You have short questions, I have short answers. Relatively speaking, of course.
— Wandering Dramaturge
The Wandering Dramaturge is a male Hyur NPC. Though traveling on the Prima Vista with the Majestic Theater Company, he is not a member of the theater troupe. Instead, he works as an independent playwright and is a dear friend of the troupe's leader, Jenomis cen Lexentale. The dramaturge travels with them to show his support for the troupe's ideals, ones which are not currently favored in the Garlean Empire.
A self-proclaimed "slow" writer, he has recently developed a passion for cookery and earns his way on the Prima Vista by helping the galley staff.
Wandering Dramaturge: You have short questions, I have short answers. Relatively speaking, of course.
Wandering Dramaturge: Allow me a moment to deviate from my normal routine and thank you personally for rescuing my dear friend Jenomis: Thank you.
Wandering Dramaturge: With that out of the way, what is it you would like to know?
Who is Jenomis cen Lexentale?
Wandering Dramaturge: Jenomis had been at the Magitek Academy for but a handful of summers when he founded his own theater troupe, and it was but a handful more before his plays began attracting recognition in various influential literary circles.
Wandering Dramaturge: Although Jenomis is not a prolific writer, what he lacks in quantity he makes up tenfold in quality. The public especially adored the few pieces he both produced and starred in. So popular were his troupe's productions that admirers would have to book their seats a year or more in advance.
Wandering Dramaturge: And though he was widely regarded as one of the finest playwrights in the Empire, none was more surprised than Jenomis himself when Emperor Solus zos Galvus, in recognition of the young principal's accomplishments, presented him with his very own airship.
Wandering Dramaturge: This has since become a source of considerable ire for the new emperor, but I think Jenomis would have it no other way. You see, where his art is concerned, Jenomis will not compromise. He will write and rewrite and then rewrite again until he has achieved what he believes to be perfection.
Wandering Dramaturge: He will create something so perfect that even his greatest detractor will be forced to acknowledge its genius. Critics applaud Jenomis for his cunning, but I know it to be merely a by-product of his inherent stubbornness. Jenomis simply cannot -- will not -- settle for anything less than the best.
Who is the Majestic Theater Company?
Wandering Dramaturge: Since its inception during Jenomis's Academy days, the Majestic Theater Company has been busily producing and performing some of the Empire's most memorable works.
Wandering Dramaturge: From tragedies to comedies, classics to modern adaptations, monodrama to musicals, there was nothing the Majestic couldn't do -- and do brilliantly.
Wandering Dramaturge: At the time of The Zodiac Brave Story's debut, the theater was home to over five score performers and stagehands, all living here on the Prima Vista. Now... Well, you can see where we stand.
What is the Zodiac Brave Story?
Wandering Dramaturge: The Zodiac Brave Story is a tale as old as time.
Wandering Dramaturge: Whenever the kingdom was threatened, be it by tyranny, evil forces, or realm-wide disaster, twelve blessed heroes would emerge to bring light back to Ivalice. Those twelve were known as the Zodiac Braves.
Wandering Dramaturge: Each era had its own Zodiac Braves -- Müllenkamp the star seer, Saint Ajora, the assassin Ashley. I can list at least five others, but by far the most popular has always been King Delita.
Wandering Dramaturge: Following the death of its king, Ivalice's long-standing Atkascha dynasty finds itself without an heir. In an attempt to claim the throne, the Order of the Northern Sky under the banner of the White Lion and the Order of the Southern Sky under the Black Lion wage war, resulting in the death of thousands and a veritable stalemate.
Wandering Dramaturge: When all of Ivalice was at war with itself, he and eleven of his most trusted companions set out to bring order to the realm. Though not of noble birth, Delita would ultimately unite the land as regent, and the twelve become known as that era's Zodiac Braves.
Wandering Dramaturge: There has been much debate as to whether or not the legend is based on actual historical events or merely fiction, but most scholars agree that there is simply too little evidence to substantiate claims of Ivalice's existence.
Wandering Dramaturge: There are no ruins, there are no relics. And the stories we are left with... well, they are just that -- stories. What's worse, there are so many of them, each with its own peculiarities, that only the most basic elements actually line up.
Wandering Dramaturge: Even some of the more recent renderings of the legend feature dramatic deviations, the most notable being that Delita was assassinated before even taking the throne, instead of becoming king after his marriage to Princess Ovelia Atkascha.
Wandering Dramaturge: But that has always been the trouble with bards and minstrels. You can't trust a single one of them not to change the story here or there for the sake of a rhyme.
Wandering Dramaturge: And so here we are, left in the dark without a light to ponder a mystery only the gods know.
How is the Majestic's telling different from legend?
Wandering Dramaturge: Unsurprisingly there are many plays which attempt a telling of the Zodiac Brave Story, but none have been as well received as the Majestic's rendition.
Wandering Dramaturge: When Jenomis told me he was considering his own retelling of the legend, I was not remotely surprised. When he subsequently revealed his intention to make it a musical, however, I nearly spat out my mead.
Wandering Dramaturge: Not content simply to write the play, he composed the music, penned the lyrics, and even saw to the damned choreography. I had never seen anything like it. With the completion of The Zodiac Brave Story, he proved his genius once and for all.
Wandering Dramaturge: The musical is divided into five acts, the first three focusing on Delita's service to the Church of Glabados, his first encounter with Princess Ovelia Atkascha, and his subsequent oath to see her become queen.
Wandering Dramaturge: The final two acts move to the War of the Lions, culminating in Delita's betrothal to the princess, and their tragic end.
Wandering Dramaturge: The ensemble scene in which Delita, lost in his web of lies, reveals the truth of his plans to the gods on one side of the stage, while on the other, Princess Ovelia swears to the selfsame gods that she will put the past behind her... Genius. A masterpiece of modern theater.
What happened to Dalmasca?
Wandering Dramaturge: The Dalmasca Desert is a vast wasteland situated in the southern reaches of central Othard, sharing an eastern border with Nagxia. So large is the desert that it is divided into two regions, the Estersands and the Westersands.
Wandering Dramaturge: Thirty years ago, the kingdom of Dalmasca was invaded by the Garlean Empire. When the king and his council refused to pledge fealty to the Empire, war erupted, resulting in the end of the royal B'nargin line.
Wandering Dramaturge: For a thousand years, Dalmasca had maintained its independence, only to see it crumble in a matter of moons before the might of Solus zos Galvus's metal-clad legions. Even the Royal City of Rabanastre -- the fabled Desert Sapphire -- was not spared.
Wandering Dramaturge: Emboldened by the uprisings in Doma and Ala Mhigo, resistance groups within Dalmasca have attempted coups of their own, yet all have been silenced -- the Empire always seeming to know exactly when and where the insurgencies would begin.
Wandering Dramaturge: When I was a boy, I accompanied my father on one of his caravans to Rabanastre, and consider myself fortunate to have seen the Royal City before its fall. The sight of its minarets bathed in the gold of sunset is something I will never forget.
Who are you and what is a dramaturge?
Wandering Dramaturge: Who am I? A simple question with a not-so-simple answer. I can begin by telling you who I am not: namely, a member of the Majestic Theater Company.
Wandering Dramaturge: I am a playwright like Principal Lexentale, but unlike him, I have chosen to remain independent. Jenomis is an old friend, and when I heard he would be making the journey east, I asked if I could join him. You see, I too share many of the ideals that have fallen out of favor in the imperial court.
Wandering Dramaturge: As for who is the better writer... well, it is not for me to say. I will, however, admit to being a considerably slower writer, as my publishers will all too readily attest. To make matters worse, I have also developed a passion for cookery of late, and spend a great deal of my time here assisting the galley staff in exchange for my passage on the Prima Vista. Perhaps a change of profession is in order...