Echo

Mob19 Icon.pngEcho  

The Echo is an enigmatic power that awakens within select individuals on the cusp of an Umbral Calamity[1], apparently gifted to those chosen by the Mothercrystal (though this may not be its only origin). It is believed that the Echo allows one to breach the walls of the soul[2], allowing them to resonate with the souls of others. This ability manifests in such ways as being able to see another's memories, or communicate with them a languages of which the gifted has no prior knowledge.[3] Many who are woken claim to have witnessed a brilliant starshower or heard a disembodied voice whisper, "Hear, Feel, Think." The strength of the Echo and the ways in which it manifests vary by individual—all, however, appear to be immune to the effects of Tempering by Primals. In some of a Warrior of Light's most arduous trials, the Echo manifests as a status effect, lending them Hydaelyn's strength in their times of greatest need.
Involvement
Although the Echo began to manifest in contemporary Eorzeans as early as 1562[4], those affected did not understand their affliction and few would speak of its effects. A year after Minfilia was woken in 1567[5], she confided in the bard, Thancred, who revealed that his presence in Ul'dah was to advance efforts to forestall the coming of a Seventh Umbral Era that his mentor believed was soon to befall the realm. His mentor, Louisoix, recognized the symptoms of the Echo and began to converse with her by letter. When Minfilia realized that she was not alone in possessing the gift, he inspired her to form the Path of the Twelve, a discreet group focused on understanding the Echo's effects and origin while using it for the protection of the realm.

The Path brought together a great number of those affected by the Echo, known as the Walkers, in an attempt to understand which of The Twelve, if indeed it was any, was awakening them and how to use their gift as it was intended. In 1572, the ranks swelled as a surge of new Walkers woke to the Echo with no apparent explanation. Soon after, when the Ashcrown Consortium's crystal trade with the Beast Tribes collapsed as the Garlean Empire poised itself to invade Eorzea, a Walker acting as a translator was brought before the primal Ifrit. When his attempt to temper them failed, he claimed to sense a divine presence on the Walker's soul, but he could not identify it.[6].

Many Walkers perished in the Calamity or vanished from the Battle of Carteneau, and the Path of the Twelve was merged with the Circle of Knowing after Louisoix's disappearance to create the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, but instances of the Echo seemed to vanish. Five years later, however, a new wave of Eorzeans began to awaken.

Etymology
In Japanese, the Echo is called "Power to Surpass" (超える力), and in German the "Power of Transcendence" (Kraft des Transzendierens). The name "Echo" was likely chosen for English and French because it is how Eorzeans themselves might have named such a power when little was understood of its nature save for that it allowed one to see glimpses of the past.
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  1. Tales from the Calamity: The Walker's Path
  2. Fade to White
  3. In an unrelated post on the Official Forums dev. team member Koji Fox (aka Fernehalwes) clarified that "When the Echo “translates” for someone, it is a joint effort between the listener’s mind and Hydaelyn’s gift. The gift is providing the knowledge, while the listener’s mind is using its previously compiled linguistic background to compile the data into something more familiar."
  4. Fade to White
  5. Tales from the Calamity: The Walker's Path
  6. Lord Errant