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Thaumaturgy and Nald'thal


JFrombaugh

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There seems to be a lot of confusion about whether or not Thaumaturges are actually as "strongly associated" with Ul'dah as Conjurers are with Gridania. At first glance they seem to be two sides of the same coin.

 

However, one of the core themes of the BLM storyline is Ququruka and Lalai calling the others in the Guild out for being heretics who simply see their magic as a leverage tool and are kind of blowing off the whole "in service to Thal" aspect.

 

After all, there are a lot of enemy Thaumaturge NPCs who don't seem to have any connection with Ul'dah, and the storyline implies that sufficient internal aether reserves and mental discipline are the primary skills one needs, unlike Conjury which seems to come about as a result of the elements agreeing to do your bidding.

 

It seems to me like, using each discipline's approach to going to Wizarding School:

Arcanists - Studied really hard for those As

Thaumaturges - Managed to get As without studying

Conjurers - Never went to wizarding school, instead being raised within the church & Gridanian religion

 

If this is true, then I think my character would probably be a better fit for Thaumaturgy than Arcanima, as she tends to see magic as more of an "art" than a "science".

 

But I never got to experience the 1.0 storyline, and those who have played it seem to insist that THMs are essentially Ul'dah's CNJs...very much priests.

 

So what do you think? I've already decided my character will start out as a Conjurer, but I was thinking about having her switch Jobs halfway through her career (kind of like Cecil from FF4) due to coming to feel that Gridanians in general preach a good sermon but are by and large arrogant, hypocritical jerks.

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It's a bit of a shady suspect I think.

 

Asfar I recall, BLM's draw certain powers from the Void/ World of Darkness equivalent in FFXIV. Nald'thal 'is' the guardian deity of the Underworld, therefore, it 'could' be said that all BLM's must, in some way (whether knowingly or not), be connected to that.

 

Therefore, you may not need the connection to Ul'dah, but you certainly need the Nald'thal bits in some regard.

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There seems to be a lot of confusion about whether or not Thaumaturges are actually as "strongly associated" with Ul'dah as Conjurers are with Gridania. At first glance they seem to be two sides of the same coin.

 

However, one of the core themes of the BLM storyline is Ququruka and Lalai calling the others in the Guild out for being heretics who simply see their magic as a leverage tool and are kind of blowing off the whole "in service to Thal" aspect.

 

After all, there are a lot of enemy Thaumaturge NPCs who don't seem to have any connection with Ul'dah, and the storyline implies that sufficient internal aether reserves and mental discipline are the primary skills one needs, unlike Conjury which seems to come about as a result of the elements agreeing to do your bidding.

 

It seems to me like, using each discipline's approach to going to Wizarding School:

Arcanists - Studied really hard for those As

Thaumaturges - Managed to get As without studying

Conjurers - Never went to wizarding school, instead being raised within the church & Gridanian religion

 

If this is true, then I think my character would probably be a better fit for Thaumaturgy than Arcanima, as she tends to see magic as more of an "art" than a "science".

 

But I never got to experience the 1.0 storyline, and those who have played it seem to insist that THMs are essentially Ul'dah's CNJs...very much priests.

 

So what do you think? I've already decided my character will start out as a Conjurer, but I was thinking about having her switch Jobs halfway through her career (kind of like Cecil from FF4) due to coming to feel that Gridanians in general preach a good sermon but are by and large arrogant, hypocritical jerks.

 

Not sure what's causing the confusion. Thaumaturges are (for all intents and purposes) the Conjurers of Ul'dah. The Order of Nald'thal is the center of all Ul'dahn religion and is one of the pillars of Ul'dahn society. Thaumaturges of the Order of Nald'thal are wholly entwined with their city-state.

 

And yes, the BLM quest line does call into question the motives of the present leaders of the Order because its new heads (the Coco brothers) are not true thaumaturges. They are glorifying destructive, black magic despite it being outlawed and forbidden for nearly 1600 years. The same magic, which Ququruka himself, misused in the pursuit of glory and got three of his closest friends killed and then spent the next 100 years in gaol. You can understand why he might be a bit touchy on the subject.

 

As for open world enemies, there are a lot of open world enemies of all classes. So for starters that should be taken with a grain of salt.

 

As for Thaumaturges not studying... Yayake let's us know quite well that this is not the case:

 

 

 

But I feel like you have been going back and forth over this debacle for several months now and it seems you've gotten no closer to deciding, despite input. What do you want for your character? That's perhaps a better place to start.

 

Conjurers are guided by the Hearers, who follow all instructions from the Elementals. They walk the land and provide it succor.

 

Thaumaturges study death so that they may better understand life. They prepare a person body and soul for the final journey into Thal's realm and are the spiritual leaders and law makers of Ul'dah.

 

Arcanists study ancient runes and focus their power through geometric shapes and aether amplifying ink. They can also summon Familiars with their aether to aid them. Though they work as customs agents in Melvaan's Gate, they also have a mind for strategy and efficiency to everything they do.

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But I feel like you have been going back and forth over this debacle for several months now and it seems you've gotten no closer to deciding, despite input. What do you want for your character? That's perhaps a better place to start.

 

Conjurers are guided by the Hearers, who follow all instructions from the Elementals. They walk the land and provide it succor.

 

Thaumaturges study death so that they may better understand life. They prepare a person body and soul for the final journey into Thal's realm and are the spiritual leaders and law makers of Ul'dah.

 

Arcanists study ancient runes and focus their power through geometric shapes and aether amplifying ink. They can also summon Familiars with their aether to aid them. Though they work as customs agents in Melvaan's Gate, they also have a mind for strategy and efficiency to everything they do.

 

One of my personality traits is that I tend to spend a lot of time deliberating, yet reach decisions only with difficulty. :P

 

Miranda's story is heavily based on Squall Leonhart from FF8. She fights because she wishes to make the world a better place, not because she believes the people of Eorzea genuinely deserve it. In fact, she sees the city states as little better than the Garlean Empire.

 

While she responds well to thoughtfulness and amiability, she has a strong stubborness and resentment that surfaces when she is treated unkindly (which as I've pointed out, is most of the time up until the final 5% of the Main Scenario). She is also fairly independent-minded in general, refusing to be inappropriately dominated, and mainly decided to join the Guild because the harsh reality of being an Adventurer is that just about every person you come into contact with is a mean S.O.B.

 

She tends much more heavily towards empathizing with peacemakers rather than warmongers and is not well suited to military duty for these reasons (with the exception of the Scions).

 

The way I see it:

 

Conjury - Would best fit my character's ideals, and Kan-E-Senna happens to share a lot of my character's key traits - namely the dislike of war and "disagrees with the harsh treatment of outsiders" parts. The irony of course is that the Guild is located in (and swears fealty to) the city that has the highest number of bigots. Miranda would be especially appalled that someone like Raya-O-Senna's brother would be allowed to be a White Mage.

 

Arcanima - While Miranda would probably get along with the guild members for the most part, it's her ability to cast the spells and perform the duties of the order that I would question. Arcanists seem to be more "sciency" rather than "philosophical" with their magic, and like I said my character tends to trust her heart more than her head.

 

Thaumaturgy - Seemed like the "best of both worlds" fit (filling similar role to WHMs, but with the Void & minus the rigid codes of morality)...until I learned about their 1.0 storyline. Ul'dah would probably be the least ideal city for my character to live in since it seems to embody the most dysfunctional aspects of both Gridania and Limsa...

 

Just FYI, I think this decision would be a LOT easier if Red Mage was a class in this game.

 

EDIT:

Interesting fact - I chose the name Miranda because it was the name my parents would have given me if I had been a girl, but just the other day I found out the name Miranda actually means "she who must be admired" - and that certainly describes my character!

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This is an interesting thread to me, as I personally never took Thaumaturgey (as a whole and potential path) to be so intrinsically and necessarily connected to Ul'dah so much as Ul'dah is connected to Thaumaturgey. Especially by the nature of the magic originating from one's own Aether. I'll quote a bit of text that the receptionist of the Thaumaturge guild gives as some history on the subject.

 

"The nation of Ul'dah inherited its traditions from ancient Balah'dia, a city founded by the descendants of the first mages.  The secrets of these illustrious sorcerers were ultimately entrusted to the priests of the Order of Nald'thal, who have passed them down from generation to generation ever since.  Focused and refined over the centuries of use in the Order's funeral rites, the arcane magicks of our ancestors eventually emerged as the art we now know as thaumaturgy."

 

So:

 

* Ul'dah inherited traditions based on Balah'dia.

* Balah'dia was where these sorcerers were located for a time, and was the city they founded (not Ul'dah).

* The sorcerers themselves were the ones first able to conduct the aetherical practices, they simply chose to reveal them to the Order of Nald'thal.

* Those of the Order preserved them, and used them during funeral rites.

* The practices have been revised (and likely witnessed) since.

 

Thus:

 

- Ul'dah may not be the only place that has taken on these traditions, the city simply holds them in high regard.

- These sorcerers may have also imparted this knowledge to others beyond the Order of Nald'thal. (but maybe not.)

- However, the practice of the magic itself was likely possible without the Order of Nald'thal's influence, since the Order is not its origin.

- The Order modified the practices for their own uses, using them during funerals which others likely bore witness to.  Thus, anyone who bore witness could possibly look into the practices themselves, and may have some luck in figuring it out, if they have the resources and sufficient aetherical reserves themselves.

- The practices have changed and evolved over the centuries, meaning there is not necessarily a strict singular method to them.

 

  It's true, that the Thaumaturge Guild in Ul'dah holds a high place on the social ladder.  It's made very clear that there are a number of important Thaumaturges that do contribute to lawmaking, and have high roles in political dealings in Ul'dah, though the way the current (not the 1.0) Thaumaturge is presented, it appeared that, while they have a clear connection with Nald'thal (as their magic comes from a study of death and through the preservation of teachings), the Thaumaturges gathering in the Ossuary for their guild was likely a logical jump, but not a necessary one.  I got the impression that the devout followers of Nald'thal and Thaumaturges often overlap and coexist, but someone can be one without necessarily being so strictly the other.  I could be entirely wrong about this, especially considering the 1.0 story-line, which has religion and aetherical practice much more closely connected, but in 2.0 it seems a bit more lax.  The leader of the guild and his brothers seem more of the sort to focus on the aetherical practice, and less on any strict, religious doctrine involved in its history.  Since the practice no longer seems to be purely for funerary preparation, I see Thaumaturges now being more like how one might pay homage to their patron god and then go about their business, almost like a sailor of old might have a reverence and great respect for a god of the sea, as opposed to Thaumaturge being a 'strictly religious class'.  There is a difference between one who is a respecting believer, and someone who is a devout priest.  And it seems to me that general Thaumaturges of this time were more the former than the latter, unless they chose to delve deeper into the religious aspects itself.  Especially since the readings from all the texts that the guild master and his brothers give you mention nothing of the religious aspects, focusing much more on the spellery and its application alone.  The black mage storylines were brought up, accusing those in the Ossuary to be heretics, and while this is a clear split in thought between the two sides, it definitely shows that Thaumaturgy is possible without the 'strict morality' so to speak.

 

Furthermore, as you said, there definitely ARE Thaumaturges outside of Ul'dah, and of different races who don't necessarily hold the same views, so I don't think Thaumaturgy itself is solely tied to the city, it is simply that they've found themselves a stronghold there; and as it turns out, Ul'dah based their traditions on these mages who had given a number of their teachings to the Order of Nald'thal.  It follows that they'd have a strong presence there.  Of course, I don't know the exact history of Ul'dah either; it could be that some Thaumaturges themselves helped found it, which might also explain their place of power, but I've never seen it as Thaumaturges being exclusively tied to the city, so much as the city ties itself to them.

 

Since Thaumaturgey relies heavily on one's own power and aether, I think it certainly is possible to learn the art without the ties to Ul'dah specifically, from an RP perspective.  And honestly, if you wanted your character to join the guild in Ul'dah, then I think she could go through it as it was presented in 2.0.  Clearly there may be debates and conflict among the 'more devout' and the 'less devout' sides, as is shown in the Black Mage storyline's outset, but if that isn't a problem and is something you want for your character, I think it'd be completely reasonable.  No one's to say that the less devout (or even more devout side, for that matter) is necessarily 'right', but I think it's viable to do.  

 

I'll add I might be completely wrong in my interpretation and if I am, someone shoot me down and correct me (please, because my character might be studying this too and currently, is definitely not on a priestly level, just a greatly respecting one, with his views of Nald'thal), but this is how I took it given all the information presented, and based on the dialogue screenshots I've taken of all the Thaumaturge quests.  

 

It honestly makes me wonder if people consider that there are ways of teaching an aetherical art outside of their respective guilds.  Is it possible to have outside mentors in the subject, or is the only way that you will learn through joining one of the guilds?  On Conjury, it seemed more limited and less likely (given the nature of how it came about and the source of its power), though still possible.  Though, someone doing this might get themselves in trouble.  But with Thaumaturgy, I thought it was certainly logically possible, since the power comes from one's own Aether.  And in that sense, the amount of reverence and religious devotion to Nald'thal would be dependent on whoever is teaching. Loyalty to Ul'dah, in my mind, is completely unrelated.

 

(( Tiny edits for clarity. I'm sorry, I have a thing for a billion commas. *lays down* ))

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