Mister Estinien Loses an “O”

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Do I have to say by this time that there WILL BE spoilers here, as there are for every post? The guides for this part of the quest were VERY CAREFUL to avoid any specifics about who or what you’d be fighting.

When we left off, we were JUST ABOUT to ride on mini-Midgardsormr’s back to “The Flagship”, Azys Lla’s center of power. That power is due to the Warring Triad, which, Google assures me, are three primal Primals that were caught and frozen into stone. We first met the Warring Triad in Final Fantasy VI/III, but this was the first I’d heard of them in Final Fantasy XIV.

Kasul had done a ton of quests, fates and dungeon runs to get to 60, so it was with some anticipation that we took our two-seater chocobo to the steps of the Flagship and spoke to Wedge’s Guidance Node for the last time. Once it had granted us access to the Aetherochemical Research Facility, it promptly turned chalk white and smashed, lifeless, to the ground. We’d have to do something about that at some point.

I expected to meet up with the Archbishop pretty darn quickly, but it wasn’t to be. We first had to fight our way through a company of Garlean Imperial soldiers, then several groups of cloned Allagans. They do like their clones… would Azys Lla really be considered abandoned if Allagans, even cloned ones, were still running around? The Allagan clone twins that showed up during the Crystal Tower quests still seemed to be fairly aware of who they were and where they came from….

We caught up with Regula van Hydrus, the coward who abandoned his solo fight with us to run ahead into the facility. But to no avail. His attacks were weak, and Kasul were getting the impression that life was going to be easy from now on. We weren’t wrong. The optional dungeons AFTERWARD, wellllll……

The second boss was a strange Allagan amalgam that changed forms, each of which came with its own strategy. But that couldn’t stop us. Even the weird one way down lifts (well, “drops”, technically) couldn’t stop us.

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I guess we should have expected the Ascians ever since Urianger showed up with the White Auracite that had swallowed another Ascian in the past. I expected to see Lahabrea… but I didn’t expect to see Igeyorhm, the sole female Ascian we’ve seen, with him. We’d have to fight them both. At the same time.

Which became even more literal when we had them on the ropes. They refused to back down, instead, they drew upon their cores of power and melded together to form… LORD ZODIARK!

Lord of the Dark
Lord of the Dark

But perhaps Lahabrea and Igeyorhm were still weakened from their fight against we warriors of light. Or perhaps Hydaelyn’s crystal gift blunted his powers. Lord Zodiark was forced to withdraw….

…. but that was denied to him by Hydaelyn’s power, and he was forced out of the Ascian Shadow Void and back to us. Too weak to continue, he dissolved back into Lahabrea and Igeyorhm.

We had White Auracite, and we had Estinien’s Eye of Nidhogg. We used the auracite to trap Igeyorhm, and the power of the Eye to burn her out of existence.

White Auracite, eating an Ascian
White Auracite, eating an Ascian

But that left us without the necessary power to take on and destroy Lahabrea once and for all. The Eye had immense power, but it would take some time to store enough aethyric energy to make it a danger to any Ascian.

It was THEN that the Archbishop arrived, with six of his Heavensward Guard carrying a stone coffin.

The coffin of the ancient King Thordan, the one who first betrayed the Dravanians and began the Ishgard nation on the legacy of blood, treachery and power. On whose body lay Nidhogg’s second eye.

The Archbishop could have handed us the Eye, and we could have used it to destroy Lahabrea, but he had different plans. He finally took the power that had been given him by all the worshipers of Ishgard’s false religion… and powered up. As the resurrected King Thordan, the original betrayer. He took Nidhogg’s second Eye and put it into the crosspiece of the aetherial sword that had earlier just been his staff.

As King Thordan, the Archbishop took a swing of the sword and Lahabrea was no more.

An Uneven Fight
An Uneven Fight

He and his knights weren’t finished with us. We pursued them into the Singularity Reactor, where they would free the Warring Triad and take control of Eorzea and probably all of Hydaelyn.

They were ready for us. King Thordan threatened us with his sword, zapped us with the power of Nidhogg’s Eye, and sent his Heaven’s Ward knights at us, and maybe if it had just been one Warrior of Light, it would have happened. But eight of them was too much for him. We killed all his Knights, and then we killed him. Hydaelyn was spending all her power to make sure his strongest attacks were ineffective. Thordan lost hold of his power, reverted back to a lowly Archbishop, and then went screaming into the void, leaving behind only his sword, with Nidhogg’s Eye still pulsing in the crosspiece.

Nidhogg Reborn
Nidhogg Reborn

Estinien finally caught up to us. He had the Eye of the Azure Dragoon back from us, noticeably already starting to show signs of power. When he spotted the second eye in Thordan’s sword, he had to have it, have BOTH eyes. That was his undoing. Estinien had the strength to control one eye’s power, but not two. Like all Ishgardians, dragon blood runs in Estinien’s veins, and only needs a small awakening to transform them into a dragon. Nidhogg’s spirit used the power of the eyes to awaken the transformation within Estinien in such a way as to make him into a new body for the dragon’s spirit — with both eyes intact.

Nidhogg reborn, more powerful than ever before, leaped into the sky and was gone.

And that was the end of the Heavensward main story quest.

Lord Commander Aymeric brought Ishgard into the Eorzean Alliance. Lord Haurchefant was laid to rest in the mountains above Ishgard. Elidibus, the white robed Ascian, is worried that the balance has shifted toward the Light, and decides he must do something to shift things back toward the Dark. He is last seen talking to a mysterious Warrior on the surface of Hydaelyn’s moon. And finally, outside Idyllshire, a mechanical primal, the fortress Alexander, shrugs to life.

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Tipa

Web developer for a Connecticut-based insurance company that's over 200 years old! Also a bicycler, a blogger, a kayaker, and a hunter of bridges.

3 thoughts on “Mister Estinien Loses an “O””

  1. I love your write-ups too. They’re some of the best in the blogosphere, or the part of it I frequent, at least. That said, the spoiler warning at the beginning is almost entirely unnecessary because no matter how well you tell it, this is incomprehensible nonsense!

    It reminds me of all the reasons I no longer read huge fantasy series. All those unpronounceable names. All those endless, nested, intertwining narrative strands. The portentous overdramatization. While I was playing FFXIV I could feel all that beginning to build and the ominous pressure was horrifying.

    One of the many reasons I’ve enjoyed EQ and EQ2 so much over the years is that, while Norrath is every bit the equal of any other fantasy setting in the unsayable names and convoluted plot stakes, you an let it all wash over you like a passing breeze. As a player you rarely need to know or care which god has it in for which upstart monarch or which empire wants to overrun which kingdom. Just kill your ten foozles and let them all get on with it.

    I like my lore where it belongs, vaguely in the back of my mind, occasionally prompting a moment of rumination, followed by a shrug and another swing of the sword.

  2. Well, players who aren’t into story won’t last long in FFXIV. Everything is about opening up more of the story. Raids are story based (if the other people let you watch it, anyway). Easy dungeon runs connect, plot-wise, to dungeon runs you reach at higher levels. Even the primals have their own arc.

    I used to be of the opinion that MMOs should just get out of the way of players and let us create our own stories — the EverQuest model, basically. But modern cross-server instances and random dungeons make those kinds of things impossible these days.

    I can’t get into the “farm upgrades to get to new places and farm replacements” cycle. I have to have some sense that I have done something.

    I spent eight years in EverQuest and few of the game accomplishments meant anything to me in and of themselves. What was important was doing things with fifty of my closest friends :)

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