Jump to content

Tales from the Calamity


Recommended Posts

Tales from the Calamity: Where Victory and Glory Lead

- A tale for Merlwyb


We are lost, thought Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn. Immured for eons and free at last, the primal Bahamut laid waste to the Carteneau Flats, burning Eorzeans and Garleans alike. But I will find a way. Tearing her gaze away from the bloody churn, she bit down gently on her tongue—an old commanders' trick—and despite the ash-laden air, the voice that issued from her throat was as clear as compass wind.


"Belay previous orders! All Maelstrom units are commanded to fall back, effective immediately!" In the distance, the Admiral caught a glimpse of Archon Louisoix's resolute silhouette, arms raised in the rite of summoning. Not even the Twelve can help us now, she thought with something like despair as she swung herself into the saddle. Dalamud has hatched, and no man can unbreak an egg. "Give the Foreign Levy priority! Let the main host cover their retreat, and bring up the rear!"


Eynzahr Slafyrsyn let go the bridle as Merlwyb took hold of the reins. A shard of the false moon had pierced the mail under his right arm, she saw. Blood rilled, dark and steady. Her adjutant would likely not survive a hard ride. "Get those adventurers to safety," she repeated. "I shall send you stragglers. We must regroup—see to it!"


"At once, Admiral," Eynzahr snapped a salute. He knows me too well to waste time arguing, Merlwyb reflected as she urged her faithful bird to a gallop. And he knows most of our runners are dead or near as damn it. A sharp "Kweh!" brought her back to the present. "Good girl, Vicki," she murmured as the chocobo sped onward through a blur of death and ruin.


"Fall back! Fall back to the main host!" Merlwyb called again and again until the rout became a stream, then a river, flowing towards Eynzahr and—she hoped—safety. But there was a knot in the crowd, fighting its way against the tide until it emerged at the rear, then pushing on towards the Garlean position. Always, Merlwyb thought without rancor and spurred her chocobo forward. Always there are those who put glory before victory.


"Save yer breath, Admiral. I mean to make those Garlean curs pay—an' pay they will!" Rhoswen spat, and Merlwyb was reminded of the old saying—pirates weep with their swords, and their tears are red. "So many Sirens... Spleeny Ebrill won't sing no more, nor Annest Blackeye, nor— There you are, ye liverless, tin-pot bastards!" A savage joy blazed in Rhoswen's eyes at the sight of something behind Merlwyb, and the Maelstrom commander touched her spur to Victory's left flank as she unholstered her pistols in one smooth motion. Death Penalty barked, and a Garlean legionnaire tumbled backwards. Two sharp coughs from Annihilator, and more men fell—to reveal the beetle-black gleam of magitek armor cresting the rise. It has a beak, Merlwyb thought with strange calm, her legs squeezing Victory's flanks of their own accord. The chocobo sprang as the magitek cannon roared. Then Merlwyb was falling, the world drowning in blood and feathers, and she knew no more.



"...The most rest you've had in years, I'll wager." Merlwyb awoke to a familiar sight: her quarters on the Triumph, and Eynzahr, his face graven with fatigue, but alive and on his feet.


"How long?" she demanded. “Present course and speed?”


"Two days, Limsa, eight knots." he answered. "The Alliance regrouped in Thanalan where the alchemists saw to our hurts. They meant to keep you abed in Ul'dah, but I assured them that would not be necessary. We are crossing the Strait of Merlthor for home."


"The Sirens? Rhoswen?"


Eynzahr laughed. Merlwyb could almost hear the rust in it. Command, especially the command of a retreating force, was a somber business. "The Bloody Executioners hauled you from the front like pullers with a bulging net, but they had no luck coaxing Captain Rhoswen to join the retreat. Then came the last of the dread pirate crews three, the Kraken's Arms, and Carvallain swept her up onto the saddle like a bloody knight of Ishgard. Last I saw, they were trading curses."


"Good." Merlwyb willed her eyes to stay open. She was suddenly very tired, and could not bring to mind the names of the others who had been present. No matter. Eynzahr would know. "The retreat from Carteneau—I ordered a unit be given priority. Did you get them to safety?"


Eynzahr looked at her, his brow furrowed. "Beg pardon, Admiral? My orders were to bring up the rear as the main host retreated, gathering any stragglers you directed towards us, then begin regrouping. You did not order that any be given priority over another."



The coming days were too full for Merlwyb or Eynzahr to fret overmuch about her odd lapse. She had taken a blow to her head, after all, and it was a trifle compared to what awaited them in Vylbrand. As the Triumph neared home, they saw livid crystals bursting from Pharos Sirius, flaunting their corruption for all to see. Galadion Bay was a floating Carteneau, the sea strewn with bodies, debris and hollow-eyed survivors of the tidal wave that had scoured the coastline. Eynzahr was lucky, Merlwyb thought as she surveyed the destruction. What size these shards, to make an eighth hell of this fair anchorage? And what of we who have been spared? How can we go on, when so much has been lost?



I will find a way.


Merlwyb ordered that the Maelstrom's temporary command be established at the Moraby Drydocks, sheltered from the worst of the great wave by the Gods' Grip. From there, the remains of Limsa Lominsa's great armada sailed with food and supplies, aid and succor, women of strength and men of compassion. Admiral Merlwyb slept little, but when she did, it was always one of two dreams that she dreamed. In one, she bit down on her tongue, then called out, Give them priority. Let the main host cover their retreat. In the other, she rode a destrier in the cool night, the bird crooning contentedly and the rider murmuring, "Good girl, Vicki."



Time passed. Some wounds healed, others did not. The fishing boats returned to sea, and the merchants, stowadores and cutpurses to the docks. The new Maelstrom Command took shape on the Upper Decks, the ships of the armada returned to their proper anchorage, and the Moraby Drydocks were recommissioned as a shipyard.


During those turbulent days, those who knew Merlwyb best—and they were not many—remarked that she had been changed by Carteneau. To the scores that came to the Admiral for help, she gave no false comfort, but neither was she as hard as once she had been. She spoke instead of hope, courage, and the lost warriors who stood with the Archon on the Carteneau Flats. For this Merlwyb won the love of her people, yet struggled to accept it. So unsettling did the thought seem to her that one night, unable to sleep, she wandered the city, finding herself at length outside an Ishgardian's stable as young birds murmured drowsily within.



When Naldiq & Vymelli's began work on the first of the thalassocracy's new warships, there was no question as to whom the honor of naming it would go. One fine day soon after, half the city turned out to see the Victory's keel laid. When the Admiral of Limsa Lominsa inscribed her name upon the oak with a great flourish, the cheers rolled like thunder across the tranquil waters of Galadion Bay, and set the gulls and ravens flapping from every mast.

Link to comment

Tales from the Calamity: The Sultana’s Seven

Nanamo's Tale~


Nanamo watched from her private terrace as the Immortal Flames filed out of Ul’dah. The host left the city via the Gate of Thal─an egress symbolizing passage into the afterlife─in hopes of cheating death upon the battlefield. Crowds had gathered for the occasion, their boisterous cheers resounding through the sultanate, but Nanamo did not hear them. She stood transfixed before the balustrade as Raubahn put his spurs to his courser, and there she remained long after the dust had settled in the rearguard’s wake. She had steeled herself for this moment, but when it finally came, she found that her courage had deserted her all the same. Suddenly, the reality of her isolation was only too plain, and the mere thought of it made her struggle for breath. I am alone. May the gods grant me strength.



As the days went by, the weight of responsibility and uncertainty began to tell. Nanamo’s nights were sleepless. Not even her favorite dishes would pass her lips, and her round Lalafellin cheeks took on a hollow cast. Sure enough, despite the best ministrations of her ladies-in-waiting, her health began to fail. She became a ghost of herself, and her duties went untended.


Whenever a difficulty presented itself, she would invariably think, If only Raubahn were here, cursing her own weakness, even as the thought took shape. She knew very well that, as Flame General, Raubahn’s place was with the host at the Carteneau Flats. It was his duty to lead his men into battle against the XIVth Imperial Legion. I shall soon be six and ten summers old. I cannot rely upon others forever. Sooner or later, I must stand on my own two feet. I only hope I have the strength...


Another meal came and went untouched. Taking her leave of the dining hall, Nanamo glanced apologetically at the silent shadow that was Pipin Tarupin, adoptive son of Raubahn and officer of the Immortal Flames. The earnest young soldier remained at her side at his father’s behest, entrusted with her care in the Flame General’s absence. Pipin would never admit it, dutiful as he was, but Nanamo knew that he would sooner be fighting beside his comrades at Carteneau. She could not help but feel responsible for denying him his wish—and for what? Though Pipin was his father’s son, it was plain to both of them that it was the father that she needed.


And so the days dragged on, each fading into the next, until the hour of reckoning came at last.



"Word from Mor Dhona, Your Grace! The battle is joined!" Nanamo was in the Fragrant Chambers, holding private audience with Thancred of the Circle of Knowing when Pipin burst in with the tidings. A weak "I see" was all she could manage in response. While Pipin strove to hide his disappointment at this tepid utterance, Thancred was quick to make his feelings known.


"Begging your pardon, Your Grace, but I had hoped for something a little more rousing." Since agreeing to serve as an advisor to the sultanate, the self-proclaimed bard had made himself at home at court, becoming ever more irreverent in the process. "When last I looked, your people had need of you."


"What could a powerless puppet like me possibly do!?" Nanamo snapped back, immediately regretting her petulance.


The bard was not discouraged, however, and responded with uncharacteristic force. "You are not powerless, Your Grace. You can pray for Eorzea’s salvation."


Prayer? she thought. Has it really come to that? But of course it had. Even as they spoke, Dalamud drew closer. According to Archon Louisoix, only by the power of the Twelve could the lesser moon be returned to the heavens and the coming of the Seventh Umbral Era forestalled. And only by the prayers of the faithful could that power be summoned forth. It was to allow the summoning ritual to proceed unhindered that the soldiers of the Eorzean Alliance—Raubahn among them—now fought at Carteneau.


Thancred went on, his voice taking on a gentler tone. "If you pray, so too will the people. And the combined strength of their faith shall bear their plea for Eorzea’s salvation unto the heavens."


A moment passed in silence. If praying is all that I can do, then I will do it with all my heart. Composing herself once more, she nodded, rose from her seat, and turned her steps towards Arrzaneth Ossuary.


Upon arriving at the temple, Pipin helped Nanamo to her knees and stood guard as she prayed. On the far side of the city, at Milvaneth Sacrarium, Thancred was doing the very same, she knew. O gods of my forefathers, deliver us from destruction. O gods of my forefathers, bring Raubahn safely back to me.


A few hours into her vigil, chaos erupted. The Ossuary shook violently, as if struck by a giant’s fist, prompting Pipin to draw close as masonry fell about them. Terrified screams filled her ears, but Nanamo did not give in to panic. In defiance of the tumult around her, she prayed with all her being.


Her determination was soon rewarded. The stone plinth bearing the mark of the Dusk Trader began to glow. Moments later, a pillar of light burst forth from its surface, enveloping the image of Thal that stood upon it and illuminating every corner of the hall. In that instant, Nanamo felt the presence of the divine. Even as she basked in the sensation, a familiar voice echoed in her mind. "Let Eorzea be born anew," it said. Louisoix, she thought, and knew no more.



Nanamo awakened to find herself lying prone on the Ossuary’s smooth stone floor. Footfalls rang out all about her. From the corner of her eye, she saw Pipin rise to one knee, seemingly struggling to shake off the selfsame torpor which gripped her. For a time she remained still, content to gaze up at the stone plinth. Its divine light had faded, she noted dimly.


A shrill yell brought her back from her reverie. "Rioters at Sapphire Avenue! They’re headed this way!"


Consternation swept over Pipin’s face. "Your Grace, we cannot linger! Let us return to the palace at once!"


"I will not hide while my people suffer!" The answer rose to her lips unbidden, with a swiftness that surprised even her. Rising to her feet, she surveyed her surroundings. Robed figures were scrambling hither and thither, bearing precious tomes and artifacts away, presumably to safety. At the heart of the bustle, a small yet commanding figure was barking out orders. Nanamo recognized him as Mumuepo, High Priest of the Order of Nald’thal and Master of the Thaumaturges’ Guild.


"The rioters cannot be allowed to defile the Ossuary!" the man fairly screamed. "Incinerate any foolish enough to come near!"


These words set Nanamo’s blood to roiling. "And you call yourself a man of the cloth!?" Checking her fury, she addressed all present. "Our citizens are in the grip of fear. They but want for a voice of reason to restore them to their senses. Who among you will aid me?"


Pipin stepped forward, as Nanamo knew he would. "Though I am but a poor substitute for my father, I live only to serve you, my sultana. Pray command me as you see fit."


Next came Papashan of the Sultansworn, followed by five thaumaturges of the guild─Lalafells all, and brothers besides. No more answered the sultana’s call, however. Only seven, she lamented as she took stock of her volunteers. But they will suffice. They must.


With gritted teeth, Nanamo stepped out onto the stricken streets of Ul’dah. Of their own accord, her hastily assembled escort formed a protective ring around her, and together they trudged through the smoke and rubble. No matter where she looked, her eyes were met with scenes of carnage. A girl cried over the charred body of her mother. A man lay moaning, his legs crushed beneath a tonze of stone. Their plight wrenched her heart, but she could not stop for them. First she had to quell the unrest, else there could be no lasting relief. I will return for you all. This I promise.


As Nanamo’s band reached Emerald Avenue, the mob of rioters came into view. Shops and homes had been ransacked in its wake, the occupants fleeing for their lives. Undaunted, Nanamo forged onward to within earshot of the advancing rabble, where she stopped, took a deep breath, and set about her task.


"Papashan! I must have their attention!" Nodding, the elderly paladin produced a blinding flash that staggered some of the rioters. Many, however, continued their rampage, oblivious.


"Thaumaturges! Light up the sky!" In unison, the five Lalafellin brothers let loose a warning barrage of spells overhead. Most impressive among these was the conflagration unleashed by the brother with the bandaged face. Those rioters who failed to take notice before did so now. Satisfied, Nanamo turned to Pipin. "Lend me your back."


With a booming voice that belied her size, Nanamo addressed the rabble. "Heed me, my beloved citizens!" she began. "The realm lies upon the brink of the Seventh Umbral Era. Yet so long as we live, we must not forget our compassion. Now is not the time to take from your neighbor, but to proffer him the hand of succor.


"The brave men and women of the Immortal Flames risk their lives that we might go on with ours. Would you have them return to an Ul’dah that has torn itself apart?" Looks of shame manifested upon begrimed faces. "I ask that you be strong. Give in not to fear and despair. If we join hands in common cause, there is no hardship that we cannot overcome. Together, let us tend the wounds of our nation─of our shared home!"


Hearing these heartfelt words from their sultana, the madness began to melt from the rioters’ eyes to be replaced by the gleam of reason. Soon after, a semblance of order returned to the city, and organized relief efforts commenced in earnest.



Some days later, the remnants of the Immortal Flames trudged back into Ul’dah, entering the city by way of the Gate of Nald. Wounded and weary though the soldiers were, they yet had homes to which they might return. In the midst of rebuilding, Nanamo issued a decree stripping Mumuepo of all official titles and accompanying privileges. Though such an act would ordinarily have been beyond her authority, it was made possible owing to clever maneuvering on Pipin’s part. Evidence of rampant corruption was found, with the high priest in its midst, and his order had no choice but to abide by the sultana’s will. In place of the incarcerated Mumuepo, the five Lalafellin brothers were made joint masters of the Thaumaturges’ Guild.



In the months and years that followed, Nanamo often revisited the events of that fateful day. I am not powerless, she would remind herself. There are things that even a puppet might achieve. If she could do her duty as sultana in the midst of the Calamity, she could surely carry out the task to come.


Link to comment

Some things I find interesting and would like to discuss!


Nanamo herself (5-6 years from present in-game time) calls her age to soon be "six and ten summers of age".


... What does this even mean?


Also, Raubahn adopted a lalafell for his son. Pipin Tarupin (also an officer of the Immortal Flames, WE HAVE A NAME FOR SOMEONE!). Raubahn is totally going to set his son up with Nanamo. /runs


Also, it's great to know how the Cocobros sans Cocobusi became the joint masters of the Guild.

Link to comment

It means exactly what it sounds like: Nanamo was soon going to hit her sweet sixteen 5 years ago (making her current age 21).


Given the nature of the Sultanate position, it's not far-fetched that she was forced into it from a young age, much like we've had young leaders in our own history due to circumstances (though these "rulers" often end up being mere puppets of someone else pulling the strings).


Edit: Damn you, coatleque! Well, at least I provide more information...

Link to comment

... I forgot that it might be read similar to XVI ><;


It's early. >.> I'm at work. /offers feeble excuses.


OH! Another thing I found interesting.

Found out how that the THM in Halatali HM was the 1.0 THM Guildmaster and here I learn that he was ousted. Nice.

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Tales from the Calamity: Of Friends Lost and Found

Kan-E Sanna's Tale~


The battle was over, but none could say that peace had returned to Carteneau. The lesser moon—and the winged abomination that burst from its belly—had visited devastation on the once-fertile flats, leaving naught but a scarred wasteland for as far as the eye could see.

Matron have mercy... I have died and gone to the seventh hell.

“Elder Seedseer! Come quickly!”

Kan-E-Senna turned with a start, the sudden cry rousing her from a moment’s reverie. She forced her eyes to focus on the speaker; a young Serpent, his armor caked with dirt and gore, beckoning with a bloodied hand.

“My lady! There’s something trapped beneath the steel beast!”

Mustering her strength, Kan-E-Senna joined the youth beside a fallen magitek reaper. From beneath the wreckage, she could make out the anguished groans of one tenuously clinging to life.


One of our own...? Crushed by the armor of a fallen foe? At the Elder Seedseer’s command, five soldiers joined their strength, slowly raising the battered hulk to free the unfortunate soul caught beneath. Even as the ponderous mass rolled aside, however, it became clear that the survivor had sworn no oath of allegiance to the Twin Adder, nor any company of the Eorzean Alliance.

Clad in armor of the same unholy steel as the magitek monster which had entombed him, the Hyuran youth met Kan-E-Senna’s gaze. Not yet a man grown, there he lay, bloodied and battered on this godsforsaken battlefield. Nophica have mercy—he is but a boy. Forced into service against his will, like as not—ordered to lay down his life for a cause he scarce understands.

A strapping Elezen Serpent stepped forward, seizing the youth’s shoulder with a mailed fist and bringing the edge of his jade-hilted blade to the boy’s throat.

“But say the word, my lady. The lad will feel no pain.”

“Stay your hand.”

Kan-E-Senna’s voice was soft, yet stern.

“He may have fought against us on the battlefield, but the battle is over. Now he is but a wounded child in need of care—care that none save us can provide.”

“A-Aye, my lady.”

The soldier hastily sheathed his blade, his expression carefully neutral. Taking up Claustrum, the staff of legend carved from arbor immemorial, the Elder Seedseer stepped forward and focused her thoughts on the wounded youth.

“O guardians of this land, let the breath of life sweep across this plain that it may mend this child’s broken body, and bring succor to his wounds...”

What left Kan-E-Senna’s lips as a whisper rose to echo across the flats. A gentle breeze broke the eerie stillness in the air, whistling as it swirled about the spot where the boy lay still. The tortured grimace on the youth’s face slowly loosened. His eyes opened for a brief moment, then closed in peaceful slumber.

“The boy will live. Bear him to the rearguard and see that he receives rest and nourishment.”

“As you wish, my lady.”


For the next few bells—mayhap a full turn of the sun, she could not say—Kan-E-Senna walked the battlefield, tending to the wounded. Eorzean, Garlean, friend or foe, it mattered not. These people cry out to me to ease their pain. Threading her way through the carnage, she weaved the incantations that would close wounds and ease anguish, bringing solace to the suffering.

And yet for every one that she saved, countless scores were beyond saving. Looking out upon the bodies of the fallen, the Elder Seedseer proclaimed, “They gave their lives in the name of hope.” And hope forsook them, came the silent reply. They would never have come here if not for me.

As leader of Gridania, a nation barely a stone’s throw from Garlean-held territory, it was Kan-E-Senna who first reached out to her comrades in Ul’dah and Limsa Lominsa, setting in motion the events that would lead to the reformation of the Eorzean Alliance. A seeker of harmony in all things, the Elder Seedseer never had any wish to lead her people into a bloody conflict. Serenity, purity, sanctity—the virtues she held so dear were nowhere to be found on the desolate fields of Carteneau. Yet what other choice had there been? The prophesied calamity could not simply be ignored—not if Eorzea was to have any hope of a peaceful tomorrow. If there was even a chance that it could be averted, was it not her duty to try?

Alas, the task had proven beyond her. Dalamud had fallen, unleashing Bahamut’s terrible vengeance upon the land, and now the Seventh Umbral Era was upon them. Despite her best efforts, Eorzea’s dream of hope had given way to a waking nightmare.


Kan-E remained in Carteneau for several days, seeking out what few survivors remained and saving those that could yet be saved. Staring out over the wrack and ruin, she would often think upon the decisions she had made prior to that calamitous day. Was their suffering and sacrifice inevitable? Was there truly no other way? She could not say for sure.

Nor was her uncertainty limited to past events. By tarrying so long in Carteneau, was she not failing her people? Was her place not with them, back in Gridania? They too are suffering. On more than one occasion, she resolved to return to the Twelveswood, only to reconsider. Her siblings and fellow Seedseers, A-Ruhn and Raya-O, had stayed behind to watch over the forest, as did many skilled and compassionate Hearers. I trusted them then. I must trust them now. Those who sacrificed themselves on the battlefield had done so at her command. Until I have done all that I can for them, my place is here.

She pressed on, scarcely stopping to eat or sleep. In the faces of the men and women she saved from death and suffering, she found the strength to carry on. The sun rose and set, and one day blurred into the next. But toward the close of the first week, the search parties had begun to return empty-handed. Among the soldiers who had stayed behind to assist in the relief effort, morale was low. They had seen the corpses of too many of their comrades, and their thoughts turned inevitably to the friends and loved ones awaiting their return home.

I have asked enough of them. It is time.

Summoning her most senior officers to her tent, Kan-E gave the long-awaited order, “Begin preparations for withdrawal. We are going home.”

After her men had dispersed, the Elder Seedseer stepped out onto the ravaged plain one last time. My work here is not yet done. It had always been there, in the corner of her mind, but she had been too absorbed in the healing of the wounded to act upon it until now. Tracing the tatters of her memory and the aetheric currents in the air, Kan-E-Senna scoured the battlefield. Minutes became hours, her search yielding naught but devastation. I know it is here. “Archon Louisoix—show me the way.”

The words were still on her lips when she saw it. There, nestled in the lee of a blackened crag, rested the shattered remains of a staff.


Kan-E recognized the great staff at once. Even lying there in pieces, its power was plain. She could feel the aetheric energies which radiated from it as keenly as one might the warmth of the sun.

Quite how she had known that the staff had survived the elder primal’s fury she could not say. Standing there, it almost seemed as if the Archon’s benevolent hand had guided her. This thought served to lift her spirits, and she forgot her aching legs. Your death shall not be in vain, my friend. Though Louisoix’s great wisdom was lost to Eorzea forever, at least those destined to carry on his legacy would have his most cherished relic.


The next day, Kan-E returned home, much to the relief of her countrymen. Gridania had not been spared Bahamut’s wrath, and the return of the Elder Seedseer was a source of much comfort to all as they struggled to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Strong they are in the face of such adversity, but the road ahead will not be easy. While overseeing the reconstruction of her home, Kan-E-Senna was reunited with two members of Master Louisoix’s Circle of Knowing who had stayed behind to lend their aid to Gridania in her time of need. One day, when the time seemed right, she approached them.

“Yda, Papalymo. My friends...”

Kan-E-Senna searched for the right words, but they would not come. Holding out an ornate box of rosewood bearing the mark of the Carpenters’ Guild, she simply nodded.

“For us? Oh, Kan-E, you shouldn’t ha—.”

Yda’s smile froze as she raised the lid.

“M-Master Louisoix... They said he was... But...but I hoped...”

Kan-E saw tears well up in the girl’s eyes, and soon enough, her shoulders began to shake. Even Papalymo, not one for emotional outbursts, was unable to contain his grief. And so the three of them shared a moment of mourning for the fallen Archon.


The Lalafell was the first to compose himself. Clearing his throat, he proceeded to expound upon the relic and its origins, as much, Kan-E suspected, to distract as to enlighten. Tupsimati, he explained, was fashioned from stone engraved with ancient incantations and a treasured horn of bone passed down from antiquity. As his late master had told it, the staff was the beacon that would summon the Twelve down from the heavens and bring about Eorzea’s deliverance.

“You have done us a great kindness, Elder Seedseer,” Papalymo continued. “Though none save Master Lousioix possesses the power to wield Tupsimati, I shudder to think what might have resulted had it fallen into the wrong hands. You may rest assured that we will keep it safe.”

“I...I don’t have the words to thank you,” Yda added. “If only Master Louisoix were here. He always knew what to say...”

Perhaps sensing further tears were imminent, Papalymo quickly pressed on, “My lady—now that you are safely returned to your people, it is time we took our leave. Would that we could remain here longer to assist in the rebuilding, but other matters demand our attention...”

The scholarly Lalafell then proceeded to explain that the Path of the Twelve and the Circle of Knowing were to be united as a single entity—an organization which would strive to realize the dream for which Archon Louisoix gave his life: peace in Eorzea.

The realm had lost its greatest champion, and the threat posed by the primals, the Garlean Empire, and who knew what else still loomed large upon the horizon. And yet, Kan-E thought as she looked into the eyes of the two Sharlayans, with brave souls like these to defend her, there is hope for Eorzea still.

“Whatever evils we may face in the days and years to come, know that Gridania will always stand with you.”


* * *


Five years after that fateful day, the wounds left by the Calamity had begun to heal in the Twelveswood and the realm at large. In those rare moments when she was granted a respite from her duties, Kan-E-Senna would often reflect upon the path she had taken. Do you watch us from above, Louisoix? Has Gridania—have I done your legacy proud?

“Elder Seedseer—the Council requires your presence.”

Kan-E turned about with a start. Before her stood a young Hyuran in leather armor of the purest white—one of the Keepers of the Entwined Serpent, the Elder Seedseer’s personal honor guard, established in the wake of the Calamity.


“...My thanks. Pray inform them that I shall join them anon.”

The young soldier nodded deferentially. As he turned to take his leave, their eyes met, and the memories—ever brimming beneath the surface—came flooding back to her, the images as vivid then as they were five years before. We pulled him from the wreckage. He was but a boy, alone and afraid...

“Wait─I will go now. Pray accompany me.”

“As you wish, my lady.” The youth gave a slight bow as he took his place by her side.


There are few wounds that time cannot heal. Even those who once stood across the battlefield as enemies, through effort and understanding, may one day find themselves standing shoulder to shoulder, the stoutest of allies.

Offering a silent prayer to Archon Louisoix and the friends she had lost, Kan-E turned her thoughts to the friends who now stood with her, and the countrymen who looked to her for wisdom and succor. The true rebirth of this realm has only just begun.

As the sun’s warm light streamed through the leaves and down upon the path before her, Kan-E-Senna strode purposefully forward. The greatest challenges still lie ahead, yet we shall rise to meet them—together, as one.

Link to comment

Tales from the Calamity: The Walker’s Path

Minfillia's Tale~


White and red. A flurry of petals, falling upwards into the sky. Like rain returning to the clouds.

Please come back to me, Father. Please...

Incense and unguent. I can’t breathe... She waited for the telltale rise and fall of his chest. Eyes closed, he looked as though he was asleep. Almost. I am not ready to say good-bye.

Burning. The desert sun baked the nape of her neck as she clenched her hands and stared at the liars.

Her father had warned her that Ul’dah was dangerous—that they must keep to themselves and avoid attracting undue attention. In the end, however, it was not an imperial agent who took his life, but a goobbue, freed from its magical fetters during a parade. An accident. My fault.

“I’m so sorry, Ascilia. I never thought... We never meant for...”

Her fault.

“I know this wrong cannot be righted, but I will make what amends I can, I swear to you.”

Murderer. It had been their scheme. They would stop the goobbue and become heroes to the people. No one was supposed to die. But you will. All of you.

Yet F’lhaminn weathered her curses and held her tighter. Even when it hurt you to do so. And though the hatred which once filled her heart did not vanish, it gave way to another sensation─a warmth Ascilia once thought lost to her.

Mother. It was solely a means to maintain the fiction. Her father’s Garlean spymasters still sought Ascilia for her father’s betrayal, but no one would seek “Minfilia,” an Ala Mhigan orphan adopted by an Ul’dahn woman seeking to fill the void left by her lover’s death. Just another lie, she told herself. Woven with the truth, but a lie nonetheless.

And then, one day, it wasn’t anymore.


“A nameday gift for my dearest Minfilia. Belated, I know, but in my profession, unexpected delays are only to be expected.”

The thrum of conversation in the Quicksand had masked the bard’s approach. Minfilia hastily put away the remnants of her reminiscence and turned to face him.


Perpetually passing by, Thancred had drifted in and out of Minfilia’s life for years. He had been seventeen when they first met—five years her senior. Or so he claimed. His carefree demeanor belied many secrets, not least his skill with a blade. The manner in which he had battled the creature which slew her father was proof of that. Of course, he preferred a subtler approach when circumstances allowed.


It is as much his name as it is mine, Minfilia thought wryly. He had all but chosen it. As they sat down together at the quieter end of the bar, she was struck by the intimacy of their collusion, and felt a flush creep up her neck.

The parcel she received for her eighteenth birthday contained a mythril dagger and a sealed missive. “From my mentor,” Thancred explained. “The man responsible for transforming a Lominsan wharf rat into the paragon of virtue you see before you.”

Minfilia cocked an eyebrow. “And how many maidens fair has said paragon deflowered since arriving in Ul’dah, pray tell?”

Thancred smirked and gestured to the missive in Minfilia’s hands. To whom do I owe the pleasure, she wondered, unfolding the parchment. The words were written in an elegant, flowing hand.

“You have walked in the memories of others, have you not?”

She recoiled from Thancred, the parchment crumpling in one hand as the other sought the hilt of the mythril dagger. “What did you tell him?” she spat.

In a moment of weakness, Minfilia had confided in Thancred about her visions—fragments of the past she had started to glimpse a year before. No one else knew what she had seen. Or that I have heard Her voice.

If the bard was surprised by her reaction, he did not show it. “Read on,” he said quietly. “All the way to the end. I ask only that.”

“It is foretold that on the cusp of an Umbral Calamity, individuals blessed with the power of the Echo will appear,” the letter continued. “During the Sixth Umbral Era, when the waters rose to swallow the land, the twelve Archons who stood against the darkness each bore this blessing.”

Minfilia looked up to see Thancred staring at her. He abruptly turned away.

“The histories paint a fanciful picture of these gifted souls. Through countless retellings, the Archons’ deeds are become myth, their powers more akin to gods than men. However, there are two things of which I am now certain. First, their gift, the Echo, granted them the power to walk within the memories of others. Second─”

Though Minfilia knew how the sentence would end, her breath caught in her throat as she read Louisoix Leveilleur’s next words.

“You have been blessed with the selfsame power.”

After a time, she spoke. “He cannot be serious.”

“He is,” Thancred replied. For once, the bard’s voice was devoid of affectation. “Master Louisoix believes that we are on the verge of an Umbral Calamity, and that your gift is the key to ensuring our survival.”

Happy nameday, thought Minfilia numbly. In stunned silence, she listened as Thancred proceeded to reveal that he was in fact a member of the Circle of Knowing, an organization founded by his Sharlayan mentor to forestall the coming of the Seventh Umbral Era. He and his colleagues had been dispatched to Eorzea’s three key seats of power to further this cause by any means necessary. A liar, she thought. But that much was clear from the start.

“How you choose to use your gift is your decision,” he concluded. “You’ve no obligation to us, nor to the realm, come to that. But for better or worse, this is your legacy. You can no more run from it than you can from yourself.”

She bit her lip. I am not ready to face this.

But I will.


Though separated by countless malms, Minfilia and Louisoix searched for answers together, but being no scholar, Minfilia sought knowledge via other means.

“There are more like me, but different,” she wrote to him. “We wander in the darkness alone, but if we came together and shared our experiences, we might yet come to understand the Echo—mayhap even to control it.”

“A splendid idea, yet one fraught with peril,” Louisoix warned. “As you well know, men are wont to fear the gifted. Proceed with caution, my child, and do not allow your true intentions to become known.”

Minfilia could not help but smile. This child is more experienced than you think.


To outsiders, the Path of the Twelve was but one in a sea of obscure religious sects devoted to the pursuit of spiritual knowledge. Its charismatic Antecedent, the Lady Minfilia, led a small but devoted following of “walkers,” so named for their resolution to walk the path with her. A lie woven with the truth.

The Circle of Knowing was of great help in those early days, particularly in identifying those who had woken to the Echo. Their ranks swelled, and two years after she had first learned the name of her gift, she began to educate others in its use.

And so the days passed—some more quickly than others. The order grew, and with it, its mission expanded. As did the risks. There were days of celebration; of sorrow; of waiting; of greetings and farewells... And sometimes all of them at once.


Nael van Darnus is dead. It should be over. Alone in the solar of the Waking Sands, Minfilia paced. Overhead, the lesser moon Dalamud continued its descent towards Eorzea, apparently indifferent to the demise of the Meteor project’s chief orchestrator. Can naught else be done?

As if in answer to the question, there came a gentle knock at the door. The white-haired Elezen who entered was not quite what she had pictured when she penned the invitation. He is older now, she thought. As are we all.

“Archon Louisoix. It is an honor to meet you at last,” she began. “Though now that I have said it, it feels...wrong, somehow.”


“Indeed it does,” Louisoix replied. As he held her gaze, a slow grin spread across the Archon’s timeworn face, and the pair broke into stifled, then heartfelt laughter.

They spoke of better days and beloved colleagues, of exciting discoveries and shared accomplishments. It was natural. Unforced. It is as if we have always known each other. As if we are family.

Gradually, the conversation slowed. No longer could they postpone the matter at hand, for the hour or reckoning was upon them. “So...what now?” Minfilia began.

Louisoix shook his head. “Now we must part ways. Where I go, you cannot follow.”

The Archon’s plan was to summon the Twelve using forbidden arts known only to him. With their combined strength, he was certain that he could prevent the fall of the lesser moon. Such strength, however, posed a threat in itself. Should Eorzea’s patron deities assume physical form, it seemed more than likely that they would be prone to the same appetites as the gods of the beastmen. Should that prove the case, their mere presence would bleed the land of life. And so Louisoix would instead call upon a fraction of the Twelve’s power—enough to stay Dalamud’s descent, and no more.

“It seems a fine balance to strike. Are you certain you can do it?”

Louisoix’s voice was distant. “Mayhap not. But the Twelve cannot be suffered to set foot upon Eorzean soil.” And then, head bowed, he told her the rest.

No. Minfilia shivered, suddenly feeling weak and cold. She had to fight the urge to rub her arms. “Is there truly no other way?”

“None half as reliable.” He placed a hand on her shoulder. “If I do not return, the others will look to you. You must be prepared to lead them.”

But I am not ready. She turned away, closing her eyes in a bid to stem the tears. “Do they know what you intend?”

“They know enough.” He stepped forward. “Darker days lie ahead. But know that where there is darkness, there will always be light.” His voice was soft and reassuring. A father’s voice. “You will see the truth of this, Minfilia, when one who bears the light comes to stand before you. One who is gifted, like you. Together, you will greet the dawn.”

Minfilia turned to face Louisoix once more. In the soft blue of his eyes shone cold steel. She held his gaze until she could no longer bear it.


Please come back to us. Please...


After the Calamity, Minfilia and Thancred summoned the surviving members of the Path of the Twelve and the Circle of Knowing to a joint meeting. As Minfilia shared the wishes of the late Louisoix Leveilleur, all present listened in quiet solemnity, and when she called for objections to the union, none were forthcoming.

“Henceforth, we shall be known as the Scions of the Seventh Dawn,” she declared, and all agreed it was an apt name.


In times of trouble, she often gazed upon the fragments of Tupsimati, enshrined on the wall of her solar in the new Waking Sands. What gave you the strength, she wondered. Who guided you through the darkness? For five years she faithfully carried out his wishes—five years she kept the faith and believed in his words.

Five years spent working, watching, waiting. But not in vain. For when the adventurer entered the solar to greet the Scions, she knew at once.

I am ready.

Link to comment

Tales from the Calamity: In Louisoix’s Wake

Alphinaud and Alisae's tale~


The ship glided out of the harbor, slowly gathering speed as its sails caught the brisk coastal breeze. Standing atop the quay wall with their father, Alphinaud and Alisaie bore witness to the vessel’s departure—watched as Louisoix Leveilleur, their beloved grandsire, was carried away across the sea.


“And then he was gone.” Alphinaud’s voice was barely a whisper, his gaze fixed upon the dwindling form of the ship. Alisaie glanced at her brother with red-rimmed eyes but said nothing.


The twins had greeted the news of their grandfather’s forthcoming journey very differently. While one accepted his decision with a calm practicality, the other had railed and wept. Still, to see the two of them there upon the quay, their slight arms hugging hefty grimoires as if their young lives depended on it, one would struggle to tell them apart.


They were not so different as they cared to believe.


“Even had you not gained admission to the Studium—and made me exceedingly proud in so doing—these gifts would have been yours regardless. Here—one for each of you. When read together, these two grimoires form a single tome. Provided you support one another’s studies, I have no doubt that you will soon come to understand the lessons inscribed therein.” The volumes Louisoix gave to his grandchildren scant hours before his departure were curious indeed. Crafted such that the contents of one could not be deciphered without the other, they hinted at the impish humor which danced behind the ofttimes solemn visage of Sharlayan’s preeminent sage and scholar.


“Thank you, Grandfather.” Alphinaud accepted his grimoire with a practiced grace and dignity. Alisaie, meanwhile, received her gift distractedly, and swiftly resumed her attempts to dissuade Louisoix from his course.


“Must you leave, Grandfather? Is there naught I can say to make you stay?”


“Please, my dear. We have spoken about this.”


It had been almost a month since the twins first learned that Archon Louisoix would be leaving Sharlayan for the shores of Eorzea. His purpose, he had patiently explained, was to aid the distant realm in forestalling the ruinous arrival of the Seventh Umbral Era.


Sensing the fixity of his grandsire’s resolve, Alphinaud had chosen to swallow his melancholy and voice no word of complaint. Not so his sister, nor less his father, Fourchenault. Alisaie protested the journey purely out of her abiding love for Louisoix and the unbearable thought of his absence; Fourchenault’s strident objections were of a more political nature. Louisoix’s eldest son was an influential member of the Forum, the body responsible for shaping Sharlayan policy, and he, like so many of his colleagues, was a staunch opponent of military intervention. It was, he believed, the duty of his countrymen to chronicle world affairs, not to interfere in them.


When the steel-clad wolves of the Garlean Empire descended upon Ala Mhigo, it was Fourchenault and his fellows who had attempted to parley a peace. In the bitter wake of the failed negotiations, however, they saw no recourse but to forsake the colony they had built within the borders of the war-threatened realm. Following five years of elaborate and painstaking preparation, the plan to evacuate the settlement’s entire population to the northern archipelago of their homeland was put into motion.


In the year 1562 of the Sixth Astral Era, the city of Sharlayan—a renowned center of learning, situated in the Dravanian lowlands—became an uninhabited shell in the space of a single night. The twins knew that they themselves had taken part in this exodus, but could claim no recollection of the momentous event, being less than one summer old at the time.


“War is the favored resort of the uncivilized and the ignorant, Father,” began Fourchenault, seeking to launch his own sortie upon the heels of his daughter’s plea. “The wise abjure it. As Sharlayans, it is our task to observe—to chart the course of history, not to change it. Civilization shall not be advanced through petty conflict, but by the passing of recorded knowledge from generation to generation.”


“My mind will not be changed, Fourchenault,” Louisoix responded wearily. They had had this conversation, almost word for word, perhaps a dozen times in as many days. “To ignore the plight of those one might conceivably save is not wisdom—it is indolence. And such a passive stance will not, I fear, take us far upon the path to progress. That you would spare these younglings the horrors of war is a decision with which I am in full agreement. Thus do I refrain from exhorting you, or any other, to return to Eorzea at my side. We must all protect that which we hold most dear in the manner of our own choosing.” And so the discussion ended as it always did, with neither willing to deviate from the script of their oft-rehearsed play.


Alphinaud and Alisaie, it must be said, were children of exceptional intelligence. So advanced were they in their studies of aetheric theory and other such esoteric subjects that both had gained acceptance to the Studium at the tender age of eleven.


Thus it was that the sharp-minded Alphinaud, while able to recognize the logic of his father’s arguments, could also see that his grandfather’s cause was just. That the boy remained silent then stemmed not from simple stoicism but from a keen sense of his own inadequacy—a realization that his unpolished skills would yet prove more a hindrance than a help to Louisoix’s endeavor.


Though no less bright, Alisaie eschewed her brother’s affected maturity, and gave vent to her discontent, inwardly cursing Alphinaud all the while for his mute acceptance of their grandfather’s decision. How can he stand there and say nothing?


A small yet conspicuous crack had appeared between the siblings.



It was long after Louisoix had taken ship and vanished over the horizon that the fateful day came. Alphinaud and Alisaie were crowded into the Studium’s observatory, along with their professors and a throng of fellow students. The assembled sages and would-be scholars huddled around the base of the giant telescope, each taking their turn to gaze upon the looming spectacle of the red moon, Dalamud.


“Dalamud has shattered!” Alisaie cried out, pressing her face closer to the telescope’s eyepiece so that it dug into her cheek. The view provided by the device’s array of magnifying lenses was distorted and indistinct, but the fate of the satellite was unmistakable—she could see its crimson-fringed silhouette breaking apart in the skies over Carteneau.


“Shattered!? What...before it struck the ground!?”


“How is that possible!?”


Excited murmurs and hastily formed theories erupted from teacher and pupil alike.


“He’s done it! Grandfather has saved Eorzea!” Alisaie turned to find her brother’s face, her eyes glistening with tears of joy and relief. For some time now, Archon Urianger had been kind enough to relay to them brief reports of Louisoix’s efforts in those chaos-stricken faraway lands. It was he who had informed them of their grandfather’s presence at the Carteneau Flats, and of the battle that still raged like as not beneath that blood-red sky.


Shouldering aside his madly grinning sibling, Alphinaud squinted through the ocular lens. Though the air was thick with billowing clouds of smoke and ash, he was forced to agree with Alisaie’s assessment—Dalamud was no more.


But something is awry... Alphinaud continued to scrutinize the distant scene. The red moon’s bloody glow had been replaced by an equally unsettling incandescent rain, as if the heavens themselves were weeping tears of light. Terribly, terribly awry...



Dalamud’s spectacular demise gave rise to a tidal wave of aetheric energy which rendered linkshells all but useless for a period of many days. During this time, the Leveilleur siblings were left to stew upon the wonders they had viewed from afar. Then, after weeks without word, a letter from Urianger arrived.


The Archon’s elegant script described horrors the twins could scarce bare to picture. From the cracked husk of the red moon had emerged a dragon primal immense beyond imagining—an incarnation of wrath and raging flame that had laid waste to the land for malms in every direction. Undeterred, Louisoix had persisted with his plan to call forth the power of the Twelve, and thus, it seemed, was the abomination banished. Eorzea had been saved.


When the siblings reached the conclusion of Urianger’s staggering account, however, the pale flame of hope which both had been nursing was finally extinguished.


On the broken fields of Carteneau, did my dearest mentor—thy beloved grandsire—become as light and embark upon his final journey.


Alphinaud’s shoulders trembled with quiet sorrow, while Alisaie wailed aloud, caring not who heard her grief.


Five years later, a ship once more glided slowly out of the harbor. Alphinaud and Alisaie stood on the gently rolling deck, watching the gradually shrinking figure of their father, alone upon the quay.


Recent graduates of the Studium, the twins were now sixteen summers old─old enough to be considered of age in Sharlayan society. And so, although he opposed his children’s planned journey, Fourchenault had not sought to bar their way.


“And now it is our turn,” murmured Alphinaud, thinking back to the day of their grandsire’s departure.


“We follow in Grandfather’s wake,” replied Alisaie, her head bowed.


Looking over at her, Alphinaud was struck by how widely their convictions differed. As they gripped the rail, however, identical grimoires now hanging from their belts, one could hardly tell them apart.


No, they were not so different as they cared to believe.



Link to comment
  • Create New...