Hailing from the Far Eastern continent of Othard, the Au Ra (アウラ, "Aura") were rare in Eorzea until recently, when increasing unrest in their homeland forced a not-insignificant number to journey west as refugees.
The curved horns and beautifully-patterned scales of the Au Ra often invite speculation that they are descended from dragons. This has long been disputed, with scholars citing distinct differences between the two as evidence against this. The enhanced hearing and spatial recognition granted by their horns are traits not found in draconian horns, and the extreme sexual dimorphism seen in the race is also widely unseen in dragons.
Auri creation myth holds that the world was created by the Dawn Father Azim, god of the sun, and the Dusk Mother Nhaama, goddess of the moon. The two deities quarreled over which should rule the new world, and created mortals to serve as their soldiers to wage a war by proxy. These were the first Au Ra—the Raen, children of the Dawn Father, and the Xaela, chosen of the Dusk Mother. At the culmination of their bitter struggle, the clans set aside their differences and learned to love one another, giving birth to a new generation. On seeing this, Azim and Nhaama returned to the heavens and bequeathed the world to their children.
The ancestral homeland of all Au Ra is the Azim Steppe. The Auri Raen clan, believing themselves children of the Dawn Father, left their homeland behind to settle across Othard, and were received with hatred and hostility by the other races in the early years. A prominent warlord of Yanxia, impressed by their valor, forged an alliance with the Raen and took them on as retainers. Before long, the Raen assumed a prominent role as warriors in the service of countless great warlords. During this time of strife, some Raen chose to settle across the deep valleys of Othard's mountainous eastern reaches, and one group found solace under the Ruby Sea. Still others journeyed across the sea to the islands of Hingashi, where they earned a reputation as legendary swordmasters.
The Xaela, on the other hand, never abandoned their ancestral home and dwell today on the vast Azim Steppe and surrounding regions. Their history is bloody and filled with conflict between tribes, which rise and fall in number as they're created and dissolved by war. Modern times have seen some of the Auri Xaela displaced from their homes, venturing west to Eorzea. Some attempted to settle in Coerthas around 1562 of the Sixth Astral Era, but the Ishgardians mistook them for the forces of the Dravanian Horde and slaughtered many innocent Xaela in their ignorant zealotry.
The most widely known Auri clans are the Raen and Xaela. The Raen live in central Othard and surrounding islands, having forged strong relations with the Hyur and Roegadyn of the Far East and adapted to the cultures of Doma and Hingashi. Conversely, the Xaela still live mostly in the Azim Steppe and its surrounding regions, maintaining their traditional, nomadic way of life.
Common to the Au Ra is a strong self-preservation instinct, but how each clan chooses to protect their tribes and families differs greatly. The majority of Raen seek peaceful coexistence with other races to ensure the safety of their own kind, while the fiercely tribal Xaela shun relations with other races, even viewing strangers of their own clan as potential enemies. The Raen are viewed more favorably by the outside world, while the Xaela are treated with suspicion and hostility.
These traits aren't set in stone, however. The Malaguld Tribe of Auri Xaela, for example, accepts exiles of the Raen into their circle. Recently, the Qestir Tribe have founded a settlement named Reunion that welcomes all Xaela, and even outsiders, to trade freely with the people of the Azim Steppe. Likewise, not all Raen coexist with the rest of the world—the denizens of Sui-no-Sato close themselves off from all outside contact and dwell at the bottom of the Ruby Sea.
The traditional dress of the Au Ra features prominent scale-shaped patterns inspired by the hardened skin of the Au Ra themselves, symbolizing health and vitality. Some wear sleeves that appear ripped apart, an age-old tradition meant to evoke an air of rugged strength. The Raen tend to wear clothing common to the Far East, such as various styles of kimono with wooden geta. The Xaela often wear large overcoats with the sides pulled against the wearer's body, a large sash over the waist. Their footwear is crafted from leather, spacious and slightly uplifted at the ends—a design ideal for cold weather and horse-riding.
- Main article: Languages
To this day, the Xaela speak the old Auri tongue in their homelands. They lacked a written language until recently, and the spellings of names from the old Auri tongue are often made up on the spot by the Xaela. The Raen, on the other hand, have seemingly abandoned the old Auri tongue in favor of the dialects of Doma and Hingashi, as well as the common tongue of the Hyur. As their speech differs somewhat from that spoken in Eorzea, some perceive it as an odd dialect.
Notes & Trivia
- The word "Au Ra" is both singular and plural, the adjectival form is "Auri." When addressing the clans including the race, the proper phrasing is "Auri Raen" or "Auri Xaela."
- Yugiri Mistwalker was the first Au Ra seen in the game, introduced in Patch 2.2. Her full appearance was concealed until Patch 2.55, however.
- The Au Ra became playable in the Heavensward expansion, and purchasing the expansion is necessary to create one. Despite this, there are very few Au Ra in Heavensward, as their homelands are explored in the Stormblood expansion.
- The Au Ra are the first new playable race introduced to Final Fantasy XIV since its launch, though male Miqo'te, and female Highlanders and Roegadyn were introduced to the game in A Realm Reborn. Likewise, they are the only race not based on a race from Final Fantasy XI.
- Au Ra rub their horns together to show affection.
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 090-091
- Character Creation: Au Ra
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 239
- Race Naming Conventions