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Valence

[Spoiler super heavy] 5.0 Ascian and Shard lore

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Posted (edited)

For those of you who didn't take the time to speak to Emet-Selch every time you could between quests... Here is a repository of what he has to say:

 

 

Spoiler

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Edited by Valence

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Posted (edited)

Repository of various sidequests in Amaurot

 

As above, it doesn't bring a lot of new things compared to the main story line, but you can still find interesting tidbits like allusion to the 14th amaurotine member of the convocation, or more explanation of their powers of creation and how their society is structured around it.

 

The Amaurot Convocation of Fourteen and the betrayal of one

 

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Amaurotine communality and cultural views

 

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Amaurotine politics and ethical conflict leading to the war between conservatives (later Zodiark supporters) and empaths/compassionate (later Hydaelyn supporters)

 

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Edited by Valence

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We're (probably) a fragmented portion of Hythlodaeus, the 14th council member and (hopefully) going to find a different way to save the Time Lords Ascian civilization that doesn't necessitate genociding everyone else in the multiverse. And (probably) going to fusion dance with Hydaelyn while Zenos (probably) fusion dances with Zodiark to have the proper Gurren Lagann duel in space. Then afterward (maybe) teaming up with him after to beat up a bigger space Cthulhu / Old Ones threat as the final final boss.

I'd be very careful about using RL politics labels like "conservative" or "compassionate" in claiming who sided with which primal, though. We don't know anything about that other than the 14th leaving, and we don't know who in their civilization apart from the council got tempered by which primal. The entire point of one of the aethercurrent quests is that their civilization thrived through rigorous debate and rhetoric instead of deplatforming or shutting out voices. Reddit already went over the actual basis of the city, Thomas More's Utopia, as detailed here:
 

https://old.reddit.com/r/ffxiv/comments/c8igo2/msq_80_spoilers_references_and_homages_in_the/

 

We also already know from Yoshi's CGM interview, that the entire thrust of the expansion is condemnation of extremism from both sides. Or in the setting's case, too much Light / "good" means Sin Eater zombification and groupthink, while too much Dark / "evil" leads to Voidsent, the doom that came to Amaurot, and chaotic anarchy. 

What was most heartwarming about it all was watching the never-trust-an-Ascian camp say it was all obviously a lie, when the twist was Emet-Selch being the biggest bro and most honest party member in the series' history in years. Way better execution of the trope than Ardyn, all the way up to his final words, "Remember us." Very Tales of-esque in making the villain understandable, if not sympathetic, with even Alphinaud admitting he might've gone as far as Emet did, if they'd switched places and he too had been embittered by immortality and the loss of his loved ones. That, along with all the similarities to other series' themes and storytelling beats - Shin Megami Tensei, Berserk, etc. - has set up the plot very well for the Eden and Nier raids.

All this nuance, all these shades of gray - combined with the execution, the music, the calculated emotional moments - are why people have been calling this a return to PS1/PS2-era form. It feeling like a direct continuation of the DRK story arc under Ishikawa, and maintanking as a DRK through the whole expansion, was just a nice little bonus.

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Posted (edited)

These "Old Ones"/Terminus things remind me a lot of Eldrazi as well. I agree that they're probably going to be the true "final boss" of the full story arc...I wonder if the final solution will involve us becoming the chosen of both Hyd and Zodiark?

 

I also agree that the factions are less "who is compassionate" and instead frankly a more interesting matter of where that compassion is focused. Neither side is without compassion, both are driven by it. But our compassion for the Ascians' people can't outweigh our compassion for our own, and vice versa. So we're at odds.

 

I suspect the story will continue to explore that idea, as Kieron mentioned rejecting extremism in favor of showing that the true enemy are these Terminus creatures that are perhaps absolutely compassionless forces of nature.

 

Thank you very very much for the images!

Edited by Leezil

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I used the term conservative in its purest, most objective form. A conservative is someone interested in keeping things as they are, not much more to add. That's exactly what the ascian faction siding with Zodiark is: to keep the planet as it is when they summon their god, and then to bring it back as it used to be. That's also more or less how the MSQ lines describe Emet-Selch, as the spearhead of said movement. I don't remember the exact words used since I didn't take screenshots of the MSQ though (I knew I should have...).

 

I actually took great care not to label the hydaelyn side as progressives, even if indirectly they are, since they embrace change. I chose to define them as compassionate since that's what drove that side of the debate to help others and protect against genocide, but I'll admit that's probably a bad choice of words since the conservatives also have a lot compassion for their brethren, arguably.

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I wouldnt necessarily say that the faction that summoned Hydaelyn embraced 'change'. They simply rejected that it was okay to  cultivate souls for the explicit purpose of feeding them to the Acian's new god.

 

We also dont know the nature of the political landscape after all of this stuff went down. We know the 13 asians at least were tempered by zodiark, thus to some extent we cannot separate their desires from that of their god. The 14th may have been the spearhead for the Creation of Hydaelyn, and it may have been all the remaining population who stood against the convocation-- from these quests I frankly cant imagine that the average amaroutine would condone the murder of future lives, and Hydaelyn would have required a huge portion of the surviving people to create.

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I updated the first post, looks like I missed one of those... Which tells a lot of great things on what exactly happened to the First and how Ascians operate.

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So many questions answered, so many new questions. Emet was the best thing in Shadowbringers.

 

Also, keep in mind, that while I believe Emet was being honest, he wasn't necessarily telling us the whole story - we have no idea how much he may have been holding back, and we certainly do not know what he did not know. We've only gotten one person's account of the ancient past, and that account is limited to what he actually knew. The shades we met were just pale reflections of ancient Ascians, and again were limited to what Emet knew about them - but I think it's safe to assume that Emet did know each and every one we met.

 

It should be interesting seeing what bits of additional lore we find in future DLC and expansions.

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