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Theorycrafting Sage Lore


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So, I am a recent returner and have been obsessed with the Sage class. I've been curiously scanning the net for lore about them, but there seems to be very little available, from either fans or official resources.  As such, I have been doing some theorycrafting based on the resources available in-game in the form of the class story and abilities, some analysis of elements of the available lore, and a little linguistic analysis. So, here we go! I've tried to stay free of spoilers where possible.

What do Sages do: The field of Somanoutics.

In all official lore the field of study that makes a Sage is called Somanoutics. What is it? What does it mean? How does it relate to the Nouliths? My theory answering this question stems from the word itself. It seems to be a compound word, as is to be expected, consisting of two main elements: Soma - which is a greek term referring to the physical body as distinct from the mind - and Nous - a similarly greek word referring to the mind. As such, Somanoutics would roughly translate to 'matters involving the body and mind'. This makes me believe that the studies are a combination of traditional, physical medical techniques and Aetheric healing techniques used in unison - a view I believe is corroborated by the job quests. The fact that the Sage's 'weapons' are called 'Nouliths' further enforces this - the 'lith' refers to rocks, with the Nou-  once more referring to the mind. These 'mind-stones' are used to affect the aether of the subject to compliment the traditional, somatic healing performed by the Sage.

How they do it: Abilities and Skills.
Now, as we are all aware FFXIV operates by a 'gameplay is lore' principle. As such, looking at the functions of the abilities and functions of the Job can give us a hint as to the way Sages go about their work. Abilities can be roughly split into three: Spells, abilities and Addersgall abilities. The former abilities consist of the global cooldown-bound abilities: The cast-time heals, Eukrasia barriers, resurrect and all of the offensive abilities. These abilities all show a dispersal of Aetheric energy. From that we can take that these abilities are done through channeling the Sage's own aether through the Nouliths in order to perform direct healing, applying a barrier to the target(s) and to deal damage. The Addersgall abilities, on the other hand, cost no MP and consume Addersgall. This consists of all the Chole abilities (Fun fact; Chole is the greek word for Gall) meaning mostly quick heals and damage reductions. This may represent the use of natural healing solutions focussed on the body. These abilities are shown with particle effects - likely representing the dispersion of a fluid or powder -  and no Aetheric aspects, as those are broadly very recognisable for the Sage from the geometric stained-glass-like patterns. Finally, we have the non-Addersgall abilities - these by and large appear to be a combination of the two effect-wise, though they have no mana-cost. Potentially this triggers the Nouliths to draw ambient aether and combine it in some way with a medicinal application.

Mind-stones: The use of Nouliths.

Now, most of this has been touched on in the previous sections, but to reiterate: The Nouliths are primarily foci and delivery vehicles. It would appear from the Job quests that they are mostly used in battle, and that regular healing does not require them. Invariably being partly made of Aetheryte, they are capable of storing and releasing Aetheric energy - to either heal or harm. They mostly orbit the user when using abilities, spreading Addersgall, suffusing an area with healing Aether or a combination of the two. The only situations in which they appear to directly interact with a target is when applying a barrier. During attacks, they are aimed towards a target and made to release a burst of Aether. All attacks made this way are Unaspected, and the damage done is therefore most likely blunt/impact-type damage, rather than being a laser as such, though they may disturb the target's aetheric state as well.

That is all I have for now! I am very open to discussion and correction, and this post is by no means exhaustive (yet). There are still a few things that I haven't touched on or couldn't properly explain. Here are a few of those topics, that I would be glad to hear some theories over:
- The source of Addersgall - it auto-generates, but how? Where?
- Addersting - A secondary resource gathered when a barrier is broken. What is it, where is it stored, and how does it affect...
- Toxikon - An attack move that sends the Nouliths flying around the target(s) and blasting aetheric shots all around. I believe this is seen in the Endwalker cinematic when Alphinaud enters and we see Nouliths flying around their target and letting off sequential volleys. How is it affected by Addersting, what are its limits, and are the Nouliths autonomous while it is active?
And there might be more I've missed. Please, do engage in the discussion, offer your ideas and feedback!

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  • 1 month later...

Amazing compilation. I've been looking into the Sage myself with the hopes of giving my character a way to become one, as a kindasorta mage specializing in Aetheric Imbuement and Barriers, and came up with a few theories of my own after reading what you've written (and what little info there is on Sages in general.)

Adder: Recycling Aether

Firstly, we know that Addersgall auto-generates whenever someone is equipped with a Noulith - whenever a person with Aether has a connection with one. It's my assumption that Addersgall is just the Nouliths passively bending ambient Aether to the will of the Soul/Aether that controls the Nouliths. This aetheric charge can then be used to supercharge healing spells with lingering barriers beyond what the user is capable of on the fly. All things considered, it's a fairly straightforward resource. Rhizomata meanwhile, is the user actively calling upon the conversion of ambient Aether as a function of the Nouliths.

Addersting meanwhile only generates when a barrier is broken, and is only used for Toxikon; An AoE attack that at least visually uses a lot more energy than the normal attacks. My theory there is equally simple; The Nouliths simply siphons the aetheric energy generated from the barrier shattering and use that more volatile energy to empower a sustained beam of Dosis, as opposed to the quick bursts that normally happen. Because the Aether in question was already under the users' control, there's no conversion process required to make it useable, but it's also too volatile to re-use for anything other than a raw discharge of power.

I'd assume plentiful use of Toxikon is also what gives a Master Sage the experience needed to channel a longer burst of their personal Aether through the Nouliths for their ultimate beam attack, Pneuma.

As for the movement of the Nouliths; They're connected to the mind, I'd assume they respond to intent. The user meanwhile can't move because;
A) They're focused on moving the Nouliths and
B) Aside from moving the Nouliths into good angles for attacks, they also need to actively feed magic into the connection with them in just the right way to bring about their spells.

Imo it's not that the Nouliths have any degree of independant movement, but that the user is simply a remote control for them.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Magical theorycrafting is more or less my hobby.

Edited by Sidismund Redwyne
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