Kasul was sooo close to 59, so we spent a little time doing quests and running Fates and those were actually pretty fun. There’s a storyline dealing with fights between good and bad dragons that we took part in. The bad dragon has all sorts of bad dragon friends, but all the good dragon had was us. Well, sometimes a Fate train would come chugging in, complete the Fate, and steam off once more, and that was fun. I even changed to Dragoon for a bit of it, got level 54 out of it and could wear some of the armor I got from quests while leveling up my Paladin job.
But 59 meant we could meet up with Y’shtola’s old mentor, Master Matoya. Our dear old elder witch has animated, dare I say, sorcerous brooms sweeping up the place and bemoaning the obtuseness of dunder-headed adventurers who cannot possibly understand what is important to an animated broom. Froggy servants stood around the place, offering gear to unlucky heroes.
Y’shtola was right about Matoya. She DID know all about making aethyric lances for the prows of airships. Sure, that seems like kind of a specific knowledge to HAVE, but it was clear she could not leave it to fall into the hands of the Garleans, when they tore through Sharlayan, driving out all who lived there. Except Matoya…. she hid behind an ice wall that you would never have suspected hid a lair if you hadn’t already seen the exact same thing in Snowcloak. And whatever happened to Iceheart, anyway?
Matoya had encrypted the book and stored it in the Great Gubal Library, where a large number of traps would keep it safe forever from all who would seek to steal its secrets. Unless they were four random adventurers, in which case that would be fine.
The Library was a heck of a lot of fun. Book walls. Glowing stacks of books. Monsters who you could read like… like an open book. There, I said it. You get the idea.
Well, we wandered about for quite awhile looking for the Magical Devices A-F: Aethyrical Airship Fittings of the Pre-Garlean Era, but out of all these thousands of millions of books, which would have it? We eventually stumbled into the den of the Everliving Bibliotaph, and even though we really messed up the fight, we pulled out a win. And, oh, THERE it was… right there in the middle of the room was the book we wanted. Weird. I guess the Bibliotaph had been reading it.
I doubt he liked the ending much.
Matoya begrudgingly decrypted the book for us, warning us that the knowledge was only one part of the puzzle. It would still need a power source. Hmm. Well, didn’t Estinien have something like a dragon eye or something that was full of power? So let’s go ask him how he feels about giving that up. Matoya kept Y’shtola back for a moment as we left, told her she had noticed that Y’shtola was now blind and was using her vital life force to “see” her surroundings. (I called that she was blind last week…. not that they didn’t make it very obvious).
Good time to figure out where all the important plot people are at the moment.
- Minfilia was texting Hydaelyn (the planet) and didn’t notice a sewer tunnel crushing her. Not dead until we see the body.
- Estinien is helping with the aftermath of the abdication of the Archbishop and the installation of Aymeric.
- Cid, Wedge and Biggs are working on their Star Trek puns
- Y’shtola is with us, using her disability to get preferred chocobo parking.
- Alphinaud is being “read” by Matoya. Clever girl.
- His sister is stuck in Baphomet’s Coil
- So’s their granddad
- Tataru is dancing for tips in the Forgotten Knight. Really.
- Urianger is making friends with Ascians in Waking Sands and trying to get adventurers killed in extreme primal battles.
- Hildy has given up the whole rebel crimelord thing.
- Thancred was teleported somewhere by Y’shtola at the cost of her life and sight. Not dead until we see the body.
- Ysayle/Iceheart is shacked up with the dragon Hraesvelgr
- Hydaelyn (the planet) is still silent, aside from gradually renewing our Warrior of Light powers.
- Haven’t heard from Midgardsormr for awhile, and why hasn’t he reacted to us as we regained our Warrior of Light powers?
Kasul and I had been wondering where everyone was; I think this was our best guess before last night.
Estinien, it turned out, was all too happy to use Nidhogg’s eye to power the lance, even though it seemed he was having trouble keeping the eye’s power in check as he brought it out to show. Y’shtola warned him that Nidhogg’s evil would consume him, but Estinien vowed to eat the eye before he would let it eat him.
Dragon eyes. An important part of a good breakfast.
While Cid and his crew worked out the details, Y’shtola sent us to say goodbye to everyone. The round of goodbyes ended with sage words from Lord Commander Aymeric, and a heartfelt meeting with Lord Fortemps, where he gifted us with the shield his son used to save us at the cost of his own life. I understand there is an epilogue to this story. I made light of it at the time (why couldn’t they pay the hundred gil and have it mended first???), but it really was a nice little coda to that part of the story.
Urianger came by at the end and handed his ex-(because she died)-(while he watched)-girlfriend’s white auracite to Y’shtola just in case we might need it later. It has been known to keep Ascians from re-incarnating, and it’s a little odd that a friend to the Ascians, like Urianger, is betraying his best buds like this. I cannot wait to find out what his whole evil plot might be.
And then it was off to Azys Lla. Estinien did not swallow, and was not swallowed by, Nidhogg’s eye as he channeled its power into the aethyric lance. It successfully shattered the impermeable membrane around the ancient Allagan city and we passed through to fertilize it with our prime directive. Or something.
But we weren’t the only ones that passed through the portal. The new Garlean flagship had been lurking (somehow) in the clouds, and came through after us, firing all their guns at us and looking like the lightning field in front of Mingo City. Every shot missed. Yes, Flash, but we only have fourteen hours to save Eorzea!
Even though the flagship was entirely ineffective, they might eventually accidentally hit something and it did not seem like they were going to stop before they followed us all the way to the city. And then what!?
Iceheart came flying up on the back of Hraesvelgr, the Luck Dragon. I guess they kissed and made up. Hraesvelgr reared up and forced the Garlean dreadnaught to stop, allowing our escape. Iceheart did a point break off Hraesvelgr’s back. While the Garleans killed the two Aevises that had accompanied her, she called upon Saint Shiva’s power one last time, clutching one of the crystals that are the basis of a Warrior of Light’s power. All along, Ysayle had been one of us, another Warrior of Light. And she was using Hydaelyn’s divine power for a final transformation.
As Saint Shiva, Iceheart stopped all the enemy shells in an ice matrix, and turned herself into an ice missile aimed straight at the heart of the ship. Where she allowed the enemy shells to explode.
Not dead until we see the body… but I think she might actually be dead.
We’d soon find out why Iceheart and Hraesvelgr were so interested in Azys Lla….
Azys Lla seemed a dead city, filled with ancient mechanisms and stray monsters. Wedge literally stumbled on an ancient sentinel (shades of Arthur Clarke’s “The City and the Stars”?) which … you know, I’m reminded just how much Clarke’s stories creeped me out when I was a kid.
Anyway, the Sentinel allows Cid to awaken parts of the city, but he needs the rest of us to go to each quadrant of the city and manually reset the transportation hubs. Alpha quadrant, Beta, Gamma and Delta quadrants… the Star Trek was strong here. Kasul figured the Imperials were the Romulans of this scenario. They must have been using a cloaking device to not be seen as we came through the barrier!
Turns out the Romula… er, the Garleans had come to ground in the Gamma Quadrant. After being warned to avoid drawing the attention of the Imperials, we walked straight through their camp because… reasons…. We were caught, of course, and Gaius von Baltar decided to take us on all himself. This led to a solo battle which took me a couple times. First time was learning the encounter (and having Kasul on Skype sharing his ideas really helped), second time I made it through. Staying alive is an issue. Thankfully, one of the new Paladin skills is a fairly decent heal, and a good MP regen buff is now part of my rotation, thanks to advice from Psychochild on G+.
We’d seen all these mechanics in various hard mode dungeons. Oh yeah, Gaius’ new ultimate attack was “Terminus Est”, which was the name of Severian’s executioner’s sword in Gene Wolfe’s “Shadow of the Torturer”. Were all these F&SF references in the original Japanese version of the game, or were they all added by the translators?
Someone has a really deep knowledge of the genre, at any rate.
Estinien, Alphinaud and Y’shtola stayed behind to keep the Imperials from pursuing us, following Gaius’ cowardly flight as the battle turned against him. We continued alone to the Delta Quadrant to waken the last (Stargate the Movie-like) short range teleporter and finally arrive at Flagship, home to the mysterious “Warring Triad” and the likely destination of the Archbishop.
As we approached Flagship, we came across a monstrous dragon impaled on some sort of device. The dragon demanded to know who interrupted its agony. Midgardsormr appeared in dragonling form next to us and revealed that this was Tiamat, sister to Bahamut, both of them his children, brought with him as eggs to this world eons ago. When Bahamut was killed, Tiamat agreed to give up her freedom and power to the Ascians in order to bring Bahamut back to life. But the life they gave him was cruel and tormented, and is a raid dungeon now that I have hopes to someday see.
Tiamat went on to accuse all the beast tribes and other peoples summoning primals or using primal/divine power for themselves as draining all of Hydaelyn’s (the planet’s) strength. If this power is not abandoned, it will destroy the world and all life on it. Ah, finally. It’s not a Final Fantasy game unless there is some crystal-related threat to existence. After extracting a promise from us to defeat the Ascians and all who would use primal powers…
Because hold on here… This is the SAME THING the Garleans want. I am STILL not sure why we aren’t allied with them. This came up as a plot point in the ninja quest and was not satisfactorily answered.
Anyway, after extracting the promise from us to do what we were going to do anyway, Hydaelyn (the planet) took us into the crystal world and bestowed upon us the last remaining crystal blessing. She spoke to tell us that we had earned once again her full blessing, an honor that was repeated by Midgardsormr. He’d removed them from us before, but he admitted we had earned the right to them.
Midgardsormr gave us a version of himself (bigger than the minion, but not ACTUAL size, claimed the tooltip), and we set off to the final chapter of the story….
Except not right away, as Kasul is just halfway through level 59. Next week, though, we see how this chapter ends, and what plot the latest patch has brought. We might be within a few weeks of catching up to the present in the story.
BANNED FROM BLOGGING!!!!!
I’ve been doing daily game reports on G+ for a few days, and decided I’d blog them on the character blog everyone has on the main FFXIV site. I got some flack from some spoilsports who thought I shouldn’t blog about what I did in the game using the game’s blogging feature… which confused me a little. I dunno what they think it is for.
But, as a little omake, here’s today’s report:
Level 50 dungeon: Amdapor Keep
Leveling Dungeon: Cutter’s Cry
Trial: Thornmarch (Hard)
I did have Advanced Combat Tracker on through all the runs today, so I knew, before the black mage mentioned it, that the group’s dragoon wasn’t doing his job. The black mage was doing a great rotation, and I was doing my best, but the dragoon was being outdamaged by me on most fights, and by the HEALER on some. Toward the end, the BLM wanted to kick him, but I declined because I just wanted to finish. The dragoon got angry and finished up TREMENDOUSLY on the last boss, cursing all the time.
Cutter’s Cry was very standard. Everyone did their job. I started very much switching between tank and dps modes through the dungeon, as appropriate, and my dps was pretty good.
Thornmarch had some new folks. I main tanked, as I normally do, because this is one trial where you really need someone to do the managing. I’d told the offtank what HE needed to do, but he had issues, eventually he died, everything went south, but we had full limit break and I had all my defensive cooldowns and some DPS won the trial for us at the last moment.
I picked up some normal quality upgrades in Azys Lla last night, and had enough tomestones of Law to buy the feet for the Fending outfit. Not enough Clan Centurion marks to upgrade the breastplate yet, and still a couple days from Friendly rep with the Vanu.
Ja mata ne!