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Aether Composite Form/Aether Body (RP Concept-Discussions welcome)


Merak

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Aether Composite Form/Aether Body Theory

 

This concept is inspired in the White Mage storyline so if you haven't explored that storyline, reading on will lead to spoilers. The idea is based primarily on the resurgence of A-Towa-Cant, and secondarily in the theme of mind over matter that's present in some of the Final Fantasy titles, most famously being Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII I imagine. It's actually a fairly simple idea that for the most part is already present in the game's lore, but through this I bring out the possibility of expanding and further defining it. Okay, enough intros, lets get to it.

 

According to the lore, when death comes to a person their soul is the first to go and dissipates into aether that returns to the lifestream of Hydaelyn, with the body following after its usual pos-death cycle. An all too common theme within Final Fantasy. This idea however involves a different order to that cycle, where a person instead loses their physical form before death and before having their 'soul' perish. Notice that death doesn't have to be necessarily involved, as in the person doesn't have to be necessarily at a point where they will die. It could very well be an instantaneous incident that consumes them before they can even realize it--such as an explosion--or it could even be something they do willingly to themselves, both cases even provide better examples for this idea than a common death scenario. The reason is because the core of this idea is the person's 'Will' or 'Willpower'. During an accident where a person's form is suddenly 'disposed' of, the victim might refuse to accept or not even acknowledge their situation. That could be  because they feel that their time isn't now, that they have much work left to do (Such as it was with A-Towa-Cant), or just because they are plain stubborn (Sephiroth's case). Whatever the reason, this person 'refuses' to die, and due to some unusual condition their soul lingers in Hydaelyn. So far this is actually fairly within lore still as we have more than a few characters with the ability to 'cheat death' in this manner. Ascians (and supposedly anybody with the power of the echo) can linger in the realm and even reform their own bodies. Its possible that A-Towa-Cant was capable because he was a Padjal and his connection to the aether streams was stronger than most. I would also like to think that somebody sufficiently 'Willful' may have this 'ability' without being some unique type of being, but at the same time it would require a person of immense amount of willpower.

 

Now here comes the slightly lore-bending part. A formless soul wandering around is quick to be sucked into the lifestream. They need a new body to inhabit. Ascians cross into the realm between realms where they gather power to reform. But what about those that can not? Well I once more go back to the example of A-Towa-Cant. His soul was memorized or imprinted upon the soul gem he carried, soul gems being described as crystals that hold the memories of its past owners, but there is nothing that says that it can not house an actual soul. Indeed A-Towa-Cant's case even implies that this is possible. But what about those that do not have a soul gem? Well, for the most part I would say that they are out of luck, but to those that have a truly mighty 'Will', I would throw them a bone and say that perhaps that strong will of theirs will allow them to create their own Soul Gem. We've no real idea of how soul gems are created--Or at least I've not seen any single piece of lore detailing their creation. But I have a theory for that: We know they're often composed of memories of their past holders. I think its safe to say that soul gems don't just pop out of the wood. Someone of great power somewhere along the line creates them through their own power, infusing it with their memories and knowledge. Then they pass this on to a new person, most likely an apprentice or heir of sorts, that in turn repeats the process by adding their own memories. Fast forward several generations of these people and you can end up with your regular soul gem of the Black Mage or of the Ninja, attuned to that specific job thanks to the myriad of users that followed that particular doctrine and poured their beings into those gems, shaping them to be the objects that we see in the game. When I say it that way its practically 'Well duh' with how much sense it makes, right? But I don't claim to know this for a fact, that's just my theory based on what I saw.

 

So how does that apply to my theory, well its simple really, these people who are not ascians and who do not have soul gems of their own, but have enough will and perhaps power in some form, could be the origins of new, 'virgin' soul gems. I say virgin in the sense that they're not 'Job soul gems' as they haven't been shaped by the many experiences of many users of a particular doctrine (Job). These soul gems would instead be the repository where the displaced soul would be housed, and their new home. From there, well there things get even more stretchy. See the ultimate part of this theory is the resurgence of these individuals following the loss of their original bodies, and once more borrowing from A-Towa-Cant's example, they could summon a large amount of aether to materialize from their point of origin (Soul gem for instance). In A-Towa-Cant's case, he disappeared after aiding the White Mage player. But what if the person chose to remain? To retain their form? And that's where this theory really dives into the unknown possibilities of existence.

 

Using the soul gem as a nexus, I imagine the soul inhabiting it drawing aether from the land by the little sips--A little like Odin--basking in the excess of aether in a land like Eorzea, for instance, seeing as they have little alternative when having no form. But the moment they obtain enough, they might materialize themselves in a shape echoing their original body (Or another if they so choose. At this point it's probably as easy as imagining their original form). To retain that form they would then have to continue taking in aether, possibly at a greater rate than before, perhaps through the frequent consumption of crystals, similar to primals perhaps. Now this form doesn't come without its advantages. Because it is a form made of raw aether projected off a core and shaped into a physical being, physical afflictions would likely have no lasting effect on the person. Wounds could perhaps vanish in a flash of light as the body was reformed following the injury. This, of course, could at the same time impose a greater drain on the energy reserves that maintain the body in the first place, and with enough damage the body would simply 'dissipate', leaving behind the soul gem, where it would remain undisturbed, restarting the process to reform the body at a later date. At the same time that means that the soul gem is a weak spot. Any kind of damage that pierces the body and hits the soul gem would damage the body, and if the soul gem is destroyed (I've been told that they could be indestructable because we've never seen them be destroyed. Well we've never seen them being attacked either, I think, so it can go either way until proved otherwise) would naturally destroy the person in it. Their soul might survive, only to be scooped up into the lifestream as it should've been.

 

Alternatively, the body could instead be 'created anew', of 'flesh and blood' as any other, with no advantages or weaknesses compared to what's described above. You know, just in case the above leads to 'OP alarms' sounding.

 

Now finally I'll mention something I didn't talk about above. Its a little out of order, but its okay; So why regular deaths don't trigger this kind of 'event'. Well, a person dying of natural causes, or who is know to be dying, often comes to terms with their inevitable fate and accepts it. They might have a strong will, they might even have the echo or be a padjal (Ascians don't count in this example since they believe to be immortal by default apparently), that means that there is no resistance when it comes for their soul to return to the lifestream. They willingly follow the cycle. It's a lot "easier" for this process to happen to a situation where death is entirely unexpected, surprising really, or if the person is willingly and activelly doing this to themselves, because that 'will to survive' is the key to resisting the pull of the Lifestream.

 

Anyway that's the whole thing. If you got this far, thank you for bearing with it all. Share your thoughts or comments on this concept if you'd like.

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A couple things jumped out at me as I read this.

 

If I recall correctly it's implied that A-Towa-Cant couldn't stay even if he wanted to. It was like he'd been offered a finite amount of time in which to pass on his legacy before it was up. Who or what willed this to him is unknown. It's so easy to say "The Elementals" but I don't know if I buy it in this case.

 

As far as Ascians I do believe they require a "dark crystal" on the person before they can reform the physical body again as seen with Nahabras. (sp?) He openly taunts the Scions saying he's eternal and there is nothing they can do.

 

A form composed of raw aether would render a person akin to a primal. I am assuming this is why they differentiate the Ascians with the "dark crystals".

 

The massive exception to any of this in the game thus far is Y'shtola. She literally had her physical body reformed out of the lifestream. How much of that is her plot armor and how much of that is....feesable for an average person is debatable.

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I'd forgot about the Dark Crystal, but I think those were needed to cross the realm? I'd have to re-watch that 'summary explanation' cutscene again to be sure.

 

As for A-Towa's case, I truly don't remember if it was ever explained just how he managed to do what he did. It's been a while since I looked into that storyline, it would be worth revisiting those cutscenes and journal entries. Though like I said it's possible that it is his position as a Padjal and his connection to the Elementals that allowed him to survive, although if the Thyrus' resting place is any indication as to where he died, he died far from the Black Shroud.

 

And yeah I had considered the similarities towards primals and the constant need of aether to fuel the body as a result from it. Would certainly change a person's life around entirely, but its a cost that makes sense.

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Something this thread made me think about was the existence of fiends and pyrefly like creatures like in FF10.

 

I Would think that if a person's "essense" or "soul" if you will was able to stay in the physical realm and manifest it would be a very twisted remnant of what it once was. Some of this is implied in the main story but it's usually explained away with "voidsent".

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Something this thread made me think about was the existence of fiends and pyrefly like creatures like in FF10.

 

I Would think that if a person's "essense" or "soul" if you will was able to stay in the physical realm and manifest it would be a very twisted remnant of what it once was. Some of this is implied in the main story but it's usually explained away with "voidsent".

 

It's somewhat canon for this to happen in XIV as it is.  The ghost mobs (lost souls, etc) that look like floating blobs with wings are detached souls which haven't found their way back to the Lifestream, be it due to denial, bitterness at being dead, or whatever reason they might have.  There are a few FATEs with lore blurbs around it as well.

 

Recently I've seen a bit circulating about how aether works, and how the soul and body both return to aether upon death, but there's part of this which leaves me confused, because we see in game that there are also zombies and magicked bones. Hell, there's even a cemetary at St. Adama Landama church in Eastern Thanalan.  You even have quests where you retrieve and bury corpses, and neither zombies nor magicked bones would exist -without- those corpses.  So there's a question of whether the physical body, when intact, might take a lot longer to break down into aether than the individual's recently released soul.

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Something this thread made me think about was the existence of fiends and pyrefly like creatures like in FF10.

 

I Would think that if a person's "essense" or "soul" if you will was able to stay in the physical realm and manifest it would be a very twisted remnant of what it once was. Some of this is implied in the main story but it's usually explained away with "voidsent".

 

It's somewhat canon for this to happen in XIV as it is.  The ghost mobs (lost souls, etc) that look like floating blobs with wings are detached souls which haven't found their way back to the Lifestream, be it due to denial, bitterness at being dead, or whatever reason they might have.  There are a few FATEs with lore blurbs around it as well.

 

Recently I've seen a bit circulating about how aether works, and how the soul and body both return to aether upon death, but there's part of this which leaves me confused, because we see in game that there are also zombies and magicked bones. Hell, there's even a cemetary at St. Adama Landama church in Eastern Thanalan.  You even have quests where you retrieve and bury corpses, and neither zombies nor magicked bones would exist -without- those corpses.  So there's a question of whether the physical body, when intact, might take a lot longer to break down into aether than the individual's recently released soul.

About that last part: The way I see it, corpses in XIV follow the same pattern as corpses in real life. They 'return to the earth' through decomposition. I don't think its ever said that the bodies literally break down into raw energy, ever. But rather, 'return to the aether', as far bodies and other physical objects are concerned, could just be another way of saying they 'decompose'. After all the aether is energy that composes everything and everyone, including the earth, and a body breaking down to its smallest parts and being seeded into the earth the usual way is 'returning to the aether' just as much as it would be if it broke down into raw energy. I couple that thought with the thought of process in the opposite end of this spectrum: Conception of new life. I think we can safely assume that happens 'The usual way', and doesn't entail to Lifestream bombarding a woman's belly, forming a baby's body within her until it is done. So if a new person's body is composed the normal, biological way, then I'd say it's decomposed in the same manner.

 

Likewise, the Lifestream, as far corpses are concerned, doesn't necessarily have to mean a flowing stream of energy. It could just as well refer to the cycle of life, being formed, living through its useful life and then breaking down.

 

Certain statements can't really have their meaning taken at face value because they're statements made by individuals who live in a different environment and society, with different concepts to ours, and that might lead us to describe the same process through different expressions.

 

Aside from that: Good call on the whole 'lingering souls' and the ghost mobs, as well as the idea of pyreflies. That's something I hadn't thought of.

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A couple things jumped out at me as I read this.

 

If I recall correctly it's implied that A-Towa-Cant couldn't stay even if he wanted to. It was like he'd been offered a finite amount of time in which to pass on his legacy before it was up. Who or what willed this to him is unknown. It's so easy to say "The Elementals" but I don't know if I buy it in this case.

 

You are correct. A-Towa-Cant makes it pretty clear that he has a limited amount of time and he can't stay, and the fact that he's there at all is a "boon," iirc.

 

As far as Ascians I do believe they require a "dark crystal" on the person before they can reform the physical body again as seen with Nahabras. (sp?) He openly taunts the Scions saying he's eternal and there is nothing they can do.

 

They aren't reforming a physical body. They're inhabiting someone else's body (like a parasite) and subjugating that person's will to their own. In essence, the victim is "possessed," a la demonic possession.

 

A form composed of raw aether would render a person akin to a primal. I am assuming this is why they differentiate the Ascians with the "dark crystals".

 

I'm hoping Sounsyy will chime in, but I could swear that the dark crystal is just basically their physical tether to the person they're possessing. Destroy the crystal and their hold on the physical realm is severed, sending them back to the lifestream (but they hop through the void instead, iirc).

 

The massive exception to any of this in the game thus far is Y'shtola. She literally had her physical body reformed out of the lifestream. How much of that is her plot armor and how much of that is....feesable for an average person is debatable.

 

She actually cast a spell - Flow - and got lost. It's not exactly the same, but they did say during the questline to free her that had she remained much longer in the Lifestream, she would have ceased to be as an individual and basically have died.

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About that last part: The way I see it' date=' corpses in XIV follow the same pattern as corpses in real life. They 'return to the earth' through decomposition. I don't think its ever said that the bodies literally break down into raw energy, ever. But rather, 'return to the aether', as far bodies and other physical objects are concerned, could just be another way of saying they 'decompose'. After all the aether is energy that composes everything and everyone, including the earth, and a body breaking down to its smallest parts and being seeded into the earth the usual way is 'returning to the aether' just as much as it would be if it broke down into raw energy. I couple that thought with the thought of process in the opposite end of this spectrum: Conception of new life. I think we can safely assume that happens 'The usual way', and doesn't entail to Lifestream bombarding a woman's belly, forming a baby's body within her until it is done. So if a new person's body is composed the normal, biological way, then I'd say it's decomposed in the same manner.[/quote']

 

All we know with 100% certainty (or, whatever passes for that when you remember that you are speaking to probably-biased, possibly-confused sources) is that the soul itself returns to the lifestream. The body returns to the land, but the soul itself is apparently composed of aether and it flows through ley lines in the earth to Silvertear Lake, where it passes into aetherius.

 

Likewise, the Lifestream, as far corpses are concerned, doesn't necessarily have to mean a flowing stream of energy. It could just as well refer to the cycle of life, being formed, living through its useful life and then breaking down.

 

As far as it is referred to in the game, it is, in fact, a river of aether made up of souls. It's referred to quite explicitly as such in the game.

 

Certain statements can't really have their meaning taken at face value because they're statements made by individuals who live in a different environment and society, with different concepts to ours, and that might lead us to describe the same process through different expressions.

 

While that is true, it also seems silly to try to hold a fantasy setting to the same standards that we hold the real world to. If a trusted NPC says, "This is a river of souls," then we have no reason to disbelieve them.

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A couple things jumped out at me as I read this.

 

If I recall correctly it's implied that A-Towa-Cant couldn't stay even if he wanted to. It was like he'd been offered a finite amount of time in which to pass on his legacy before it was up. Who or what willed this to him is unknown. It's so easy to say "The Elementals" but I don't know if I buy it in this case.

 

You are correct.  A-Towa-Cant makes it pretty clear that he has a limited amount of time and he can't stay, and the fact that he's there at all is a "boon," iirc.

 

As far as Ascians I do believe they require a "dark crystal" on the person before they can reform the physical body again as seen with Nahabras. (sp?) He openly taunts the Scions saying he's eternal and there is nothing they can do.

 

They aren't reforming a physical body.  They're inhabiting someone else's body (like a parasite) and subjugating that person's will to their own.  In essence, the victim is "possessed," a la demonic possession.

 

A form composed of raw aether would render a person akin to a primal. I am assuming this is why they differentiate the Ascians with the "dark crystals".

 

I'm hoping Sounsyy will chime in, but I could swear that the dark crystal is just basically their physical tether to the person they're possessing.  Destroy the crystal and their hold on the physical realm is severed, sending them back to the lifestream (but they hop through the void instead, iirc).

 

The massive exception to any of this in the game thus far is Y'shtola. She literally had her physical body reformed out of the lifestream. How much of that is her plot armor and how much of that is....feesable for an average person is debatable.

 

She actually cast a spell - Flow - and got lost.  It's not exactly the same, but they did say during the questline to free her that had she remained much longer in the Lifestream, she would have ceased to be as an individual and basically have died.

 

 

Specifically the part about demonic possession: Nahabrahoohaa (screw his name) actually formed into another body while the other laid dead on the floor. This lead me to believe they can just...form flesh bodies. This might be an inaccurate assumption but I also don't remember it being expanded upon.

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Specifically the part about demonic possession: Nahabrahoohaa (screw his name) actually formed into another body while the other laid dead on the floor. This lead me to believe they can just...form flesh bodies. This might be an inaccurate assumption but I also don't remember it being expanded upon.

 

I think that's new, or it may be unique to extremely powerful Ascians. However, it does beg the question of, if it's possible to do this, why have they simply been riding other people around all these years? Because that's what they've been doing, according to the Scions. It's possible that there's a really bad side effect of simply reforming your body the way he does. That's the only explanation I can think of, since if it was something easy or preferable, I can't imagine why they wouldn't have been doing it all this time.

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Specifically the part about demonic possession: Nahabrahoohaa (screw his name) actually formed into another body while the other laid dead on the floor. This lead me to believe they can just...form flesh bodies. This might be an inaccurate assumption but I also don't remember it being expanded upon.

 

I think that's new, or it may be unique to extremely powerful Ascians. However, it does beg the question of, if it's possible to do this, why have they simply been riding other people around all these years? Because that's what they've been doing, according to the Scions. It's possible that there's a really bad side effect of simply reforming your body the way he does. That's the only explanation I can think of, since if it was something easy or preferable, I can't imagine why they wouldn't have been doing it all this time.

 

My best guess would be because of Hydaelyn's Seal. According to Nabriales, only a select few Ascians are able to pass at will into the Physical Plane. All instances we witness of Ascians possessing people (Travanchet, Thancred, etc) take place pre-Midgardsormr, while most instances of named Ascians (Nabriales, Igeyorhm, etc) appearing in places not overly saturated in freshly-shorn aether are post-Midgardsormr.

 

But what's this? I do not sense the blessing of light... Oh dear! Could it be that frail Hydaelyn has forgotten Her champion? This I did not forsee! Shorn of light as you are, you are no longer a threat. And better yet, the seal is broken.

 

The blessing of light kept you and your fellow meddlers safe. It was that which prevented my kind from entering your domain. My kind, I say, though it had no power over the likes of Elidibus and Lahabrea. Being of this world, they could come and go as they please, while I could only look on.

 

 

__________________________

Something this thread made me think about was the existence of fiends and pyrefly like creatures like in FF10.

 

I Would think that if a person's "essense" or "soul" if you will was able to stay in the physical realm and manifest it would be a very twisted remnant of what it once was. Some of this is implied in the main story but it's usually explained away with "voidsent".

 

It's somewhat canon for this to happen in XIV as it is.  The ghost mobs (lost souls, etc) that look like floating blobs with wings are detached souls which haven't found their way back to the Lifestream, be it due to denial, bitterness at being dead, or whatever reason they might have.  There are a few FATEs with lore blurbs around it as well.

 

Recently I've seen a bit circulating about how aether works, and how the soul and body both return to aether upon death, but there's part of this which leaves me confused, because we see in game that there are also zombies and magicked bones. Hell, there's even a cemetary at St. Adama Landama church in Eastern Thanalan.  You even have quests where you retrieve and bury corpses, and neither zombies nor magicked bones would exist -without- those corpses.  So there's a question of whether the physical body, when intact, might take a lot longer to break down into aether than the individual's recently released soul.

 

In regards to corpses and how they can become... well reanimated, I'll direct you to this lore post on necromancy, burials, and void possession. Essentially, as Ciel mentioned, if bodies are not properly prepared and buried/cremated after death, they can be possessed or reanimated by voidsent or lost souls who refuse to pass on into the afterlife.

 

As far as Eorzean belief goes, there is a difference between one's aether and one's soul! When a person dies, their aether is violently ripped from their physical body and washing the surrounding land or personal possessions with that aether until eventually it soaks through the earth and returns to the Lifestream. The soul, if properly prepared for the journey, passes on into Thal's Realm or the Seventh Hell, according to Eorzean belief. However, sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the soul may not pass on and can come to occupy an item dear to the deceased, like a spiritbond sword, memento, etc - which is how we get aetherial gear from dungeons and also how souls and experiences become locked into soul crystals.

 

In most cases, the soul cannot return to its aether-less corpse, and bound or tempered souls go on to become ghosts or revenants. There are cases of souls reanimating long-dead corpses however. And more common instances of voidsent such as succubi and mindflayers possessing corpses as that provides an easy entrance into our physical plane.

 

 

Likewise, the Lifestream, as far corpses are concerned, doesn't necessarily have to mean a flowing stream of energy. It could just as well refer to the cycle of life, being formed, living through its useful life and then breaking down.

 

The Lifestream is, as Liadan said, an actual river of that courses through the planet on its way to Silvertear Lake. Lore on the Lifestream can be found at the following links:

-Lore on Voidsent, Lifestream, and Aether

-Lore on Aether, Lifestream, and Teleportation

 

 

Hope this helps! ^^

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The Lifestream is, as Liadan said, an actual river of that courses through the planet on its way to Silvertear Lake. Lore on the Lifestream can be found at the following links:

 

That's why I said "As far corpses are concerned". I'm well aware that the Lifestream is an actual river of energy, a concept to Final Fantasy that I first saw in VII (Not sure if it was touched upon in earlier games, which I didn't play.) I was speaking of the term 'Lifestream' in relation towards physical bodies and the composition/decomposition cycle in regards to my belief that their body doesn't just break away into energy on death.

 

While that is true, it also seems silly to try to hold a fantasy setting to the same standards that we hold the real world to. If a trusted NPC says, "This is a river of souls," then we have no reason to disbelieve them.

 

I kind of disagree there. For the purpose of writing, a character's dialogue can be often romanticized or written in such a way that it will hold an atmosphere of mystery and mystique. It's a means to draw the reader and immerse them into the world, as opposed to just flatly saying, in clear cut means, exactly what something is, which would make the whole thing sound--pardon the pun--soulless and uninteresting. So we can never take certain things at 100% face value, specially when it comes to potentially abstract concepts that are of fantastic nature and merely described one way or another to aid in their understanding.

 

That they are a 'Trusted NPC' doesn't matter either: I've seen people discuss lore as it develops, and specifically in the subject of Primals, the player is given information about what the Primals are through the Scions, but more and more Primals defied the Scion's explanations (Like the Great King Mog case), a fact noticed not only by players but also by characters themselves, leading many players to theorize that in many aspects, the characters are as clueless as the player and potentially entirely wrong. Ascians themselves happen to cast doubt on the player and character's knowledge of the power of the Echo, and although they're not 'Trusted', they displayed enough abnormalities through their power that I think its fairly obvious that there is more to it than what the player is just let on.

 

Whether that's intentional or not, I've no clue. For all I know this could simply be the writer's means to a retcom device, as time passes they will inevitably develop parts of the lore, and may simply use "This earlier explanation was incorrect and these character's simply didn't know better" to avoid the new conflicting with the old. Which ties in with the whole Nabriales case where he just conjured up a new body out of thin air, which as far we knew up until that point, was impossible.

 

Finally, why can't we hold fantasy to the same standards as real life? I see people say that all the time, but frankly to me it just sounds like one way of saying "Its fantasy, don't look too into it", while I happen to like looking into things :P. Fantasy is always based on the real world to some degree or another. These ideas aren't thought out of thin air, with a lot of them having ties into real world mythology. And as far as non-fantastic lore concepts which are present in the real world, I see no problem in holding those to the same standards either. 'Figure of speech' exists in both real world and Final Fantasy.

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Whether that's intentional or not, I've no clue.

 

As far as NPC misinformation goes, it is actually completely intentional - which makes any historical or paranormal lore incredibly tenuous and difficult to nail down for we loremongers.

 

Q: The Second Coil of Bahamut seems to imply that the Lamia were Allagan chimeric bioweaponry. Sastasha HM, however, seems to imply that they are “over-drowned” pirate wenches. What are Lamia, and can this give insight into the background of other enemies, as well?

 

KF: This one goes back to deliberate misinformation. It’s in both versions, in English a bit more so. In many games, NPCs tell you exactly what’s going on in the world. They just know everything about the lore and everything is true. In the real world, people don’t always have the answers, even though they talk like they know what they’re talking about. We wanted Eorzea to have that feel, as well. There are lots of different theories, but not everyone has the right answers. People sometimes assume things that are relative to their own lives; if a Lominsan sees these Lamia with their scimitars and they think pirate, what else could it be, for them? They don’t know about Allagan technology.

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Something I wanted to touch on that Merak talked about in the original post is once again, this idea of Soul Gems containing actual souls.  In some cases they seem to do just this, but with that being said, not all soul gems house actual souls, and their creation is replicated with technology, therefor I wouldn't feel safe to assume that simply because in a certain case there is a soul attached to one, that all of them or even most of them house souls.

We discussed this somewhat extensively in last Soul Gems thread, but it seems that soul gems, whatever they are made of, can contain traces of a soul, memories, summoning contracts, and even in the one case you mentioned, an actual soul.  Above all, it seems that they especially contain downloadable knowledge, which opens the gate to lost arts, or unattainable arts for those who do not have the talent or time to do so on their own.  Whether that means we just have all these memories of arts unknown suddenly, or simply new instincts that allow us a greater level of inherent learning, cannot yet be ascertained.

 

Next, we have the difference between Aether and the Soul, as well as the physical form.  We have discussed this at length as well, particularly in the case of the body which can remain until decomposition, or in some cases can seem to break up into Aether upon death.  As in the case of beings who are possessed (purposely or otherwise) by Primals, this seems most true, and in the case of Dragons, that perhaps due to higher aether content in the body, that the body does not remain when great damage is dealt to the outer form, but instead immediately decomposes into the lifestream.  I don't have examples, but I wouldn't be surprised that whose with high "anima" content in the body, can choose to "dissolve" rather than naturally decompose.  Perhaps as usual, Sounsyy can back any of that up with links and the like, or I suppose, dispute it haha.

 

Whatever the case, time seems to make clear, an idea pertaining to the level of each form of existence the body has within it.  The equivalence of a soul, the equivalence of aether, the equivalence of anima, the equivalence of the physical form versus the aetherial content of the body.  And all these in my mind, tell me that perhaps we are thinking of each thing too single dimensional, and that each layer of the being in Eorzea is actually the body inhabiting more than one realm at once, and greater levels of certain qualities drive us to exist in certain ways rather than others.  As I question each of these planes and forms of existence, I begin to be led to questioning each realm that we know of, the Void, the realm of Hydaelyn versus the world we know.  But that may be a whole other thread for another time.

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Damn... That post Momo, it was like both very philosophical and it somehow reminded me a bit of Q from Star Trek when briefly speaking of the 'possibilities of existence'.

 

Slow clap.

 

I like it. Sorry I don't have much to add right now. xD

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