The Greatest Story Never Told

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The Greatest Story Never Told

The Greatest Story Never Told.png
Quest giver
Valiant Hart
Western Thanalan (X:18.3, Y:17.4)
Required quest
Main Scenario QuestThe Ultimate Weapon
Required items
1 Winebauds travel log icon1.png  Winebaud's Travel Log
Experience 0
Gil 10

The realm of Eorzea is filled with countless mysteries, but there is only one which Valiant Hart wishes to solve.

— In-game description





The Greatest Story Never Told side quest is unique in that quest markers are not given. Instead, the quest requires that the player solve a series of a puzzles across Eorzea in order to progress. Each puzzle has several different variations and solutions, and each variation is chosen randomly, meaning that each playthrough of this quest can differ. The quest becomes available from Valiant Hart in the area south of The Silent King after completing the quest Main Scenario QuestThe Ultimate Weapon.

Solve the Explorer's Riddle. (#1)

  • Checking the Winebaud's Message point of interest will reveal a series of scrambled letters above the following message:
The wheel must turn anew.
This series of elements is important to deciphering the scrambled text.
  • Make sure to remember this order of the messages as it's essential to the next part.
  • Yayaroku tells you that the elements are from Essences and Permutations but the sequence is wrong; it should be LIGHTNING / FIRE / EARTH / ICE / WATER / WIND.
By rearranging the tokens in this order, you get the unscrambled name of a map waypoint.
Scrambled Text Waypoint Name Location
REN / FLO / SPI / TEL / 'S / RE Florentel's Spire North Shroud, in a building near the exit to Coerthas Central Highlands.
HO / OSC / BRA / N'S / EM / CE Oschon's Embrace Lower La Noscea, north of Moraby Drydocks (X:23.3 Y:28.6)
AL / TH / SPI / 'S / RE / TE Thal's Respite Eastern Thanalan, Northeast part of Eastern Thanalan, west of the South Shroud exit. In the actual building next to the Thal's Respite Area. (X:26.3 Y:16.1)
(If the Novice Explorer says Are you...? No, no. Leave me be, traveler. it means you're at the wrong location.)
At long last... does the wheel turn anew? Are you the one for whom I have waited?

Praise the Twelve! Master Winebaud told me it might be years, even decades, until one came — if someone came, but I swore an oath, so I couldn't—

You don't understand; this is all so exciting! But you're not here for that, or for me. You're here for the treasure, aren't you?

This is Master Winebaud's Journal, and it belongs to you now.

No, no, that's not true. It was always yours — you had yet to claim it, is all. Keep it close, fellow explorer! This is only the beginning!

He never told us what it was. The treasure. I think he thought just knowing was enough to put us at risk.

So he hid it, and left his clues so that only an explorer worthy of the prize could ever hope to succeed.

They call him a charlatan, but I know he spoke the truth! It's real, and you'll find it! And'll show it to me, won't you?

  • Talk to Valiant Hart.
Player Name, you've returned! Tell me, have you solved Winebaud's riddle? Where did it lead you? The journal of the explorer himself! I knew I was right to trust in you.
I have news to share as well, though it is not quite as uplifting. I have deciphered another passage, only to find myself confronted with yet another inscrutable riddle.
But I'm sure you'll have no trouble with it, given how quickly you deduced the answer to the first one! You'll find my translation next to the message as before.
I'm counting on you, my puzzle aficionado!

Solve the Explorer's Riddle. (#2)

  • Checking Winebaud's Message again gives you your next clue.
  • You will get one of three riddles to solve, either "Memenugu knows the steps." (for letters), or "Jahelle knows her sums" (for numbers), or "Isouda knows the truth" (another riddle).

"Memenugu knows the steps."

He gives you the algorithm to decipher the second coded message. For each letter of the scrambled text, either choose the next letter, or the previous letter in the alphabet, with Z and A wrapping around to each other. Starting with the first letter of the message, the pattern is (next), (next), (previous)…, as shown below.

So if I understand you correctly, a riddle on a statue said I know "the steps"? A riddle written by Winebaud? I'm sorry, but I haven't the foggiest what that could mean.
I swear, famed explorer or not, that old man was a bloody fool when it came to combat. This "step" nonsense reminds me of the time he tried to critique the form of my Elezen associate.
"Two steps forward, one step back. Over and over again, until the end." Gods, he said it so many times it's been stuck in my head ever since!

Most interestingly, in the german version of the game the direction for the characters to be shifted is reversed (--+ instead of ++-).

Letters Meaning Location
AQPMYF KZLD GPS RQQHOFR BRONZE LAKE HOT SPRINGS Upper La Noscea on the upper level of Camp Bronze Lake (31,22).
GNND NG SGF BNFTQMBKBV HOME OF THE COEURLCLAW South Shroud (30,19), in a cave north of the Takers' Rot waypoint.

"Jahelle knows her sums."

She gives you the way to decipher the second coded message. Each two numbers correspond to a letter in the alphabet (01 is A, 02 is B, and so on).

Hah! Winebaud carved a riddle on a statue... and included my name along with it? I ought to be flattered, but I'm just confused.
This "sums" nonsense reminds me of all the times he argued with me over his bill. Time and time again I would have to show him the calculations, and when I was finished, he would always apologize in the same queer way:
"I learned the letters of mathematics, but alas, not the grammar." I don't know why; a simple sorry would have sufficed.
Number Meaning Location
260516082518 0418090620 ZEPHYR DRIFT Middle La Noscea (23,26), amongst some trees.
08051212190218151504 0815120519 HELLSBROOD HOLES Central Thanalan (15,14), Just South of the Cutter's Cry dungeon.
180504 130114200919 0601121219 RED MANTIS FALLS Eastern La Noscea (16,27), beneath an overpass, looking west toward the falls.

"Isouda knows the truth."

She gives you another riddle to figure out.

I know “the truth?” That does not sound like something the Winebaud I knew would write.
He was cantankerous and contrary to a fault. No matter the subject, he would, without fail, hold the exact opposite opinion. Whenever I pointed this out, he would offer the same insufferable retort:
"The opposite of nonsense is sense."
I have never been a violent person, but that old man nearly made me one.

The text that was part of Winebaud's note is a clue to the location of a ??? point of interest in one of the main cities.

Riddle Text Meaning Location
ETAG FLOW ETHW White Wolf Gate New Gridania (9,13), hiding behind some pots.
SEMALF FO LLAH EHT The Hall of Flames Ul'dah - Steps of Nald (8,9), in the fountain pool to the right of the entrance.
SCITEHTSEA S'EMIATHSE Eshtaime's Aesthetics Ul'dah - Steps of Thal (10,12), Next to the sign, north of Eshtaime's Aesthetics.
Magicked runes float across your eyes, assuming familiar shapes
Seeker of treasure and truth, I congratulate and bid you welcome.
Who are you, I wonder, and why have you come this far? What drives you to solve my riddles, and what do you expect to find?
You must wonder what kind of man I was as well. Doubtless you have heard stories — some more flattering than others.
But I have rambled enough, and you must be rewarded! Allow me to share with you a verse written by my favorite poet Clandestine rendezvous leave me breathless and wanting obsession consumes me, a thirst for the taboo.

Speak with Valiant Hart.

A message written in magicked runes? Amazing! Though the content was rather disappointing, now that I think on it. I was expecting a clue to the treasure's location.
Oh, I almost forgot! I've finished translating another riddle. Why don't you go and take a look?

Solve the Explorer's Riddle. (#3)

  • Check Winebaud's Message again. This gives you a phrase with some letters capitalized.
"The members of the Marauders' Guild understand the importance of etiquette."
A treatise on cultivating interpersonal relationships and influencing others catches your eye. You open it to the bookmarked page and take note of an underlined passage:
A deliberate display of emotion, as befits the situation, can be effective in deepening your relationships with others.
  • Then, using the table below, from your clue, go to the correct ??? object and use the emote in the table.
Capitalized Text Capitalized Letters (unscrambled) Location
HylLfyr's cUtthroAts and briGands LAUGH Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks- The Astalicia (tip of the bow)
All foR fen-YLL RALLY Below the Leatherworker's Guild in Old Gridania
rope ANd wooD aCross thE gully DANCE The second bridge to the south of Wineport (The ??? will appear in the center)
Under tRanqUilIty's FoOtpathS FURIOUS Beneath the bridge leading south from Camp Tranquil, directly east of The Lost City of Amdapor.
cOncealed belah'dian maJestY JOY The Invisible City in Eastern Thanalan (15,17)
PulPy, NuTritiOus, And decIDedly DElicious cItruS DISAPPOINTED Near Summerford Farms in Middle La Noscea (21.9,15.8)
sappHires and peaRls, fortUnes Great and Small SHRUG Ul'Dah, steps between Pearl Lane and Sapphire Avenue Exchange
CherIsh the sPinniNg wAter lullaby PANIC Watermilll in Hyrstmill, North Shroud
red ligHt amidst the blUe Haze HUH By a torch in Northern Thanalan, near the top of the castle wall. (21.1, 29.4)
  • Once you have emoted towards the ???, the following appears:
"Magicked runes float across your eyes, assuming familiar shapes…"
"[Winebaud's Message]

Seeker of treasure and truth, I must congratulate you once more! Let us celebrate your latest accomplishment with another verse from my favorite poet:

Perchance we meet in public, be not a beguiler. Ply me not with honeyed words, and spare me glances alluring.

  • Talk to Valiant Hart.

Eh!? You had to do what to trigger the message? I know Winebaud had some skill with magicks, but that beggars belief!

That curiosity aside, why is he continuing to spout poetry? Bah, never mind. For now, let us focus on the next riddle, which I've just finished translating. It's waiting for you!

  • Check Winebaud's Message the for the next clue.

Solve the Explorer's Riddle. (#4)

  • You will be given the following phrase.
If SWORD+SWORD=DAGGER, then return to me with X of X. The master of the markets has my list.
"X" are replaced with 2 variable letters, see below.
  • You will now need to travel to your home nation and talk to one of these NPC's to find out the list. (If you speak to the wrong one, he will suggest trying one of the other two.)
NPC Nation Location
Parsemontret Old Gridania In the middle of the Markets
Seseroga Ul'dah - Steps of Thal In the middle of the Markets
Swozblaet Limsa Lominsa Lower Decks In the middle of the Markets
  • Once talking to the NPC you will receive the list.

The adventurer returns, asking after a...Winebaud? Yes, I remember now. He requested my assistance in locating a number of items many years ago. However, his list lacked sufficient information, and I was unable to proceed. Fortunately for you, I am loath to dispose of any documents related to business. Now where did I...? Ah, here we are.

Winebaud's List:
1 = Pearl
2 = Fluorite
3 = Malachite
4 = Choker
5 = Sunstone
6 = Earrings
7 = Ring
8 = Bracelet

To be fair, it matters not if it were more detailed. A dead man cannot pay a finder's fee, after all.

  • SWORD + SWORD = DAGGER is a puzzle in which each letter represents a digit 0-9; each letter represents the same number every time it appears, and each letter represents a different number.
You have to add two five-digit numbers to make a six-digit number.
The highest possible five-digit number you can make is 98,765. So the maximum value for the six-digit number is 98,765 + 98,765 = 197,530. This means that D = 1; the sum of two five-digit numbers can only be a five-digit number or a six-digit number starting with 1.
D = 1 ==> R = 2 (D + D = R, nothing carried into that column)
R = 2 ==> E = 4 (R + R = E, nothing carried into that column)
As the sum of O and O (with nothing carried into that column), G = 2 x O and must be even. 2 and 4 are both known already, leaving 0, 6, and 8 as possibilities.
The columns O + O and W + W both produce G; the only possible explanation is that O + O = G (nothing carried into that column) and W + W = 10 + G (nothing carried into that column). It can't be the other way around, or the O + O column would carry a 1 into the W + W column, which could not then have an even result, which G is known to be.
G cannot be 0, because O + O = G would require O and G to both be 0.
G cannot be 8, because O + O = G would require O = 4, but 4 is known to be E.
By process of elimination, G = 6.
G = 6 ==> O = 3 (O + O = G, nothing carried into that column)
W = 8 (W + W = 10 + G = 16, nothing carried into that column)
The only portion yet unsolved is S + S + 1 = DA (10 + A), where 1 is carried into the column from W + W.
A must be odd, because S + S = 2 x S would be even, but we have S + S + 1. 1 and 3 are known, leaving 5, 7, and 9.
S + S + 1 ≥ 10 because it is a two-digit number. Therefore, S + S ≥ 9 ==> S ≥ 5. 6 and 8 are known, again leaving 5, 7, and 9
S cannot be 5, because it requires A = 1 (5 + 5 + 1 = 11), but 1 is known to be D.
S cannot be 9, because it requires A = 9 (9 + 9 + 1 = 19), but S and A cannot both be 9.
By process of elimination, S = 7 and A = 5 (7 + 7 + 1 = 15).
(Below is the solved puzzle)
78321 + 78321 = 156642
  • Using the numbers you can match up the letters with the list to see what item you need.
Known Combinations.
G of R = Fluorite earrings icon1.png  Fluorite Earrings
G of O = Malachite earrings icon1.png  Malachite Earrings
G of A = Sunstone earrings icon1.png  Sunstone Earrings
S of R = Fluorite ring icon1.png  Fluorite Ring
S of O = Malachite ring icon1.png  Malachite Ring
S of A = Sunstone ring icon1.png  Sunstone Ring
W of R = Fluorite bracelet icon1.png  Fluorite Bracelet
W of O = Malachite bracelet icon1.png  Malachite Bracelet
W of A = Sunstone bracelet icon1.png  Sunstone Bracelet
  • With the item equipped, check Winebaud's Message.
  • Talk to Valiant Hart.

Solve the Explorer's Riddle. (#5)

  • For this you will need to combine the 6 lines of poetry from the last 3 riddles.
Talk to Valiant Hart and he will read them out one by one.
The full poem is as follows:
Clandestine rendezvous leave me breathless and wanting
Obsession consumes me, a thirst for the taboo
Perchance we meet in public, be not a beguiler
Ply me not with honeyed words, and spare me glances alluring
Ere long this torment must end; together we must be
Renounce it all I would, but we must be more discreet
By combining the 1st letters of each sentence you get the word COPPER.
By combining the last letters of each sentence you get the word GORGET.


  • Solve the explorer's riddle.
  • Speak with Valiant Hart.
  • Solve the explorer's riddle.
  • Speak with Valiant Hart.
  • Solve the explorer's riddle.
  • Speak with Valiant Hart.
  • Solve the explorer's riddle.
  • Speak with Valiant Hart.
  • Claim the treasure of Lalafuto III.


  • The realm of Eorzea is filled with countless mysteries, but there is only one which Valiant Hart wishes to solve.
  • Valiant Hart has asked you to help him locate the secret treasure of Lalafuto III, who ruled the nation of Belah'dia over seven hundred years ago. To that end, you must solve a riddle hidden in an encoded message, which was written by the famed explorer Winebaud. Valiant Hart also makes mention of a man named Yayaroku, who may be able to offer assistance.
  • Your investigation leads you to a disciple of Winebaud, who entrusts you with the journal of his deceased master. Return to the statue of the Silent King and share your findings with Valiant Hart.
  • In your absence, Valiant Hart has made further progress in deciphering the encoded message. However, his efforts have yielded yet another riddle, one which you must solve if you wish to locate the treasure you seek.
  • Through methods mysterious and unknown, you receive a message from the late Winebaud. He praises your efforts to seek out the truth and shares with you a verse of poetry for reasons unknown. Valiant Hart will doubtless wish to hear of these developments.
  • Valiant Hart is pleased with your progress, but disappointed that Winebaud did not provide any clues as to the whereabouts of Lalafuto III's secret treasure. Having no other leads, he bids you solve the latest riddle he has deciphered.
  • Once again, the late Winebaud imparts to you a verse of poetry as a reward, albeit one of questionable value. Report your success to Valiant Hart at the statue of the Silent King.
  • Valiant Hart is bemused by the increasing complexity of Winebaud's riddles, as well as his penchant for rewarding you with poetic verses. Brushing aside that curiosity for the time being, he directs you to his most recent translation, which contains yet another riddle.
  • Your jewelry triggers an enchantment woven into Winebaud's engravings, allowing you to receive another message from the late explorer. To your chagrin, it contains little more than another verse of poetry. Valiant Hart does not appear to have seen the message, so perhaps you should tell him what you witnessed.
  • Bemoaning Winebaud's refusal to offer clear and concise directions, Valiant Hart tells you he has finished deciphering the encoded message. However, unlike previous sections, this one does not appear to contain a riddle. But where is the treasure of Lalafuto III, and what must be done to claim it?
  • With the aid of your copper gorget, you lay claim to the secret treasure purported to be worth one hundred million gil. Valiant Hart snatches it from your hand, his eyes wild with greed, but his expression soon changes to one of disbelief. The “treasure” Winebaud spoke of was a collection of love poems written by Lalafuto III to his paramour, with whom the sultan wished to elope. His quest for phenomenal wealth having ended in utter failure, Valiant Hart cries out to the heavens in rage, cursing the explorer who valued true love above all else.