. Satznswys feels refreshed and invigorated, and ready to take on the next job Minfilia has for her.

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Back in the Waking Sands, Papalymo and Yda are talking things over.

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Thancred reflects on Raubahn taking the news that one of his own could turn coat.

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Back in the Solar, the Scions convene, and the topic of conversation are Satznswys's deeds rescuing Biggs and Wedge from the wreckage of the Tiny Bronco.

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Minfilia has some guests, but is unable to introduce us, as Satznswys has already met them.

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Yep, Biggs and Wedge show up, and make formal introductions. Seems they'll be joining the crew for the time being, as their expertise in Magitek-driven technology, especially airships, will be quite useful. And so Garlond Ironworks sent the two of them to the Waking Sands at Minfilia's request.

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The Students of Baldesion have another report to deliver, commissioned by the Twin Adder. Minfilia asks Yda and Papalymo to break it down.

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The sylphs are relatively benign, unlike the war-prone Amalj'aa. Minfilia means to use this non-agressive posture to maybe get in good with the sylphs and see just what makes the primals tick. They still worship Ramuh, but are either incapable of or unwilling to summon Him. But better safe than sorry, so the Scions are tasked with finding this out, as a neutral party would be better suited, rather than Gridania herself. After all, they have their hands full against the Ixal and their primal, Garuda.

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Minfilia drills down to the point. By using the connection of souls inherent in the Echo, the sylphs could be convinced by more than just mere words.

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Thancred says he's out, but nominates Yda and Papalymo to guide Satznswys. They agree, and they're off to the Twelveswood.

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Before we go, we check in with the others. Seems Wedge has a bit of a crush on Tataru!

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Urianger has a bit of lore on Ramuh: that he appears as an elderly sage, and that histories refer to him as "the old man of the woods."

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The Waking Sands has gotten more lively, and the Scions' ranks have swollen a bit with Satznswys's newfound fame. Tataru keeps things in check, though.

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Liavinne was one of the adventurers with Avere, Edda, and Paiyo Reiyo before Avere was killed. Seems she's tapped out of the adventuring gig and is helping out at the Waking Sands as unskilled labor. Good for her. At least she's keeping busy.

Hopping the ferry from Vesper Bay, and then an airship from Limsa Lominsa, Satznswys arrives in Gridania to check in with the Twin Adders.

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While in Limsa Lominsa, Satznswys drops by Maelstrom Command, and her performance has been noticed by the brass, and she is promoted to Storm Private Second Class! Huzzah! This will allow her to stock up more Grand Company seals, and purchase new items with those seals.

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Now, having completed this quest in particular, Sylph-management, something very important has just opened up. Once you've completed this quest, and you're level 30 or higher, you can take the next step in advancing your combat training! Finally, Satznswys can accept her Job Quest! Off to Ul'dah with her!

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But first, Satznswys finds another Quest Plus, this time involving a woman who left behind a book that seemed important to her. A nearby archer says that she was talking about Apkallu Falls, in the northern end of the city.

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Millith is grateful to have her journal back, and explains that she is stricken with wanderlust, wanting to see the most beautiful sights all over Eorzea. She invites Satznswys to explore the splendor of the Realm Reborn as well.

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The Sightseeing Log allows you to find hidden vistas and points of interest all over Eorzea and beyond. Doing so will net you a small stipend of experience points, and there are achievements for discovering them as well.

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But we have things to do! To the Gladiator's Guild!

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Lulutsu's got the line on the Sultansworn, that they are sharing their secrets! Apparently, in the past, they were very secretive and reluctant to share their secrets except to the best of the very best. As is implied by the name, the Sultansworn are Ul'dah's palace guard, charged with protecting the Sultan or Sultana and their house. But why would they open up their book of secrets now? Curious to be sure, but Satznswys sees it as an opportunity to expand her skills in swordplay.

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Satznswys introduces herself to Jenlyns, the captain of the Sultansworn. Jenlyns is keen to accept new recruits, because the glory days of the Sultansworn are behind them: the royal house turns to sellswords to protect the Sultana. Uh...awkward.

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And so now, Jenlyns seeks to swell the Paladins' ranks by being a little more open with their recruiting process. However, one still has to know someone who knows someone to get a shot at this, and Mylla and the rest of the Gladiator's Guild can vouch for Satznswys's valor and prowess with a blade.

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Seems she won't be taking an oath to Ul'dah, though. Perhaps they're just looking to spread their battle techniques further? Who knows?

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He gives Satznswys her task: travel to Little Ala Mhigo. South of that settlement is an iron brazier. She is to light that flame to draw in the walking dead nearby, slay them, and deliver their ashes to Jenlyns as proof.

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This mysterious Roegadyn tells her that there's more to being a paladin than just taking the oath, wearing the armor, and swinging the blade.

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A little awkward, but he bids farewell, and Satznswys returns to Jenlyns.

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Here's the crystal he gave Satznswys.

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A free paladin has no master. Instead, they travel all lands and take up the cause of the unarmed and defenseless. Sounds great!

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Seems like the crystal is from that traitor he mentioned before. An oathbreaker who turned his back on the Sultansworn.

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So the arc for the Paladin story will be bringing this traitor to justice.

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The crystal that Satznswys now bears is a Job Crystal, containing the memories of heroes past, just like Final Fantasy V. By equipping the Job Crystal...

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Just like that, Satznswys is now a Paladin! And her hotbars are all jacked up! Luckily, there's a pretty easy fix for that, using command line control.

Every thing in the game, from activating things to using attacks tells the game, in shorthand, to execute a particular slash command like
Code:
/ac "Fast Blade" <t>
would tell the game to perform the Fast Blade action on the target. The command I'm going to use will copy the positions and actions of a hotbar over from one class to another.

Code:
/hotbar copy GLA 1 PLD 1

For controller users, the command line is similar, but with a different command.

Code:
/chotbar copy GLA 1 PLD 1

The syntax for these commands is the same: "copy" duplicates the hotbar from one class to another, in this case, Hotbar 1 for Gladiator to Hotbar 1 for Paladin. For crafters and gatherers, this can be especially helpful when setting up all eight of your class's hotbars. Just repeat this for all the hotbars you want to copy, and everything will be set up just as you left it as Gladiator.

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Also, now that we the job class, we have a ton of new actions to plan for!

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There, all my paladin actions are set and ready to go for when I unlock them. For now, we'll talk about the one that we just unlocked with the Job: Spirits Within. It's a 30 second OGCD attack that you weave in between GCDs, that deals more damage the more health you have. The way the cooldowns line up is that you'll get one Spirits Within with Fight or Flight up, and another while Fight or Flight is on cooldown. We'll get another quest for Paladin at 35 and every 5 levels until we hit 50.

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But for now, Vorsaile Heuloix, the Serpent Commander, is left wondering why Satznswys bolted so soon after saying hello.

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Vorsaile says that they are currently looking into the sylphs and their ties to the primal Ramuh.

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Papalymo puts it best: "Better to be safe than sorry."

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Ultimately, the job the three Scions have here is to answer that very question. He directs Satznswys, Yda, and Papalymo to speak with the untempered sylphs of Little Solace in East Shroud, near Hawthorne Hut.

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The ferry down the hill from the Lancer's Guild travels between the city and near to Hawthorne Hut.

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Between the hut itself and the ferry dock is an apiary, which Satznswys is directed to introduce herself to Rosa, one of the Hawthorne family, and, predictably, there's a crisis to avert: hornets are menacing the beehives.

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Here's Spirits Within in action.

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Rosa is pleased at Satznswys's work, and gives her a jar of honey to gift to the reticent Serpent guard at Hawthorne Hut, Amelain.

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Amelain attacks the honey with Winnie the Pooh-like abandon, and then gets down to the business she's here for: the sylphs. Seems that the Empire is in the neighborhood, and that has made them a little skittish.

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Satznswys pokes around the village for some more information. They're very prone to pranks and mischief. They have a very odd sense of formality and decorum, utterly alien to the taller folk.

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This info jogs the memory of the patriarch, Rolfe, that the sylphs are very fond of dance, so dance she shall! He also advises a gift, but he can't remember what kind of gift the sylphs like, so he sends Satznswys back to the apiary, because maybe his wife, Rosa, knows.

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So Satznswys gonna get the sylphs either drunk or high. Sounds like fun, let's do it.

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Making quick work of a nearby ochu, Satznswys is up one milkroot and heads back to Rolfe.

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He wraps the milkroot, and we're off to Little Solace. Amelain mentions a sylph by the name of Komuxio, an emissary of sorts.

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A dance gets a foot in the door, and her gift of milkroot seals the deal.

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When the news is dropped by Yda and Papalymo, however, Komuxio is not amused.

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Hey, Yda, the jig was extremely jiggy. The jiggiest jig that has ever been jigged.

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Yda suggests getting in good with the locals, and busting a move for the others.

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Each of the races has their own unique dance animation for the /dance emote. Also, the name of this quest is "Dance Dance Diplomacy".

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She is the queen of the world, her dance will save us all.

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Great, Yda. Nice of you to conveniently skip out on the dancing.

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Papalymo has another idea: help people with their problems. That is what an adventurer does, after all.

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Imedia's problem is short and to the point: this area is menaced by monsters. Thin their number.

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Having knocked that out, it seems that Komuxio is a little more trusting. The last outsiders to come through were less friendly.

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Yeah, bodies of steel does sound pretty Empire-y to Satznswys. Seems like they're doing their Empire thing and knocking down trees, burning, and generally making a nuisance of themselves. She decides to ask around for more information.

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A trail of clues leads Satznswys in this direction.

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The imperial soldiers are easily dispatched, what with Satznswys's high level.

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A bill of lading of some kind. Containing food and rocks. All local to the area, so Komuxio thinks there might be some cooperation between the tempered sylphs and the Empire.

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Satznswys also gains a level from completing this quest, putting her to level 35. Normally, I would put the next Job Quest on hold until we finish this arc, but there is a skill locked behind the next Job Quest. So I'm sure Yda and Papalymo can hold down the fort while Satznswys takes care of that.

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Back in Ul'dah, Jenlyns begins telling Satznswys about how he first saw the Sultansworn: as a child, he and his father were in the streets for some celebration. The two took a wrong turn down an alley, and unfortunately, were caught in a riot that turned bloody. When everything seemed lost, the former captain of the order swept in and saved the boy and father. And so he became obsessed with the Sultansworn, and wanted to be a paladin above all else. He worked hard, and earned his commission, and eventually the captaincy. But it was all hollow, since the seat he now occupied was formerly held by what he saw as the symbol of everything he built himself up to be.

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The traitor made off with this sacred blade, and the Sultansworn began its sharp decline, and thus we have our reason for why they were opening their ranks: fresh blood for those who might rally to the Sultansworn's cause to revitalize the order, and find this traitor and Oathkeeper.

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Jenlyns sends her out to light another brazier and kill whatever comes along after her. This is a pretty long trek north through La Noscea. Satznswys starts from Aleport, heads north through Bronze Lake, all the way to the ancient Floating City of Nym.

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All to kill a few lemurs.

Okay, buddy, that was kind of absurd. Why?

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Oh, just to see that I've internalized what you've taught me so far. Okay, cool, buddy. Catch you on the flip side.

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He did give us a new skill though, and also an expansion to the Oath gauge. Now we're gonna start building meter!

The new skill he taught Satznswys is Sheltron: an off-GCD that blocks incoming attacks for four seconds, at the cost of 50 oath gauge. Paladins generate 5 oath gauge points with every auto-attack, so every ten auto-attacks, you can use Sheltron to block attacks. Note that it doesn't mitigate all the damage incoming, but knocks off a huge chunk of it. It's used for attacks that would outright kill a healer or DPS, but only severely wound a tank. Common parlaiance names these attacks "tankbusters".

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Also, at 35, better gear is available, so she calls up one of her friends in the Talking Tyrants, who happily gets working on the anvil for some fresh new gear.

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It's. PERFECT.

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This is the "Tin Can" phase of tank gear. You'll notice that she has no head piece or boots equipped, because the head and feet pieces are integrated in to the legs and body. So Satznswys is gonna be stuck looking like this for a while, at least until level 40.

Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled MSQ.

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Hi Komuxio. Do you like my new armor? They are absolutely lathered about their friend, Claxio, who left the village, and is probably in danger of getting chewed on.

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Claxio has had it with both the tempered sylphs and the untempered ones of Little Solace, because the latter relies on the walking ones, i.e. the Hyurs, Mi'qote, Roegadyn, etc. for too much.

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Komuxio is displeased with this turn of events, as there are tempered sylphs all over this part of the wood, and in fact, there is a FATE in the area that describes the tempered ones periodically attempting to abduct the untempered and turn them.

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Yeah, this seems about right.

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Claxio gets about five feet away when...

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Yep.

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Luckily, Papalymo and Yda are not far behind!

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Beating up the tempered sylphs is a pretty simple ordeal. Part of the way through the fight, they summon a Final Fantasy staple enemy, a morbol. Like most Final Fantasy games, you don't want to be on the receiving end of its Bad Breath attack, or you'll get slapped with about a billion bad debuffs that make life absolutely miserable. And, of course, Papalymo and Yda run right into it.

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Afterward, Komuxio comes up, relieved that Claxio is safe. Claxio was upset that the sylphs of Little Solace were becoming more friendly with the walking ones, and he was afraid that the untempered sylphs would possibly be lost in the same way the tempered sylphs are. Komuxio calls him a dummy, but nicely, and the two head back to Little Solace.

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Back in the village, Komuxio is happy to introduce Satznswys to the elder. There's just a slight wrinkle though...

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It seems the elder wandered off into the forest, toward South Shroud. The elder was last sighted near the home of a walking one named Buscarron, so that's a lead to follow.

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Back in Gridania, Vorsaile is alarmed at the elder's disappearance, and directs Satznswys to inform a Wood Wailer officer, Giah Molkoh to search as well. He's directing all hands on deck to find the elder.

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When Satznswys arrives at Buscarron's Druthers, she finds Papalymo and Yda already in the area.

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For his part, Buscarron seems concerned, but unlikely to do much than be a waypoint for information. There's very little to do that isn't already being done by others, so he suggests cooling heels until something more tangible comes out.

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Like breaking up bar fights. A drunkard is stirring up trouble, and Buscarron asks Satznswys to take a tub down to the river, fill it with water, and then douse the troublemaker.

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Sploosh.

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Buscarron is happy with her work, and has something else for her to do: Teteroon, a Qiqirn friend that he rescued after the Calamity, took off for Limsa Lominsa with a merchant, and after he left, Buscarron found an earring that belonged to the Qiqirn, and so, he asks Satznswys to return it.

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Satznswys gets a bit of a runaround in Limsa Lominsa, and the trail heads to Aleport.

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And further north, to Bronze Lake.

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You're a tricky guy to find, Teteroon. He seems really down and misses Buscarron.

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So he wants to make booze for him! What a good friend. Naturally, he asks us to find some supplies for him. Namely, fresh water and coeurl whiskers, both of which can be found at nearby Fool's Falls.

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After setting up the firewater, he sends us back to Buscarron with the instructions to let it age for a year.

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Buscarron is a little overcome with the memories of his friend. But this diversion wasn't all bad: he got word while Satznswys was away that Sylphs were seen in the area.

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That's not all that's in the area though!

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When Buscarron gets wind of it, he's very shocked: Imperials wouldn't have any business down this far south, and even if they did, the Wood Wailer patrols would put a stop to it...unless there were a traitor in their midst, the same as the Immortal Flames did?

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Seems there's a bloke around who's come in to a lot of coin, and speaking as someone who had to look at PowerPoint slides about the warning signs of potential espionage insider sources, he fits the bill: he's a Wood Wailer, and he barely had two gil to rub together to afford a pint of gutrot and a bowl of thin soup, and now he's ordering Buscarron's finest.

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He gives the name: Laurentius, and tells Satznswys to look in on him discreetly, and put a stop to him if he is in fact a turncoat.

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He is, in fact, looking a little squirrely, and tells Satznswys to piss off before running away. To be fair, you try doing anything discreetly in The Tin Can.

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And Satznswys still got the drop on him. Well, this ain't good for you, buddy.

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A few swipes of the sword, and Laurentius's would-be Imperial rescuer is put on the ground. He legs it yet again. This is getting old.

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Correction: it got old.

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...Laurentius is really reminding Satznswys of that merchant jerk what got himself tempered by Ifrit.

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Thankfully, we've got backup in the form of a few of the Redbelly bandits of the area.

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And also the Coeurlclaws! This is turning out to be a mess. Just a few waves of Garlean soldiers, and Laurentius himself.

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Laurentius realizes that the reason the bandits and the Wood Wailers would fight shoulder to shoulder is that Garlemald threatens all of them equally, and the inspiring words of men and women like Buscarron are what can drive those who would normally fight each other to stand shoulder to shoulder. Laurentius, unlike Ungust before him, sees his crimes laid bare, and swears to turn himself in.

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Buscarron is pretty melancholy about the state of things. He hopes that the Adders will see his contrition and take that in to account. It's not all bad, though. Buscarron finally has a lead on the sylph elder!

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Buscarron points the trio in the direction of a nearby abandoned dungeon called The Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak.

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Noraxia is beside themself with worry, obviously. They tried to go in after the elder, Frixio, and got hurt. Papalymo stays at the Druthers to tend to Noraxia's wounds, and sends Yda to alert the Twin Adders. For Satznswys, her job is obvious: to head into the Thousand Maws and find the elder. The accord between Gridania and the sylphs is on the line!

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The Thousand Maws is a short jog north of the Druthers. Let's do this!


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With that work down, from the ceiling, a spider-silk cocoon drops, and out pops an old sylph. One might call them...ELDERly.

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Oh boy, Echo time.

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Seems Nero has been in the neighborhood, looking for the primal. The Garleans call the primals "eikons", to distance the beings from the idea that they are divine in any way. The lot of them are trying to keep a low profile to avoid confrontation with the Wood Wailers or the Adders.

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Nero is annoyed by this lack of Ramuh's presence, and sarcastically tells the sylphs to pick a better god.

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The Imperials took a number of sylphs captive, but, most likely, they were untempered, and did not seek succor from Ramuh, which appears to have been Nero's intent.

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The Empire cannot abide the presence of the primals. So why are they trying to goad the tribes of Eorzea to summon them? Also, Nero continues to bare his obsession with finding this Master Garlond we've heard so much about.

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"Ultimate weapon". That sounds like a bad thing.

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Noraxia and Frixio observed this conversation, which is why Satznswys was privy to this.

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Back in the present, Frixio is very keen to know why Satznswys and Juno came down here.

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Frixio is more keen to get the hell out of this smelly dungeon and back home. I tend to agree.

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Reporting back to Buscarron, he's very relieved to find out Frixio is safe, and bids Satznswys to follow back to Little Solace. He'll fill in Yda, Papalymo, and the Adders for her.

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Back at Little Solace, Frixio greets Satznswys warmly, just as Yda and Papalymo arrive.

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Turns out the misadventures came about due to the imperials in the neighborhood, as Satznswys saw in the Echo flashback. The soldiers found them, and gave chase. They followed Frixio all the way to Toto-Rak and inside, where they happened upon the Ascian, Lahabrea.

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Papalymo gets back to the reason why they're out here in the first place: the message from Kan-E-Senna. Frixio tries to assuage the Gridanians' concerns: the reason Ramuh was summoned was to attempt to drive the imperials out of the Twelveswood, and there was no aggression intended toward Gridania. Frixio counseled against it, some of the sylphs attempted it, and they all became tempered.

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So those that weren't touched by Ramuh fled to Little Solace to escape the Arbiter's influence and His now-tempered minions. Frixio explains that Ramuh is not callous and cruel, and wants to leave well enough alone. As long as the Gridanians stay out of Ramuh's domain, no harm will befall them.

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For now, Papalymo, for now. The two of them make to head back to the Waking Sands, while Satznswys reports back to Gridania to deliver the good news.

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Before she departs, Frixio gifts her a purple crystal!

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Back in Gridania, Vorsaile is pleased to learn that Gridania need not fear Ramuh, as long as they steer clear of the tempered sylphs.

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Hi, Minfilia. She's pleased to learn of Satznswys's work in the Twelveswood, as it removes a potential primal threat, though there is still another primal to deal with there, and this news of Garlean incursion into the Twelveswood is troubling. Minfilia bids Satznswys return to the Waking Sands (Count: 5).

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Tataru happily welcomes Satznswys back. In the solar...

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...You need to stop following Satznswys around, you creepy little stalker. Minfilia pushes back, saying that the situation has been turned down to a low simmer, rather than a boil threatening to make a huge mess of the stew.

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Minfilia asks after Alphinaud's sister, and it seems she's out doing her own thing, but she seeks the same goal as the others.

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Stop being so damn ambiguous, the both of you. WHY ARE YOU EVEN HERE, ALPHINAUD?

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Right off the bat, the Scions get to discussing where to focus their efforts next. Yda suggests the sahagin and the Lord of the Whorl, Leviathan. Papalymo advises against that, seeing as they lack crystals to perform the summoning.

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Good work Yda.

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The camera cuts meaningfully to Biggs and Wedge in the corner. Hmm...

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After everyone leaves, Satznswys tells Minfilia about Lahabrea, the Ascian she met in Toto-Rak. Before the Calamity, they acted in secret, but now they're acting openly.

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Uh oh.

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Oh, hello, Noraxia. Seems Frixio sent Noraxia to the Scions to be of assistance.

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Tataru is still very apprehensive.

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And with that, this chapter comes to a close. Next time, we'll start off with some tomb raiding!
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
A Realm Reborn: Chapter 6 - The Fires of Revolution

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to the Let's Play! Been a bit, because I've been moving, but I'm more or less settled in at home, and now I feel like I can continue working on this! I'm highly motivated to get to a certain point in the story before the next patch drops this summer, and I'm gonna do my best to get it done!

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But, anyway, expect a wardrobe change soon-ish! Satznswys is closing in on the next gear milestone for tanks, which happens in the 38-40 range, and this should be the last of the crafted gear we need until we hit level 50. I made all this myself on my main character, who's got all the crafters maxed, and has materials to craft it all. For all crafting under level 70, it's effectively just takes two button presses to craft items with perfect quality. If I ever get around to writing up a post on how crafting works, then I'll go in to more detail.

When we last left off, Satznswys, Yda, and Papalymo had brokered a peace between the Sylphs of the Twelveswood and the nation of Gridania. So off to the Waking Sands to report in.

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But before that, I promised you guys some raiding of tombs, and raid we shall! Nedrick Ironheart, the fellow who gave Satznswys the quest to go into Halatali gives a couple other quests for optional dungeons.

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Nedrick puts her in contact with Bibimu here, who gives us the basic low-down of the Sunken Temple of Qarn, old Belah'dian ruins from a civilization that fell in the Sixth Umbral Calamity, which I'll get in to in more detail in the accompanying video... right now!


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Inside the dungeon, Satznswys got to level 38, and got a very key piece the tank's kit with it: Sentinel. It lasts for 15 seconds, and reduces all incoming damage by 30 percent, and can be used every two minutes. Each of the tanks has a comparable skill, and is their meatiest damage mitigation skill. Generally, this should be the first cooldown you reach for when you start a large pull of monsters in dungeons.

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Back in the Waking Sands, Minfilia suggests that the Scions put their efforts of stopping primal summonings on hold, and concentrate on investigating this Lahabrea. As there are no imminent threats to mitigate at the moment, it seems an opportune moment. The problem is that the Scions know little about them.

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Minfilia has already started the groundwork for the investigations, putting out feelers to the Grand Companies. The Immortal Flames returned some information, so she sends Satznswys to confer with one Commander Swift in Ul'Dah.

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Swift puts us on to a witness on the Highbridge in Eastern Thanalan, but, alas, he was slain by Qiqirn. However, since Highbridge is a major thoroughfare, someone else might've seen something.

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Hihibaru says he might've seen something, but he can't be sure. Nevertheless, he recommends Satznswys hang out in the neighborhood in case any leads turn up. Asking around, the merchants don't really have much to add other than, yep, the dark-cloaked fellow has been around.

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Hihibaru apologizes for being short, being preoccupied with all the Qiqirn raids that have been happening of late.

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Between the quest experience, plus a leveling roulette en route, Satznswys gains enough experience to not only hit level 39, but level 40 as well! Hold that thought, Hihibaru, we've got a job quest to do!

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Back in Ul'Dah, she checks in with Jenlyns. Maybe he's got some more substantial work to do now? Seems he's ready to spill the beans on what's up with the Sultansworn. We now have a name for the traitor and Jenlyns' predecessor: Solkzagyl. Several years ago, there was a political power play, spearheaded by a faction of the Syndicate that runs Ul'Dah: the Monetarists. This severely reduced the army's clout. And so, Solkzagyl left, with the Oathkeeper. Instead of putting him to the sword, as Jenlyns would be most pleased to do, he must stand public trial to help the Sultansworn regain some face in the eyes of the people. But Satznswys is not quite ready to face such an accomplished paladin of 30-some years as she is now, so Jenlyns wants to continue to hone her skills: Yep, another brazier, light it, and kill some monsters.

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Now that Satznswys is level 40, she can finally upgrade to something that isn't a ridiculous tin can! This is the mythril plate armor set, and looks quite fancy. And, believe it or not, this should be the last set of crafted gear we need until 50! See, the level 45 and 50 quests will be granting her some better armor, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go whack some baddies!

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Hold tight, Hihibaru, we'll get to you soon!

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Chop, chop, chop 'em down.

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Jenlyns is happy with her progress, and the Job crystal bequeaths a new skill: Prominence!

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Prominence is an AOE combo skill that chains off of Total Eclipse. It hits all foes around Satznswys, and is gonna be great for dealing lots of damage while maintaining threat. Plus, it looks sick as hell!

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While she was away (and definitely not because she decided to go do the job quest), Hihibaru turned up a lead: The Qiqirn in the area are rumored to be meeting with a great hulk of a man. It's thin, to be sure, but it's something to tug at.

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While in the neighborhood, a Qiqirn raid FATE appears, giving the game away a little earlier than the quest does: the Amalj'aa have been dealing with the Qiqirn to capture the residents of Highbridge for some good old fashioned slave trading. So, y'know, thankfully she put a stop to that.

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Hihibaru has turned up another lead: a masked man near Thal's Respite, a shrine to one of the dual-aspected god Nald'thal.

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Turns out this masked man is just a member of the Corpse Brigade, the bandits that operate out of Southern Thanalan. The scrap of paper had the mark of Rhalgr, the Destroyer on it, which Hihibaru surmises that the Corpse Brigade member is Ala Mhigan, and he points Satznswys to Little Ala Mhigo, the refugee camp for those who fled when the Empire attacked, and couldn't adapt to life in Ul'Dah. Seems like the leads at Highbridge have dried up as it is, so there's nothing to be lost by checking out Little Ala Mhigo.

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Hihibaru's daughter, Hihira, is melancholy when hearing after her father, but brushes it aside to hear Satznswys's intentions. She recommends speaking with the leader of the Ala Mhigans, Gundobald, but warns that he can be a little rough.

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Gundobald's reputation preceeds him, asking what's in it for the Ala Mhigans. Unable to come up with a satisfactory answer, he shoos Satznswys off.

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An Immortal Flames officer nearby over heard the telling-off, and offers to lend a hand to get in the refugees' good graces. He asks Satznswys to take some tea to some of his patrolmen, and in the process, get a status report on the Amalj'aa in the area.

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The tea delivered, Satznswys reports back in.

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Gisilbehrt suggests getting in touch with someone who knows of the Ala Mhigan Resistance, the rebel faction within Ala Mhigo that is fighting the Empire. Not sure who might fit that bill, Satznswys decides to return to the Waking Sands to ask Minfilia for some advice.

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Ala Mhigo has been occupied for 20 years, and to make matters worse, none of the nations in the Eorzean Alliance has the resources to give succor to the refugees, and, thus, are discriminated against due to poverty and criminal activity.

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Pshhhhh, one thing at at time, Minfilia.

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Minfilia points Satznswys in the direction of Haribehrt, a fellow Scion and a member of the Resistance. How fortuitous!

Haribehrt is doubtful that anyone could get through to his countrymen, but he's willing to pull whatever favors he can: Albreda, a woman of Quarrymill in the Twelveswood, might be able to get Satznswys's foot in the door.

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Hmm. Quarrymill is a settlement east of Buscarron's Druthers in South Shroud, and is suprisingly hopping for what seems like a wide spot in the road between the mines Buscarron services, and The Hawthorne Hut. I wonder why that is?

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She points in the direction of Meffrid, an active member of the Resistance.

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Seems one of their comrades is on death's door with a grievous wound, and needs medical attention.

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Seems all is lost for this man.

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Meffrid has an idea: stag horns could hold a cure, so Satznswys is sent out for a little late-night poaching.

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Meffrid asks Satznswys to pay a visit to Buscarron, and see if he can do something with the horns to make a salve for his man's wound.

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Buscarron already has a supply of the stuff ready. Seems he has a little history with the Ala Mhigans as well.

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Unfortunately, Gaillien has disappeared before they could administer the treatment.

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Satznswys finds him accosted by a goblin.

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Having scratched Meffrid's back, he now offers to scratch Satznswys's, and pens a letter of introduction to Gundobald on her behalf.

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Gundobald is much relieved to hear that Meffrid is alive, and becomes much more open.

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He suggests that Satznswys throw Gundobald's name around to get some of the younger men to spill the beans on their meetings with the masked man.

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They aren't very forthcoming. Gundobald has a bad feeling about this situation, and reflects on his younger days, of the fire that he sees in the younger men much like his own. His king had turned tyrant, and so he joined a rebellion. However, this was all to the Empire's design, and they ended up conquering Ala Mhigo.

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After the conversation, Gundobald's colleague says that one of the youth, Wilred, wants a word with Satznswys outside the encampment.

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Yeah, kinda saw this coming. Satznswys knows how to pull her punches, and doesn't outright kill these fellows. Wilred and the youths run off.

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This don't sound good, yeah...

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Gundobald reflects on these words, and asks Satznswys to find out what these youths might be planning.

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Wilred mentions something about crystals, and another youth mentions the Amalj'aa. Oh boy...

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Yeah, this is about what we all expected, yeah?

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So yeah, the Amalj'aa also have tempered shock troops at their beck and call.

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And Wilred has learned nothing from this, and what happens to those touched by a god.

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So the masked man put the bug in Wilred's ear about doing what the Amalj'aa do: summon their god to deliver them from those that would lay them low. Instead of summoning Ifrit, Wilred wanted to summon Rhalgr, the Destroyer and patron deity of Ala Mhigo. Gundobald rebukes Wilred's notion, that as long as they hold on to hope for a liberated homeland, they can make it happen one day.

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So that was a crisis averted, though not without bloodshed, but Satznswys is still not much closer to getting on to Lahabrea's trail. Sure, she learned about his machinations in the area, but not much about what's to come. Satznswys returns to the Waking Sands again to seek Minfilia's counsel.

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Satznswys reports in. Minfilia is troubled by the news.

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While she was out, Minfilia got wind of a new lead for Satznswys to chase, in the North Shroud: an individual that matches Lahabrea's description, and a series of mysterious deaths. Sounds like a calling card.

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Speaking to Noraxia for more information, seems a merchant at Fallgourd Float is the one who spotted the cloaked figure. Off Satznswys goes to follow the lead.

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Medrod is a little apoplectic at the moment, and it takes some lentil and chestnut stew and some calming words from Satznswys to get him to talk about what he saw: the masked man, and a winged eyeball creature.

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Aideen and Ivaurault, Medrod's friends, corroborate his story, and the three of them puzzle over what could've caused the murders. And they decide that it's best to just leave well enough alone, and let the professional adventurer figure it out.

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Ivaurault's lead pays off, with both a corpse...and a winged eyeball creature! Great!

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The Serpent finds a lily insignia on a button, and suggests that Mother Miounne in Gridania might know more. Finally, a lead!

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Miounne doesn't recognize it, but recommends a Wood Wailer by the aetheryte plaza. Who puts us to a member of the Lancer's guild, who spotted the same livery on the coat of a man who frequents the north end of town.

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This man seems to already know what's up.

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So Ursandel served House Dartancour, and the lady Amandine. In the throes of Bahamut's Calamity, she was grievously injured on her face, and apparently driven mad. She sequestered herself in her chambers for months, and then suddenly began taking guests: the masked men. What followed were groteqsue rituals, mutilations, and the like. And Ursandel disposed of what was left of her handmaidens. And after that, he fled Haukke Manor, House Dartancours' home. He vowed never to speak of this horridness...until Satznswys pressed him on it.

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So, yeah, Lady Amandine has more of those winged eyeball voidsent right up in her yard. This should be fun...


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After dispatching the spirit of Lady Amandine, Satznswys hears a familiar dialect. You can tell because of the creepy text box.

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Luckily, these two Ascians show themselves and deign to use the tongue of mortals. They confess to be impressed that no ordinary adventurer would be able to obtain one Crystal of Light, much less three.

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However, since apparently Satznswys is a detriment to whatever evil plans they have cooking, they can't abide her to continue living. However, theirs is not to destroy her at this time.

Merely to take a measure of her for their master, Lahabrea.

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They peace out. Is it possible that Lahabrea set this whole thing up, and pushed Lady Amandine to commit those murders in an attempt to set up this opportunity? For now, Satznswys can only speculate as she returns to Gridania to tell Ursandel that the business is concluded.

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Understandably, he's glum about it. He can only speculate if the Ascians we met are the same ones who led Amandine to her downfall, but chances are pretty good. He begs that Satznswys bring them ten times the woe that they have brought others like his mistress. He realizes that through his inaction, he was an accessory to these crimes, and decides to turn himself in to the Wood Wailers.

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Satznswys, having gotten a good look at the Ascians, decides to return to the Waking Sands and give Minfilia her report.

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Minfilia is troubled by the fact that the Ascians admitted their plans so openly. She laments that the Scions have received next to nothing about what their plans for Eorzea might be. Never to be disheartened though, she takes solace in the fact that they are aware of the Ascians' movements.

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Minfilia decides to alert the nations to this threat and urge them to heighten their vigil.

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And with that, this part of the story comes to an end! Next time, the Scions set their sights on La Noscea, and the potential for threats from primals from there!
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
A REALM REBORN: Chapter 7 - The Lord of Crags

Welcome back to the Final Fantasy XIV Let's Play! Previously, we had discovered, at least partially, the Ascians' involvement with various naughty things around the realm, including corrupting a Gridanian noblewoman and causing her to consort with voidsent. In today's outing, Minfilia's geared up to send Satznswys to La Noscea to investigate the movements of one of the tribes out that way.

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The Scions convened, Minfilia states that the Maelstrom has requested their help.

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Y'shtola doesn't miss a beat. But Minfilia says that it's worse than just the kobolds making movements to summon their primal.

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They've actually done it, it seems. The Maelstrom has contracted the Scions to slay the primal.

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Y'shtola gives Satznswys the skinny.

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The primal threat is a reoccurring one, not unlike Sin from Final Fantasy X. Much like in that game, the menace is partially formed from the despair of its inevitable victims. Likewise, the primals leave havoc and destruction and tempered in their wake, priming the pump once again for them to return again even after they've been put down.

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Y'shtola drills down to the point: the Scions know next to nothing about Titan, so this will be a fact-finding mission in conjunction with slaying the creature.

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She laments that the kobolds are not as mildly disposed as the sylphs, and a peaceful resolution is not likely. Satznswys is not one to back down from a challenge, and accepts. Thancred suggests that Y'shtola accompany her to Limsa Lominsa, as that is her area of responsibility.

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Y'shtola seems to already have her bags packed.

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Minfilia hands out assignments to support Satznswys and Y'shtola. She tells Urianger to contact the Students of Baldesion, as well as that little twerp Alphinaud. Papalymo is to gather what little information they have on the Lord of Crags.

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Satznswys checks in with the Scions relaxing in the common area, and seems Noraxia is trying to fit in.

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Papalymo doubts that he could find anything that the Company of Heroes couldn't already tell her.

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Arenvald is half-Garlean on his father's side. A'aba is happy for his friend, and wants to get him some new armor to help him in his bodyguard duties.

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Simple words of encouragement. Urianger is reticent, but shows his enthusiasm in his own way.

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Wedge is trying to puzzle out where Master Garlond of the Ironworks might've gone the day of the Calamity, though, if he headed to Carteneau on the day of the Calamity...

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Satznswys makes for Limsa Lominsa via the ferry in Vesper Bay.

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Commander Rhiki is pleased to see Satznswys, and confirms that Titan has been summoned once again. The kobolds of the mines of O'Ghomoro have been emboldened of late, pilfering aether-infused crystals to feed the primal.

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Y'shtola appears to have gone straight to the top, though, and brings Admiral Merlwyb from her office. She is pleased with Satznswys's work to date. She explains that this isn't the first time Limsa Lominsa has had to repel a primal. Before, however, they turned to the mercenary Company of Heroes. Since they've disbanded, they need to find new heroes capable of meeting Titan's threat.

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Y'shtola is a bit dubious of the situation. In the past, there was a pact that the beastmen would keep to themselves, and not shed blood.

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Ouch. "Even a pirate must one day reap what she has sown." Y'shtola isn't a thaumaturge, but even I felt that Scathe.

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Merlwyb calms her officer down, and agrees with Y'shtola's assessment of the state of things. However, apologizing will not slake Titan's wrath or His thirst for aether. She asks if the Lominsans should just fall on their swords. A duel of wits from two very sharp women.

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Satznswys, of course, agrees. Merlwyb pledges the Maelstrom's full support, and awaits good news. She departs, and Y'shtola observes that since the kobolds have already called their god, negotiation's out. But before they go charge headfirst into battle, she suggests gathering information, perhaps from the former Company of Heroes. Commander Rhiki knows where one is currently employed, at the Grey Fleet mills in lower La Noscea. It's a good a place as any to start looking. Y'shtola will remain in the city a little longer to track down any other former members of the Company.

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Satznswys has been a Private this whole time, but she's earned enough credit and seals for a promotion, to Private First Class...

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...and again, to Corporal!

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Hm. Let's see if we can knock that out right quick.

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Heading further northwest from the Twelveswood has us leaving the lands of the Eorzean Alliance and into Coerthas, under the control of the reclusive Ishgard. Camp Dragonhead is where most of the little business that concerns both the Alliance and Ishagard takes place. Even if you forget to bundle up your character for the cold, don't worry about it!

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The enemies in Coerthas are a cut above what Satznswys has encountered to this point, but still well within her capabilities to handle.

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Here, at Providence Point, Satznswys can get a pretty good look at the Holy See itself, but the long bridge leading to it, called The Steps of Faith, from the central lands of Coerthas is heavily guarded by the knights of Ishgard.

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Knocking out the last few hunts in not only her Gladiator hunting log, but her Grand Company hunting log as well, is enough experience to push Satznswys to level 44. She's getting up there!

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That's enough dilligent work for the Grand Company to finally earn her a promotion into the petty officer grades. I'll be keeping an eye on her seals, because once she hits 6000, that's enough for her next promotion, and it's a very important one.

But anyway, we were supposed to be looking for info on Titan, yes?

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Heading out of town, Satznswys finds the mill in question, and this...oddly dressed fellow. Turns out that Trachtoum here was the Company of Heroes' best axeman.

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Satznswys wastes no time in getting down to business.

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...Tidus?

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Trachtoum boasts, saying that he and his men fought the primal for three days and nights, describing each footfall that...Tidus took, the ground beneath their feet trembled, and every punch like a cannonball to the gut.

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Satznswys is...dubious to say the least. This sours Trachtoum's mood, and tells Satznswys to do his chores for him: slaying rats.

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Done and dusted.

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...why are you calling Titan "Tidus"?

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...I mean...okay.

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Done and dusted, take two.

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In comes Trachtoum's boss, and he takes credit for Satznswys's work.

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Seems he has Trachtoum's number, though.

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Trachtoum insists on his prowess.

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Who, indeed, Mr. Chief?

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Just took this screenshot for the Sahagin shite line. The miller says that Trachtoum's job is on the line if he can't prove that he slew the goobbue.

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...okay, then.

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This seems...less than equitable.

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I'm not quick enough on the screenshot button to catch a Monkey Island reference from Trachtoum: "Look behind ye! A three-headed goobbue!"

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Trachtoum fesses up that he wasn't a member of the Company of Heroes, stealing some of that valor from a fellow in Costa Del Sol. He gives a name: Wheiskaet. Excellent! A fine lead!

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Just up the road from the mill is a road leading to Costa Del Sol. Asking around, he's not a hard fellow to find.

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Y'shtola isn't far behind, it seems. Wheiskaet is less than impressed. Y'shtola points to her work investigating aetheric disturbances, and Satznswys's victory over Ifrit.

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Y'shtola drops the info-bomb of Satznswys's Echo, and that does catch Wheiskaet's ear, but he thinks they're gonna need something more than that.

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She takes the tactic of being fully committed to this goal. In telling the truth here, it's the honey instead of the vinegar.

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He proposes a test of Y'shtola and Satznswys's mettle to see if they've got the stuff to take on Titan.

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Y'shtola is unable to keep her cool.

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She reluctantly relents to Wheiskaet's conditions.

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And not-so-subtly shifts the burden of whatever nonsense he's got up his sleeve onto Satznswys. Well, hers is not to question 'why', hers is but to do or die.

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He tells Satznswys to kill a Nix near the settlement.

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This wasn't something you could do in the past; you had to hike all the way around the Costa Del Sol settlement to this spit of land just outside the village. Swimming was added with the Stormblood expansion.

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Easy peasy.

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Hmm. I. Wonder. Who. This. Fellow. Could. Be. This was but a test to make sure she wouldn't be a waste of his time. His real job for her is to obtain some rare ingredients for a banquet that Master Gegeruju is throwing for some guests. This will have her hiking all over Eorzea...or making judicious use of the Aetheryte network.

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Landenel, a former comrade of Wheiskaet, directs Satznswys to obtain the egg of an adamantoise. Satznswys just killed three earlier completing her hunting log.

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Landenel seems a lackadasical sort, only half-hearted in his duties in the Wood Wailers. His assistant there, Detoh, on the other hand, is quite distressed at the borderline illegal things he's got Satznswys up to.

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Having Satznswys discover a problem that requires the Wailer sentries about the Lower Paths to divert from their posts to deal with it, she closes in on her prize: the adamantoise egg.

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Look at this absolute unit.

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Landenel is happy with Satznswys's work, and sends her to meet a Mi'qote named U'odh Nunh, who lives at an oasis in the Sagolii Desert, south of Little Ala Mhigo.

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This is Forgotten Springs. The way overland is quite dangerous, with very powerful Amalj'aa warriors all over the place. Luckily, there's a hidden road that bypasses the Amalj'aa lands, and leads right to the oasis.

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Seems word of Satznswys's arrival has preceeded her. He's a bit curmudgeonly, and will require her to prove her worth.

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"Nunh" is a title, an honorific among settlements of Mi'qote, meaning this guy is the head honcho. He says that he won't offer any assistance to strangers, and that in order to get any help, Satznswys should prove her skill as a hunter.

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By sending her deep into the desert to kill lizards and fetch their blood.

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But this is only the start. After all, lizards are not the Lord of Crags.

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He sends her out to an Amalj'aa encampment and tasks her with drawing out and killing their leader.

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That work done, he finally feels inclined to let Satznswys try her skill at obtaining the ingredient: Welwick Worm meat. Back in to the desert with her!

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This section of the game has been cited as another reason why players quit, and, to be honest, it's easy to see why. Go kill thing. Come back, have catboi insult you some more. Go kill more thing. Come back, have catboi insult you some more.

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Finally, he seems to have warmed up to Satznswys, and says that the meat will be ready to ship to Costa Del Sol. He asks her to head back that way, with a bottle of brandewine, Wheiskaet's favorite. Like Landenel, Odh has tremendous respect for him as a teacher and a leader.

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Screw the overland travel.

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Wheiskaet is happy to receieve the gift, and then tells Satznswys about the last ingredient to obtain, one that he intended to obtain on his own. However, his former quartermaster in the Company of Heroes, a goblin by the name of Brayflox, is delayed in the delivery, indefinitely. There's been some ill-explained trouble at her facility, the Longstop. He sends Satznswys north to catch a ferry to the other side of the Agelyss River to see if Brayflox is alright.

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Passing by an absolutely not suspicious at all warehouse, Satznswys travels into the jungle.

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Here's Brayflox Alltalks. She says, paraphrasing the idiosyncratic goblin speech, that her goblin friends are in danger within the Longstop, and that the ingredient Satznswys is after is deep within. Help her friends, get the ingredient. Easy peasy, right?

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BRAYFLOX VIDEO GOES HERE

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Brayflox is chuffed that we helped her friends and workers, and that Satznswys was able to outwit the dragon that tried to take up residence in her home and workplace.

Also, Brayflox? Next time, if there's a dragon involved, please tell someone that there's a dragon involved.

...GREAT. The things we do for cheese...

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I get it. Gobbiecheese is makestrange.

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Before Satznswys fetches the wine for this party, she hit level 45! That means it's time for another Paladin quest! And this one is a big one, so don't hesitate to do it when you hit 45, for any of your jobs. You'll soon see why!

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Teleporting back to Ul'Dah, Jenlyns has Satznswys's next assignment for the Sultansworn.

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Jenlyns has uncovered something in the Sultansworn archives: apparently, when the traitor Solkzagyl was named captain, several of his peers had met with an untimely end, but no record on how those paladins died. He cross-referenced this with the medical records of the same paladins, and while all died from various causes, each showed signs that they had been poisoned. Jenlyns suspects a cabal of assassins at the Monetarists' beck and call: Death's Embrace. Even working clandestinely, they shouldn't have been able to off so many accomplished paladins without inside help. Thus, he believes that Solkzagyl had his competition offed to make room to become captain.

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Ooh, official raiments! Excellent!

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So, off we go! Luckily, all four pieces Satznswys needs to find are in the vicinity of Little Ala Mhigo.

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Each is guarded by a trial by combat by two Sultansworn.

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There's something missing though. The chest armor is nowhere to be found.

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Jenlyns has, through his agents, gotten word to Solkzagyl that if he returns Oathkeeper, then he will be given a fair trial.

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So back to Forgotten Springs, and back in to B.F.S. (Bum F**k Sagolii).

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Fancy-looking sword.

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Jenlyns? What?

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Seems like he's got his head twisted around too many conspiracy theories, and thinks that Satznswys is in league with Solkzagyl and the Monetarists. He pulls his steel.

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Welp.

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Jenlyns doesn't take defeat very well.

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Gasp!

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And the would-be assassin steals off into the desert.

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Jenlyns doesn't take this very well either.

Solkzagyl breaks it down: How did he come by that information? Seemed awfully convenient that he just happened to find the records of death, the autopsy examinations of the poisoned paladins...The Monetarists have been using Jenlyns to their own ends.

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Jenlyns passes out. He doesn't take shocking revelations well either. Or maybe that was the wounds Satznswys put on him. Solkzagyl says he'll take care of Jenlyns, and gives Satznswys a new paladin technique.

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Back in Ul'Dah, Jenlyns is on the mend, and has a lot to think about.

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Completing the level 45 job quest for any Job gets you four pieces of Artifact gear, or AF gear: Head, Arms, Legs, and Boots. To get the chest piece, you'll need to complete the next and final Job quest. This is why you don't really need any new crafted gear after level 40, because this equipment will suffice to carry you to the ARR 2.0 story endgame.

In addition, completing the 45 Paladin quest gives you the Cover ability. A 2-minute defensive cooldown that lets you take all the damage intended for a nearby ally for 12 seconds, at the cost of 50 meter, the same as Sheltron. This makes Paladin a great choice for the Off-tank position in high-end content, as with careful use of cover and defensive cooldowns, Paladins can eat a heavy hit without having to take main threat, and allow the main tank to preserve their own cooldown usage. Or it can be used to protect a DPS or Healer who is in imminent danger of taking damage. Note that it will also transfer any debuffs that are associated with that hit to the Paladin as well.

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Heading back to Wineport, where Wheiskaet told Satznswys to pick up the wine for Gegeruju's celebration, this lady flags Satznswys down: a drunkard told her a tale about a map to fabulous treasure. He said he was heading down to Raincatcher Gully, which is on the way toward Brayflox's Longstop.

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This digger here says that he saw the map in question from the drunkard. So Satznswys decides to head toward Camp Bronze Lake, to the north. Can't hurt to take a look, can it?

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We catch up with the drunk man, who offers to let Satznswys crack open his findings.

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It seemed too easy.

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Okay, let's try this again.

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...fantastic treasure, eh?

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Ealdwine slurs out his complaints that was all that was to be found in the coffer.

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He then departs, swearing the whole way.

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This unlocks the Treasure Hunt. Throughout your journey, you may come across timeworn maps of various materials. These correspond to the different tiers of experience level that is recommended to take the challenge. Basically, you open up the map with the Decipher command we just got, and study where the treasure is marked, side-by-side with your map of the zone until you find where in the world the treasure is.

You go to that location, and use your new Dig command. If the treasure is nearby, it will appear, and allow you to claim it. However, these coffers are trapped with a powerful musk, irresistible for the local beasties to come toward and munch on whoever unfortunately got sprayed by the musk. Take out the monsters, and the treasure is yours to claim.

There are many ways to obtain maps, either through prizes for completing certain objectives, purchasing them off the market board, or through gathering. If you go the gathering route, you can obtain one map every 18 real world hours.

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Back in Wineport, Satznswys speaks to this vitner. Don't forget the awful monster musk, Shamani.

Shamani already begins to deduce what this is all about from the scents on Wheiskaet's note: loam and perfume, the scent of gobbiecheese.

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So, Shamani is actually blind. Cool.

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Shamani worked as a mercenary before he was blinded and became a vitner.

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Satznswys figured there might be a snag, after all she's been through for this damned party. Shamani says that the best vintages in town are being hoarded by a fellow name Byrglaent.

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Luckily he's not too far away. He grouses that neither Shamani or Satznswys has the refined palate to appreciate the subtle qualities of his private stock. Blah blah blah, wine snob...

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Well, that's just uncalled for.

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Shamani is less than surprised. He then devises an alternate approach: go to someone else.

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He elaborates on a story of the Calamity: that Wineport has known better grapes, and thus, better vintages. However, Bahamut took that out, and, as such, the crossbred Bacchus grapes of years of old are seemingly gone forever. However, someone else might have a bottle squirreled away.

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...that...is unfortunate, friend.

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Shamani elaborates: he was among the Company of Heroes that battled Titan in the past, in the mountain of O'Ghomoro, and that is where he lost his sight. This pushed him into a deep depression, until he tasted Bacchus wine for the first time. It helped him to realize that losing just one sense didn't mean there still aren't many things in the world to experience, and this led him in this new direction in his life.

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He wants to come up with something good for Wheiskaet's sake.

During his wanderings, he found a man named Drest, who gave him his first taste of Bacchus wine. He sends Satznswys to find him with a bottle of wine he's created, as a gift.

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This fellow directs Satznswys to the southwest.

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...why am I getting a creeper vibe?

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Inside, the man known as Drest is a bit addled.

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Sleep deprived from the droning of insects outside his house. Satznswys is on it!

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Now, he thinks that selling some coeurl pelts will get him the funds he needs to afford to buy passage back to his children.

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And so Satznswys begins to piece together this guy's story: he's from a country conquered by Garlemald, and he was conscripted. Either he was separated from his unit, or he deserted, but either way, he wants to get back home and see his family.

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He is relieved to receive Shamani's gift, and offers his own vintage of moonshine in return.

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Satznswys collects it and heads back to Wineport.

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Shamani is happy to receive it.

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Apparently, in part of his moonshine process, Drest used leaves to seal the palm wine in its coconut. With Shamani's heighened senses of taste, smell, and touch, he's certain that Drest used the leaves of the Bacchus grape vine.

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So Satznswys is booking it back across the jungle.

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Apparently, he got it off the back of a goobbue.

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And that's it. Satznswys takes a cutting of the plants growing off the Goobbue's back, and brings it back to Shamani.

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Byrglaent is skeptical, to be sure. However, a man of refined tastes such as he can see he's holding the genuine article. Shamani offers it to him, saying that he should put the resources of the vineyard behind cultivating the grapes once again. Byrglaent is all too happy to bring this once-lost treasure of Eorzea back to her taprooms.

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He gives Shamani a bottle in return: a rare vintage of Bacchus not seen since years before the Calamity.

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So with the bottle safely tucked in her pack, Satznswys finally heads back to Costa Del Sol.

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I can only surmise at the upcoming changes to the ARR storyline, but I have to imagine that this series of events leading up to Titan will get the heavy axe. The worldbuilding is nice, and contributes to the theme of ARR in general, of a world awakening after the apocalypse and discovering itself once again. However, I think this story could be told in a lot less time.

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Wheiskaet is not disappointed.

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For all the work Satznswys has put in, she's scored herself an invite to this bash, with Y'shtola as her Plus One.

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...you have no idea.

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Gegeruju himself supplicates himself, apologizing for having been given the runaround.

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And Wheiskaet, and the rest of his old Company come around the corner.

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He opens up, finally: that any who would seek to do what they did in defeating Titan should have a measure taken of them, not by reputation, but by their actions. Even Satznswys' victory over Ifrit, while impressive in its own right, needed to be tested.

Wheiskaet hates the idea of sending wave after wave of hapless adventurers into the jaws of certain defeat. What good is it to have this reborn world, if there's still so much preventable death in it?

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Each of Wheiskaet's comrades offers praise of Satznswys's actions, despite how ignoble many of them could be at times.

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Yeah, we put this party together, might as well make the best of it!

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Ooh, I like that title.

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...I feel it! I feel the cosmos!

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The Company offers their final well wishes and advice.

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Y'shtola is polite, but is rather eager to get on with their business.

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Wheiskaet directs Satznswys back north to Bronze Lake, and to get in touch with a man named Riol, clandestinely.

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After a pre-determined set of signals, Riol makes his appearance on the outskirts of the camp.

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Y'shtola comes along and explains: an unamplified aetheryte, claimed by the beastmen. They make use of them, but, fundamentally, they are no different from the aetherytes that Satznswys has used thus far.

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Riol dismisses that thought, and says they didn't go in through the front gates. The kobolds are too clever for that, leaving multiple false routes and traps all over the place. So, it'd be a pain to get around unless they had something like the Aethernet system that the cities employ.

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Hmm...interesting. Y'shtola wonders if she herself is up to the task. I can only surmise that the Sharlayan scholar of which they're talking is Archon Louisoix, alluding to events in 1.0.

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Sounds like a plan.

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Not far north of the camp is the aetheryte. Y'shtola says it's not strong enough to get us to Titan's lair like before, but that she may be able to supplement it with her own energy. Unfortunately, she'll have to stay here and maintain the pathway so Satznswys has a way out of O'Ghomoro.

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TITAN VIDEO GOES HERE

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So Nero's been spying on the kobolds and their primal, and Lahabrea is pulling the strings, it seems. What could the Empire with their hatred of primals, be studying them for?

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Y'shtola is pleased at the conclusion of this matter, and asks Satznswys to make their report to Maelstrom, while she returns to the Waking Sands.

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Commander Rhiki and the rest of the command staff at HQ are relieved and elated to having this matter brought to a positive end.

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Minfilia calls on the linkpearl to offer her congratulations as well, and to invite her to take a well-deserved rest at the Waking Sands.

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...is something amiss at the Waking Sands?

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Even Tataru isn't at her usual post.

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...oh.

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Oh.

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Oh no...

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Noraxia! What happened?

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Satznswys gets a flash of the Echo from Noraxia.

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Wrapping up directly with the conversation that Satznswys had with Minfilia by linkpearl, Minfilia is relieved to hear that all has gone well with Titan.

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Garleans invade the Waking Sands, slaughtering members of the Scions.

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Livia, after all the bloodshed, notes that Satznswys isn't at the Waking Sands.

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Livia delivers a heavy-booted kick to Noraxia and slams them against the wall. Livia's kinda mean.

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We see, behind the soldier bleeding out those still alive, that Tataru, Papalymo, and Urianger are marched out.

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Livia guns down one of her own men when he's not done slaughtering all of those still on the premises.

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Noraxia begs Satznswys's forgiveness, and then dies.

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It's likely that the Imperials would have left a watch on the building and reported in if Satznswys turned up, so she's gotta get the hell out of here, and to that church near Camp Drybone.

And that's where we're gonna leave things this time.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
A REALM REBORN: INTERLUDE - The Fist of Rhalgr

With Satznswys on the run from the Empire's spies, she feels it best to conceal her identity as best she can. She's made quite a name for herself as a swordswoman, so she needs to make it as difficult for the Empire to find her as she can.

However, it would be wrong to leave things unfinished with Jenlyns and the Sultansworn, so on her way to the church, she decides to stop in Ul'dah, and hopefully lose herself in the crowd.

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In the meantime, she has been developing her skills considerably, and learned two new abilities.

Shirk, obtained as a role action, transfers 25% of your threat onto an ally. It's indispensible in raid situations when the tanks need to pass main threat to their co-tank.

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Finally, at level 50, Satznswys picks up Circle of Scorn, a 25 second OGCD attack that hits all enemies around Satznswys and applies a damage over time effect.

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Back with Jenlyns, it looks like he's cleared his head of doubt. He convalesced with Solkzagyl, and learned the real account of his fight against the Monetarists: he wanted to help Jenlyns, but with him surrounded by the Monetarists' agents, that was proving impossible. Apparently, he wasn't supposed to learn about his comrades' deaths by poison, and that sent the Monetarists into a panicked damage control mode. Jenlyns takes the blame upon himself due to his obsession with restoring the Sultansworn.

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Jenlyns calls himself a sham and a fake, but now that his eyes are open, he can set about making things right. He will spread the word that he is fleeing to remote Coerthas, planning on the Monetarists to send assassins after him. He cannot, however, ask Satznswys to place herself at risk for his account.

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Seems Solkzagyl wants a word with Satznswys in an off-the-road part of Central Thanalan.

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Donning a disguise with the power of glamour prisms, Satznswys heads deep into Coerthas, to Snowcloak, where Jenlyns has hidden himself.

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Did you expect any less for the capstone quest?

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Solkzagyl says, "Sworn or unsworn, we are paladins true, and the only true oath we swear is the one we swear to ourselves."

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The assassins routed, our heroine gets an ovation from her comrades in arms. Solkzagyl asks Jenlyns to see to this mess.

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Solkzagyl says that Jenlyns is more than capable of leading the Sultansworn in his absence.

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Upon returning to Ul'dah, Jenlyns has nothing but praise for Satznswys. He says that though the sword Oathkeeper was taken, such things are not needed. After all, the oaths that he and those like him swear are to things other than physical objects, as Solkzagyl said, to themselves. Solkzagyl will be on the lookout for that blade, however.

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And with that, the Paladin story for ARR is concluded. If Satznswys wishes to return to this journey, we need to complete a lot more of the Main Scenario than we have up to this point: to the beginning of Heavensward to be precise. However, Satznswys for the time being will put away her sword and shield to conceal herself from the Empire's spies.

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Completing the Paladin 50 quest unlocks one of the strongest tools in a Paladin's arsenal: Hallowed Ground. It's a 7-minute cooldown, and makes you invulnerable to all damage for ten seconds. Common language among players calls this an "invuln", and each tank has their own flavor of it. Be warned however: the invulnerability does take a moment to become active, and any auto attacks that are pending to hit when you hit the button will still go through. There are many times personally when I've tried to properly time an invuln on any tank, and had it not take effect fast enough, causing me to die. It's an ultra bummer.

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Jenlyns also gives you the final piece of AF gear for the chest, which was good enough to carry you through to the endgame of ARR.

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However, Satznswys has access, via her friends in the Free Company, to something much better: Mythrite armor, which is significantly stronger than most ARR gear, and was designed for level 50 characters to get caught up for the start of the Heavensward expansion. It's i-Level 115, and will suffice until you get a few levels into that content. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

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Satznswys enjoys being up front and in the foe's face, and where else in Ul'dah can one get that kind of training, but the Pugilists' Guild?

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The art of pugilism evolved all over Eorzea, but modern pugilism as it exists has its beginnings in the Ul'dahn Coliseum. Bare-fisted fighters from all over came to Ul'dah to test their strength, and so it became a melting pot for all kinds of fighting techniques. It was this that gave rise to a woman who sought to master every form that she encountered, even choosing to battle against fully armed and armored gladiators. This woman, named Cornelia, founded the Pugilists' Guild.

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Currently, Hamon is overseeing the training of fledgling members of the Guild.

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Hamon insists that there's nothing indecent going on, when he realizes that Satznswys is not his errand boy.

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He explains that, while a punch or kick does not have the damaging power of a blade, being able to throw a flurry of blows in the same time that one could swing a sword has just as much, if not more, stopping power.

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Hamon throws out the blows rapidly, so much so that he tuckers himself out, and tells Satznswys to try out.

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He gives Satznswys a pair of hora, and sends her out to start learning, but what I've done here is used a glamour item called the "Emperor's New Fists" to hide the weapons. A lot of the PGL and MNK weapons look really goofy, and besides, monks in other Final Fantasy games don't use weapons, right? Ignore Sabin. And FF1 monks. And Snow from 13. And Amarant from 9. Zell from FF8 has weapons, kinda? But they're just different styled gloves, and that's the kind of vibe we're going for here.

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As for the look, it's still a work in progress, but I think it looks good. Short hair to keep it from getting tangled up in a fierce melee, too.

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Hamon seems to think so! He sends her out for her first job: learning how to punch things the right way!

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Pugilist is, at its heart, all about positional attacks. Almost every attack it has deals more damage from a certain position. The basic GCD attack is Bootshine, which deals more damage from the rear.

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Unlocking a class after level 10 also immediately gives you access to its hunting log. The introductory quest for classes also features killing monsters that are on the hunting log. That, coupled with the myriad early-game bonus XP accessories, food, free company buffs, and more, Satznswys is going to progress through the early levels very rapidly.

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Attaining level 4, she gets her second attack: True Strike. Like Bootshine, it deals more damage from the enemy's rear.

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Pugilists and Monks, unlike other classes, have a stance-dancing combo system, where they weave between three different stances as they progress through the GCD. From a dead-stop, they can use an attack that starts Raptor Form. From then, they can use an attack that changes their stance into Coeurl Form. Then they can use a third attack that shifts into Opo-opo Form. Right now, she only has two of the three stances available to her.

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Satznswys works on more of the Hunting Log for pugilist until she gets to level 6, and with it, a third attack: Snap Punch. This is an Opo-opo Form attack that deals more damage to the enemy's flank, and having picked up the first three stances, Satznswys now understands the fundamentals of pugilism, and can now channel this flow of stances in to her new Lightning Gauge!

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Each stance buff remains up for 15 seconds, giving you that much time to move through the Raptor-Coeurl-Opo-opo dance. Each time you complete this cycle, moving from Opo-opo to Raptor, you get a stack of Greased Lightning, which increases your attack speed, meaning shorter GCDs, which means MORE PUNCHING. A lot of playing Monk is maintaining these stacks carefully, because, eventually, we'll be getting up to 4 stacks of Greased Lightning, and with our current skill kit, that means if the Greased Lightning stacks drop, you're looking at 9 GCDs of reduced attack speed. Luckily, there are skills in the Monk's kit that makes it a lot easier, and it's very rare that you'll go more than 15 seconds in a fight without punching something.

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Hamon is impressed at how fast Satznswys is progressing. Already ready for his next lesson, Hamon tells Satznswys to pick up some gil he scattered around Ul'dah. I fully expect all that coin to have already been snapped up by urchins.

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Oh. I guess it's okay, then.

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He then directs Satznswys to Scorpion Crossing, telling her to use a solid Bootshine combo on four large stones. I guess that makes sense, desensitizing her fists to the pain of hitting very hard objects, like armor. Also, it'll tick off some earth sprites, so that's fun.

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While she's out in west Thanalan, it's a perfect opportunity to knock out more of the hunting log, after she's done the training for Hamon.

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Hitting level 8 gets a melee DPS's first role action: Second Wind. It's a 2-minute cooldown and heals for a decent chunk of HP. Good if you accidentally take damage while getting your damage in and don't want to bother the healer. Be warned, however: it's not a lot, probably around 25% of your max HP or so, so be careful.

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Reporting back in, Hamon is, once again, pleased at Satznswys' ability to punch things.

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Hamon introduces Satznswys to his assistant, Chuchuto. She's studying under Hamon's tutelage, same as her. Hamon's first pupil, in fact. He mentions a second that he took on at the same time as Chuchuto, but it appears to be a sore subject, as she brushes the subject aside to Satznswys' potential.

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A couple of FATEs and Challenge Log bonuses, and Satznswys hits level 10, unlocking the next Pugilist quest, and Leg Sweep, a 40 second OGCD stun attack. Much like the tanks' Low Blow, just with a longer cooldown.

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Hamon has set up some sparring dummies in the city streets, and wants Satznswys to show her stuff off. Maybe to get some advertisement for the Guild?

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Satznswys struts and does a few flashy moves against the dummies, to the delight of the crowd.

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Back in the guild, Hamon instructs Satznswys about the Greased Lightning stuff I've already covered. He sends Satznswys out to Rat's Nest to demonstrate her combo skills against some Qiqirn.

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Luckily, there's a FATE up with some Qiqirn near the Coffer and Coffin, so Satznswys is able to make short work of that.

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Hamon wants to show Satznswys what a master of pugilism is capable under Greased Lightning, but...

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Very helpful, Chuchuto.

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She takes off, and Hamon gets into what he alluded to before, about Chuchuto's fellow pupil just disappeared a while back, by the name of Rurukuta. They were born to refugees, and orphaned in the Calamity. Hamon took them both in, and when they regained their strength, they joined the pugilist's guild together. He comes back to the present and tells Satznswys to keep up the good work.

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See what I mean about the monk weapons looking really goofy?

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Going up to level 12 gets a melee DPS role action: Bloodbath. It's a 90 second cooldown skill that returns a portion of the damage you deal back as HP recovery for 20 seconds. Also really good if you take a bad hit and are looking to recover some health. It's especially effective when you're in an AOE situation.

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Up to level 15 now, so new Job Quest, but don't forget that Hall of the Novice is still available to pick up the Brand-new Gear for your class.

Hamon wants Satznswys to fight huge poisonous toads.

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...RIP. AND. TEARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

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MY CAUSE IS JUST

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MY WILL IS STRONG

MY PUNCH IS VERY LARGE

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Hi Hamon :)

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Hamon indulges in giant frog legs. At Chuchuto's prompting, Hamon resumes the wise old master schtick.

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And a groupie brings him right back out of it. Nanjapi is concerned of a drug called Somnus being smuggled through Black Brush Station, and neither the Brass Blades nor the Stone Torches seem interested in dealing with it.

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Dire stuff. Hamon brags that he'll see the smugglers thrown in the dungeon before the bell is through...why does Satznswys get the feeling that she'll be the one stuck doing this work?

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Yep.

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Huh, the Alacran might be involved? I wonder where Alvis is when you need him?

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Seems Chuchuto turned up a good lead.

Okay, sure.

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...and Chuchuto breaks their cover. Great. Never let things get personal.

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Pretty simple introductory fight with several waves of Alacran guys. Just keep beating them up, and eventually you'll win.

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Seems Rurukuta has a trick up his sleeve.

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And Hamon Holyfist is jobbed by a little rodent.

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This seems to have delivered a heavy blow to his self-confidence, that perhaps age is finally catching up to him. He asks to be left to himself, that he'll find his own way back to Ul'dah.

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Chuchuto is still fiercely loyal to Hamon, despite this humiliating setback. She wants to help him regain his confidence and strength. She tells Satznswys to keep getting stronger and more skilled in the ways of pugilism to maybe relight the fire in the old man's belly.

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Completing this quest has Chuchuto teaching Satznswys the Fists of Earth skill. This is a toggle skill like a tank stance, in that you just have to turn it on, and it'll stay on. Fists of Earth grants a 10% damage reduction to the pugilist, which can be nice, but we'll get other stances in the future that will eclipse Fists of Earth in usefulness, but for now, it's better than nothing.

Gaining Levels Gaining Levels

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At level 18, Satznswys gets a new attack: Twin Snakes. It's a Coeurl Form skill that deals more damage on an enemy's flank, and grants a 15 second buff that increases damage by 10%. Excellent! The buff is timed so that you'd want to use it as your Coeurl Form step in your combo every other cycle. This will keep it lined up such that it should never drop.

At 20, Satznswys gets a major upgrade: a second stack of Greased Lightning. Now she can punch even faster! Hamon's gotta be impressed.

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Hm. Maybe not. Chuchuto suggests perhaps following the same training regimen of Hamon's youth, to inspire him. And for that: punching hornet nests near Drybone! This can't possibly go awry!

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With only a minimum of welts and bruises, Satznswys returns to Ul'dah with a fist full of hornet stingers.

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...If you say "Hurt me more, make me feel alive", Satznswys is quitting and becoming a weaver.

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Oh, you're being real. Great.

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I swear I didn't know that this was coming.

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The solo duty is a series of three rounds of sparring against Hamon, each time, he becomes more and more invigorated by the thrill of the fight, represented by his increasing level each round.

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I miss the screenshot, but he even gets the glowy Level Up effect that players get when they level up. He's convinced that when he spars with Satznswys, it's as if he were sparring a younger version of himself.

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Weggfarr here has a history with Hamon, going back to his bloodsands days, where Hamon defeated him. Now he works for the Alacran, and Rurukuta works for him.

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Weggfarr taunts him with the fact that the Alacran got the best of him with the somnus smuggling. Pretty brave for this Alacran scum to be throwing his weight around when a champion Gladiator and Paladin of the Sultansworn is standing right there. But, of course, Satznswys is here to keep a low profile, so best not throw that little nugget out. In reality, for the most part, the job questlines seldom interact with one another, or with the main scenario in some fashion, with one very notable exception we'll get to when we get to Shadowbringers.

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Weggfarr makes a proposal. Chuchuto rightly thinks this is a terrible idea.

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Uh...gross? He and his toadies exit.

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He turns to Satznswys, to put the weight of the whole guild on Satznswys's shoulders.

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Rather than just having Satznswys be the Guild's champion, he suggests that by training her up, he'll have a worthy sparring partner to prepare for Weggfarr's challenge. I mean...maybe? It could work, based on how fast he started to get back up to speed with just three rounds of sparring.

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You might be worried that this update is taking forever for me to work on. On the contrary, it's quite breezy. I've written all of this and a good chunk of the previous update all in one day.

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All these screenshots were taken in the same run of Halatali. The fact is that dungeon experience, combined with all the various XP bonuses that you get from gear, the armory bonus really makes it that easy to get caught up to your highest level job so you can get right in on the current content. This is just one of the many ways that Final Fantasy XIV respects the player's time. Also, at level 22, Melee DPS pick up their next role action, Feint. It lowers an enemy's physical damage by 10% for 10 seconds, on a 90 second cooldown. Really helpful against physical tankbusters.

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One dungeon run later, Toto-Rak, Satznswys picks up her first AOE attack: Arm of the Destroyer! It's pretty awesome-looking too!

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I'm sure Chuchuto appreciates all the crumbling of the floor stones. Arm of the Destroyer is a point-blank AOE that deals more damage if you're transitioning from Opo-opo Form back into Raptor Form, so for now, if you're in an AOE situation, just replace Bootshine with Arm, and make sure you're keeping Twin Snakes up for that sweet sweet extra damage. Later, Monk will get an AOE skill that will refresh an existing Twin Snakes effect, but that's way down the line.

Hamon wants to teach Satznswys, but he's not quite up to it with the preparation he's been doing, so he pawns her off to Chuchuto.

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Chuchuto wants Satznswys to join her at Little Ala Mhigo, so off we go!

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Placing sparring dummies out in the desert. Including the Corpse Brigade hideout. Awesome.

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Uh...Chuchuto. You've got some solo duty on you.

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Rurukuta thinks that Satznswys is a bad influence on Hamon, and wants to put a stop to it.

Rurukuta says that for all his faults and mistakes, he's never lost his loyalty to Hamon, and wants him to give up this crazy bout with Weggfarr. He's likely to kill Hamon if given the chance.

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Chuchuto tries to allay Rurukuta's fears, saying that Satznswys's will to succeed is what is pushing Hamon to get back in the game, and when the rematch comes, she is confident Hamon will prevail.

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And with that, Rurukuta takes his leave. Chuchuto is relieved that her old friend and fellow pupil isn't all bad. But now it's back to Ul'dah to get Hamon in gear.

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The Pugilist's Guild is convenient, as it's right across the road in the city from the Aetheryte plaza, though, with the aethernet, it's easy to get to anywhere in the city.

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Hamon shows a little dismay at Chuchuto's plans for his training. She's even hidden his grog.

LEVEL UP LEVEL UP LEVEL UP

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Ah, level 30. Time for the end of this little story.

Hamon doesn't hold a grudge, and, in truth, welcomed the challenge. He asks Satznswys to meet him in at the Forgotten Springs in the Sagolii Desert, and it's definitely to train, not to ogle the Miqo'te women there, no ma'am. At least she'll be there to keep him on task.

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Hamon, please stop. We're here to work so that the Alacran jackass doesn't kill you.

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...Can Satznswys just say "No" to this, because she knows exactly what he's going to be doing while he's gone.

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Alright Hamon. Let's do this.

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Like before, this is a three-round sparring match with Hamon. During the rounds, he uses a pugilist ability we haven't seen before. We'll get it at the end of this quest.

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Hamon is pleased with how much Satznswys has been able to push him to this point.

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Oh no. Hamon the Holyfist heads off to meet the challenge.

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Back in Ul'dah, this seems less than above board.

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Weggfarr offers Hamon the chance to tap out before the fight even starts.

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For a moment, it almost looks like Hamon's a young man again. Maybe in his mind?

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Uh. What are you gonna do with that pipe?

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One toke and apparently his body resistant to damage.

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Even with this very blatant sense of foul play, Rurukuta has finally had enough, and joins Hamon and the Guild's side.

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Even with his substance abuse, Weggfarr is no match for four highly trained pugilists.

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The three of them return to the guild in triumph.

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Rurukuta says he wants to travel the land after turning his back on the Alacran to learn. Hey, if you run into a guy named Alvis, give him a punch, would you?

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Hamon's parting gift is a technique he developed in the bloodsands: Demolish.

Demolish is a Coeurl-form technique that deals more damage from the rear, and also applies an 18 second damage-over-time effect. Since it is a Coeurl Form skill that shifts back to Opo-opo, it also grants a stack of Greased Lightning. The duration of this effect is the same as Twin Snakes, so you should be using Twin Snakes and Demolish on the same cycle to keep their timers synchronized.

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More importantly, just like the Gladiators' guild, the receptionist has more for us after completing the Pugilists' guild story.

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He describes Erik as verbose, tedious and haughty. But he's got a lot of coin to spend, so that's why they have a good relation with him.

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He says that Erik is off doing research, and that the warrior he sent to guard Erik, an Ala Mhigan monk, has shirked his work. And so, Gagaruna wants Satznswys to take on the work. He's at the Goldsmiths' guild.

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Erik sets the standards right from the get-go. His primary goal is to reconstruct the military histories of years past with aetherial analysis. He does seem disappointed that Satznswys hasn't gotten around to reading any of his papers concerning his previous work.

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Really gotta say, I'm not feeling the dunking on Ala Mhigans. The Empire did, in fact, take over their nation, forcing a good chunk of them to take refuge wherever they could. And what has the Eorzean Alliance done for Ala Mhigo lately, anyway? Why, if only they could just get united, then maybe they could push the Empire back and out of Ala Mhigo.

Wow, I'm sounding like Minfilia over here.

Anyway, Erik is chapped because Widargelt seemed intrigued by his research, but he's wandered off. He wants to look over some Sil'dih excavated ruins in central Thanalan.

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Yeah...that's about the size of it. After giving up the backstory, he sends Satznswys out to the Sil'dih ruins to set up some equipment.

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Something tells me this won't be routine.

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Battling some imps, pretty standard stuff...

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Gasp! Fancy yellow duds, guy!

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Uh...is this normal?

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So this is Widargelt. Erik makes dismissive introductions, saying that his beliefs in weird stuff like chakra and ki and the like are nonsense. Did...did he not see the weird resonation that happened between the two of them?

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Ah, hypocrisy, thy name is Erik.

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Widargelt says that discovery awakens Erik's passions, and notes that something has awakened in Satznswys. Apparently, that light was energy from the ancient battles, and the flow has opened her chakra.

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Widargelt is a Fist of Rhalgr, the Destroyer. Patron deity of Ala Mhigo. He says that the chakra is the seat of the energy within that they channel through their fists. Chakra exists in all living beings, but not all can tap into this energy. Through training and discipline, one can command this energy.

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So, Satznswys is a special case, apparently being able to just open her chakra. He hands her a crystal. Much like the Paladin's crystal, this crystal contains the spirit and memories of monks of ancient times, and by opening her chakra, Satznswys can attain new heights of power.

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Seems Erik has done his work, and just wandered off, leaving his equipment.

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Back in Ul'dah, he's about to tell Satznswys off for her tardiness when she presents his equipment he left behind.

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And his gratitude is...muted, at best. He is intrigued by the crystal Widargelt gave her, and tells her to get to work if she's gonna be ready for the next measurements he wants to take.

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So, we'll be getting in touch with Erik when it's job quest time in the future, here at the Goldsmith's guild.

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Completing this introductory quest unlocks Rockbreaker: a Coeurl Form AOE skill, and is designed to be a finisher to loop back to Opo-opo Form while in AOE situations, and still generate Greased Lightning stacks.

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Now with my hotbars all copied over and set up, Satznswys is ready to get things going for her new job!

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Satznswys heads over to the Maelstrom HQ, having earned a lot of company seals in the interim, with the various roulettes and guildhests and FATEs. This earns her a promotion to Storm Sergeant Second Class, and unlocks a very useful tool: Expert Deliveries.

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I never really touched on deliveries, but they're a way to earn grand company seals and experience for your crafters and gatherers. Basically, you craft or gather the thing they're looking for, which will be an appropriate challenge for you at your current level, and then turn it in. You get extra experience for a high-quality crafted or gathered item. However, not everyone does that kind of thing, so the developers put in a way for combat-exclusive players to earn a lot of seals just by playing the game. Basically, all the gear that you pick up in dungeons that you may not need, can be given over to the grand company for seals.

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In fact, Satznswys has a lot of gear from all the dungeons she's completed, that it's enough to earn her yet another promotion, to Sergeant First Class.

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Some of the things you can trade grand company seals for are weapons unique to your grand company, such as these absolutely ridiculous pirate hook hands.

And with that, Satznswys feels ready to head on to the church that Noraxia told her about with their dying breath. Next time, we'll pick it up with her arrival.
 

TyrMcDohl

The Goofiest Hrothgar
(He/him)
A REALM REBORN: Chapter 8 - The Politics of the Holy See

Welcome back to the Let's Play! Previously, Satznswys triumphed over the Lord of Crags, but her victory was short lived. In the time that she took to report in to the Maelstrom, the Waking Sands was beset by Imperial soldiers, led by one of Gaius's lieutenants, Livia sas Junius. Most of the members of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn were slaughtered, with most of Minfilia's inner circle taken prisoner by the Garleans. Satznswys fled for the Church of Saint Adama Landama, near Camp Drybone. Satznswys had gone there briefly when she and Thancred were investigating the Amalj'aa and Ifrit, and we pick things up with Satznswys arriving in Camp Drybone.

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Up this ramp leads her to the lichyard and the church.

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Inside, Satznswys speaks with Father Iliud, and drops the Scions' code phrase, and he immediately understands.

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Satznswys brings him up to speed with what went down at the Waking Sands, and Iliud is understandably worried, but gratified that at least some of the Scions survived, with the proof being the glimpse into the massacre from Noraxia. He offers what little hospitality he can for a friend of Minfilia.

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He swore to do everything he could to support her, and by extension, her brother and sister Scions.

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Iliud introduces Satznswys to a ward of the church, Marques.

And with that, Satznswys is left to settle into her new digs for the time being, until she hopefully gets word from a Scion that she didn't see get captured. Like Thancred, or Y'shtola. In the meantime, she decides to do what she can to help out.

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Eaduuard here scavenged an oven of some kind, but it is in need of repair.

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Satznswys shows it to Marques, who identifies it as the tools of the alchemist's trade. He sends Satznswys down to Camp Drybone to procure a hammer to repair it.

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Marques also has a request. He wants her to obtain some specialized tools from Ul'dah.

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The vendor in Camp Drybone has the kind of hammer Marques is looking for, but the chisel and needle-nose pliers will have to be found in Ul'dah.

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Taking Marques' advice, Satznswys checks in with the Goldsmith's guild, and one of the goldsmiths obliges, though notes that such a tool is fairly esoteric.

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Returning to Marques, she delivers the tools for his side project, and he repaired it, but he's not quite sure why he was able to repair such a delicate thing.

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He performed the task with rote skill, as though he's done this sort of thing countless times before.

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So, a slight miscalculation on my part: see, these two quests we've taken to continue the MSQ are level 35, and I only got Satznswys up to level 34 to complete the quest that leads the player here to the church initially. However, this is easily remedied with duty roulettes and possibly sidequests.

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One leveling roulette gives Satznswys enough experience to go from level 34 to 36.

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Getting to level 34 gives Satznswys a new stance: Fists of Wind. This increases her movement slightly when toggled on. Pretty nice when getting around, and stacks with Sprint.

But with Level 35, that means there's a new Job quest from Erik!

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Seems that Widargelt has already headed out to the site that Erik wishes to measure. Insulting her intelligence, Erik says that all she needs to do is set up his equipment again, and punch the crap out of things. Seems simple enough.

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Well, gee, buddy, I can't imagine why she'd take off...though, if rumors are to be believed, then to choose a Garlemald-occupied Ala Mhigo over the relative safety of Ul'dah, but with this real catch of a man...

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At least this gets Satznswys a trip back to the very pretty Costa Del Sol.

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Done and dusted. Doing this even opens up another chakra!

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Erik describes the origins of the aetherometer, designed by engineers at Garlond Ironworks, and fabricated here at the Goldsmith's guild. He grumbles and sends Satznswys to go punch...trees or lift weights up the Eighty-Eight Steps outside Ul'dah or whatever. Go the distance, gotta fly now, blah blah blah.

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Completing this quest gives the Shoulder Tackle skill. It's a 30-second OGCD attack that closes the gap between you and the target. Very useful when an AOE forces you to get out of melee range of an enemy briefly.

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Returning to the Church of Saint Adama Landama, Satznswys hands over the device that Marques repaired to Eluned. She says they're not seen around these parts, and you're more likely to find such a thing in Garlemald, with its fantastic technologies.

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Hmm.

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Satznswys hands Maruqes the bronze hammer she picked up earlier.

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Getting back to helping out around here, Ilcum suggests helping the priests tending the lichyard some ice-cold, delicious Aqua Del Sol! It'll quench ya! It's the quenchiest! And the stuff you need to make it is what is essentially cactus juice from a sabotender del sol.

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Quick and easy peasy.

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She asks her to give the first glass to Marques.

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He politely declines, saying that someone like Father Iliud would be better served with this drink.

Eluned delivers the sad news that the bodies from the Waking Sands are being prepared for transport from Vesper Bay to here, and suggests that helping out might bring some closure.

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...I can't even bring myself to make a "must needs return to the Waking Sands" joke.

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This fellow doesn't seem to recognize Satznswys, but points her to the corpses to help identify them if she is able.

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Unfortunately, the only name Satznswys can recall is that of Noraxia.

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Back at the church, Eluned offers some words of comfort.

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It seems there are too many dead from Vesper Bay to properly inter them here at the lichyard, and the priests here are planning to bury them at the same site where those who died on the day of the Calamity are buried. She suggests that Satznswys offer a prayer to Azeyma, the Warden, as an excuse to get her away from the gravesites, and perhaps call upon Azeyma to bring Her wrath against the Empire for the atrocities that their soldiers committed against the Scions.

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Will She answer? Who can really say?

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Eluned says that what is born of this world must eventually return to the Lifestream, and find rest in Thal's realm.

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Eluned asks that Satznswys bring Noraxia's remains back to Little Solace, to have last rites for her own traditions.

Traveling to the Black Shroud, Komuxio is distressed at the news of Noraxia's death.

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Frixio is brought up to speed, and blames herself for sending her to Vesper Bay.

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Uh, I dunno. Lingering long enough to give a dying message while Satznswys was riding a ferry from Limsa Lominsa...after having been kicked against a wall...

Best not say that.

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Returning to the lichyard, its seems the burials are done.

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Back inside the church, seems Marques is having a fit of paranoia. He asks Satznswys to take a look around outside.

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Seems Marques was right, after all!

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Yeah, the guy was an Imperial.

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While Iliud calls to summon the Immortal Flames from Camp Drybone, who should walk in but...

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Oh. Alphinaud. Well, it's good to see somebody from the Waking Sands alive, I suppose.

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Not even five sentences in, and you're already laying big plans. Nothing puts a damper on your spirit, I suppose. Listen, we just got done burying all the dead, so I don't have it in me to yell at you right now...

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GASP!

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Iliud pushes back, saying he's just a poor guy who saw Carteneau firsthand.

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Alphinaud presses the issue.

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Iliud protests, but then finally brings some personal effects for Cid: a toolbox.

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He says that it's time for Cid to help those who truly need him.

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Finally, he fully introduces himself.

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Alphinaud and his twin sister, Alisaie, are the grandchildren of Louisoix Leveilleur, and, thus, their connections with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn become crystal clear. For his part, Alphinaud will be a constant companion for Satznswys for many, many adventures to come, and will undergo a lot of growth along the road. It is quite jarring to see this young man at the start of his career, juxtaposed with the same man in the expansions.

Alphinaud says that word is spreading about the tragedy at the Waking Sands. In the wake of the Calamity, the nations of Eorzea focused entirely on rebuilding, leaving the Scions to combat the threat of the primals on their own. With the fall of the Scions, the nations are likely to succumb to despair with the encroaching primal and imperial threats, but he insists that he, Satznswys, and Cid cannot forsake their duty.

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...Oh. That ain't good.

According to the information Alphinaud got from the Students of Baldesion, Garuda is even stronger than both Ifrit and Titan. The situation is getting more and more dire. However, Alphinaud believes in turning lemons into lemonade: by defeating Garuda, they can send a message to the other tribes of Eorzea to knock it the hell off.

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One small problem, Alphinaud. With Ifrit, Satznswys had the Echo, and the backing of the Immortal Flames. Against Titan, she had the support of Y'shtola, the Company of Heroes, and the Maelstrom. We're just three yahoos in a church.

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An airship is a good start, though. Cid seems confused. His memories have not fully returned, still. He's good with machinery, but he's not sure about anything right now.

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Still, he decides to cast off the commoners' robes and change in to the clothes that Iliud had packed away with his tools.

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Yeah, Iliud, it's a hell of a coincidence.

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He mentions that the Enterprise, Cid's airship, was spotted in Gridania, heading from there toward Coerthas. Also, if you watched the Noclip documentary, you'll have seen footage of this fabled "Great Goobbue Wall", of a group of stalwart players that protected the city of Ul'dah from the powerful voidsent monsters that were conjured by the Calamity (read: game devs and GMs spawning monsters rapid fire in the lead-up to the 1.x shutdown). Every year, around the anniversary of the release of A Realm Reborn, there is an in-game limited time event called "The Rising", in-world portrayed as a memorial service of the Calamity, but also as a way for the developers to commmemorate this game's rebirth, complete with messages from Naoki Yoshida himself, portrayed in-game. These usually have some kind of fun side diversion, but can also carry hints of what is to come, in the form of poems.

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Some TV show with that TJ Hooker guy, I think. Or perhaps Final Fantasies III, IV, and IX?

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So Alphinaud avoided the attack on Vesper Bay because he was out getting information on the Ixal and their primal. Good thinking, kid.

Satznswys heads for the Black Shroud, looking for any leads on what happened that day five years ago.

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The Serpent Sergeant suggests talking to someone who was on watch that day.

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Vortefaurt here was on watch that night, manning the tower alone while the bulk of the Serpent forces went to Carteneau. That was then that he saw the airship flying toward Coerthas. If it wasn't destroyed in the Calamity, it's likely still there. He suggests asking the astrologians of the Observatorium in Coerthas, but it is a long shot: when Dalamud came down, Ishgard closed their borders, and cut all diplomatic ties.

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A cold reception, indeed.

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Ser Ludovoix of House Durendaire is not of a mind to give any aid to outsiders, though one of his knights is late coming back from patrol. Grudgingly, he asks Satznswys to go find him.

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Not far outside the Observatorium, we find the knight in question.

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He mentions something about heretics operating in this region.

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Ser Ludovoix is a little more diplomatic after rescuing one of his men. He allows Satznswys to introduce herself to the astrologians.

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Edmelle here is a little wary of opening their archives to outsiders, as there's no guarantee that Satznswys is not a heretic sympathizer or a heretic herself.

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Her superior, Forlemort, is forthright in his refusal. If these records fell in to the wrong hands, it could change the tide of a centuries-long war.

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Forlemort addresses him as "Inquisitor", and tries to shoo Satznswys out. However, Guillaime is keen to discuss the Enterprise with her. He advises caution, as the snows of Coerthas are but five years old, the Calamity having altered the climate of the region.

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Jocea here asks Satznswys to check up on a colleague of hers. With all the increased Ixal activity in the area, she's concerned.

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This is tradition, jumping off the top of the Observatorium. You're legally obligated to do this. I don't make the rules.

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This astrologian says that he cannot be seen in the company of an unbeliever. Man, this is pretty crummy.

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Back up this ruddy tower, Jocea is pleased that her colleague is safe.

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She suggests other ways to find that missing airship, and having twice now rescued members of House Durendaire, she has a feather in her cap. Use that to petition Lord Portelaine for an introduction to the High Houses.

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Portelaine is amenable, but asks Satznswys help Durendaire out one more time to make things equitable.

A porter headed for Skyfire Locks was ambushed to the west, and Satznswys is to investigate the scene and bring back any of the porter's shipment that might remain after the looters picked it over.

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Yep, those wares look pretty stolen to me.

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Done and dusted.

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The porter is mostly pleased that almost everything is here.

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Upon checking a locked chest that might've been tampered with, they find this thing. Uh, a little context for the foreigner?

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Well, that sucks.

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Ah, crap. This is less than ideal.

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Portelaine's lieutenant quietly calls Satznswys over. He doesn't believe that Lord Francel is a heretic, because he served House Haillenarte before the Calamity. He bids Satznswys warn Francel of the incoming danger.

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Okay, cute, Square Enix.

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Satznswys explains the situation, and Francel is insenced. Granted, the evidence against him is circumstancial, but with law enforcement bearing titles like "Inquisitor" do not engender images of fair trials.

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Francel gives us a name: Lord Haurchefant of House Fortemps, commander of the Camp Dragonhead garrison. He gives Satznswys a letter of introduction.

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Haurchefant seems approachable, unlike all the other stodgy Ishgardians we've met thus far.

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Haurchefant Greystone, Lord Knight of House Fortemps may not look like much, but he will come to be a crucial ally in the days ahead, and will leave an indelible mark on Satznswys' journey. He addresses Satznswys's search for the Enterprise, that few in Ishgard might know its whereabouts, as they were focused on internal matters during the Calamity. He promises to look into it, though.

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Haurchefant asks that Satznswys do a little training with some of his men out by the western gate while she waits to hear back from him about the Enterprise.

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Just a light sparring match. Upon returning to Haurchefant, he explains that House Fortemps is a little more open to working with outsiders and mercenaries, condemning the other High Houses of the Holy See as short-sighted and foolish for turning their back on their Eorzean neighbors.

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He says that the Houses as a whole might be unwilling or unable to help Satznswys in her search for the Enterprise, but perhaps influential individuals within the houses might be sympathetic.

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He suggests talking to several nobles of three of the four High Houses: House Fortemps, Haillenarte, and Durendaire. The fourth, Dzemael, Haurchefant will speak to personally.

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Lady Ninne of House Fortemps has little to reveal about the whereabouts of the Enterprise. The story on everyone's lips in Camp Dragonhead seems to be the accusations of heresy against Lord Francel.

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Lord Cravellin of House Haillenarte has his hands full, trying to refute the charges of heresy.

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Our 'friend', Forlemort, is still just as unwilling to talk about anything, and dismisses Haurchefant's wish to help Satznswys find the Enterprise as folly.

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Satznswys returns to Haurchefant empty-handed, and he corroborates. Seems this talk of heresy in the High Houses has dominated everyone's attention.

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He asks Satznswys to go check on a party of knights and Lord Francel, sighted heading north to an outpost to the north, overrun by the Dravanian Horde.

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There he is! Being accosted by a wyvern!

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He asks her to aid his knights.

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He explains that he sought to push back against the Horde here at Steel Vigil, to try and curry favor and prove that he is not a heretic. His trial is coming soon, and he will not let it be said that he did not fight these charges.

Back in Camp Dragonhead, Satznswys runs into Alphinaud and Cid. Cid in particular feels nervous, still feeling as though he's being watched.

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Good indeed. What's more, Haurchefant has found a witness to the final flight of the Enterprise, but there's a snag: this witness knows of Satznswys's dealings with Lord Francel, and is afraid of being associated with heretics. So, in the interest of helping an innocent man as well as getting a lead on the whereabouts of the Enterprise, it seems we've got to clear Francel's name. While Haurchefant works on how best to go about that, Satznswys takes a trip back to Ul'dah.

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Old Sibold here is remenicsing about his old allies traveling into caverns like Cutter's Cry. Seems he's got some regrets about this place, and the chimera that dwells within.

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VIDEO GOES HERE

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Having hit level 40, it's time to head back to Ul'dah for the next leg of the Monk story.

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...Okay, Erik, you're being pleasant. Satznswys doesn't know how to parse this.

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...Y'know what, she really don't want to know.

Erik's idea today is to suss out an aetherically charged location without a history of battle, and hypothesizes that people chose those places to have battles BECAUSE they were aetherically charged.

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In addition to catching up with Widargelt to get the data from his aetherometer, he wants Satznswys to take measurements at Snakemolt in the South Shroud.

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He says that he has not finished his work, and cannot hand it over. He says he'll meet her at Snakemolt.

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Done and dusted.

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Widargelt is sitting in the brush applauding after the battle. He praises her on the growth of her chakra.

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Widargelt says that he was delayed because there was a gathering of monks at Little Ala Mhigo. What for? As for his work, he admits that he will take readings here at Snakemolt, and that Erik will simply take whatever data is handed to him and mold it to fit his own theories, as opposed to the way science is supposed to work, where the evidence transforms the theory, not the other way around.

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I mean, it is kind of a jerk move to give Erik tainted data, though. Widargelt then admits that he is a member of the Ala Mhigan Resistance, which we've heard about in the past, when Satznswys was dealing with the young Ala Mhigans intending on summoning Rhalgr at the egging on from Lahabrea. Widargelt is here to consolidate allies and weapons to bring the fight to the Garleans.

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He takes a dim view of Erik, that he can't see past the end of his research notes, to the suffering of the Ala Mhigans. But he's working with him to find a way to open the chakra of others to give his allies the strength to fight.

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Back in Ul'dah, Erik is pleased with the data collected by Satznswys's aetherometer, and tells her to just go back to doing her thing until he's ready to analyze another site.