FF history

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
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By Kerrigan of Asura

send comments/suggestions/additions to XJadeNightshadeX@aol.com
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As told by Vana'diel historical texts (ie. SQUARENIX) and events witnessed by
Kerrigan and the following contributors:
Deakka of Asura
Tiberion of Asura



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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
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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


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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