Hydaelyn is the world in which Final Fantasy XIV takes place. Though it is the name of the entire planet, the term is very rarely used by its inhabitants, for to understand the concept of a planet, one must first know of other worlds, and most on Hydaelyn do not. Players will begin their adventures in a city-state of Eorzea, a realm consisting of the continent of Aldenard and its surrounding islands, the largest of which being Vylbrand.
— In-game description
It is the game's setting. At its core lies the Mothercrystal of the same name, serving as the center of its Lifestream and source of all aether that flows through the creatures on the planet's surface. In ancient times, Hydaelyn was split into thirteen reflections, or Shards, each existing in separate dimensions. The version of Hydaelyn on which most of the game takes place is the original planet, hence also called the Source, or Etheirys by the ancient Amaurotine. The Shadowbringers expansion is set on another Shard of Hydaelyn, the First.
The world of Hydaelyn features five known major continents, with numerous islands scattered across its vast surface. The largest and most developed of these are the interconnected landmasses known as the Three Great Continents: Aldenard, Ilsabard, and Othard. The westernmost of these three continents, Aldenard, and its surrounding islands comprise the realm of Eorzea, where the majority of the game's events take place. The southern half of Ilsabard and its surrounding islands make up the Near East and the easternmost continent of Othard and its surrounding islands are known as the Far East.
To the south of the Three Great Continents lies the continent of Meracydia, a desolate wasteland that seldom makes contact with its neighbors to the north. The Southern Seas also lie south of Eorzea, home to countless tiny islets. To the west, across the waters of the Indigo Deep, lies the recently-discovered continent known as the New World. Separating these major landmasses lie major oceans, such as the aforementioned Indigo Deep, the Northern Empty, Blindfrost, and the Glass Ocean.
The seas immediately surrounding Eorzea are known as the Five Seas and include the Rhotano Sea south of Vylbrand, the Bloodbrine Sea to the north of Aldenard, the Sea of Ash to Aldenard's southeast, the Sea of Jade to the east between Aldenard and Ilsabard, and Indigo Deep to the west of Vylbrand. Around the waters of the Near East lie the Bounty, the Drown, the Sirensong Sea. In the Far East lie the Ruby Sea and the Glass Ocean.
Hydaelyn's moon is, in fact, a prison to the Mothercrystal's dark counterpart Zodiark. Beyond that, however, it functions as an ordinary moon, and is identified with several divinities across the planet's cultures including Menphina, Nhaama, and Tsukuyomi. A second, smaller, artificial moon named Dalamud once orbited around the greater moon. It was created by the Allagan Empire to contain the primal Bahamut and descended from the heavens during the Seventh Umbral Calamity, bursting apart when its prisoner broke free of his fetters.
- See also: Era
Hydaelyn and Zodiark
In time immemorial, before life existed on the planet Hydaelyn, there existed Light and Darkness. However, Zodiark, the will of the Darkness, coveted power and attempted to overtake his counterpart, Hydaelyn, will of the Light. In response, Hydaelyn tore Zodiark from their joined form, resulting in a cataclysmic dimensional fissure. This created thirteen reflections of the Source, sometimes called Shards, numbered from the First and closest to the Light to the Thirteenth, closest to the Darkness. Zodiark, however, was entrapped within a prison that would later be known as Hydaelyn's moon, orbiting the planet, forever apart.
The Ascians, shadowless men and women who serve Zodiark, seek to cause Calamities, or the Ardor, to force a Rejoining of the Shards to the Source, and return Zodiark to His former glory. Over the course of Hydaelyn's history, they would succeed in bringing about seven Calamities on the Source. Meanwhile, they also labor on its reflections, one of which was tipped too far out of balance towards Darkness and fell victim to a Flood of Darkness, becoming the shadowy realm known as the Void. More recently, the First, closest of the Shards to the Light, has come under threat of falling to a Flood of Light that would purge all form and life from its surface.
- Main article: The Twelve
According to Eorzean theology, the world was created by the Twelve, a pantheon of twelve gods and goddesses each pair representing one of the six elements. According to Eorzean creation myth, there was nothing in the beginning, neither light nor darkness, only the Whorl. From this emerged Althyk who carried with Him weight and gravity to define the land and the heavens. Nymeia emerged next, but a mewling babe whose tears created a vast lake. Together, they begot Azeyma, the sun, and Menphina, the moon. Thaliak later emerged from the Whorl, and had two daughters with Azeyma: Llymlaen and Nophica, the latter of whom filled the world with life.
Oschon came, but not from the Whorl. This time of creation was also a time of chaos, however, and to bring order to the gods, Nymeia created Rhalgr to destroy the excess creation and bring harmony to the realm. The Whorl brought two final gods, Byregot and Halone. Halone devised the way of warfare, killing Nophica's creations, and so Oschon created Nald'thal to oversee the souls of the dead and assuage Nophica's anger. With their pantheon complete, the gods created a realm in which They could reside, the Seven Heavens, and bequeathed Eorzea to mankind.
The Dawn of Mankind
The histories of Source Hydaelyn chart the rise and fall of civilizations, with a succession of lengthy periods of prosperity and growth known as the Astral Eras and shorter periods of decline following the elementally-aspected Calamities known as the Umbral Eras. It is believed that following the First Umbral Calamity—the Calamity of Wind—dawned the rise of mankind in the First Astral Era, wherein they learned to work with stone and make fire. This period saw the rise of agriculture, animal husbandry, basic metallurgy, and the first kingdoms of man. However, the era soon descended into constant wars for supremacy between kings seeking to expand their domains. As they gutted mountains to forge weapons of war, the despoiled land reacted and the Second Umbral Calamity—the Calamity of Lightning—began.
During the Second Umbral Calamity, volcanic mountains covered the skies in black clouds of ash, blotting out the light of the sun, and white-hot levinbolts rained from the heavens without cease. Mankind was forced to flee underground to caverns, but they fell victim to pestilence and plague bred within their hovels. Praying desperately for salvation, mankind developed the earliest magical incantations. Through these primitive magicks, mankind endured and emerged once the skies finally parted. The Second Astral Era was instead marked by powerful theocratic governments and saw the birth of arts such as painting and goldsmithing.
However, the power afforded these organized religions soon gave way to conflict over plenary control, culminating in an extended dark age of holy wars, witch hunts, and cleansings. As the people of the land suffered, it is thought that the the gods grew weary of man's hubris, and decided to humble them. The sun grew large, bringing the wildfires and droughts of the Third Umbral Calamity—the Calamity of Fire.
The Allagan Empire
The civilizations that emerged after the Calamity of Fire distanced themselves from the gods. Instead, mankind focused on individual talents and produced some of the greatest minds in history. At the forefront of this technological revolution was Xande, who soon conquered the realm of Eorzea and transformed his nation of Allag into the Allagan Empire. By incorporating magicks into scientific principles, Allag developed aetherochemistry, which saw them rise to a golden age of prosperity. Xande's descendants later conquered Ilsabard and Othard, and constructed the Syrcus Tower—or Crystal Tower—as a source of solar energy to power all corners of the empire.
However, comfort caused Allag to decline in decadence over nearly a millennium of peace. One man, a technologist named Amon sought to rouse Allag to its former glory and successfully resurrected the spirit of Emperor Xande into a cloned body. Setting sights on conquest of Meracydia, Xande deposed his reigning descendant and reformed the Imperial Army to invade and occupy the southern continent. The native peoples banded together under Bahamut of the First Brood, patriarch of the Meracydian Horde, and drove back the Allagans. However, the Allagans' nightmarish chimeras only grew in strength as their biological manipulation advanced, ultimately bringing down even the great dawn wyrm. The fall of Bahamut only drove the Meracydians to desperation, and they called forth terrible beings known as "eikons" to protect themselves. The greatest of theese were Sephirot, Sophia, and Zurvan, collectively known as the Warring Triad. As the eikons could be summoned back immediately after their defeat, Xande pushed his mages to develop the art of summoning. These summoners defeated and imprisoned the Warring Triad in the floating isle of Azys Lla. 
Tiamat, mate and brood-sister of Bahamut summoned the primal Bahamut who. unleashed his fury on the Allagans, and erased their advantage. In response, Xande developed technology to harness the power of eikons as a source of energy. His mages achieved communion with the Void, and Xande forged a pact with the Cloud of Darkness, a powerful voidsent. Xande's pact allowed voidsent to possess fallen Allagan soldiers, creating an army of undead. Meanwhile, Bahamut grew weak. Eikons feed on the land's aether, and Meracydia's repeated summonings had sucked the land dry. In the end, Allag activated Omega, a machine that defeated and captured Bahamut. Fitted with neurolinks and imprisoned in an artificial satellite—later known as Dalamud—Bahamut became a power source to open a massive voidgate and usher in the Cloud of Darkness.
Rebellion soon followed as the citizens of Allag rose up against their mad emperor and his followers. The royal palace fell to the resistance, forcing Xande to flee to the Syrcus Tower. When he attempted to initiate the energy transfer from Bahamut's satellite, however, the ground beneath them began to give. Unwisely neglecting to fortify the earth around the tower to handle the surge of energy, the Fourth Umbral Calamity—the Calamity of Earth—began as the single quake activated a series of temblors that permanently disabled Allag's power grid.
The War of the Magi
What followed the fall of Allag is known as the Forgotten Age, a period in which knowledge and higher learning were seen as sinful and covetous and society took a massive leap back. People returned to faith in the gods and churches grew powerful once again. For fifteen hundred years, the silent war against knowledge continued with the church controlling any and all knowledge trickling down to the general populace. The modern Eorzean alphabet was born from the letters used by the clegy. The Fifth Umbral Calamity—the Calamity of Ice—is similarly shrouded in mystery, but it is known that the Miqo'te, once persecuted and exiled to Ilsabard by Allag, returned to the realm during this time by crossing the frozen seas.
The fall of Allag did not affect Eorzea alone, as their citizens on Othard also experienced the massive decline in civilization that followed the Calamity. It is believed, based on the lack of ruins but discovery of jewelry and tomestones unearthed in Hingashi, that refugees of Allag's fall crossed the Ruby Sea and soon cast off the last vestiges of their fallen society, striving to create a new one free of the trappings of the past. This is, however, a theory based on limited evidence and should not be taken as incontrovertible fact.
The Fifth Astral Era dawned with the return of magic to prominence, as those who weathered the Fifth Umbral Era fervently prayed to the gods for warmth and harnessed their blessings through magic. In the early days of the era, twelve nations each with one of the Twelve as its patron stood. However, these nations were unstable and rose and fell frequently. It was around the 300th year of the era that Amdapor was founded in central Aldenard, and around two centuries later followed Mhach and Nym. However, around the 800th year of the century, the Mhachi sorceress Shatotto Shato created black magic—a destructive art drawn from the land's aether—and saw her nation rise to become a substantial military power.
By the turn of the millennium, only six of the original twelve city-states remained in Eorzea. Mhach overpowered and absorbed its neighbors, and Amdapor developed white magic—magic drawn from the land's aether used to ward, purify, and heal—to deter the Dark City from waging war upon them. Mhach learned to summon and control armies of voidsent and Amdapor filled its streets with soulkin sentries. As the posturing increased, the realm became entangled in a web of strife, and, by the mid thirteenth century, the War of the Magi had begun.
As all nations were dragged into the war, the nation of Nym on the island of Vylbrand fought off Mhachi incursion across the Rhotano. However, they fell victim to an elaborate Mhachi ruse that unleashed Bitoso, a voidsent of pestilence, into their city. The Green Death spread across the Nymian population, turning many of their citizens into tonberries. Hysteria about the plague ultimately caused Nym to quarantine the infected in the Wanderer's Palace, and sink it beneath Bronze Lake.
The Battle of Amdapor saw Mhach finally encroach upon its rival, and summon the high-rung voidsent Diabolos into the Ancient City. However, the Amdapori were able to seal away the void prince. While Amdapor won the day, however, it became clear that the realm's aetherial balance had tipped too far. The War of the Magi swiftly ended as nations formed Grand Companies in an attempt to prepare themselves for the coming of the Sixth Umbral Calamity—the Calamity of Water. However, none prevailed. Citizens fled to higher ground as the floodwaters rose and enveloped their former homes, the survivors aided by the legendary Twelve Archons who appeared at this time.
It is believed that, around the time the Fifth Astral Era began, the peoples who lived on Koshu, the largest island in the Hingan archipelago, had already developed complex systems of taxation. Two hundred years into this era, a clan in the western plains of Koshu came to prominence and, over the next three hundred years, succeeded in uniting all of western Koshu under one banner. It is believed that the imperial line of Hingashi stems from this first ancient king.
The Sixth Astral Era
The Age of Restoration (Years 1-400)
The Sixth Astral Era was initially tumultuous much like the Forgotten Age, where witch hunts and book burning was common. The nations of the Fifth Astral Era crumbled and vanished, their peoples scattering across the realm to survive and rebuild their broken lives.
This drove a group of Mhachi Lalafells—upon discovering their former home had become a brackish moor—to hide in the wastelands and preserve their art, where they became known as the Dunesfolk. Meanwhile, the struggle for resources led to conflict amongst the refugees in Gyr Abania. One of the Twelve Archons, Nyunkrepf Nyunkrepfsyn, had teleported his ark, Nyunkrepf's Hope, to the highlands in error, and led the people he'd saved from the flood away from the rising chaos, across Abalathia's Spine and beyond the seas to the Northern Empty. There, they eventually founded the city of Sharlayan.
Meanwhile, in the Far East, a dispute over succession plunged Hingashi into civil war as an emperor in the east and empress in the west attempted to assert their respective claim to the throne. This Age of Blood would continue for the next six hundred years, the royal house's prestige tarnished by the conflict and ultimately diminishing in favor of powerful warrior families.
The mid fourth century saw the coming of the first migratory wave of Hyur into Eorzea, displacing a band of Elezen who had settled in central Aldenard. This eventually led them to Coerthas, where they found conflict with the Dravanian Horde. However, an act of self-sacrifice by an Elezen maiden, Shiva, who had fallen in love with the dragon Hraesvelgr ended the conflict and saw an age of peace between man and dragon begin.
The Age of Communion (Years 400-1000)
Four hundred years after the deluge, Eorzea's population began to grow. Racial tension hit its peak during this time with individual races seeking refuge in the newly-founded individual city-states—the Elezen to Ishgard, Lalafell to Belah'dia, and Roegadyn to Limsa Lominsa. The period was not devoid of racial harmony, however, as indicated by the founding of the jointly Hyuran-and-Elezen nation of Gelmorra.
Two centuries after peace was forged between man and dragon, King Thordan and his Knights Twelve betrayed the Dravanian Horde, slaying Ratatoskr of the First Brood and devouring her eyes. Her vengeful brood-brother Nidhogg attempted to slay the traitors, but lost his eyes to them. Thordan and his people founded Ishgard, but Nidhogg survived—granted one of Hraesvelgr's eyes—and began the millennium-long Dragonsong War against his nemeses.
At the turn of the seventh century, Kanzan Mitsurugi, ruler of Onokuni, led his clan to victory and brought an end to the Age of Blood. Kanzan became the shogun of a Hingashi united by the Mitsurugi Bakufu. While he restored the imperial house to power, true power would be held by the shogunate, but the appearance of adhering to tradition helped Kanzan and his descendants solidify their power for centuries to come.
In the mid seventh century, the second migratory wave of Hyur forced still more Elezen to find a new home in the Black Shroud. Despite this, these Elezen were later joined by the Hyur in the early eighth century, leading to territorial contentions with them that lasted three decades. In the end, however, they reconciled their differences to protect themselves from the Elementals of the forest, and founded the subterranean city-state of Gelmorra. Around this time, the Dunesfolk also founded the kingdom of Belah'dia in Thanalan. Toward the middle of the eighth century, also came the third migratory wave of Hyur, forever changing Eorzea's demographics.
Around the late eighth century, following the death of his father, the fourteen-year-old Ganen Rijin came to lead his meager Yanxian clan to power through his gift for outwitting his opponents, as well as his skill in geomancy. Disregarding birth and background, he treated the likes of farmers, fishermen, former bandits, and beastmen such as Lupin and Namazu as equals in his army. He showed mercy to defeated enemies, and earned respect and loyalty, and in twenty years they controlled the One River's eastern bank. The other clans, fearful of his expansion, fought back and for eight years they battled without cease until, finally, Ganen succeeded for the help of his Namazu messengers and spies. Yanxia was united and Doma was born.
The late ninth century saw a crew of Sea Wolf sailors from Aerslaent settle on the southern coast of Vylbrand, founding the city-state of Limsa Lominsa. Piracy began to flourish in the early tenth century, increasing in prominence throughout until the maritime city descended into chaos between rival pirate factions. Agatzahr Roehmerlsyn rose to the admiralty and brought order to the city-state, establishing a code of conduct. The early tenth century also saw the birth of the Republic of Garlemald in the northern reaches of Ilsabard. As the century came to a close, the nation of Belah'dia split in the latter half of the century, twin heirs to its throne descending into civil war before founding separate cities of Ul'dah and Sil'dih.
The Age of Strife (Years 1000-1300)
For the next several hundred years, the city-states continued to gain power. When they sought to expand their borders, however, new complications arose. Territorial feuds led to heightened tensions in the outlands. Bloody battles broke out across the realm, and the balance of power began to shift once more.
In the early years of the eleventh century, the Ixal were cast out of the Black Shroud. Towards the century's end, the conjurer Jorin Lightheart achieved communion with the elementals of the Black Shroud, enabling the peoples of Gelmorra to leave their subterranean home behind and found the nation of Gridania on the surface in the Ixals' place. To the east, after centuries of conflict between rival clans of Highlander Hyur in Gyr Abania, a man named Anshelm Cotter set out to unite the clans beneath his rule. Through his tactical genius, he succeeded and founded the nation of Ala Mhigo in 1135. Lastly, in the year 1181, Ul'dah finally triumphed over Sil'dih in the War of the Sisters.
Piracy entered its golden age with the turn of the thirteenth century, and Ul'dah rose as a mercantile power as the first Ul Dynasty ended and the lost Thorne Dynasty began. Near the end of the century, in Doma, the nation languished under the reign of Seien Rijin but, with the help of the Hingan shinobi Sasuke Kagekakushi, deposed the tyrant and elevanted his honorable brother Shoen Rijin to the throne. On Lord Shoen's request, Sasuke remained in Doma and founded the hidden village of Shinobi-no-Sato.
The Age of Stability
Weary of fighting, the peoples of Eorzea sought to mend bonds and abandoned aggression for diplomacy. Technology and culture were shared, and the city-states of Eorzea matured and became focal points of Eorzean civilization. Peace, for once, prevailed in the land. This period also saw the formation of guilds to preserve trades against the influx of new people and ideas, and allow them to form business partnerships and assure financial stability.
At the turn of the fourteenth century, Sharlayan founded a research outpost that would eventually grow and flourish into the city-state of Sharlayan in the hinterlands of Dravania by 1361. Meanwhile, Ul'dah was relocated above fallen Sil'dih, and fought off waves of undead pouring from the ruins below. The Thorne Dynasty gave way to the second Ul Dynasty in 1355.
In 1401, the House of Ul was forced to create the Syndicate as the merchant class vied for self-governance. The Syndicate would soon grow to eclipse the royal house in authority. The fifteenth century remained largely peaceful, however, until King Manfred of Ala Mhigo exploited the realm's illusion of peace and invaded the Black Shroud, beginning the Autumn War in 1468. Though the Ala Mhigan army saw early success, the other city-states of Ishgard, Ul'dah, and Limsa Lominsa soon rallied behind Gridania, ending the war only a year later with a decisive victory for the fledgling Eorzean Alliance.
Following the Autumn War, borders were set and treaties signed, as no nation would be tolerated to rise over its neighbors or infringe upon their independence. Thus peace settled over the realm once more.
The Rise of Garlemald (Years 1500-1560)
In the year 1505, a man named Solus Galvus enlisted in the republican army of Garlemald. Within eight years, the charismatic youth earned a promotion to legatus, and sanctioned the use of magitek in the Republican legions. Two years later, Garlemald began to subjugate its neighbors in northern Ilsabard, and by 1517 their victories saw Galvus named Dictator. The republic's airships were launched in battle for the first time that year, and easily took the nation of Nhalmasque in central Ilsabard.
By 1522, all of Ilsabard was under Garlean rule, and the Dictator declared himself Emperor Solus zos Galvus of the Garlean Empire. Their campaign in Othard began in 1528, and there the imperial army discovered ancient ruins in the Burn that revealed that the summoning of primals was responsible for its desolation. An imperial mandate went out, declaring war on those "beast tribes" that would summon such "eikons."
The Garlean fleet flew over the Skatay Range and attacked Dalmasca from the north, circumventing its defenses. Dalmasca's last bastion of defense, Nalbina Fortress, fell after a bloody, six-month siege that left 70,000 dead including the nation's prince and princess. Dalmasca's regent relinquished the crown to the Empire and supposedly succumbed to illness not long after, ending the B'nargin line after a thousand years of rule. The Royal City of Rabanastre became a key staging point for imperial forces, who spent three years subjugating the dense jungles of Nagxia.
Around this time, airships began to become more commonplace as the merchant Tatanora founded Highwind Skyways for tourism and commercial applications of air travel. The doors of the Far East were thrust open by the advent of airship technology and expansion of Garlemald. With the fall of Dalmasca, Hingashi chose to open Kugane as a sole port for trade with the Empire, remaining neutral with regards to the Empire's actions.
In 1552 of the Sixth Astral Era, Garlemald set sights on Yanxia. Though Kaien Rijin, the king of Doma, fought using the geomancy, ninjutsu, and even the powers of the auspices at his disposal, the overnight construction of Castrum Fluminis and subsequent land and air assault forced Doma into capitulation. Doma became an annexed state of the Empire, with Kaien's power as king all but gone.
That same year saw King Theodoric of Ala Mhigo, the King of Ruin purge the Fist of Rhalgr out of paranoia. The following five years were a reign of terror as he purged any unfortunate enough to arouse his ire. At the same time, the XIVth Imperial Legion advanced upon Eorzea, the Empire's grasp on Othard now solidified. In 1557, the Ala Mhigan Resistance brought an end to Theodoric's madness, but found themselves swiftly invaded and conquered by Gaius van Baelsar after their victory was won.
The Age of Calm (Years 1560-1572)
With the imperial conquest of Ala Mhigo, the Eorzean Alliance made ready for war. In 1562, the Garlean air fleet headed by the flagship Agrius was flown over Lake Silvertear in hopes of conquering it, only to be felled by Midgardsormr in the Battle of Silvertear Skies. The resulting explosion of aether from beneath the lake enabled the summoning of primals Eorzea with far greater ease. The Garleans, seeking to secure themselves against these "eikons," created Baelsar's Wall and imperial incursion all but ceased.
Meanwhile, on Othard, Midas nan Garlond conducted a field test for the Empire's secret Project Meteor in Citadel Bozja on Othard. The intent was to guide the descent of the lesser moon Dalamud, that it might be used to wipe out all of Eorzea at once. However, a massive quantity of energy was released from Dalamud, obliterating the city. As a result of the Bozja Incident, the architect of the Meteor Project, Nael van Darnus, was sent to the eastern theatre and the project placed on hold.
The Sharlayans abandoned their colony in Dravania in 1562, returning to Old Sharlayan in the north. The Eorzean Alliance all but disbanded in the wake of the failed invasion, and an uneasy Age of Calm settled over Eorzea in the ten years after Silvertear Skies. During that time, a group of Sharlayan scholars led by Archon Louisoix Leveilleur known as the Circle of Knowing began to scout the city-states. Refusing to abandon the realm to subjugation and wishing to prevent what they believed to be the coming of a Seventh Umbral Calamity, they helped urge the formation of their Grand Companies—the Immortal Flames, the Maelstrom, and the Order of the Twin Adder—by the year 1572.
In that year, Legatus van Darnus returned from the eastern theatre claiming he could direct the fall of Dalamud onto Eorzea. Given command of both his own VIIth Imperial Legion and van Baelsar's XIVth Imperial Legion, the mad legatus set about constructing a lunar transmitter and housing it in Castrum Novum in Mor Dhona, as well as redirecting the realm's aetherial veins to feed Dalamud's descent. Though the Grand Companies, aided by adventurers, were able to destroy the transmitter, the moon continued to fall, guided directly by Nael. Even after Nael was slain at Rivenroad, the lesser moon's descent continued.
As Louisoix implored Eorzeans to pray at special locations he marked with the symbols of the Twelve, he readied a ritual to be performed at the site of Dalamud's fall: Carteneau Flats. However, the remnants of the VIIth Legion amassed at Carteneau, and the Alliance met them i the field even as Dalamud drew ever closer. In the end, Dalamud broke open, revealing its ancient prisoner, the Elder Primal Bahamut, who unleashed devastation upon the realm. Though Louisoix attempted a potent spell of sealing fueled by the power he'd amassed in Tupsimati, it proved insufficient, and he sent those adventurers who aided him into an aetherial rift for their protection. When all seemed lost, however, the power amassed by Louisoix transformed him into the primal Phoenix and allowed him to pierce through Bahamut's Teraflare and the Elder Primal itself, ending the Seventh Umbral Calamity.
A Realm Reborn
In the fifth year of the Seventh Umbral Era, Gaius van Baelsar resumed his conquest of Eorzea, wielding the Ultima Weapon capable of consuming the powers of primals and unleashing them as its own. Against such power, the Eorzean Alliance nearly faltered but for the intervention of an adventurer and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn—a joint organization formed from the Circle of Knowing and the Path of the Twelve led by Minfilia Warde. In Operation Archon, the Alliance launched simultaneous assaults on the Garlean bases throughout the realm, and took out the Ultima Weapon at the Praetorium within Castrum Meridianum.
The hero or heroine who led the charge was named the Warrior of Light by the Grand Companies, inspired by the name given to those who fought at Carteneau (of whom this hero may or may not have been a part). This was the beginning of the Seventh Astral Era.
Not long after the new era dawned, Solus zos Galvus passed away, leading to a war of succession between his son, Titus yae Galvus and grandson Varis yae Galvus, the latter of whom had the military's support as high legatus of the imperial army. Hoping to take advantage of this weakness as forces of the occupying VIth Imperial Legion were divided to help Varis claim victory, Lord Kaien attempted to break the shackles of imperial rule. In response, Varis sent his son, XIIth Imperial Legion legatus Zenos yae Galvus, to quash the uprising, a feat he accomplished with horrifying ease.
Lord Kaien was slain and his heir, Hien Rijin, went missing. In his place, Zenos appointed Yotsuyu goe Brutus as acting viceroy of Doma that she might torment the people of Doma. A group of refugees, led by Yugiri Mistwalker, fled to the west and landed ashore of Eorzea in search of asylum after being turned away at all other junctures. They ultimately found friends in the Scions and a home in Revenant's Toll.
Meanwhile, the Warrior of Light contended with a number of primal summonings. Hoping to create a Grand Company free of the political leanings of the extant ones, Louisoix's grandson, Alphinaud Leveilleur, founded the Crystal Braves. His twin sister, Alisaie, meanwhile, explored the Coils of Bahamut in search of the truth behind the Seventh Umbral Calamity.
Ishgard prepared for a renewed activity from the Dravanian Horde as the Dragon Star waxed bright and the chorus of the dragons rose. Suspicious of the Keeper of the Lake Midgardsormr, they asked the Scions' aid in monitoring the wyrm's corpse, while they also aided them against the heretic Ysayle Dangoulain who summoned the primal form of Shiva into her own body.
The Warrior of Light met with Midgardsormr at the ruins of the Agrius, and the Father of Dragons sealed away their Blessing of Light and learned that Nidhogg planned a full assault on Ishgard soon. Despite finding no aid from the Grand Companies, the Scions and what adventurers they could rally to help ensured the survival of Ishgard at the Steps of Faith. However, the actions of Teledji Adeledji at the subsequent victory banquet saw the Scions falsely accused of regicide when sultana Nanamo Ul Namo was seemingly poisoned while drinking her wine. Separated and forced to flee, Alphinaud, the Warrior of Light, and their friend Tataru Taru ventured to Ishgard as wards of House Fortemps.
The Warrior of Light and Alphinaud's arrival in Ishgard would ultimately spell an end to the Dragonsong War. Making allies of the Azure Dragoon Estinien Wyrmblood and the remorseful Ysayle, they journeyed to the Churning Mists to entreat Hraesvelgr's aid. While they were vehemently refused, they learned the truth of the Dragonsong War's origins in the process. The Warrior of Light and Estinien raided the Aery and slew Nidhogg, but this would not spell an end to the song.
At the same time, Raubahn Aldynn was nearly executed but the Warrior of Light saved his life from the treacherous Crystal Brave Ilberd Feare. It was later revealed that Sultana Nanamo was not dead, as Lolorito Nanarito had subverted Teledji's plan and replaced the poison with a potent sleeping draught. Once roused, the sultana renounced her previous desires to abdicate the throne and reform Ul'dah as a republic, at least for so long as it could bring instability to her nation.
Upon learning the truth of the war, Aymeric de Borel confronted his father Archbishop Thordan VII, who was fully cognizant of the true history. The Lord Commander attempted to convince his father to reveal the truth to the people of Ishgard and right the wrongs of the past, but the archbishop refused. To him, only despotism would resolve the conflict permanently. The Warrior of Light and his allies assaulted the Vault to free Aymeric, but could not stop Thordan as he left to find the lost Allagan facility of Azys Lla.
After some few detours, the Warrior of Light finally found a way into Azys Lla. Alongside their allies, they made their way into the Singularity Reactor and slew the archbishop and his Heavens' Ward bodyguards. However, in the wake of their victory, Estinien was overtaken by the power within the Eyes of Nidhogg, transforming into Nidhogg's shade and stealing away into the skies. While this cast a pall over the events to follow, Ser Aymeric brought Ishgard into the Eorzean Alliance once more.
As the Ishgardians attempted to find peace with Hraesvelgr's brood, they had to contend with factions within their own nation unwilling to accept the sudden change in their society. While they dealt with these elements, a ceremony commemorating Ishgard's commitment to peace turned bloody when the possessed Estinien descended upon Vidofnir of Hraesvelgr's brood, declaring that any dragon who would treat with man would share man's fate.
The Warrior of Light, Alphinaud, and Ser Aymeric met with Hraesvelgr, seeking his aid once more. This time, however, the wyrm finally agreed and, after passing his trial, the Warrior of Light was carried to Ishgard on his back to put an end to Nidhogg's shade. Meanwhile, the Dravanian Horde assaulted the Steps of Faith, with the Ishgardians struggling to survive until Hraesvelgr appeared and did battle with his brood-brother's shade. Though Hraesvelgr lost the battle, he entrusted half his power to the Warrior of Light, who put an end to Nidhogg once and for all and saved the life of Estinien.
Rallying cries for a free Ala Mhigo had increased around this time, led by a charismatic man known only as "The Griffin." Launching a false-flag operation on Baelsar's Wall, in which his Resistance fighters dressed in the garb of Grand Company soldiers to provoke war with the Empire, he forced the Alliance to bolster security and presence in the East Shroud. Though the Scions ventured to the Wall to attempt to dissuade him from his course, revealing his true identity as Ilberd, he would not be swayed. Seeing his own men slaughtered as part of his own plan, he brandished the Eyes of Nidhogg to summon a primal more terrible than Bahamut and leapt from the airship landing, taking his own life.
While able to temporarily seal Ilberd's primal, the Alliance resolved to awaken the dormant Omega in Carteneau Flats on the urging of Nero tol Scaeva. Together with Cid Garlond, they set the ancient machine against the draconic primal—later named "Shinryu" by Domans present to bear witness to it. In the wake of all this destruction, the Eorzean Alliance no longer had any choice but to go to war in pursuit of Ala Mhigan liberation.
The Eorzean Alliance forged allies from the Ala Mhigan Resistance led by Conrad Kemp. However, despite early victories, the new viceroy Zenos yae Galvus led a massacre at the Resistance hideout Rhalgr's Reach. Seeking a means to divide the XIIth Imperial Legion's attention, the Scions decided to incite an uprising in Doma and force him to fight a war on two fronts. Over the course of this journey, the Scions made allies of the Kojin of the Blue and the Confederacy. They lit a fire in the hearts of the heretofore broken and downtrodden Doman citizens, and claimed victory in the Naadam to bolster their forces with the strength of the Xaela tribes. With Hien Rijin returned to his people, they led a daring assault on Doma Castle, defeating Yotsuyu goe Brutus and claiming Doma's freedom.
With their task complete, the Scions returned to the western front, where the Resistance had largely recovered. After taking Castellum Velodyna and Ala Ghiri, they attempted to take Specula Imperatoris but suffered massive casualties when Zenos ordered his forces to fire Castrum Abania's cannon on their own side and the Alliance alike. The cannon was subsequently disabled by an outside party, and the Warrior of Light led the charge to take Castrum Abania. Arriving in the Lochs, the final push of Rhalgr's Beacon began with the taking of the Ala Mhigan Quarter and arrest of Fordola rem Lupis. The final assault on Ala Mhigo saw the Warrior of Light defeat Zenos, and then the primal Shinryu atop the Royal Menagerie. Zenos, rather than be killed, took his own life, bringing a decisive end to the Garlean occupation of Ala Mhigo.
Not long after the liberation, Ala Mhigo was reconstituted as a republic led by a council of various representatives from across Gyr Abania. Raubahn Aldynn, released from his duties as Flame General, was made co-commander of the Ala Mhigan Resistance alongside Lyse Hext and put at the head of Ala Mhigo's military forces. In Othard, the Scions reunited with a friend thought dead in the siege of Doma Castle, Gosetsu Daito, who had an amnesiac Yotsuyu in his care. Not long after arriving in Doma and bringing her to Hien, Garlemald sent her cousin and adoptive brother, Asahi sas Brutus, as appointed ambassador plenipotentiary to treat with Doma over terms of peace.
This would, however, be little more than a ruse, as Asahi triggered Yotsuyu's memories and, during a prisoner exchange at Castrum Fluminis, gave her the means to transform into the primal Tsukuyomi. After her defeat and Asahi's death, however, Maxima quo Priscus, his second-in-command, consented to release the prisoners per their earlier agreement, and consented to bring Alphinaud Leveilleur to Garlemald as an official ambassador from Doma. En route, they were attacked by the emperor's personal guard and crash landed in the Burn, where the mysterious Shadowhunter aided their escape. Meanwhile, the Warrior of Light learned that Zenos may still be alive, or that an Ascian may be walking around in his body. As the Alliance planned to deal with this threat, however, the Scions simultaneously heard a voice that "called" the Archons away, leaving their bodies without their souls.
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 011
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 014
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 012-013
- Encyclopædia Eorzea II pg. 008-011
- The Word of the Mother
- The Last Pillar to Fall
- Shadows of the First
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 018
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 022-023
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 024-028
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 029
- Encyclopædia Eorzea II pg. 079
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 030-035
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 036
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 085
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 047-053
- Encyclopædia Eorzea II pg. 098
- Encyclopædia Eorzea II pg. 089
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 041
- Encyclopædia Eorzea pg. 040-041