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Scions of the 7th Dawn - how secrative were they?

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I've now played through the AAR storyline 3 times (why do I have this need for alts?), and one thing that confuses me is how much of a secret the Scions of the Seventh Dawn were. They have a 'secret base' and talk about working clandestinely to keep from Garlean eyes, etc.

 

And yet.. just about everybody seems to know who they are. The Grand Companies send representatives to their "secret" base. They do nothing to hide their identities - just how many times has an NPC gone "Oh, you're with the Scions? Here, let me help you", not just to The Hero but also any other Scions with The Hero? Heck, half the time people recognize The Hero even before introductions are made.

 

During my first run I kept wondering how long till the Garleans found their base, because they sure didn't do much to hide it. Really, even a half competent spy network could have easily followed the Scions around (not to mention the Ascians following the Hero). It really wasn't a question of if, but when.

 

Spoiler

Of course, the Garlean spies are incompetent, and it took one of the Scions being possessed by an Ascian to finally reveal their location. But I digress...

 

After Ultima Weapon was defeated, it's clear that the Scions are more well known (though by how much I don't know yet, only just started those quests). But before then, just how much of a secret were they? How much would the average citizen have known?

 

Or is this just one of those bits of lore that has more contradictions than answera, and it's best to just shrug and say "whatever"?

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I was ready to jump in and answer this question when I realized I don't actually know the answer, I just filled it in in my head as we went along the story.

 

The Scions of the Seventh Dawn used to be the Path of the Twelve, based out of Ul'dah. Over the 1.x storyline you interacted with a whole host of people who had the Echo and met the movers and shakers in the world. Exactly how much of this is retained moving into ARR isn't currently known but the major points stick: Uncle Lou came to help us, the team rebranded in the wake of the Calamity, and the Scions are in touch with the higher-ups in the world.

 

Considering that the Grand Companies were instrumental in the battle of Carteneau (and in turn, it was Lou's plan that, you know, saved what got saved) it makes sense that the existence of the Scions would be known to some level. Consider it like a black-ops military or intelligence agency thing: If you don't have a need to know, you don't need to know, and since the Scions were a secret weapon given their use of the Echo, you wouldn't want that getting out too widely. Tangent: There used to be a LOT more people with the Echo. ARR nicely wraps that up by murdering almost all of them.

 

Again, headfluff here, but I always figured the random NPCs were get directed to fill in as a spy network of the Scions' own design. The priest obviously has code words to be recognized with post-scion-murder and a lot of the seemingly-clandestine people we get quests from seem to jive with what the Scions are doing.

 

Post Ultima/Castrums, though, the WoL is practically a symbol for Eorzea. When primals turn up, the WoL gets called. Seemingly every major event that's gone down in Eorzea in recent memory has been solved by the WoL. It makes sense they'd pick up a bit of fame over time, at least for the people looking for it. It doesn't mean every person on the planet recognizes them, but I think it'd be known enough now that any time there's news, WoL's there.

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The Scions of the Seventh Dawn were a "secret" society, supposedly only known to the upper echelons of the Eorzean city-state's leaderships, adventurers' guild heads, and Grand Companies, who they helped form before the Calamity. They remained "secret" because they were located in the sultanate and they did not wish to seem bias. After Operation Archon, however, the Scions abandoned the facade of secrecy, moved to the neutral frontier territory of Mor Dhona, and began openly helping to solve Eorzea's problems while writing academic treatise on their scholarly findings along the way. 

 

Before the Calamity, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn was two organizations: The Path of the Twelve, a true secret society founded by Minfilia and based out of Ul'dah that gathered and studied those who had been blessed with the Echo; and the Circle of Knowing, a Sharlayan organization of twelve archons founded by Louisoix that came to Eorzea in 1562 to save Eorzea from annihilation. The Circle of Knowing went on to advise the new leaders of the city-states and convinced them to form the Grand Companies. When the Circle of Knowing joined hands with the Path of the Twelve and became the Scions, they continued in the role of the Circle of Knowing, however with the added manpower of the many Walkers of the Path of the Twelve to aid their efforts. As the majority of the Scions were former Walkers with the Echo, the organization had to be kept secret. Also, as it was situated in Ul'dah, they wished to avoid favoritism, as well as the over influx of petitioners for their aid. And even though the Waking Sands was in a public setting, it was apparently heavily warded by the Sharlayans.

 

Encyclopedia Eorzea - Scions of the Seventh Dawn: "A secret society devoted to serving the realm, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn gave sage counsel to the leaders of Eorzea through unofficial channels. After their desperate struggle against the XIVth Imperial Legion, they stepped out from the shadows, and continue to work for the betterment of Eorzea."

 

Momodi: "First of all, if you're wonderin' whether you can trust these “Scions of the Seventh Dawn,” you can. They're good people who've made it their mission to solve some of Eorzea's most pressin' problems. 'Course, that ain't no small task, and so they're always lookin' for dependable individuals to join 'em─individuals like you, Sounsyy. Now, I've been given leave to tell you where to find the Scions, but you must promise to keep this information to yourself. As you can probably imagine, it's somethin' Eorzea's enemies would very much like to know. The Scions are headquartered in Vesper Bay, out in western Thanalan. The place you're lookin' for is called the Wakin' Sands. Give your name to whoever's at the entrance, and you'll be let in."

 

Tataru: "Now, please be advised that this is private property. Unless you have pertinent business here, I must ask you to─"

 

Minfilia: "Ever since we defeated Gaius van Baelsar and destroyed his ultimate weapon, the eyes of the world have followed our every move, scarce remembering to blink. Where once we worked in secret─with precious few friends and all too many enemies─we are now besieged by benefactors, each one more eager than the last to offer us his complete support."


Papalymo: "Neutrality was ever a delicate matter. I've lost count of the times I've had to explain to people that our allegiances need not necessarily lie in the same place as our headquarters. Mind you, if we are to sell our services for gil, we might as well declare our fealty to Ul'dah now, and have done with it. I'm quite sure Yda would enjoy the bribes..."

 

Alphinaud: "So long as we remain within Ul'dahn territory, we will never be free to act with impunity. Moving our headquarters to Vesper Bay only delayed the inevitable. We have demonstrated our capabilities, and the Syndicate has taken note. They will not suffer our organization to remain independent now. We are far too dangerous for that. They know full well how beneficial one would be to our cause... Which is why it and other favors will be denied us unless we cooperate."

 

Tataru: "When we told him what had happened, he used his magicks to weave a glamour around the waking sands. From the outside, our old headquarters now looks like an abandoned storehouse!"

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