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ミ古堡の柠檬ペ

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  • HISTORY OF VANA'DIEL version 1.4

    Final Fantasy XI for Playstation 2 and PC
    ----------------------------------------------
    By Kerrigan of Asura

    send comments/suggestions/additions to XJadeNightshadeX@aol.com
    ----------------------------------------------

    As told by Vana'diel historical texts (ie. SQUARENIX) and events witnessed by
    Kerrigan and the following contributors:
    Deakka of Asura
    Tiberion of Asura



    ----------------------------------------------
    UPDATES

    Version 1.5
    -added information about Lady Eldie the first San D'orian woman knight.
    -added some more story to bastok's section.

    Version 1.4
    -added the ending of the Zilart story line and the transition into
    Promathia (section 21)
    -added some more info about Grav'iton
    -added some info on Verena too

    version 1.3
    -added through chapter 4 of Chain's of Promathia story
    -added some more to the bastok story.

    version 1.2
    -began the creation of section (19) Return of the Talekeeper. It will
    feature the story of Bastok. There is alot of information here which I'm not
    quite sure about so, please let me know if I missed anything.
    -At the request of many I've begun the Chain's of Promathia portion, I'll write
    up the last bit on Zilart when I have time. I have added the first 2 chapters.
    -fixed an issue where I thought the floating rocks of Riverne were part of
    the beastmen attack...turns out they aren't :p

    Version 1.1
    - switched the traits of Humes and Mithra, apparently I had them reversed.
    - The awakening of the Zilart was not caused by the battle of Quifim, but
    instead by Raogrimm's tapping of the crystals power.


    CHAPTERS
    ----------------------------------------------
    1. In The Beginning...
    2. The Truth
    3. The Age of Beasts
    4. The Age of Magic
    5. The Age of Power
    6. The Age of Technology
    7. The Mission North
    8. Moon's Eclipse
    9. Strange Rumblings to the North
    10. Legend of the Crystal Warriors
    11. The Rise of Jeuno
    12. The Crystal War
    13. The Age of Adventurers
    14. Return of the Shadow Lord
    15. Redemption
    16. Reason to the Rhyme
    17. Hidden Past
    18. The 6th Ministry
    19. Return of the Talekeeper
    20. The Rise of the Zilart
    21. Awakening
    22. Ancient Flames Beckon
    23. The Isle of Lost Souls
    24. A Transient Dream
    25. The Cradles of Children Lost


    ----------------------------------------------
    1. In the beginning...

    Many aeons ago, there was a sentient jewel. A living stone by which all life
    was created, banished the darkness, and spawned forth Gods of infinite power.
    Their prized creation was the world of Vana'diel, their celestial playground.
    Here the gods played, until eventually they fell into slumber. It was during
    this time that the children of the gods began to create their own civilization.
    They traveled through the sky, extracted gold from stones, and gave birth to
    grasslands across the world. These were the Ancients. But, one day, the
    Ancients seeking to join their god parents decided to gain entrance into
    paradise. Enraged by such a brazen display of insolence, the holy gatekeeper
    destroyed their path and cast their homes to the bottom of the sea. Shortly
    thereafter, the goddess Altana awakened and saw the ruin that had had once
    been Vana'diel. Seeing this she felt an emotion which gods seldom feel,
    sadness. She wept for the tiny world and her tears cleared away the damage
    done, but that was not all. 5 divine tears fell to the new soil.
    Each of these 5 tears was the birth of one of the races of Vana'diel.
    Hume, Elvaan, Taru, Mithra, and Galka. All different, all the same. Altana's
    sorrow left and she once again departed, leaving the world to grow in peace
    and harmony.

    but the story does not end there.

    There was another god, awakened and watching, from his place in the shadows.
    Promathia, God of Twilight, angered by what he had seen saw fit to condemn her
    work. Bringing out each of the 5 races darkest attributes - the elvaan's
    arrogance, the hume's apathy, the envy of the mithra, the cowardice of the
    taru, and the galka's rage. This would curse them to constant internal
    conflict. Finally, to seal the deal he created races of his own. These
    dark races, the beastmen, were charged with fighting the people of Vana'diel
    and occupying their minds. Never again would they think to open the door to
    the gods.

    There is one final tale however....

    While Altana soars on wings of freedom, Promathia is bound in chains.
    It is even said that his confinement was a limitation he placed upon himself.
    Can this be true? And if so...why?

    --------------------------------------------
    2. The Truth

    The real history is quite different from the story passed down through the
    generations. Unknown exactly when, but sometime after the creation of Vana'diel
    and before the rise of the 5 races, there existed 2 peoples. The first were the
    Kuluu, in tune with the powers of nature and the world around them these people
    lived a life of peace and contentment. Three great cities were created by them,
    one in the lands now known as Sarutabaruta (Horotoro Ruins) one in the north
    lands of present day Beaucedine Glacier, and the last their great Temple of
    Uggalepih. Their leader was the great, wise, and powerful Grav'iton. The other
    people, were the Zilart. Though fewer in number, the Zilart's power was
    unmatched even amongst the strongest Kuluu. At this time it is unclear if
    the Zilart were of the same race as the Kuluu or a different race entirely.

    Outside of the 2 main civilizations were the Dawnmaidens. This small group of
    women were considered to be directly connected to the gods, especially Altana.
    They were led by the powerful gatekeeper, Yve'noile who in legend held the keys
    to paradise.

    The Zilart, like all with power, sought more of it.
    Under the twin rule of Eald'narche and Kam'lanaut, the Zilart began an mad
    crusade to reach the skies and harness the power of Altana herself and gain
    entrance into paradise. Forcing the Kuluu and Dawnmaidens into servitude, the
    Zilart began the construction of a final monument to their greatness, Tu'lia.
    This massive floating city would be their capital and allow them to gain
    unlimited power. The palace of Fei'yin, was created for the two brothers as
    a control station for their massive project. Then across the world, massive
    pillars were constructed, connected by gigantic conduits. These would later
    be known to present day people as the 3 crags and Drogaroga's Spine. Next a
    power core created on Quifim Island was created. This would power the city's
    magical ability to float in the clouds. Finally the gateway to the gods was
    created, Ro'Maeve. Using the power of the gatekeeper and the dawnmaidens as
    the key to their power source, the Zilart believed paradise was finally at
    hand.

    But, history is filled with irony and this tale is no different. The power
    they sought could not be controlled and the world would pay the price. The
    gatekeeper sent her dawnmaidens to meet with the Kuluu and form a plan
    to strike back at the Zilart and prevent them from entering paradise against
    the will of the gods. Assaulting Fei'yin they overloaded the control center
    and in a massive explosion almost destroyed the planet. The backup of the power
    flow through the conduits send shockwaves the entire world over. The fallout
    was terrible. The Northlands, once a lush green forest, were now a barren
    wasteland. The Kuluu who weren't killed in the raid were slowly warped over
    time into the race we now know as the Tonberry. The dawnmaidens, all killed
    in the blast were blessed with a ghost like afterlife to protect and watch
    over the gatekeeper and her future reincarnations.The Zilart, with their
    dreams destroyed and numbers dwindling sought to bring peace back to the
    world which they had destroyed. The fate of Eald'Narche and Kam'lanaut
    remained unknown.

    ------------------------------------------
    3. The Age of Beasts

    The magic explosion from the blast which warped the Kuluu into the tonberry
    also changed other creatures slowly into the races which we know today.
    The first races to form were the beastmen. These races thrived in the
    era of darkness after the destruction of the Zilart's kingdom. The 3
    largest hordes were the Orc, Yagudo, and Quadav. The Orcs were the
    most battle hungry of the 3, with a lust for blood. Their homeland were
    the dark forests of the Northern Quon continent. The next were the Yagudo,
    a bird like race which prided itself on it's religious connection to the gods.
    Though they were religious in nature it was obvious this state of mind had
    driven them to fanaticism. The last was the Quadav, the turtle creatures.
    Seeking those things precious, they grew to become miners and made their
    home in the swamps of Southern Quon.

    There were more beastmen which grew in other parts of the world as well. To
    the islands of the south west, the mighty Antican's came to power creating
    a massive catacombs beneath the island chains. The far north islands were
    home to a giant race of beasts called Gigas. The last smaller race was the
    Sahagins. These fishmen lived in the caves and waters off the coast of the
    south eastern islands. Together all these "monsters" grew in size and
    number and soon controlled the mass of the known lands of today.

    Over-time, however, 3 new races on the side of right began to fight back
    against the mindless hordes. The first were the mighty Galka. Blessed with
    powerful bodies and brute strength the Galka were the first new race to
    create a civilization on Vana'diel. Centered in the Kuzotz island region
    the Galka created a massive city spanning the entire island. Having, what
    they believed, effectively defeated all their enemies there. But, unbeknownst
    to them, deep below their king was another beastman army. The Anticans a
    race of ant-like people who had thrived beneath to south of Kuzotz decided
    it was time to deal with the Galka. Outnumbering the Galka, the battle soon
    turned against the Galkan who with their remaining numbers were forced to
    flee through the ancient tunnels near their capital in hopes of discovering
    a new world on the other side in which the Antican's could not follow. Though
    defeated, the Galka did not easily forget, and deep inside them boiled an
    unstoppable rage and thirst for revenge. Their civilization was in ruins
    and their enormous cities soon fell to the mighty Anticans and shifting
    sands of the Kuzotz.

    The second race were the Mithra. These cunning quick witted creatures were
    the stealthy warriors of the time. Due to the lack of male Mithra, the men
    stayed home to raise children while the women formed the political and warrior
    classes. Making their home on the island of Elshimo the Mithra build and
    maintained a small society. Though active in the battles with the beastmen
    on their island, they did not seek them out. Protecting their borders was
    enough for them, and apparently enough for the beastmen, as over time the
    attacks decreased. It appeared that while not at peace, the beastmen of
    Elshimo had an understanding with the Mithra.

    The last were the tiny Tarutaru. These little creatures while not very
    strong, were highly intelligent. Though they battled valiantly, the
    Taru peoples were terrified of the massive horde of beastmen. Weary
    of the never-ending conflict, and declining in number, the taru wandered the
    world in search of peace. After discovering an uncharted continent, they named
    the land Windurst and settled down to build a brighter future for their kin.
    Several decades after the Tarutaru's long journey had come to an end, a young
    Taru girl exploring the mysterious towers scattered across the outskirts of
    Windurst lost her way. It was during the time that she came in contact with
    last of the Zilart race. She was led to what we today call "The Full Moon Well"
    and the power of magic was bestowed upon her and her people. It was at this
    time she was given the magical "Book of the Gods" and had a vision of the
    future.She saw the life of the taru for hundreds of years into the future.
    This girl would be come the first Star Sybil. Together with her people she
    worked to harness and understand the mysterious power that had been given to
    them.
    So began the Great Age of Magic.

    -----------------------------------------
    4. The Age of Magic

    Empowered by their expanding knowledge and magical abilities the Taru people
    united themselves under the Star Sybil, as the Federation of Windurst. At the
    same time the beastmen of this continent, The Yagudo, united to take back the
    lands which they had claimed for themselves. Working together, the Taru drove
    the Yagudo hordes from their lands. After this victory for a time, the Tarutaru
    lived in peace and harmony. Their race prospered, unified in their knowledge
    of magic and the solidarity of a new and powerful federation.

    During this time, the Mithra uncontent with their life of solitude on Elshimo
    Island and hearing tales of strange magical beings from the elder mithra
    scouts decided to venture out into the ocean to see for themselves. The
    cheiftaness, angered by the disregard for tradition, condemned these actions.
    Those who left in search of this knowledge were not permitted to return. This
    did not stop the adventure seeking youth who set off on their journey.
    Eventually arriving at Windurst, the Mithra in awe of the Taru were welcomed.
    Their strength and tactical skill would prove useful to the weaker Taru. It
    was a dually beneficial arrangement. The Mithra would be allowed to live in
    Windurst with taru protection and magics, and in return they would serve as
    the foot soldiers of the Taru military. Together, they carved and built the
    town of Mhaura into the cliffs overlooking the sea. It was a reminder to the
    Mithra that their home was not so far away after all. Mhaura though always a
    small town in nature, would become a special place in the hearts of Mithra in
    Windurst. It was a glorious age for both their peoples.

    But time would tell a different tale. While the Taru bathed in their knowledge
    of magic, the other races of the world began to gain knowledge of this power,
    even the beastmen. Within a short time, magic techniques were employed by
    others. The powerful magic now in the hands of the reckless and bloodthirsty
    beastmen was too much for the Taru. Filled with regret, the Tarutaru entered
    and long era of isolationism. They closed their borders off to all but their
    friends, the Mithra. And so, the once-proud civilization became more and more
    out of touch with the rest of the world.

    ------------------------------------------
    5. The Age of Power

    The use of magic would bring both happiness and conflict to the other races of
    Vana'diel. It was during this time that the insignificant tribe of creatures
    called Elvaan would rise to power. With the power of magic and the warrior
    spirit deep within them, the Elvaan would grow to become the most powerful
    empire of the time. Making their home in deep forests of the oldest known
    continent, the Kingdom of San d'Oria was formed. With the Tarutaru monopoly
    on magic broken, the Elvaan were able to create powerful orders of knights
    who with a powerful code of chivalry feared no adversary. Their lack of fear
    stemmed from their deep religious beliefs in Altana and her guidance. While a
    King was chosen to rule, the Papsque - the religious leader -
    was given great authority.

    One by one the beastmen strongholds of the old continent fell. Tarutaru
    villages and towns were crushed by the might of the San d'Orian army. Within
    a short time, nearly the entire Quon continent had some under San d'Orian
    control. It was at this time that one of the vassal's of the ruling d'Oraguille
    family discovered small peninsula at the western most edge of Quon. From here
    the knights of San d'Oria could sweep around the lands of the Taru and
    remaining beastmen and secure their domination of Vana'diel. Alphollon
    Tavnazia, a royal vassal was bestowed title to the land and given the task of
    constructing a massive fortified city as the front lines of the San d'Orian
    push east. Over time these lands were known as the Marquisate of Tavnazia
    and became a second Elvaan kingdom, under rule of the first. From here
    that battles which conquered the lands of Sauromugue Champaign were planned.

    But pride comes before the fall.

    The presence of the Elvaan pushed the Yagudo, defeated by the Taru, back down
    into the lands of Windurst. This caused a series of skirmishes until eventually
    the Taru Star Sybil and Yagudo High Priest met. It was there that it was
    decided the cause of their problems was the presence of the Elvaan who forced
    them into battle with each other.
    The two races declared war upon the elvaan and a uneasy truce was declared.

    With all of San d'Oria's attention to the Taru's and the beastmen of the
    eastern continent, the southern portion of Quon remained unconquered and
    uncared for. The inhabitants, the last of the 5 races - the Humes, were
    deemed too weak to worry about and ignored by the San d'Oria army. During
    this time that a small tribe of the Humes encountered the remnants of the
    Galkans who had settled in the new lands of southern Quon, after escaping
    their capitals destruction long ago. It was here that the two races united.
    The Galkan with their physical strength and the Humes with their ingenuity
    and search for knowledge. Together the two races formed a powerful alliance
    under the flag of Bastok. Fortified by the regions rich natural resources
    and the intelligence-gathering abilities of the Hume race. The nation of
    Bastok soon turned it's eyes to the north and the Empire of San d'Oria.

    Before the San d'Orians could mass a force to deal with the new kingdom to the
    south, the attacks began. Bastok using it's newly created army made quick work
    of the outlying San d'Orian southern defenses. Meanwhile the Taru's and
    beastmen to the east launched assault upon assault on the empire's eastern
    boarder. Finally a massive assault on the defenses at Sauromogue by the
    taru broke through the lines of knights. Every last Elvaan fought bravely,
    every last Evlaan was killed. In the south the Bastokan's turned their
    attention to the key grounds of the Konschtat Highlands. If they could
    control these lands Bastok would be safe from counter attack. In a battle
    of epic nature, the San d'Orian knights and Bastokan army battled San D'oria
    made one last push under the leadership of their first female warrior
    Lady Eldie Mantiant. Bastok was forced from the Highlands, but at a horrible
    price. The legions of San D'oria had been all but wiped out.

    The Elvaan to the east, now faced with the oncoming attack of the Taru and the
    growing presence of the Bastokan's to their rear surrendered in order to keep
    their lands and secure a truce with the Taru peoples. This was not the final
    nail in the coffin, however. The Bastokan chemists and iron workers in a rush
    to supply their troops discovered a new powerful cutting-edge technology,
    firearms. With these the Bastokan army marched to the Highlands for what would
    be known as the Second Battle of Konschtat. Here the newly formed Bastokan
    Musketeer's met the most elite of the San d'Orian Knights, but it was no battle
    at all...it was a massacre. The knights were riddled and mutilated by the
    musketeers gunfire. Both people saw the effectiveness of these weapons and
    stood in shock. The San d'Orians pulled their forces back to the borders of
    their capital, the outlying towns, forts, and legions destroyed by the now
    free to roam beastmen. The Bastokan's shocked by their own power, stopped
    their assault on San d'Oria at the Highlands, holding the high ground to
    prevent any future counterattack. None would come.

    The Elvaan could do nothing, furious with Bastok for the deemed "unchivalrous"
    victory and without their former power the kingdom fell into ruin. At the time
    of the collapse 2 brothers ruled the throne. The first, and oldest King
    Raigegue was a militaristic man who saw his friends and family die at the
    hands of Bastok. Gathering the last of the elite troops, he formed the
    Royal Knights, in hopes of a counter-attack. His younger brother, Prince
    Fellenant, was a more religious and peaceful man. Around him gathered a
    loyal group of friends, who would be known as the Temple Knights. Prince
    Fellenant against his brothers wishes arranged for a meeting between the
    Bastok leaders and his Temple Knights. There he would offer a final peace
    in exchange for help dethroning his brother. His proof of peace, the
    mysterious and powerful magic scepter known as the "Scepter Royaulais".
    This was bestowed to each king upon his coronation by the papsque.
    Meanwhile, catching wind of his brother's plan, King Raigegue sent
    his best and most anti-Bastok knight, Vijortal Caphieux. He and a few
    other royal knights would join the prince's party saying they wished for
    peace, and then assassinate him.

    It was then, camping in what is now called Ordelle's Cave that the plot was to
    take place. But, by some strange twist of fate, Vijortal turned against the
    assassins and stopped the attempt. Though he saved the kings life, he was
    mortally wounded. The prince continued on to Bastok and there the Temple
    Knights and Bastokans agreed to usurp the throne from King Raigegue. Gathering
    forces he took San d'Oria and crowned himself king, but just before a
    counter-offensive by Raigegue, it is said that Fellenant had a great vision
    granted to him by the Scepter Royaulais. Though it is unknown what was seen,
    he stepped down and surrendered to his brother. Since it was deemed long ago
    that royal blood could not be spilled, Fellenant was placed in the dungeons
    underneath San d'Oria. With the help of his Temple Knights, he soon escaped
    through underground tunnels into Junger Forest. It was from here, in the deep
    woods of Davoi that he waged a war against his brother. This was the start of
    the great civil war.

    Lasting for countless generations the war between the two sides of San d'Oria
    raged through their lands. Finally, the leader of the Temple Knights, Ranperre,
    led a final assualt on the capital. Carrying a mystical sword he found deep
    within the caverns of Davoi and surrounded by his vanguard of Dragoons (which
    would later grant him the name - The Dragon King) he led his troops into
    battle. His sword, the Lightbringer, struck a fear into the hearts of both his
    troops and his enemies. Before the battle could begin, the Royal Knights
    surrendered for fear of the sword. Without having even unsheathed it, Ranperre
    had united San d'Oria at last. From his throne he decided the power held by the
    Lightbringer was too much for one man, and it was sent forth from San d'Oria
    to Tavnazia as not only a sign of trust and peace, but to be locked away deep
    within the halls below the city. There it would be protected by the royal
    family for all time. San d'Oria had come full circle, once a great empire, now
    a small fledgling kingdom again.

    ----------------------------------------
    6. The Age of Technology

    The fall of San d'Oria ushered in an era of prosperity for Bastok, who upon
    it's growth declared itself a republic for the people. Hume tradesmen spread
    across Vana'diel in an unprecedented era of economic development and trade.
    Establishing trade routes with not only Widurst, but their former enemy of
    San d'Oria. During this time the Bastokan's decided to expand their industry
    from mining into fishing. Two towns were started, the beach town of Selbina
    to the south, and Jeuno to the north. While Selbina brought forth more profit,
    the town of Jeuno was founded at the intersection of the major kingdoms.
    It was decided at this time of peace to hold the first Conquest Evaluation
    Assembly in Jeuno. Attended by each nations top advisors, the Assembly was
    to outline the boundaries of each kingdom. Eventually, the assembly seeing
    their armies lacking battles and fearing they would turn weak or worse, against
    the current leader, set up a system of tournaments called Conflict. Nation's
    greatest warriors would face off with each other for bragging rights and
    control of territory outside the bounds of the 3 nations control of the
    previous year. This did nothing but create unneeded anger amongst the 3
    kingdoms and soon was stopped by the assembly.

    Back in Bastok the fortune's of the Hume's grew quickly, while the
    Galka - the laborers, received very little. This was the start of the animosity
    between the two races. The jealousy and anger while only subtle for the time
    being would eventually take control of the country. But, these thoughts were
    only in the backs of the mind's, as the technological developments proceeded
    rapidly. This was accelerated with the appearance of the engineering genius
    named Cid. Through his inventions, the mining of Bastok's lands gathered more
    precious metals and rare ores then ever seen before. The Republic of Bastok
    had taken it's place as the 3rd great nation of Vana'diel.

    ---------------------------------------
    7. The Mission North

    It was during this time that the Humes, in their adventurous nature, decided
    to explore the lands to the far north. Long forbidden they were now the stuff
    of imagination and legend. Two Hume officers, an elite Iron Musketeer warrior
    Ulrich and the monk Cornelia. Under suggestion of Cornelia, her friend and
    Talekeeper of the Galka, Raogrimm was allowed to accompany them. Raogrimm,
    as talekeeper carried the memories or all past Galka within him. This gave him
    the "title" as leader of the Galka. He was also a member of the Mythril
    Musketeers, but in name only, as he detested the treatment of the beastmen by
    the Humes in the squad With the help of his friend and aide War Cloud, he was
    charged with a task of great importance amongst their people. Cornelia had
    known him for some time, and it seemed to many that their association was
    more than friendship. Ulrich noticed this too, having feelings for Cornelia,
    and did not like it one bit.

    To travel to the northlands, the expedition would have to cross San d'Orian
    lands. Though they would allow it, the San d'Orians requested one of their
    best knights, Francmage come along. Though deemed as a "escort through the
    lands", we was more of a spy to make sure the Bastokans weren't up to something
    else. Of course seeing this, the Tarus demanded 2 of their top officials go
    too. With the Hume's approval, Iru-Kuiru the taru and Rabntah the mithra were
    sent. These 6 adventurers set off from San d'Oria through the mountains to the
    north. It was here things turned horribly wrong.

    Ulrich, after spending so much time with Raogrimm and Cornelia became jealous
    of their relationship. Angered that a hume woman would love a Galka over him
    he found his own solution. Suggestion the party split in two, Raogrimm and he
    would search one way, the remaining 4 would go the other. Taking Raogrimm
    down deep into the chasms of the northlands Ulrich plotting the Galka's death,
    he did not notice Cornelia had decided to follow. It was in the deepest chasm
    that Ulrich launched his attack, hitting Raogrimm when he least expected.
    Knocked to his feet and winded, Raogrimm could to nothing as Ulrich pulled
    back his sword for the final thrust..
    It was then Cornelia jumped in front of Raogrimm, Ulrich's blade thrusting
    into her stomach. Ulrich shocked by what he had done ran from the area.
    Raogrimm, the woman he loved at his feet covered in blood let out a great roar.
    This was the last anyone heard from him.

    Ulrich finding the other 3 members of the party announced that Raogrimm and
    Cornelia had fallen from a cliff led a fake rescue. No bodies were ever
    found and the remaining members decided to return home before anyone else
    died. It was then that the strange murders began. One by one, each of the 4
    remaining members was horrifically murdered.

    ---------------------------------------
    8. Moon's Eclipse

    Meanwhile in Windurst, though an internalist nation, their country continued
    to grow. The Mithra developed their own population and chieftaness within
    the capital, and a new Star Sybil was appointed. Also mastering magic to a
    science, the taru people had grown and prospered. 5 minstries of magic were
    created to govern the magical powers of the Tarutaru, each with their own
    specific function. The Optistery, was the magical library of Windurst,
    holding the tomes of ancient lore and magical power. The Aurastery, or the
    schools, were the learning grounds of young taru who would someday be the
    future leaders of Windurst. The Rhinostery was the ministry which experimented
    with the world around them. This ministry was the group that created the plants
    that light up at night. The fourth was the Oarstery, the taru mages training
    grounds which developed the ranks of the black, white, and red mages.
    The last ministry was the most recent and at the time, the most groundbreaking.
    The Maunastery, was responsible for the construction of Cardians. Under the
    supervision of the Taru Zonpa-Zippa, the Cardian's were created from dolls
    imbued with life by the star fruit collected from the gigantic star tree of
    Windurst Walls. These cardians were to be the new infantry and grunts of the
    Windurst army and do the daily work too hard for the Taru and Mithra.
    The problems would begin here.

    The cardians were created with an absolute duty to their master, in this
    case, Zippa. Zonpa-Zippa could not of course control them all as the ranks
    grew, so he created 4 "Ace" Cardians to rule over them with the basic logic
    of black and white, a wrong and a right. The Aces would only report to him,
    and he would only have to deal with those 4 to control and army. Zonpa-Zippa
    was received as the hero of the Tarutaru.

    This would have worked perfectly for the Taru people, if not for the discovery
    of the ambitious Optistery minster Karaha-Baruha. Working in the Optistery
    libraries Baruha discovered the ancient secrets hidden away by the first
    Taru settlers deep within Horotoro Ruins. Working without the authority of
    the Stary Sybil he came to Zonpa-Zippa to asked for his help and grant him
    the use of super strong cardians to search the ruins with him. Zonpa accepted
    and gave him control of the 4 ace cardians. With them in his power, Baruha
    had them secretly build a new cardian, Joker. Using magics locked away within
    the libraries he bound his life-force to Joker and then proclaimed Joker the
    new master of the Aces.

    While keeping up appearances in town, Baruha had the 5 cardians search deep
    within the ruins. It was then that the canals deep within the ruins were
    uncovered. Old sewers from the time of the Kuluu connected through all the
    towers, and even the Heaven's Tower of Windurst itself. Also, he had
    discovered a mysterious fountain deep within the canal. In it's dark reflection
    were the moon and the stars. It became apparent to him that he had stumbled
    upon the lost Full Moon Fountain of lore, which had given the first Star Sybil
    he great vision. Returning to Windurst he approached the Star Sybil in private,
    telling her of the fountain.

    With this new knowledge, the Star Sybil returned to the fountain by herself.
    It was here that she had a vision which she did not expect. Deep within the
    fountain the visage of a great beast appeared. His name was Fenrir, the great
    beast of legend which gave the first Sybil her reading. The vision of Fenrir
    showed the future of Windurst, in ruin. The world of peace had been destroyed
    and the world covered in emptiness. Shocked at this vision she fled from the
    fountain. Unbeknownst to the two, Baruha had been watching. Taking the
    knowledge gained, he built a study deep within the canals, which would be
    known as the Animastery. Here, he discovered through ancient texts that it
    might be possible to change the will of the beast, and in fact change the
    fate of Windurst. Approaching the Star Sybil with this information, the two
    devised a plan. They would return to the fountain and Fenrir and ask how
    to change fate, if they couldn't do so, then Baruha would attempt to
    manipulate the beast. But, the Star Sybil was unaware how far his lust
    for power had gone.

    Having bound himself to Joker through the forbidden magics, the sanity and
    mind of Baruha began to slip. He had decided not to just manipulate Fenrir,
    but to control him entirely. Arriving to ask for council from Fenrir, the
    two were turned away with news that fate cannot be changed. It was then the
    Star Sybil granted Baruha the chance he had been waiting for. Sapping the power
    and will from Fenrir, the great beast muttered out these final words -
    Though the path is dark, there is always light.
    It was then, the fountain went dark.

    ---------------------------------------
    9. Rumblings to the North

    During the times before the Crystal War the tensions between the kingdoms
    of the 5 races had reached a boiling point. There were no longer new lands
    to claim, and the 3 Kingdoms began to look at each others lands. This
    posturing for was amongst each other had drawn the attention from the
    world around them to their own petty differences.
    It was at this time that the world began to change.

    In the frozen northlands a new strange breed of beastmen had begun making a
    home. These winged beastmen posed a high level of intelligence and dark armor
    which protected heavily against most magics. Known as Kindred, they would
    eventually develop the reputation and nickname of "Demons". Gathered under
    a dark master they sent emissaries south to the other beastmen. Without
    question the beastmen races of the Orcs, Quadav, and Yagudo submitted to this
    new power. Under the demon's instruction great armies of each race were
    constructed. Using weapons and tactics never seen before by beastmen, raids
    on the 3 Kingdoms of Vana'diel escalated. The most devastating such raid took
    place on the island of Quifim, near the town of Jueno. Though the humes there
    fought valiantly, the beastmen had a trump card - the massive Gigas warriors
    of the islands to the North. Recently recruited in the army these monsters
    shook the ground with every step of their might and the hume forces crumbled
    as the rocks around them.

    In the North, as the beastmen raided small encampments, a black citadel was
    being built to the new Lord of the Beastmen...the Shadow Lord.

    ---------------------------------------
    10. The Legend of the Crystal Warriors

    The legend begins as so.
    The Beginning of everything was with the stone.

    A long long ago, this beautiful living stone,
    With its shining of seven colors banished the darkness,
    Filled the world with life,
    And gave birth to powerful gods.

    Happiness and light blessed ages continued,
    And soon the gods have gone to their sleep.
    The name of this world is Vana'diel.

    Sometime after, a great tribulation
    Was about to fill this blessed land of Vana'diel.
    The ancient seal, after resisting dark power for thousands of years,
    Was broken and awakening the ending nightmare.

    Innocent blood will flow through the great land.
    The world will be enveloped by fear, sadness, and disparity.

    However, this does not mean there is no hope...
    There exists one star, shining brightly
    Even through the nights of the harshest storms.
    There exists a powerful song,
    Not being vanished by the howls of any beasts.

    That's right.
    Proud ones,
    Filled with wisdom, courage, and determination...

    Now, awaken from the dark slumber.
    Stand now, the legendary heroes.
    The crystal warriors!

    ---------------------------------------
    11. The Rise of Jeuno

    Just before the outbreak of the Crystal War, there appeared a strange new
    leader of military brilliance and unnatural intelligence in Jeuno. As the
    city slowly grew from a tiny fishing town, the new leader presented a plan
    to the Bastok government to form a new nation-state: The Grand Duchy of Jeuno.
    The president seeing this as a good chance to "neglect" his responsibilities
    there and focus on the increase of beastmen. It was during this time that
    in a feet only matched by Cid's engineering skills, the small town of Jeuno
    became a teeming metropolis of trade and industry. Construction of great
    bridges connecting the 3 nations was started and soon Jeuno took Bastok's
    place as the most powerful of the nations.

    Though having no real army, the Archduke's guards were recruited from the
    best warriors around the world and trained in tactics never seen before.
    Inspiring awe and a feeling of protection over the visitors to the town,
    the guards were the finest example of the new age. With this in mind people
    began settling in Jeuno and the town grew, not outwards, but up. Soon the
    Duchy of Jeuno was seen as a spectacle and attracted even more visitors.
    The people of Jeuno and indeed the world had only one person to thank,
    the Archduke, Kam'lanaut.

    ---------------------------------------
    12. The Crystal War

    The Shadow Lord...
    No one knew where he came from and what brought his terrible wrath upon
    the nations of Vana'diel, but everyone fear him. From his obsidian throne
    in Xarcabard he launched a simultaneous attack on the great nations of
    Vana'diel. Each nation was caught off guard by not only the precise timing,
    but the massive amount of beastmen in the Shadow Lord's armies.
    So began the Crystal War.

    In Bastok the Quadav had tunneled through the mines to the north and began
    launching attacks in the heart of Bastokan controlled territory. Also, from
    the south, the Antican's who had pledge allegiance to the Shadow Lord as well
    began to march through the ancient tunnels the Galka had used long ago to come
    to the main continents. The Bastokans cut off from the rest of the war had to
    devise a way to defeat both enemies. They agreed it would be best to close off
    the mines and seal them in anyway possible. If they could, it would stop the
    Antican push to the mainland, and force the Quadav to back through the mines
    and launch an attack on the heavily fortified highlands. Though it would
    succeed, countless Galka and Humes would give their lives.

    In Windurst, the Yagudo massed themselves in their new nest in the mountains
    to the north. Their war parties had taken control of any path to help. With
    the greatest magic users in the land cut off from battle, the other nations
    knew they had to clear the Yagudo from their path or the chances of victory
    would be slim. 500 of the greatest San d'Orian knights offered to to venture
    though the dangerous beastmen forces and into Sauromugue Champaign. There they
    began the secret creation of an underground tunnel to traffic Taru through and
    bring them up and around the Yagudo army. It was here at Garliage Citadel, the
    temple from the times when San d'Oria controlled the region, that the greatest
    knights of the time would fall. Orcs from the north having tracked the knights,
    alerted the Yagudo. Waiting until the moment the tunnels deep within the
    citadel were near complete, the Yagudo attacked in the thousands. The knights
    trapped deep underground were no match and killed before they could react. The
    Taru were now on their own.

    The battle came to Windurst shortly there after. The Shadow Lord seeing an
    opportunity to crush the powerful mages of Windurst he massed 30,000 of his
    best troops. Protecting Windurst was less and 1000 - including cardians.
    Pushing through the outer defenses of the Sarutabaruta the beastmen marched
    on Odin's Gate. The Taru unleashed their magics upon the monsters, but they
    rushed forth ignoring the countless spells raining down upon them. Just as
    it looked like the town would be taken, there appeared a great light to the
    east. As the light dimmed and the attention of the combatants turned to it,
    the visage of a small Taru and a giant beast could be seen. It was
    Karaha-Baruha, and next to him his summoned beast, Fenrir. Jumping towards the
    hordes of the Shadow Lord's elite Fenrir ripped through them. with each swing
    the great beast knocked dozens of beastmen to the ground. The horde's fled
    from the battlefield, the great beast striking them down as they ran. And
    suddenly, just as quickly as the two appeared Baruha and Fenrir vanished
    ...forever.

    At San d'Oria the situation was not as good. To their south, the birth place
    of the Dragon King and now a home to a monastery had been taken over by Orcs
    as their stronghold. With the mass of the San d'Orian army on the front lines
    there, the orcs sneaking around from the west was unnoticed. In the mountains
    around the city, the Orcs constructed a great fortress to launch an assault
    directly on the capital. The Royal family knowing the towns remaining garrison
    could not defend against a direct assault, they did the unthinkable. A Royal
    Knight was sent into the fort with "secret documents" to be captured. Amongst
    these papers was information regarding a weapon of such strength that army's
    would bow to it's will - Lightbringer. San d'Oria had essentially betrayed
    their longtime friends the Tavnazians, and the Orcs thirsting for limitless
    power on the battlefield turned their attentions to the other city.

    The Orcs, sending every last beastman not needed elsewhere launched the largest
    attack of the war. With over 100,000 beastmen, the forces of Tavnazia would
    stand no chance. Though the massing numbers alerted the other nations, few
    reserves could be sent to help protect the city. As night fell, the Orcs
    launched their offensive, crashing through the walls of Tavnazia with their
    great war beasts and assault platforms. The forces of Tavnazia were
    outnumbered, every taru, mithra, hume, and galka fell along since the Elvaan.
    The head families of the town along with many citizens, but as day broke the
    tunnels under the city were filled with beastmen and most who attempted escape
    only found death. What happened next haunts the thoughts of all those who lived
    through the Crystal War. In an explosion that shook the entire world, the
    great penninsula broke off from the mainland, it's only connection sunk
    beneath the sea. The city in ruins and all citizens thought dead, any attempt
    to launch a rescue was abandoned, as the trek there would be near impossible
    now. Though the cause was unknown, many speculate it was a Orc secret weapon
    which went off by mistake. It was at Tavnazia that the forces of light suffered
    their greatest defeat. But, it was what many consider the turning point of the
    war.

    Though Tavnazia had been destroyed, so had the majority of the beastman army,
    driving the hordes of Orcs, Yagado, and Quadav into hiding. Also, the defeat
    had united the races of light like never before. Seeing this, the Shadow Lord
    tried to enlist the help of the Sahagin and Tonberry, but few agreed to help
    him. It was at this time Archduke Kam'lanaut of Jueno rallied the remaining
    troops and united as one force in his city for a to march north and defeat
    the Shadow Lord once and for all. The Shadow Lord not wanting to give them
    the chance to gather launched and attack on Jeuno with his Gigas warriors
    from Quifim. Though larger and stronger the Gigas forces were pushed back
    by the sheer will of the allied forces. The few remaining Gigas retreated
    into Delkfutt's Tower, Kam'lanaut's forces did not follow.

    After this victory the allied forces began to prepare for the final battle
    which they knew would cost many lives. To give them the upper hand, under
    the direction of Kam'lanaut, the great engineer Cid began construction of
    a secret weapon. This weapon, was a boat, which flew through the air.
    Based on an old set of blueprints, the airships of today are fitted with
    crystal-powered engines that were introduced by the Archduke. With lift
    provided by unique revolving wings and propulsion supplied by the crystal
    engine, airships are capable of nearly vertical takeoffs and landings from
    their waterfront ports.Holding dozens of cannons, the "airship" as it was
    called, was the perfect siege weapon. Finally a ship was constructed named
    "First Ship", but the construction of it was taking far too long and the
    forces of light could not hold on much longer. Shortly after it's maiden
    voyage, the decision was made to attack Xarcabard without their new weapon.

    The remaining soldiers of the allied forces marched to Xarcabard, where the
    Demons, the most elite of the Shadow Lord forces made their final stand. Led
    by the Bastok champion (and grandson of Ulrich), Volker, the allies charged the
    Castle Zvhal. The Demon's power was unmatchable by any man, the allies were
    unable to break through their powerful armor. Volker, gathering the heroes of
    all 5 races, broke through the front lines. Battling his way into the castle,
    Volker climbed to the tallest tower, where the Shadow Lord waited. The heroes
    overpowered the Shadow Lord defeating him and banishing his darkness from
    the world, the demons below on the battlefield vanished.

    Thus the Crystal War drew to an end, with victory marred by the uncountable
    corpses scattered throughout the devastated lands and cities of Vana'diel.
    The world was changed forever.

    ----------------------------------------
    13. The Age of Adventurers

    Although the war had ended, the long-suffering nations of Vana'diel pledged
    to maintain their alliance. Each nation built a consulate in their sister
    countries. The Duchy of Jeuno refitted the airships of war for travel, opening
    the air travel agency between itself and Bastok. Upon witnessing the successful
    operation of the Bastokan airship service, the previously skeptical nations of
    San d'oria and Windurst raced to refit their own ports for airship use.
    These developments led to the birth of a new large-scale, high-speed
    transportation service for each country. Also consulates were placed by each
    nation in the others and communication between the kingdoms was at an all time
    high. It was a time for the nations of Vana'diel to be brought closer together,
    and a promising new era of peace and prosperity was at hand.

    Or so the nations of the world had hoped.

    In reality, the beastmen who were not at Xarcabard had regrouped and
    continued in the construction of their strongholds. The Orcs control of
    Davoi and Gheslba remained solid and previous homes of the Yagudo and
    Quadav were untouched. Although they no longer communicated amongst each
    other, they still continued looting, plundering and terrorizing the
    people of Vana'diel. But nothing was done...

    Still, the three great nations continued to mistrust one another. Keeping
    their few soldiers left from the war in their capitals, they sought new ways
    to counter the beastmen. It was at this time they began employing a new
    generation of independent youth to deal with the situation on an individual
    level. They were intrepid souls who followed their own beliefs, moving freely
    from city to city in spite of their own national allegiances. 3 great heroes
    arose during this time.

    The first was a Galka named Zeid, who was born War Cloud, friend of the now
    dead talekeeper Raogrimm. Angered by his friends death, Zeid bowed to the will
    of the dark spirits of Vana'diel and became the Dark Knight. Though from
    Bastok, he held no allegiance and no honor to anyone but himself. The next
    was the leader of Tenshodo, a smuggling group located deep within the back
    alleys of Jeuno, Aldo. Born in Tavnazia, he barely escaped the country's
    demise as a child(he was the little boy in the intro movie), but grew to
    be a courageous man. Coming to prominence in the Crystal War as a source
    of smuggling war materials from the far east, Aldo and Tenshodo, played an
    important role in the "underground" operations of the city. His sister, Verena,
    though not as an important figure would play a role in this tale to come. Given
    a strange gift to communicate with Animals and Beastmen, she befriended the
    local Goblin population living in jeuno. Though, it would not last, as the
    adventurers this age was so aptly named after would mistakenly kill her best
    friend, a goblin named Fickblix. Though saddened, Verena still held a hope that
    someday things would change, and beastmen and the 5 races would live peacfully.
    The last was the daughter of the leader of the pirates of Norg, Lion. After the
    war, the high seas were free to those who would control them. Members of
    Tenshodo, under the leadership Gilgamesh, a pirate and former Tavnazian set up
    a base deep within the coast of Elshimo. Appearances can be deceiving however,
    as Aldo and Gilgamesh used their far reaching operatives to gain knowledge on
    all the kingdoms. Lion was their scout, sent to check to see if rumors found
    were true. Zeid, Aldo, and Lion - these three heroes would be charged with
    a great task, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

    ----------------------------------------
    14. Return of the Shadow Lord

    It is said that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
    The people of Vana'diel had not forgotten history, but the lessons learned.
    And so it came to pass that 20 years after the victory at Xarcabard, that
    indeed, the true battle for the fate of Vana'diel would begin. The three
    kingdoms squabbled amongst themselves and continued to bicker over territorial
    boundaries. It was at this time that after 100 years, Conflict was reinstated.
    The nations hired out adventurers to go off and compete in distant lands to
    gain them territory. While all the nations put on a polite face for each
    other, the tension still rose between their leaders. It was during this time
    the beastmen set their plans into motion. Secretly meeting under the dark
    banner of a "new master" the Orc, Yagudo, and Quadav hatched a plan to
    resurrect the Shadow Lord.

    Meanwhile, our three heroes also heard of such rumors. Lion was sent to
    investigate strange rituals that were being performed in dark circles of
    power deep within strongholds held by the beastmen. Using her stealthy
    skills she overheard their plans. The beastmen were going to use "magicite",
    ancient crystals, to resurrect the Shadow Lord. But to do so they first needed
    to gather the great seals placed on his tomb. Each nation had one of the seals
    in its possession, but before Lion could return and report what she had heard,
    the seals were stolen in the night by beastmen raiding parties. With no idea
    what to do next, Aldo met with Archduke Kam'lanaut to discuss where to proceed.
    The archduke told him of the location of the one final seal and the magicite.
    Aldo sent Lion to the locations of the Magicite, and though she traveled
    quickly, the beastmen were still one step ahead of her.

    as if something was hurrying their pace...

    In the north at the last seal placed upon the tomb, hidden in Fei Yin, Zeid
    discovered just how well prepared the beastmen were. The seal was gone, but
    the stranger thing he thought, was how could the beastmen know the location
    of the magicite AND the seals. There were darker things at work than just the
    beastmen. But, it mattered little now. Lion and Zeid hurried to Xarcabard, only
    to find it filled once more with demons. Were they too late? Fighting their
    way to the tallest tower of Castle Zvhal, Zeid found the tomb of the
    Shadow Lord....

    -----------------------------------------
    15. Redemption

    The Shadow Lord had been reborn using all the power of Vana'diel to bring him
    back to the world of the living. Zeid having faced him before during the
    Crystal War stood his ground. Defeating the Shadow Lord again, the went for
    the killing blow. But, something was different this time. The Shadow Lord
    seemed familiar to him. He looked closer, and inside he saw an old friend.
    It was Raogrimm...

    Weakened, the once might Shadow Lord fell to his hands and knees before Zeid.
    Kneeling to his side, Zeid couldn't believe what he had seen. Raogrimm was
    indeed alive, and he was the Shadow Lord. With his last breaths Raogrimm
    explained what had happened. As the talekeeper for the galka he had held in so
    much pain and anger of his people. When Cornelia had died he let his rage
    consume him and before freezing to death he made a pact with the dark forces
    of Vana'diel to bow to them if he could have his revenge. Since then he had
    been trapped in an abyss of rage and madness. It was Zeid, who had set him
    free. Helping Raogrimm to his feet to carry him out the castle, Zeid failed
    to notice the new guests.

    clap...clap...clap...

    Turning around, the two saw a most unexpected face. Archduke Kam'lanaut.
    Laughing at the "touching" scene he explained to the two that the whole thing
    has been a diversion, orchestrated over 30 years ago. Using the "Shadow Lord"
    to suck the last of the power from the great seal of Vana'diel, Kam'lanaut
    could now enact his real plans. Using his Zilart powers he summoned for
    the great Crystal Warriors, protectors of the seal and saviors of the world
    to "do away" with the people of Vana'diel and cleanse his world. With
    his brother Eald'narche, the two Zilart could again begin their mad quest
    to unlock the heavens and be one with their god. A plot, over thousands of
    years, finally coming to it's conclusion.

    Zeid rushed forth towards Kam'lanaut, but the Crystal Warriors blocked his
    path, knocking him to the ground. Lion rushing into the chamber saw the
    event as it's conclusion, the two Zilart brothers warping away to safety.
    Just as the Crystal Warriors turned their attentions to Lion, Raogrimm
    let out a great roar. He had been used, and would not let his friend die
    because of it. Summoning the last of his power, he transformed once again
    into the Shadow Lord. Lion grabbing Zeid fled from the castle, as the Shadow
    Lord made his final stand. Though hopelessly overpowered, Raogrimm held off
    the Crystal Warriors just long enough, until before him stood a vision of
    his darling Cornelia, and an explosion rocked the lands of Xarcabard.

    The Shadow Lord was no more...

    ----------------------------------------
    16. Reason to the Rhyme

    Leaving Zeid with Aldo, Lion returned to Norg to discuss the situation
    with her father, Gilgamesh. How the two Zilart had survived this long
    still remained a mystery, but a new question had been raised. The Legend
    of the Crystal Warriors, a story told to children about the saving for
    the people of Vana'diel...
    had it come to pass?


    "Sometime after, a great tribulation
    Was about to fill this blessed land of Vana'diel.
    The ancient seal, after resisting dark power for thousands of years,
    Was broken and awakening the ending nightmare."

    Had the seal placed upon the darkness by the great crystal of legend been
    broken by the beastmen and Raogrimm when Kam'lanaunt manipulated them
    into the resurrection?

    "Now, awaken from the dark slumber.
    Stand now, the legendary heroes.
    The crystal warriors!"

    The crystal warriors had awoken to rid the world of it's evil...
    but on the side of the Zilart!

    Is the "bane" upon the world us?


    ----------------------------------------
    17. Hidden Past

    While our heroes set out on their great quest to stop the Zilart, there
    were other adventures taking place. In San d'Oria the great King Destin
    was forced with a tough choice. His two sons, Trion and Pieuje were both of
    age, and Destin had to choose between them to follow him as king. Also his
    daughter Claidie had grown into a young woman and her coming of age ceremony
    was at hand. It was at this time that the troubles in San d'oria had began. A
    mysterious elvaan named Rochefogne began snooping around the city, inquiring
    about a legendary sword. The Papsque soon realized that perhaps the legendary
    weapon, Lightbringer was nearby, maybe even buried in the Dragon Kings tomb.
    The problem is that so many tombs were built near the kings, that after the
    Crystal War, the location of the tomb had been lost. But, the discovery of a
    hidden tablet deep under San d'Oria which said the one who could unsheathe the
    sword would be the new king. The Papsque convincing Destin believed this was
    the will of the Dragon King and the Lightbringer should be found at all costs,
    especially before this mysterious elvaan character. It was Altana's will.

    The knights were sent across the land to ascertain the location of
    Lightbringer, but to no avail. It was then at Princess Claidie's coming
    of age ceremony that Rochefogne revealed himself. He was the brother of
    Destin's now dead wife, Queen of San d'Oria, and princess of the Tavnazia.
    He explained they knew nothing of the Lightbringer and to stay out of his way.
    Knowing of their betrayal to Tavnazia so many years ago, the King and Papsque
    sent secret assassins to "deal" with Rochefogne before he could find the sword
    ...or better yet he would lead them too the sword. Trapping him on the southern
    island of Battalia Downs where the sword was, the hired thugs met something
    they did not expect. A mysterious warrior in gold armor arrived to help, but
    it was too late, in the scuffle Rochefogne was thrown from the cliff, but the
    mysterious warrior escaped. With him out of the way, the papsque focused his
    efforts back to the sword.

    In the church the succession rights proceeded and Destin presented the sword
    to his two sons. Just as trion went to unsheathe the sword one of the
    assassins approached grabbing the princess, holding a knife to her throat.
    Taking of his mask, it is revealed that he is indeed Ronchefogne having
    survived and hid as one of the unknown secret assassins - the perfect
    disguise. Demanding the sword, Trion threw it to him, but the sword was a
    fake. Expecting something like this might happen the king had made plans of
    his own. Trion with the real sword proceeded to unsheathe it, and with a power
    unlike ever seen before the ground began to shake. Shocked, Trion dropped the
    sword to the ground. But before it could be retrieved orcs burst into the
    church stealing the sword. Things had gone from bad to worse.

    Rochefogne would explain that the tablet they discovered was a clever ploy by
    the Archduke of Jueno, though his reasons were not known. The real purpose
    of the sword is not one of redemption and tribulation, but of chaos and
    destruction, tricking those power hungry who were foolish enough to use it
    into destroying their own country. How he knew of this? Just after the battle
    of Tavnazia with the city in ruins and the orcs over running to city, the royal
    family fled through the underground passages. Rochefogne was the family member
    charged with the protection of the Lightbringer. Furious with the loss and
    full of sadness and rage, he sought to use the power of Lightbringer against
    the orcs. He would regret this mistake for all his days. Drawing the sword
    caused a powerful explosion which shook all the lands of Vana'diel, sending
    Tavnazia collapsing into the sea. At the time it was though the orcs had
    malfunctioned one of their weapons....but it was Rochefogne all along. Washing
    up on the nearby shores without the sword, he had spent his life searching
    for it trying to make up for his mistake. But, he could not have done it
    without the help of his new ally, the mysterious warrior in gold armor -
    Claidie. He had come to her first and together they devised a plan for him
    to get the sword from her brothers, but apparently they were one step ahead.

    None of that mattered now, with the sword in Orc hands they could now unleash
    horrible power upon the people of Vana'diel. The orc leaders gathered deep
    within Fei'yin to discuss their plans, but Knights of San d'Oria would not
    give up that easily. Sending every soldier they could spare they attacked
    the ruins and in a great battle deep in the old arena the orc leaders were
    defeated and the sword reclaimed. Upon returning to San d'Oria King Destin
    made a decree. That the rights of succession would be held off for the time,
    as perhaps, there was another choice for the new king. Finally, after 20 years,
    the truth about Tavnazia was out and the healing between the heir of the long
    past city and San d'Oria could begin. A new day for the Elvaan had begun.

    ------------------------------------
    18. The Sixth Ministry

    At this time in Windurst a great adventure of their own was taking place.
    Since the end of the Crystal War the lands around windurst had slowly dried
    up and life withered away. Ajido-Marujido, son of the creator of the cardians,
    and head of the Orastery had taken it upon himself to dig into the reason why.
    His sister Apururu had taken over the Maunastery after their father had
    mysteriously vanished. The two were known for their brilliance, but Ajido was a
    troublesome taru always seeking answers. This would start him off on a great
    quest.

    After working deep within the horotoro ruins for some time, Ajido began to
    activate only power generators and such in an effort to better understand the
    ancients. Drawn to this power were 4 strange cardians thought long destroyed -
    the Aces. Stealing Ajido's work, they quickly made their escape before the
    Windurst guards could arrive. It was during this time that the Cat Burgaler,
    Nanaa Mihgo, came upon a strange book which she sold to Ajido. Though she did
    not know it, the book was the great ancient book of the gods. The book, which
    was given the first Star Sybil long ago, but when he opened it, he could
    nothing but blank pages. Shocked, Ajido set off without the Star Sybil's
    permission to uncover the mystery. Seeking the only one old enough to remember
    clearly, he set off into the Yaguado stronghold to the north to speak with
    their elder. The Sybil was without her own operatives, and discovered Ajido's
    meeting with the Yagudo, and saw him as a threat to Windurst. Sending her
    Sybil guards, under command of the mithra Semih Lafihna, Ajido was captured
    and placed deep within the underground dungeons of Horotoro. The Star Sybil
    saddened by what she had seen from one of the nations great magic users
    said a silent prayer for the return of their great hero, Karaha-Baruha.

    Apururu not wanting to believe her brother was up to no good inlisted the
    help of the "wacky" professor Shantoto. Afraid her brothers magic, and soon
    life would be sapped by the dark dungeon the two of them hatched a plan to
    open the door to his cell. Convincing all the professors of her brothers
    innocence she gathered up the 5 rings of the ministers to form a magical
    gauntlet. With it, she could open the door to save her brother, and she did
    so just in time. Her brother near unconsciousness got to his feet to thank
    his sister, but just then a strange figured appeared before them and with a
    flash of light he was gone...Ajido on the floor unconscious.

    Back in Windurst after her brother had awoken, he explained to the Star Sybil
    and Apururu what he had discovered. The Yagudo had told him that the reason
    the area around Windurst was dying was because of the taru, who 20 years
    ago doomed their lands. Questioning the Star Sybil, the 6th ministry was
    revealed. The Animastery as it was called, was run secretly by Karaha-Baruha
    to twist fate and save Windurst from it's doom, but things had turned out
    differently. Directing Ajido to the underground ministry, Ajido set off
    on his way to find out any information he could about the empty moonwell
    and blank book. But there was more trouble than that. The ace cardians and
    their small army had crowned a new king, a new master - Joker.
    ...what could this mean?

    At the same time, Apururu was given a letter from her father, found on of
    all things, a mandragora. North in the Boyada tree it was discovered that
    her father had been locked up for some time, forced into captivity by
    the cardians which he had created. This was a story he needed to explain..
    Zonpa-Zippa, their father had been locked away since just before the end of
    the Crystal War. What was unknown to him then had become clear over time.
    Karaha-Baruha had used his 4 cardians as templates for a super cardian to
    control them all, Joker. Giving joker the status of master, he bound his
    soul to the cardian. The battle of Windurst had taken his life however,
    when he had called Fenrir. With him dead, Joker could no longer function
    and shut down. The ace cardians now without a master began to short circuit,
    with no one to obey. Their line between black and white slowly faded into gray.
    They decided it would be best to find a way to bring Joker back to life.
    Kidnapping Zonpa, the only one who would suspect their plan, they set off
    on a 20 year mission. It was Ajido who activated the only ruins and gave the
    cardians enough power to begin their resurrection. But the problem is,
    unbeknownst to the cardians, the connection between Karaha and Joker was that
    of life and death. To bring Joker back, Karaha would have to be reborn too.
    But how could joker be back when Karaha was dead?

    With everyone returning to the Star Sybil with their news, but just then
    the dark figure from Ajido's jail appeared before the Sybil. Before they
    could get to her the figure vanished. The Sybil decides she should take
    the chance and use the last of her powers to summon forth their once shining
    star of the moon fountain to guide them. But there she discovers what powers
    she had are no more, apparently gone, somehow. It was here joker made his
    presence known. The new master of the cardians was not just a cardian, but a
    part of Karaha himself. Warping the Star Sybil's guards, he enlightened
    her that his rebirth was because she had wished he return. He needed her
    for one more wish..

    Semih, gathering Ajido and Apururu back in Heaven's Tower began to
    formulate a plan to rescue her, but there are other factors at play too.
    The cardians had struck a deal with the Yagudo, who now demanded control
    of the horotoro ruins since the activation of them was against the treaty
    the two had signed after the war. Semih would deal with them, but Ajido and
    Apururu would have to find a way to stop the cardians. If the cardians could
    be beaten, the Yagudo would retreat knowing their allies had been defeated.
    In the Animastery, Ajido had discovered that while part of Karaha may have
    been in the cardian, most of him was trapped with fenrir, inside the new
    body if the mysterious stranger who had threatened him and the star sybil.
    ...but had he really been there to hurt them, or warn them?

    Ajido decides that there may be a way to save the Sybil, lure fenrir, and use
    the cardians power sources to reenergize the fountain. 3 Kuluu ancient songs
    hidden around the world were gathered in a race against time. The songs would
    lure the great beast in the double body to the fountain if they played it
    there. Then they could overload the cardians for a few seconds and in that
    time combine Joker and the dark figure, and hopefully Fenrir would prevail.
    Returning to the moon fountain, Ajido and Apururu fought their way through
    the cardians to the fountain and played the songs. With a blast of magical
    energy the cardians collapse to the ground, and the dark figure appeared,
    drawn to its power. Using all of his magic Ajido combined the two as Apururu
    got the sybil to safety. With a brilliant sparkle, the fountain exploded with
    light and one more the full moon was seen deep within it's water. Fenrir had
    returned to windurst, and words back to the book of gods. But, it had all
    taken its toll on the Sybil. Her magic power had been sapped and she could
    no longer predict the future. But Windurst was safe. It was now she remembered
    the words Fenrir had spoke to her 20 years ago: Though the path is dark, there
    is always light. She would be Windurt's light, and even without magic, guide
    them on the right path. With the help of great Windurstians like Ajido,
    they would see many great days ahead.

    --------------------------------------------
    19. Return of the Talekeeper

    The tensions between the Galka and the Humes was at an all time high. While
    the Hume senate and president simply saw the Galka uproar as nothing to worry
    about, it had slowly begun to enter a state of pre-rebellion. All of this was
    sparked by the apparent return of the Talekeeper. President Karst dispatched
    the Mythril Musketeers under the leadership of the Bastokan hero Volker to
    watch over the situation. But there were other factors to account for. Cid and
    Karst's own daughter Cornelia did not see the Galka as simply animals to be
    used for labor. Also within the Mythril Musketeers; Iron Eater, Ayame, and Naji
    all sought to outdo eachother to be the next leader. Burdened with the task of
    sorting all of this out was the presidents aide, Lucius.

    On Ore Street in the Mines District the Galkan boy Povall is deemed the new
    talekeeper by several Galka. At first they find it hard to believe, but soon
    the hope that their leader has returned eventually takes control. However,
    Iron Eater arranges an expidition to the Altepa Desert to discover if the
    boys claims are true. There they manage to find a moon pebble, the one which
    should have been in the hands of the Talekeeper, which all talekeepers must
    have. Returning to Bastok it quickly becomes clear that the return of the
    Talekeeper is a lie. The hopes of the Galka are dashed as the little
    Galka Povall under pressure and fear of death like all the previous
    Talekeepers flees for his life. Gabbot the elder Galka is forced from the
    town by Iron Eater for lying to his own people. The only one with any hope
    left seems to be the little Galka Gumbah, friend of Zeid.

    At this time, Bastok and Norg begin to discuss the possibility of trade.
    Ayame is sent to offer trade routes to the pirates there, possibly
    making them REAL buisnessmen. There she is confronted with her past as a
    Samurai and her oath to Gilgamesh as one of his warriors. But, it becomes
    clear to him that she is happy at her new post and the two agree it is best
    she stay there. Seeing her return to Bastok with a new sense of duty, Naji
    is pleased to see her. Perhaps he has feelings for her, more than just that
    of two officers?


    --------------------------------------------
    20. The Rise of the Zilart

    While the twin brothers of the Zilart began their twisted schemes once
    more, Gilgamesh and Lion plotted their next course of action. Remember
    having once happened upon an old woman deep within the Temples in Yhoator
    Jungle, Gilgamesh sent lion to investigate. With the help of the Mithra
    Chieftaness Lion discovered the hidden truth of the Zilart, that long ago
    the Zilart had controlled the land and enslaved the Kuluu and the Priestesses
    of Altana. The old man, Grav'iton was the memory of the Kuluu, now warped and
    transformed into the Tonberry by the lust for power of the Zilart. The
    Zilart were the ancients, the Zilart had built the gigantic monuments around
    the world, and the Zilart were the ones who caused such destruction
    that even Altana herself cried....
    and now they would try to do the same again.

    Zied had found himself on a quest around the world to collect shards of
    the multicolored crystals on headstones of cermet from ancient Zilart
    locations. With these they could form a seal in the ancient ruins of the
    Galkan homelands that would grant them access to all the domains of the
    Zilart. Without this seal, all the plans set forth would mean nothing.
    With the help of the spirit of one of the gate keeper, Yve'noile, Zeid
    managed to unlock the powers of the Curelean Crystal.

    Meanwhile in Jeuno, Aldo's sister Verena had mysteriously disappeared.
    The girl, with a strange power to communicate and truly understand beastmen
    was too valuable and asset not only to the forces of light, but also the
    Zilart. Tracking her captors to Delkfutt's tower the 3 heroes assembled
    once more...not for Vana'diel, but to save Verena. At the very top of the
    tower Kam'lanaut had already become to reactivate the power source deep within
    the tower. Explaining that the explosion long had frozen he and his brother
    deep within the core of Delkfutt's reactor chamber and not until Raogrim had
    tapped into the Crystal, which was directly connected to the tower's power
    source, had they been reawakened. Seeing their chance, they had used and
    manipulated Raogrimm and the beastmen. They had been planning this moment
    for the last 20 years, slowly weakening each kingdom and using the visage
    of the Shadow Lord to distract them all.

    But none of that was important now..

    Summoning his minions, the Crystal Warriors, to watch over Verena he could
    now turn his attention to more pressing matters. Drawing on the power of the
    tower Kam'lanaut lashed out at the three heroes, but the might of all three
    overcame the power hungry man. Collapsing to the floor they gathered over his
    body. It was then Eald'narche appeared. Kam'lanaunt begged for his brother to
    help, but the young boy simply laughed. It was not Kam'lanaut who had
    orchestrated this plan so long ago... but it had been he. The OLDER brother.
    The powers of the Zilarts experiments had warped him, keeping his body in the
    state of the little child, but with amazing powers. Now that his brother
    had completed his task, he was no longer needed.

    It turned out that not only did Verena have an incredible gift with the power
    to speak to the beastmen, but the Shadow Lord himself. Using the black head of
    the fallen Raogrimm she could use the power he channeled from the crystal to
    unlock recharge to crystal core in the tower. It turns out that she is the
    key to the heavens. Using the power of the tower, a great beam of light
    shot into the sky, draining the life from Verena. Then, in the blink of an eye
    Eald'narche and the crystal warriors vanished. Running to her aid, the trio
    pulled Verena from the path of the beam...but it was too late. She lay
    unconscious, the purpose of the tower had been fulfilled.

    Returning to Jeuno, Aldo took after watching his sister while Zeid and Lion
    went in search of a way to access giant floating island in the sky. Traveling
    through Ro'Maeve they gateway of the gods, they discovered Tul'ia. Guarding
    the entrance were the Crystal Warriors. Just when it looked like all hope was
    lost, Aldo arrived and together they defeated the 5 warriors using their
    weaknesses, and thus strengths of the races they represented, against them.

    All that stood in their way now was Eald'narche, mad with power and attempting
    access to paradise - willing to enter hell to get there....

    --------------------------------------------
    21. Awakening
    Within the walls of the floating city, Eald'narche rushed to complete his
    plans knowing that with the defeat of the crystal warriors, time was of the
    essence. Behind him the large doors open to reveal our heroes, ready for one
    final showdown. Eald'narche smiles flicking his wrist knocking them back.
    Sarcastically thanking them for their help so far, Eald'narche explains that
    the beastmen were in fact not the enemy the 3 kingdoms had thought. They had
    been sent forth to Vana'diel to stop anyone from accessing paradise, which
    is what they has done in the areas where they had recovered Magicite for
    his brother. But with the beastmen beaten back, they can no longer interfere
    with his plans to revive the crystal line and open to gate. He pauses and turns
    to the 3, offering them one last chance to join him and enter paradise and
    see all it has to offer together.

    Rising to their feet, the 3 give the Zilart youth the only answer they have,
    unsheathing their weapons. Eald'narche climbs onto a floating platform
    as the room around them seems to come to life with machines hell bent on
    killing them. Aldo knocking Eald'narche from his platform, the machines
    cease to function and collapse on the ground. Furious with rage at the
    lack of vision to 3 possess, Eald'narche begins to glow flying high above them.
    The energy flowing through his body burns away his eye patch, revealing a
    horrifying sight, what was once an eye - now a crystal burned into his
    blackened warped eye-socket.

    Firing balls of energy at the group, his rage destroys the room around him.
    Unable to control his bloodlust, Eald'narche fails to see Zeid sneak from
    behind striking him down. Collapsing to the ground, Eald'narche throws his
    hands into the air condemning the gods for forsaking him as they did his
    brother. Climbing in front of the crystal core before him, he connects
    the cermet lines to his body. Using the last of his power, he says that if he
    can't get into paradise, that will be unleash the same fate that befell the
    world 10,000 years ago. The crystal glows blue with energy as it overloads.
    Zeid and Aldo try desperately to think of a way to stop the mad man, as
    the crystal's power begins to focus on Vana'diel. Just then, in silence,
    Lion steps forward, realizing what must be done. With a quick goodbye to her
    friends, she unsheathes her dagger and charges into the crystal just as it's
    destructive beam of energy shoots down towards Vana'diel. Aldo and Zeid look
    on in shock as blue light of the crystal begins to fluctuate and in a massive
    explosion of energy, Lion is gone. The beam vanishes and Eald'narche is blown
    back. Outraged by her sacrifice, Eald'narche attempts to limp back to the
    machine to stabilize the reaction. Just then the visage of Yve'noile appears
    stopping Eald'narche in his tracks. She tells him his efforts have always been
    in vain, as paradise can not be achieved through the destruction of Vana'diel,
    he collapses to the ground. Realizing he was wrong all along, the light from
    his crystal eye fades, the last Zilart King is dead. Yve'noile turns to the
    2 remaining heroes, as the room collapses around them. She thanks them, the
    TRUE crystal warriors...
    and perhaps they will meet again some day.

    Hurrying from the room, Zeid and Aldo escape just in time. The two still in
    shock over the actions of their friend have a somber moment of goodbye. Safely
    arriving back on the ground below Tu'lia Zeid ventures off once more into the
    darkness and solidarity of his life as a Dark Knight. Though the Zilart were
    defeated, more evil lurked in the world and he would be there to stop it.
    Aldo stares up into the sky at the floating capital of the zilart. In the
    jungles of Yhoator, another, Grav'iton stares at the same sky. Tu'lia's lights
    fade and soon it vanishes into the clouds once more, the Celestial Nexus lies
    still.

    In Norg, Aldo arrives to explain to Gilgamesh what happened to Lion. Saddened
    by her loss, but proud of her bravery, Gilgamesh explains that she wasn't
    really his daughter. During the war, she had washed up on the shore with her
    real father. Before his death, he asked she be taken care of...
    if only he could have kept that promise. With a sigh, Gilgamesh admits that
    even though he never had a child, he was proud to call Lion his daughter. He
    turns staring out over the ocean, his thoughts turning inward.

    Aldo soon returns to Jeuno, the story of his deeds unheard by the common
    person. Perhaps it was best that way. In the secret lair of Tenshodo he
    arrives to the cheers of his comrades welcoming him home. Verena hugs him,
    but senses something, she feels the lose of lion. Saddened and outraged by
    the loss of her friend Fickblix and now Lion she curses life itself for making
    them suffer. Suddenly a warmth washes over her, she can feel it..
    somewhere...
    is it..
    could it be..
    Lion... she can feel Lion..
    turning to her brother, she claims Lion is indeed alive, she can feel her.
    Aldo closes his eyes, and offers that all they can do is hope so.


    It all began with a stone, or so the legend says.

    In ages past, a sentient jewel, enormous and beautiful, banished the
    darkness. Its many-colored light filled with world with life and brought
    forth mighty gods.

    Bathed in that life, the world entered an age of bliss until, after a time
    the gods fell into slumber. That world was called Vana'diel.
    However, this age will not last. The great bane will devour the fair land of
    Vana'diel.

    The ancient seal will be broken, awakening nightmares of ages past.
    The blood of innocents will soak the earth, and the world will fall into
    fear and despair.

    But as one song rises clear above the roar of beasts...

    We hold to one hope in these darkest of times.

    That star is you, and the song is yours.

    And someday, that hope will become our dreams...our prayers...

    Shine forth, star of hope! Let your song ring out across all of Vana'diel!
    And what was split asunder will once more become whole. Complete and
    Inseparable for all eternity.


    --------------------------------------------
    22. Ancient Flames Beckon

    Deep within Delkfutt's Tower unaware of the epic battle in the sky, the last
    few remaining Zilart work diligently at the crystal power core of the tower.
    Suddenly the power flow begins to fluctuate violently as a reaction to Lion’s
    bravery above. Wolfgang and his Ducal Guards securing the area are blown
    back my a massive explosion. When he comes to, he enters the control room
    to find all the zilart missing, and only a small boy. The boy appears to be in
    a coma and is taken to the town hospital. Dr. Monberaux, Wolfgang’s once
    childhood friend tends to the boy, but can find now reason why he is in a
    coma. Wolfgang waits outside for word on the boy, but just as he awakens
    a mysterious figure in Zilart clothing with a strange eye piece appears. He
    is recognized as Nag’Molada, the chief envoy of Jeuno. Demanding the
    boy be released to him, Monberaux has no choice, but as the guards go to
    grab him they fall through him, as though he were not really there. Suddenly
    the boy is gone. Left behind, is a small pendent, which the doctor quickly
    picks up and hides. The Ducal Guards run off to search for the boy..
    all but Nag'Molada..
    who recognizes him..from somewhere..

    It is at this time that strange rumors begin to surface through the towns
    people around Vana’diel. Fishermen tell tales of a great dragon rising from
    the ocean floor. Other travelers tell of crystals at the crags shattering into
    a million pieces. Nag’Molada wasting little time assigns Wolfgang and
    the Ducal guards to examine of the other crystals, he will deal with the
    the other 2 personally. Nag’Molada explains that deep within the core of
    a crag is a mothercrystal. These crystals have the light that keeps the world
    alive. Nag’Molada enters the first crag to find nothing wrong, but just then
    the little boy appears. Suddenly the entire crag begins to seep with a dark
    oozing glow. With the blinding flash of light, a vision of the Dawn maidens
    is seen. They discuss a final battle between Altana and Promathia, one that
    will destroy Vana’diel.
    With a poof, Nag’Molada finds himself outside the crag.

    Meanwhile the commotion at the crags has drawn the attention of Cid, who has
    spent some time in studying them. Along with Mythril Musketeers Ayame and
    Naji he arrives to investigate another crag. It was just then that Wolfgang and
    the Ducal Guards arrive. Cid says he has received readings that the energy flow
    from the crystals has been rapidly fluctuating and reports of a great winged
    beast appearing in the north sea have alarmed him. He explains he’s here to
    see if these events are possibly connected. Wolfgang tells him that he should
    leave now, Jeuno will handle it, but this only leads Cid to assume Jeuno had
    a part to play in this. Wolfgang simply ignores the threat of Cid’s theory
    and says many who have tried to explore the crags so far have gone missing.
    Suddenly the shards of the crystal begin to glow as if affected by their
    presence. Suddenly they a knocked back off their chocobo’s by a brilliant
    light.

    Meanwhile at the last crag, Nag’Molada rushes to see if the crystal inside is
    safe from the mysterious boy. The boy appears just as Nag’Molada predicted
    he would, but this time Wolfgang and his men are there. Nag’Molada orders
    Wolfgang to kill the boy, but the guard captain is hesitant at first. Angered
    Nag’Molada says to do it, or he’ll end up like his father. Wolfgang sighs
    with little choice and lunges at the boy. The boy stands their silently as the
    blade stabs into his body. Collapsed on the floor, the boy lays there silent.
    Wolfgang stands back in shock, as the boy slowly moves his arms, pushing
    himself up off the ground. Under him a dark empty light begins to ooze toward
    all corners of the room. The group stands back and with flash of light, he’s
    gone…and so is Nag’Molada.


    --------------------------------------------
    23. The Isle of Forgotten Saints

    In a lush foreign looking field Nag'Molada lays silent, 3 tarus in the distance
    watch in awe as the sky above them rips apart as a great dragon soars through
    the air. Noticing his body, they watch as he gets to his feet and stumbles
    towards the nearby caves to the west. As he enters, he slowly gets the feeling
    he is being watched, turning quickly he finds several soldiers in strange
    armor behind him. From the back of the soldiers appears a hume named Justinius,
    the captain of the Tavnazian Kights. He introduces himself the the 3 tarus who
    have been following him - The Chebukiki triplets. These three trouble makers
    are simply dismissed by Justinius for bugging their new guest. Nag'Molada seems
    as unable to believe he is in the destroyed city of Tavnazia as they are unable
    to believe he is of a good nature. Justinius explains for the last 2 years,
    these few survivors of the fateful battle here have held up in the Tavnazian
    Safehold, thelast refuge of escape. Though they were unable to flee the island,
    the location is a perfect one, as it is easily defendable from the remaining
    beastmen who spot the island. Wanting to learn more, Justinius believes he can
    arrange a meeting with their leader, but first Nag'Molada must prove himself.
    Despachiaire, an old elvaan man explains the local aquaducts have been plagued
    by a dark minotaur, if he could help kill it, their leader will see his deed
    and let him stay in the safehold. Nag'Molada seeing this as more of an
    opportunity to explore accepts the deal. Using his zilart powers he easily
    defeats the minotaur, but continues exploring. Deep within the catacombs he
    discovers a mysterious room with only a small box. Though unopenable he
    knows there is some importance to it. Returning to town he is greeted by the
    leader of Tavnazia, a young girl.

    Known to the people of Tavnazia as the "Abhorrent One", Prishe, to her new
    ally that many monsters have been gathering near Cape Riverne, following
    the path of a great dragon. Nag'Molada notices the amulet around Prishe's
    neck is the same one as the mysterious boy wears. He explains how he
    arrived in Tavnazia, and questions where she got hers. Prishe simply questions
    if it wasn't a young burnette girl who gave it to him. He tells her of the
    strange Emptiness which is eating away at the mainland, but they know
    nothing of it. Retiring to think the sitation over, Nag'Molada leaves the
    stronghold. Just then Despachiaire enters to speak with Prishe about the dragon
    she has seen. He wants to know if the dragon is the same one as seen in the
    murals and paintings in the old cathedral of Al'taieu. The dragon's name
    - Bahamut.

    In a nearby cliff, Ulmia, granddaughter of Despachiaire plays her harp and
    sings a lovely melody - "Lay of the Immortals". Nag'Molada listens in the
    distance humming along. Startled she turns to him. He explains to her that
    the song is not called "Lay of the Immortals", but is an ancient song with
    magical purposes called "Memoria de la S^tona". And there are more verses
    than she knows. The next verse tells of a great bane devouring Vana'diel
    and yet the gods will do nothing. He is about to continue, but suddenly
    his eyepiece flashes and bids her a farewell. Ulmia unable to resist begs
    him to tell her the next verse, but Nag'Molada simply says, the 3rd verse
    is for the God's alone to know.

    Back on town Justinius reports that the clouds in the sky certainly point to
    Riverne. Prishe believes that if the dragon they saw was Bahamut, then the only
    reason could be that the gates of paradise have been opened as the legend says.
    Still unsure, she decides that perhaps the only way to find out for sure is to
    just go and ask Bahamut himself. Calling for people to go with her, she notices
    the 3 tarus are gone and so is Nag'Molada. Together, Ulmia and Prishe rush to
    Cpe Riverne. When they arrive they find the entire cape destroyed. Giant
    floating rocks amass within a grey cloud of mysterious energy. A small white
    light flickers nearby, touching it they are both sucked in.

    On the otherside, the Chebukiki's and Nag'Molada are spotted going deeper into
    the maze of rocks. The two follow them deep into the floating caverns only to
    hear a strange singing. It is Nag'Molada singing the first two verses of
    Memoria de la S^tona! Suddenly Bahamut appears and lowers himself down the man.
    Bahamut and Nag'Molada greet eachother with open arms, as he thanks him for
    his sacrifice long go to keep the door to the gods shut. Bahamut recognizes
    Nag'Molada as Kuluu and is happy that his race has survived this long. But,
    if the Kuluu still exist then the pact they made long ago must still be kept.
    The opening of the gate shall usher in the end of mankind, as forseen by
    gatekeeper Yve'noile, who created the chamber of Eventide just for this
    purpose. Ulmia and Prish listen on in shock, with no clue of what they speak.
    Suddenly a massive armored airship appears, onboard on many cloaked men, with
    a strange blondehaired woman in command. Quickly surrounding Bahamut, they
    cast their zilart magic entangling him in their power. Bahamut screams at
    the realization that the Zilart still live too. Nag'Molada looks around in
    disbelief. Prishe jumps onto two of the zilart, knocking another out from
    behind. With a part of the chain down, Bahamut quickly breaks free and
    unleashes a furious roar. With a flash of brilliant light everyone vanishes.
    The last thing heard - "Foolish children, you will never break free of the
    chains of promathia.."

    A vision of the mysterious boy on an icey mountain top can be seen, Bahamut
    teases him that his people are no more and he should give up hope. The boy
    screams they are alive, and born to exist as living creatures. Bahamut
    replies, the paradise od Al'taieu is no more, the Zilart are at an end.
    Now people will be set free of the chains.

    Deep within a strange Zilart facility, Nag'molada approaches the strange woman
    from the armored airship. She scolds him for going there alone and seeing
    Bahamut, but questions his motives, becuase it was his fault it escaped.
    He asks her if she thinks becuase he is Kuluu that he is not a faithful servant
    of the Zilart. She simply replies, he has failed 3 times to capture the boy,
    do not fail her again. The issue with the boy must be resolved, and Nag'Molada
    believes he knows just how to do that and stop the emptiness.

    ------------------------------------------------
    24. A Transient Dream

    In North Gustaburg Prishe awakens to see an airship flying overhead. Jumping
    to her feet she rushes after it believing it to be the one from Riverne. Her
    running takes her to Bastok, there she harasses the locals into telling her
    of Airships and their creator, Cid. Just as she arrives at Cid's lab Ayame
    and Naji capture her and throw her into a holding cell. Conrelia decides to
    keep her company though, and talks with Prishe about who she is. When she
    hears of what transpired, she takes her to Cid. Informed of the armored
    airship and the hooded figures Cid realizes Jeuno has been secretly building
    armored airships since the first one was designed at the end of the Crystal
    War. Cid tells how 20 years ago he recieved an invite from Duke Kam'lanaut to
    work on a secret project that would win them the war. Cid took to watching the
    many Jeuno scientists and engineers, many of them hooded figures who rarely
    talked. He saw them conducting strange experiments around the crags of holla.
    He also explains that, it was indeed him that sent the mission north those
    many years ago. Someone had brought him a crystal from the northlands, and
    the power was so emense that he was convinced there was something up there that
    would be of great use. He was told, the piece he had was but a small bit of
    the stone they found there, now in Tavnazia, called the Star of Tavnazia.
    Prishe tells him of the return of bahamut, and Cid soon come to believe that
    the shattering of the crystals and the return of bahamut must all be linked...
    linked to Jeuno. Prish says she knows of someone in Jeuno who perhaps can help
    them, a friend in Tenshodo.

    In Jeuno she enters Tenshodo asking for Grezzo, but Aldo greets her asking how
    she knows Grezzo. She tells him long ago she was told that if she were ever on
    the mainland and in trouble, to ask for the help of Grezzo. Aldo explains
    Grezzo was his father and sadly is dead. Prishe saddened by the loss asks Aldo
    instead to help her, she needs a way to return to her home. Aldo shocked says
    that she is not the first person to ask, there has already been someone to see
    him with a request to go to Tavnazia. She could easily join him.

    In the Duke's Palace, the strange Zilart woman from the airship stands before
    a samurai from the far east. Her name Esha'ntarl, his Tenzen. He kneels down
    and asks why the Duke is not here himself. She dismisses his question with the
    fact that the duke is a busy man. She will take any issues he brings up to the
    duke when she sees him. Tenzen angered, believes this is no simple matter. The
    empitness which has begun to spring up here, has already begun devouring the
    4 corners of his empire to the east. Those who see it have dreams of the keeper
    of the apocalypse. Esha'ntarl says she knows as little as he does, and they are
    working on a solution. Furious with her obvious lie, he tells her that they
    must know of the 5 shards of legend which rest in these lands. She is taken
    back by the outburst, asking him if he believes Jeuno is behind the emptiness.
    Explaining that Jeuno has protected the crystals for a very long time, and now
    with the eastern empire knowing of their existance, it would be bad for them
    to "fall into the wrong hands". Realizing the implied war against his people
    in her words, Tenzen backs down. She sys if he truely wants to help he can
    help them find the mysterious boy who seems to be linked to the empitness.
    She believes he is the keeper of the apocalypse and since he has appeared
    at the 3 other mothercrystals at the crags, it is possible he will appear
    at the 4th crystal in the northlands. She suggests that if he wishes to go
    there he had best find a guide.

    In San d'Oria Ulmia slowly walks through the sister city of her homeland.
    Seeing the church she approaches and asks the the priests about the
    the song she had learned and the gateway to the gods. The priest explains
    that as pusnishment for attempting to open the gate long ago, the
    ancients were cursed by Promathia. He tells her that in San d'Oria they teach
    that to enter the gate of the gods and seek paradise, you must seek it and
    hold it within your heart. She asks about the curse, and the priest explains
    that they do not speak of the abhorrent one, for those who forget him, will
    forget the curse and it will lose it's power. But, if she truely wants to know
    to speak with a relative of the San d'Orian knight who went to the northlands
    of the infamous missions those 30 years ago.

    In Carpenter's Landing, Louveracne a Knight of Mistalle, the outcast knights
    tells her that the count is dead, but that his wife still lives. If she wants
    to speak with her to go to the manor in town. Back in San d'Oria, Ulmia
    begins to recognized the manor, she had been there before. Inside she meets
    with Hinaree, the countess of Mistalle. Ulmia had only been a little girl
    when she was here last, but remembers her family and theirs were very close
    friends. Hinaree explains that perhaps if she wished to know more of the
    Gate of the Gods to speak with Cardinal Mildaurion. Ulmia explains the people
    of Tavnazia thought she was dead, but is told that perhaps she escaped. Ulmia
    shocked, is told that long ago the Cardinal's teachings believed that to
    reach paradise you must abandon all truth, but truth of what?!? Another
    question bugged Ulmia too, if the Cardinal was still alive, why had she not
    returned to her city?

    Meanwhile in Windurst, the 3 Chebukikis explore their ancestrial home and
    realize they have no food, no money, and no ability to leave. SOOOO..
    they decide to find their father, believing him to be in the town. First
    they approach Yoran-Oran, which of course lets Shantotto do what she does
    best, make fun of people. Yoran tries to explain he's not the father, and
    that he's only been to Tavnazia once to examine and artifact they had found.
    The Chebukikis suddenly decide he is far to poor to be their father, so they
    split during the tale of the artifacts discover in the Sea of Shu'meyo, and
    go to find their father again. Honoi-Gumoi, the richest taru in Windurst
    is their next target, as it becomes slowly clear they are looking for money
    more than a father. Of course the accusation of being their father is not only
    heard by Honoi, but a local reporter Kyume-Romeh. Throwing cash at the 3 tarus,
    Honoi runs off after the reporter to make sure the story doesn't get published.
    Next the 3 end up in the Opistery, where they question Tosuka-Parika about
    their father, but he says he would be far too old. They explain about their
    father and slowly it comes to light that their father was the infamous taru
    founder of the animastery - Karaha Baruha! The same who had saved Windurst
    20 years ago, but at the same time went mad with power recently trying to
    destroy it! Finding their father dead, they decide they had enough with
    Windurst and head to Jeuno to try and find Nag'Molada.

    Deep within the mysterious Zilart facility Wolfgang approaches Nag'Molada
    informing him the airship is ready for him. Nag'molada says he will not be
    joining them, he will be going alone, but if the boy appears to detain him.
    Wolfgang bows and leaves, and out of the shadows appears the 3 chebukikis.
    Nag'Molada turns to them, "it is all going according to plan".

    Meanwhile in Jeuno, Ulmia arrives looking for Prishe at Tenshodo. She meets
    Aldo who explains Prishe went walking around town til the ship was ready.
    They talk about Magicite and it's role in the events, as they must be
    connected to the mother crystals as well. Suddenly one of the Tenshodo run
    in and inform Aldo and Ulmia that Prishe is at Dr. Monberaux's after
    collapsing at the cathedral! The two rush to Upper Jeuno. In the clinic,
    Tenzen watches over Prishe, Monberaux explains he had brought her here.
    Prishe rambles something about the keeper of the apocalypse... Tenzen's sword
    begins to shake and vibrate. Prishe covers here ears rolling on the bed.
    Ulmia and Aldo arrive, and Ulmia notices Prishe's amulet is gone. Ulmia
    asks the doctor if they can borrow the Amulet he found earlier, and places
    it around Prishe's neck.

    They agree there must be some connection between the two amulets, but what?
    The amulet given to Prishe was given by the Cardinal Mildaurion herself!
    Monberaux mentions that the ducal guards have been speaking of seeing the boy
    in the ruins of Pso'xja to the north. Tenzen quickly embarks to the northlands.
    Deep within the ruins Tenzen discovers a strange room, though he hasn't found
    the boy he begins to feel a dark chill. Suddenly his sword begins to shake and
    in the distance he sees a figure laying on the floor. It's Prishe! Unconcious
    the girl lays before a glowing portal, from which the mysterious boy appears.
    Touching Prishe she begins to show signs of life. Just then a dark winged
    figure appears, Diabolos. Tenzen grabs his sword and backs away from the group
    realizing that they must be in the "Shrouded Maw" the gateway to the relm of
    dreams..
    and this must be a dream itself.
    Drawing his sword it ingulfs with flame. Diabolos calls out to the sword
    recognizing it as Phoenix's Flame. Tenzen says he has come from around the
    world to request the assistance of Diabolos to defeat their common enemy of
    light. Diabolos laughs and says he has false hope, Phoenix is not whole and
    that emptiness is not without its reason. Instead he offers Tenzen the option
    to join him in his world, Dynamis, the world of dreams. Though the emptiness
    would consume his body, his sould could live on forever there. Prishe rises
    to her feet saying there is always hope. Suddenly Diabolos looks around,
    realizing that perhaps this dream is not his...
    but that of Prishe. Shocked, a blinding flash of light blinds them all throwing
    Tenzen back. When he awakes everyone is gone. Deciding it best to talk to
    consult Prishe on what had happened he heads back to Jeuno.

    In town, Prishe is brought up to speed by Ulmia about what she discovered in
    San d'Oria. Tenzen arrives and realizes Prishe was concious for the entire
    dream. He explains that Diabolos is the terrestrial avatar of dreams, one of 5
    powerful gods born of Vana'diel. Many eons ago, the 5 avatars fought a fierce
    battle against an evil pressence that attempted to envelop Vana'diel. Along
    with Diabolos was Phoenix, the bird of ressurection; Fenrir, the hound of
    the moon; Carbuncle, the keeper of the world; and Bahamut, Lord of the Skys.
    With Aldos help they decide that perhaps it's best to head back to Tavnazia
    and one last time try to convinced Bahamut to join them.

    ------------------------------------------
    25. The Cradles of Children Lost

    In Tavnazia Prishe and her friends notices the people seem different. Greeting
    them Despachiare explains that much has happened since they vanished. The
    rumors of the Dragon King returning have drawn much attention from the outside
    world to their small "kingdom". Jeuno has set up trade routes and an envoy lead
    by Nag'molada has set up residence. Still uneasy about him, Despachiare asks
    them to join him in his private chambers. There Tenzen explains that he has
    come to try and reason with Bahamut, but the idea is quickly shot down until
    Nag'molada returns. Despachiare then answers his questions regarding Prishe. He
    says that poor Prishe is cursed. Justinius adds that while that may be the case
    she is indeed a miracle, though in recent days the people of Tavnazia believe
    her miracle may fade.

    Meanwhile, overlooking her favorite cliff Ulmia plays her song once more.
    Unsure how to best protect her friend, she remembers back to her childhood.
    On this very same cliff, a little girl, Ulmia stood crying. Behind appeared
    Prishe, strangely in the same form she is today. Ulmia explains she didn't make
    it into the Tavnazian Choir. Prishe comforts her explaining that just because
    she didn't make it now doesn't mean it won't happen. The world is such a big
    place and there are far more important things than a choir. She says that
    Ulmia doesn't need to be in the choir to be able to sing, she can come
    to this cliff and sing all she wants. The distance the hinted figure of the
    Cardinal appears calling Prishe to come home.

    Standing over the cliff, present day Ulmia gives thanks to Prishe speeking to
    herself how she did indeed get into the choir. Looking to the sky she prays to
    the Dawn Goddess for protection and guidance. Suddenly the shape of a dragon
    soars through the sky. She rushes back to the safehold to meet the others.
    Agreeing now is not the time to wait, Justinius and Ulmia head off to Riverne
    to find Bahamut and once more tempt fate. Tenzen seeing his opportunity tags
    along too. Behind them in the shadows the 3 Chebukikis follow.

    In Riverne the 3 fiendish Tarus pop out of the shadows saying they've been sent
    to stop them from getting to Bahamut. Cherukiki decides to just cast warp on
    the 3 adventurers, but mistakenly casts warp on herself. Justinius yells for
    the others to continue on, he'll deal with the remaining Chebukikis. Deep
    within Rivernes floating rock fortress Tenzen and Ulmia fidn Bahamut,
    approaching himto question his motives. Suddenly portals begin to open, as
    dragons from all across Vana'diel begin to appear. Bahamut asks them to unite
    to defend the crystal. Tenzen stands before them and appeals Bahamut for help.
    The Dragon King laughs and simply mocks him. Unsheething Phoenix Tenzen blasts
    one of the wyrms. Tenzen says that although in size they are over insects,
    together there is nothing the people of Vana'diel can't do. Bahamut shocked
    calls out to Phoenix for an answer as to why it helps him. In reply it sings
    to him the new 4th verse to the now infamous song.
    "Long ago there was a child who came seeking Bahamut, a pact was made with that
    boy, and now it was to befulfilled. The light would be given to the crystals
    once more. Innocent blood spills onto the plains of Vana'deil. The world
    shudders as she is thrust into chaos and despair. Niether power nor destiny
    can bring an end to what has begun. However, through the storm of night, a star
    of glory shines brigt. Through the howling of the beast the sound rings clear.
    Shining star, echoing song you are our dreams and prayers."
    With that Bahamut is gone.

    Back in Tavnazia, Tenzen explains that Phoenix gave him a vision, of long ago
    when the Ancients battled the Avatars and Bahamut fought in the greatest of
    all the battles at the gates of paradise. It was during this battle people
    would learn of the emptiness, the will of the twilight god, Promathia. Just
    then Nag'molada and Despachiare enter the room. Despachiare explains the
    connection between Promathia and Vana'diel. He calls him the Lord of Chaos
    and that he has cursed all the peoples of Vana'diel. The only way to rid
    themselves of it is to forget Promathia, which explains why Tenzen's people
    knew nothing of Promathia. The group shocked, bickers with eachother about
    the possibility of the end of the world. Tenzen tells them not to worry
    and that Jeuno will deal with Bahamut. He then demands that Prishe's
    amulet be turned over to him. Tenzen and Ulmia quickly go to find her.

    In her room, they warn her of Nag'moladas demands. It is here the history
    of Prishe is revealed. Long ago, she was the victim of an accident. Her
    family dead she was the only one left. Ageless, after touching some artifact
    deep within the church catacombs. She has immortality. Tenzen doesn't seem
    to understand though, why her people would want to hide her away and call her
    such things as "The abhorrent one". Out of ideas, but wanting to keep Prishe
    and the Amulet safe, they begin to go over ideas on what to do next. Prishe
    then offers a suggestion of her own, why not take this to Promathia himself.
    And she just happens to know how, deep within the Sacrarium.
     

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