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


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Aymeric attempts to be pragmatic. And he's not wrong: the Dravanian Horde would withdraw after the city was razed, Coerthas would become buried in snow, and the land would fall to the beasts and the tribes. That is, until the Garleans arrive. They wouldn't even need to lift a blade to claim it.

Estinien steps in to take over.

Alphinaud is shocked at this revelation, and Satznswys doesn't even need to hide surprise. These are all things she knows, for she once stared down the point of Estinien's spear.

Heavy, huh, Alphinaud?

He does note that Aymeric seemed troubled by asking for aid. He was campaigning for Ishgard to open its gates, and he might have had to make personal concessions to get the Archbishop's concession to allow this.

They need to make a report to Minfilia, and make preparations to go to war.

Returning to the Rising Stones, F'lhaminn has returned, and is conversing with Tataru. Seems news of the Horde has already made its way around.

The Scions are recalled, along with the senior officers of the Crystal Braves.

Things are pretty bleak, indeed.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Yes, Minfilia, that's right. It's way out of the wheelhouse of what the Scions have done in the past, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Good luck getting them to budge, Alphinaud.

Riol stares at Ilberd and Yuyuhase for a long while before following after them.

Minfilia says that if the Alliance agrees to supplement the Ishgard defense force, that the Scions and the Braves will be there as well. Convincing the Alliance to pledge support is a difficult matter, but she leaves it in Alphinaud's capable hands. For Satznswys' part, she wants her to speak to her fellow adventurers and gather their assistance to repel the coming siege.

So, Tataru will be helping Satznswys on this work!

The two of them head off to see Slafborn to shore up the town's defenses and bolster their medical supplies.

While talking to an adventurer and getting rejected, Satznswys runs into Riol, who pulls her aside into a quiet corner of the town.

He calls back to the scuffle with the Empire near the ceruleum processing plant. The Ala Mhigan kid, Wilred, was out there, but Riol wonders if he's been seen since then. At the same time, the black market weapons they confiscated disappeared from their vault in Ul'dah. So the Braves think Wilred a traitor.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

The only thing holding the Crystal Braves together, he claims, is the oath about fighting for the freedom of all, and the paycheck.

Wilred believed in the oath in word and deed, and Riol can't believe that he'd turn traitor. Wilred also mentioned something being off about the ledgers, numbers not adding up. Riol thinks there's a villain at the end of this trail, and he's sure it's not Wilred.

...Keep your head down, Riol. Something stinks.

Checking in with Tataru, there aren't many from Revenant's Toll, but the more that Ishgard has, the better chance of the defense being successful. Alphinaud has been hard at work convening the Eorzean Alliance to discuss the Ishgard matter, and per usual, Satznswys' presence is requested, so it's off to Ul'dah.

The Alliance has already convened, so they should get into the Fragrant Chamber with haste.

Raubahn speaks up: Ul'dah has no objections. Nor Gridania or Limsa Lominsa.

The tone the Admiral's voice actress takes makes their intentions clear: that the Grand Companies are not being dispatched to aid Ishgard.

Yeah, if wishes were chocobos...

The Eorzean Alliance member nations all have their struggles: the Imperial incursions, the primal threats, and more.

Merlwyb speaks very plainly and coldly: "My duty is to my country and my people."


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Limsa comes first, then the Alliance, then Ishgard. She harshly says that if Alphinaud can't grasp it, then he has no place at this table.

He apologizes through his teeth.

Satznswys agrees to Raubahn's proposal, then he suggests turning the security of Ul'dah over to the Brass Blades, and that would allow him to send more troops from the Immortal Flames to Ishgard.

The meeting is adjourned.

Raubahn sees the Sultana unusually quiet here, and pulls her lady-in-waiting aside.

Alphinaud grudgingly accepts the council's decision, but says that the Scions and the Braves have to do what they can with the resources at hand.

The assault on Ishgard has begun.

Got it, boss.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

At the Gates of Judgment, Ser Marcelain gives Satznswys her job: Dravanian skirmishers are harrying forces all over Coerthas. Satznswys is to aid the Crystal Braves and the adventurer contingent in securing the highlands.

At Whitebrim, Satznswys shows her chops as worthy of the title Azure Dragoon.

Unfortunately, a lot of the reinforcements have been wiped out.

Marcelain is angry, but there will be time to grieve later.

This bridge that crosses the Sea of Clouds bridge also contains the foundation for the magical wards they call Daniffen's Collar. Iceheart has disabled the outermost barrier, allowing the Dravanians to land on the Steps of Faith. If they are able to destroy the rest of the wards, they'll be able to enter the city proper, and I shouldn't have to tell you what would happen next.



The Goofiest Hrothgar

Steps of Faith is an unusual duty that has you repelling the Dravanian assault from the wards protecting the Holy See of Ishgard, led by a giant dragon, Vishap. You need to defeat him to win the duty. This battle is unique, in that you don't need to be raised by healers. You can Return after being KO'd, and just run back to continue the fight. Throughout the whole fight, adds will spawn around Vishap, and as he stomps forward, anyone near his feet will get knocked back and take a decent chunk of damage.

There are Bertha cannons on the bridge, which players can take command of and fire at Vishap. There are also giant harpoon cannons called Dragon Killers that can be used as well to fire at Vishap to deal a large amount of damage. You see me make a very poor showing of firing the Dragon Killers, but I don't think any of my teammates set up the snares for stopping him.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

They've won!

Estinien yearns to spill Nidhogg's blood. If you'll recall, it was Nidhogg himself who razed his childhood home and burned everyone he knew and loved, before he was adopted.

Glad to see you came through the battle unscathed, Alphinaud.

Aymeric comes to thank the two of them personally, on behalf of the Holy See.

He's a busy fellow.

The Dravanian Horde is weakened, and the threat to Ishgard has abated somewhat. Who knows when they'll regroup and attack again, though...? For now, though, it's a big feather in the Scions' and the Braves' caps, as Ishgard must see what is to be gained by cooperation. Maybe now, they'll be more willing to come to the negotiation table with the Alliance.

Alphinaud would be happy to take a well-deserved break and rest on the laurels. However, duty calls, and he needs to reorganize the troops with Ilberd in Ul'dah. The Braves lost a lot of good men and women today. He will see to that work, and tells Satznswys to take rest in the Rising Stones. She's earned it.

Oh, no, she was just about to get a pint from F'lhaminn. Tataru enters with a message from Ul'dah.

From the sultana herself, no less! It's an invitation, to a feast in honor of Ishgard's victory, and all of the Scions are invited!


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Minfilia channels a bit of Alphinaud and finds it strange that the Alliance leaders should think themselves worthy of celebration, having sat aside and let the invasion go by, allowing sellswords to defend Ishgard instead of their standing armies. Though, if they strike while the iron is hot, and moods are jubilant, this might be the best opportunity they have to convince Ishgard to rejoin the Alliance.

Unfortunately, that well-deserved break is out of the question for Satznswys. Tataru goes to contact the rest of the Scions with the news.

She seems overworked. Minfilia notices it too.

Strange. Tataru's not at her desk.

Satznswys hopes everything's okay.

Looking around Revenant's Toll, Satznswys finds Tataru on the roof of the temporary workshop of the Ironworks. She feels like the things she's been doing: bookkeeping, managing personnel, arranging for supplies, all mean very little in light of the deeds of Satznswys and the Scions and the Seventh Dawn. Just hearing her out is enough, and she resolves to talk to Minfilia about it.

Back in the Solar, the two are already talking things over, and Tataru is requesting a leave of absence, though Minfilia suspect's it's not for a vacation.

Along with the adventurers she's met, the Crystal Braves, the Scions are caught in terrible danger constantly. Even newer recruits like Hoary Boulder and Coultenet have grown in their own skills to become strong warriors in their own right.

And, with that, she heads out, full-tilt, banging into Hoary Boulder on the way.

Hoary Boulder reports that an adventurer who was to work with he and Coultenet was injured on patrol. He's in need of at least one other guard to protect the scholars they're defending.

The scholars in question have been taking aetheric readings to help better understand the impact of primal summonings on the land. Naturally, this means going into some dangerous places, and they are in need of escort. Satznswys agrees, but before she goes, Minfilia has something else on her mind: the conversation with Tataru.

She mentions that Urianger has said she's expressed an interest in arcanima, the magicks behind the art of the Arcanist. She believes Tataru makes for Limsa Lominsa to enter the Arcanist's Guild.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Hoary Boulder and Coultenet are glad for Satznswys's company.

The two head off to escort their assigned scholars, and Satznswys makes for camp Tranquil.

All in a day's work.

Guard duty is a pain...

Next, he wants to take readings at Urth's Fount.

Oh, what is it!

A man dressed in Crystal Braves colors!


Hoary Boulder and Coultenet arrive, and Hoary looks the body over. At first glance, one might suspect him to have been gutted by one of the native hogs to the area. However, the wounds were made by a blade. No marks on his sword or shield means he was ambushed by someone. Coultenet wonders what he would be doing this far off the beaten path. Satznswys returns to the Rising Stones to give a report to Minfilia.

She's shocked when she learns what happened. She says she'll inform Alphinaud, who in turn, will want to conduct an investigation, and inform Wilred's family.

Not sure, Minfilia, but something is not right. Riol had been asking if anyone's seen him lately. Now we know why. Since these investigations take time, Satznswys heads to Limsa Lominsa to see how Tataru's coming along with her Arcanist training.

Satznswys has walked past the Arcanist's Guild many times in her various trips between Limsa Lominsa and the Waking Sands, but has never had cause to go inside, until now.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Tataru's had a slight change of wardrobe! She's wearing a modified version of the Brand new set, from the Hall of the Novice, plus a very fancy hat! Satznswys explains that Minfilia was worried about her, and Tataru is apologetic for making her worry.

She's off to complete a special training exercise.

She asks if Satznswys might want to go and keep an eye on Tataru and make sure she's safe. The exercise takes place outside of the Zephyr Gate. Interesting to note is that Tataru is taking part in an actual quest for the Arcanist's Guild, specifically the one at level 5. The dialogue here is changed in two ways: whether or not the player has completed the Arcanist story, or whether or not the player has accepted this quest, and has yet to complete it. In the latter case, Thubyrgeim scolds the player for being so lackadasical with their arcanist training.

There's the crates in question, now where's Tataru...?

Aww, she's got a little Carbuncle friend!

...while that was pretty funny, it has to be a blow to Tataru's ego.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Satznswys finds her near the road.

Tataru knows that Satznswys saw how that went down.

...Tataru, you deserve all the hugs. She says she'll never be a warrior like Satznswys or the others. She returns to the Arcanist's guild to withdraw from training.

Returning to the Arcanist's Guild, Tataru apologizes. Thubyrgeim counters that if she was utterly incompetent, she would never have allowed her to join in the first place. Everyone must accept their limitations, but not lose sight of their strengths. Tataru might suck at battle, but her incredible skill with mathematics gave her the knowledge of the fundamentals of arcanima, which let her conjure a Carbuncle, and not many can do that.

Satznswys agrees, and Tataru feels a little better. She resolves to take the guildmistress's words to heart, and not to be discouraged.

Sure Tataru. What did you have in mind?

Okay, sure.

At Costa Del Sol, she's got another wardrobe change. Just in time for the Moonfire Faire!

Collecting pearls sounds like a fine activity.

This thing has a lot of health.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Luckily, Tataru has hit paydirt! ...or pay...clams?

These blood pearls were once treasured as wards against dark magicks. She thought to make charms for everyone, to protect them when they're out to the four corners of the world, that they'd always make it back home.

So, Tataru heads back to Limsa Lominsa, and Satznswys heads back to the Rising Stones.

The Scions are all so busy, the Rising Stones feels like visiting a house that you lived in in the past, and seeing some other family's furniture in different places than you remember.

Minfilia's happy that Tataru is feeling better about herself. She also thinks that she could have handled herself, but is grateful that Satznswys went to keep watch over her all the same.

The weight of recent events is certainly palpable. The commemoration banquet is coming up soon. She hopes that the Eorzean Alliance will be truly reborn, with Ishgard joining. Failing that, at least bringing the nations closer together.

And yet the primals continue to be summoned, the Empire plots to conquer Eorzea. Their victories have been bought at a terrible price. The loss of their friends at the massacre at the Waking Sands. Moenbryda. The Crystal Braves and adventurers who lost their lives on the Steps of Faith.

Minfilia isn't in a party kind of mood.

Yeah, gotta fake it to make it.

As Satznswys heads out, Riol is hanging around.

Riol's been digging quietly since their last conversation, and he came up with something unusual. A lot of coin was paid to the Braves, courtesy of the "Dodo Consortium". A ridiculous name, which was the first clue. He found more similar absurd names, but they all led back to one company: The Mirage Trust.

Teledji Adeledji's business. He says that the 1st and 3rd units of the Braves are on the take, and they're likely the ones who did Wilred. Riol feels responsible for his death, as the kid asked too many questions to the wrong people.

Riol swears to purge the traitors from the Crystal Braves.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

"...the kind what'll sweep a man overboard an' drag him under 'fore he knows it." She'll keep that in mind, Riol. You stay safe, too.

In Ul'dah, the gang's all here.

Minfilia says that Momodi wanted a word with Satznswys before the banquet.

Sure thing, Thancred.

Alianne said to get a message to Satznswys, that she needed to hear from her before the banquet got started.

Satznswys heads to a station near the Coffer and Coffin.

She's come to know the region of Thanalan like the back of her hand. After all, this is where her adventuring career started.

Satznswys continues to wait.

Laurentius, the former Wood Wailer-turned-traitor-turned-Crystal Brave finds Satznswys out here. Satznswys asks after Alianne, but he hasn't seen her.

Ilberd ordered them to patrol the area around the city as a part of the heightened security for the banquet.

Meanwhile, in the Sultana's palace...


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Nanamo makes a prayer to the Sultantree for guidance.

The curious vial in question.

Well, no, Alianne wasn't there, but this vial was. Momodi recommends holding onto it for safekeeping.

Satznswys is a popular lady today, as Momodi's also got a message from the sultana's handmaiden, saying she wants a private audience!

Meanwhile, the aforementioned handmaiden prepares for the Warrior of Light's audience.

At the banquet, it's a bustling den of activity.

The commanders of the Eorzean Alliance are talking with Ser Aymeric and Lucia.

Alphinaud's here too.

Minfilia gives Alphinaud credit for getting this whole thing together, and in so doing, brought them one step closer to a united Eorzea.

Without Minfilia, however, Ser Aymeric wouldn't have become such a strong ally to the Scions.

Alphinaud's optimism knows no bounds, that they are on the cusp of a new era of unity and prosperity.

Ah, but land is a thing that people will fight over.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Hey, Alphinaud, Satznswys isn't your hired muscle. Though he's saying this in jest. Alphinaud has certainly learned to relax, and is feeling more comfortable in his leadership role in the Crystal Braves. Minfilia says she'll be along eventually.

Everything's ready for Satznswys's private audience.

These two dialogue boxes fill every player of Final Fantasy XIV with dread. But, suffice to say, the next cutscenes will be long.

A knock at the door.

So the two sit down to tuck in.

Back at the banquet, the commanders are discussing the battle at the Steps of Faith. Kan-E-Senna asks after the city of Ishgard herself.

Alphinaud, true to how Satznswys first met him, throws a bitter aside, overhearing their discussion.

Aymeric addresses the room, expressing Ishgard's warmest gratitude for their aid in the defense of their lands. He plans to use this as proof that the Gates of Judgment should be opened, and that with the archbishop's blessing, Ishgard be reuinited with the other Eorzean nations.

We don't hear what the Brave says to Alphinaud, but he concurs.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Alphinaud acts mysterious and cagey, and makes a quiet exit.

Yda never misses a beat to enjoy the party.


Meanwhile, in the Sultana's chamber, Nanamo dismisses her handmaiden after the wine is poured.

This isn't a surprise for the player, as it was heavily implied before, when the Admiral and Kan-E-Senna sat in these chairs.

Nanamo will see the people of Ul'dah suffer no more. She plans to make the announcement tonight, at the feast.

Nanamo asks Satznswys to be Raubahn's steadying hand in the chaos and turmoil that is sure to follow her announcement.

Satznswys agrees.

So, you might have suspected, a long time ago, that the noblewoman Lilira that Satznswys rescued with Thancred beneath the Sultantree way back when, was actually a secret identity, but here, it's confirmed that Satznswys rescued Nanamo from the voidsent back then.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Meanwhile, with Alphinaud...

This is also very not good.

Sarcasm does not become you, Yuyuhase.

The hell do you want, Teledji? He says that the Dravanians have resumed their attack, and the Temple Knights are to see Aymeric swiftly back to Ishgard.

And the two exit the room.

Meanwhile, outside, Thancred is chatting up a fair maiden, as per usual.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

There's a commotion.

This is a thorny issue, yeah, but Thancred is no traitor.

He draws steel.

The atmosphere in the banquet hall has grown incredibly tense.

Ooh...penny in the air, Raubahn...

And things fall in to place for Teledji Adeledji, like the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

Everything that has been happening for the last few months has been building up to this.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Satznswys is marched in in irons.

Ilberd looks down at Satznswys with contempt. "What a pity. Who'd have thought your tale would end like this?" Teledji further presents that a vial with traces of the poison used to kill Nanamo was found on Satznswys. The same vial she found when she was to meet Alianne.

Minfilia is outraged at the accusation, after all they've done for Ul'dah.

It's called "being helpful" Teledji. You could try it some time.

It's clear that Teledji doesn't believe any of this, but his ambition and greed have grown out of control, and this assassination plot and the subsequent framing of the Scions is the end result. In an interesting twist of [strike] veteran players arranging things so that we'd see it[/strike] fate: think way back to early in Satznswys's career, during the Gladiator story. What was it that forced the famed gladiator Aldis to flee the city and become persona non grata? A plot to poison the sultana.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Raubahn is not taking this well.

He says that the poison was quick. The handmaiden attests to that.

Okay, Teledji. You might be overplaying your hand a bit.

Not much to say along here. I can't really add anything to what is a really strong scene between the two characters. Teledji is REALLY overplaying his hand.

I hope that my stills of this scene do it justice, but there is a lot of technical expertise that's going on in here. Instead of doing the gore of cutting Teledji in half, the camera never shows the full body, but it's very clear as to what Raubahn has done. It should really be seen in full motion, though.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Ilberd stands over the wounded Raubahn.

Yeah, Raubahn has pretty much all that needs be said about this situation.

It feels like those words cut Raubahn deeper than the blow that severed his right arm.

Ooof. Death is too good for you, Ilberd.

Raubahn cuts Satznswys's bonds.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Don't have to tell them twice.

How this duel ends will have to wait.

Thancred reuinites with the group.

Most of the city is under guard from the Brass Blades. Recall that Raubahn had requested the Brass Blades to cover defense of the city to allow more of the Immortal Flames to aid Ishgard at the Steps of Faith.

Oh, since...patch 2.1, I think, Papalymo.

I like the way you think, Yda.

Indeed, where? The Rising Stones is compromised, and under the control of the traitorous Crystal Braves. Thancred says that they need to take this one step at a time: if they can't get out of Ul'dah, then it matters not where they plan to hide.

Sepaking of messy confrontations...


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Yeah, time to run, Minfilia.

Elsewhere in Ul'dah...

Back in the Royal Promenade...

Yda's got blue eyes!

Yeah, things look pretty bleak...


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Beneath the city, Minfilia is impressed at the structures down here she never knew about.

Ah, hell, they followed them down here!

Oof, she just volun-told you, Thancred.

And their six are now down to but two. Minfilia and Satznswys flee.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

Minfilia, not you too! We need to hurry if we're going to get out of here.

...okay, Minfilia, but Satznswys had better see you again, damn it!

Satznswys exits the catacombs, from the Sil'dih ruins in Thanalan.

Two people come running up. THe first is Alphinaud, the other we don't recognize.

To say Alphinaud is kicking himself would be an understatement.


The Goofiest Hrothgar

His companion urges them to keep moving.

A carriage arrives.

It's the same fellow Satznswys caught a ride with into Ul'dah, way back at the beginning!

Later, after they've left the vicinity of Ul'dah...

Oh, Alisaie, you're too kind.

Good turn of fate, yeah.

Understatement of the Era, Alphinaud.

Alphinaud's companion introduces himself: Pipin Tarupin, Vice Marshal, and as we will come to know, Raubahn's adopted son. He had barely arrived back in Ul'dah when the word of the assassination came out. He came across Alphinaud in a cell, and disagreed with locking him up.

Good a place as any.

Error: Alphinaud.exe has stopped responding. Abort/Retry/Fail?