Dances with Duskwights
|«A Soirée in the Sultanate|
|Transcript may differ from in-game version as efforts have been made to incorporate unused and/or altered text.
Text in green is conditional. Hover your mouse over it to see the condition for making that text appear!
Please forgive me for my carelessness back in Stonesthrow. It's like Mistress Nashmeira said─I let overconfidence get the better of me. I promise it won't happen again.
Though performing on stage may seem routine to us, for our audience each show is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We must never forget this, and strive to always be at our best.
It is good to see you, Forename. You'll be pleased to hear that our exhibition in the sultanate was a rousing success. Ranaa gave quite the inspired performance─it would seem the girl has indeed taken her lessons to heart.
That leaves Gridania as the final stop on our three-nation tour. I meant to depart immediately, but I must confess that the curious developments in Ul'dah have given me pause.
Upon our arrival, let us first pay a visit to the Adders' Nest and inquire as to any strange happenings about town. Do not ask me why, but I believe it is best we stay vigilant.
So this is Gridania. The forest is beautiful indeed, but I can't help but feel something ominous in the air...
Considering everything that's gone wrong, Mistress Nashmeira is remarkably composed. I suppose that's why she leads this outfit and I just pound the drums...
Under normal circumstances, Gridania would be more than willing to host any performance provided it does not anger the elementals. However, I fear our current situation is far from normal...
Ah, Forename. I am sorry to say that my fears appear to have been well founded. Gridania, too, has seen its fair share of social unrest of late. Pray explain the situation to my colleagues, good sir.
You are familiar with the Duskwight, yes? They are a clan of Elezen who eschew the shackles of urban life and instead choose to live in isolation. For the most part, both sides choose to leave the other well enough alone.
Recently, however, events have taken a troubling turn. Groups of Duskwight have been assembling for reasons unknown, holding secret gatherings on the outskirts of the forest. Whatever their aim, we can be quite certain that it is nothing good.
The Twin Adder is content to let them be provided they do us no harm, but when they turn to thieving and threatening our way of life...we cannot simply turn a blind eye. To say that tensions between the Duskwights and our citizens have been rising would be an understatement.
To this point, troublemakers among the Duskwight have primarily acted alone. Which makes the manner in which they are now plotting something together in plain sight all the more concerning. Some here in the Nest even believe that they are sowing the seeds for a violent uprising.
As fortune would have it, these Duskwight rabble-rousers have recently been sighted with particular frequency in the immediate vicinity of the venue where I had hoped to hold our performance.
Needless to say, we must address the immediate danger before we can even think of going forward with our performance. Forename, Ranaa...what say we investigate the matter? Together, this time.
Consider it done! I'll make up for my failure─just you watch me! Once I've soothed the Duskwights' hearts with my dance, rioting will be the furthest thing from their minds!
Thank you, friends. That settles it, then. Leave the matter of the Duskwight demagogues to my colleagues here.
I suppose there would be some merit in delegating the task to you, rather than risk fanning the flames between the Duskwights and our own citizens. And yet...you are a dance troupe, are you not? Are you certain that your friends here are up to the task of suppressing an armed revolt?
You can be assured they are. For what it is worth, I too will be accompanying Ranaa and Forename to ensure that everything is in order. Besides, there is something that I would confirm with my own eyes...
And with that, we should be on our way. The Duskwight in question are said to be congregating in the South Shroud. Let us meet first at the local tavern and formulate a plan of attack.
As one who has accompanied Ranaa in all of her recent performances, you have my word. The girl has taken her lessons to heart, and will not make the same mistake again. Yet it would seem our dear leader is not quite convinced...
Does Mistress Nashmeira have to follow us everywhere? And what was that about her wanting to see something with her own eyes...?
According to one of the regulars here, the Duskwight troublemakers were seen not long ago just to the northeast of here. And that's not all─a rumor says that they were, and I quote, “gyrating and undulating in a most curious way.”
Whatever it was that we witnessed in Thanalan, it seems likely that it's afflicted the people here as well. We must investigate the matter with all speed. Come, now.
Why, we're halfway across the realm from Ul'dah! Why would these “Duskwight” be performing the same dance as the paupers in Stonesthrow? Somehow I can't shake this feeling Mistress Nashmeira knows more than she's letting on...
This is where the Duskwights were last sighted...or so I was told.
Forename! Mistress Nashmeira! I think I saw something. Over there, behind the bushes...!
That's it! That's the same creepy dance I saw in Ul'dah!
The dance of the damned. Yes, it is just as I feared...
I'll explain everything in good time. For the moment, just leave them to me!
Hm!? Begone, meddlers. Leave us to our dancing.
Wh-What in the...!? My legs...it's as if they have a mind of their own!
Mistress Nashmeira, look out!
Forename! I'll tend to Mistress Nashmeira! You deal with...whatever that is!
Good work, Forename! Still, whatever in the world was that?
Forgive me, Forename...and thank you. And to think I was scolding poor Ranaa for her overconfidence. In my heyday, I would have made short work of that thing, but alas...those days are long behind me.
Don't be too hard on yourself, Mistress Nashmeira. We all have our bad days, and besides, it's not as if you were just being reckless like me. But never mind that...what in the world did I just see!?
That creepy dance, that strange cloud of black aether... What does all of this mean, Mistress Nashmeira!? Come now, I know you know more than you've let on!
I do, and I fully intend to share my knowledge with you...once I have seen what I must see with my own two eyes. In the meantime, someone should hand over these men to the Twin Adders.
I suppose you're right. And we must treat your wounds as well!
Forename, could I ask you to return to the Adders' Nest and deliver our report? I'll tend to Mistress Nashmeira's scratches and see that no other troublemaking Duskwight show up.
To think my reflexes have slowed to this degree in my time away from the stage. I must resume my training once my wounds heal, before I embarrass myself any further...
Would you be so kind as to return to Gridania and report back to Lieutenant Gavin? I'll attend to Mistress Nashmeira's scratches and keep my eyes out for any troublemaking Duskwight.
Oh, Forename. You return alone? Don't tell me something happened to Ranaa and our dear leader...
What's this? You apprehended the Duskwight miscreants for us? Splendid! On behalf of all of Gridania, you have our gratitude. We will dispatch a unit to the South Shroud at once.
My apologies for the delay, Forename. I'm pleased to report that our dancing Duskwight friends have been handed over to the proper authorities. And Ranaa's patched up my wounds good as new─with sufficient rest, I should be back on the stage in no time.
Not on my watch, you won't! I mean, pray do not overexert yourself, Mistress Nashmeira. You need your rest. I told you I could have handed over the culprits myself...
I know, Ranaa. And yet, I wanted to be myself there when they awoke. It played out exactly as I expected─they remembered little or nothing about their dancing, their secret gatherings, or any of the conversations that led up to it all.
Just being stubborn, no doubt. Worry not, friends. The Twin Adders will carry out a proper interrogation. And yet, one thing concerns me. Is it true that these events bear a striking similarity to a situation you witnessed in Ul'dah?
What we have witnessed is none other than the Totentanz─the dance of the damned. And it is our gods-given duty as dancers to see that it is never danced again.
The dance of the damned? Our mission? Whatever are you rambling about, Mistress Nashmeira? I thought our mission was to lend strength and succor to the suffering, and lift the spirits of the realm?
...That it is. And yet the truth of exactly what this entails runs far deeper. Thoughout our storied history, the dancers of Troupe Falsiam have saved countless lands time and again from a fate most dire.
When war and calamity ravage the land, fear and anger fill men's hearts. These emotions fester, reacting with the aether around us─in the air we breathe, the ground beneath our feet─to form an aetheric manifestation of malaise that spreads like a dark cloud across the land.
The weak, the downtrodden, the scorned and suffering... Sadly, it is these people who are oft the quickest to fall prey to dark despair. Left unchecked, the shadow fully consumes them. Their hearts, their minds...in the end, even control of their very limbs is taken from them.
Stripped of the last semblances of sanity, they flail about in a manner most hideous. Tales tell of mothers blissfully unaware as they trampled their beloved children... Men who danced so violently they ripped the limbs from their own body. This is the Totentanz─the dance of the damned...
Wh-What madness is this!? If you speak true, and this damnable dance you speak of arises from the fear and anger in people's hearts, why did it not manifest itself in the wake of the Calamity, in Eorzea's darkest hour?
Call me mad, but I think I understand. In times of greatest crisis, just surviving for another day requires all the strength we can muster. People have neither the time nor the freedom of mind to dwell on emotions like hatred or anger...
Ranaa has the right of it. It is precisely at this time─a time when Eorzea has made great strides in its recovery, yet deeper wounds still go undressed─that your people are most susceptible to that damnable dance.
So that is why our art was born so many ages ago. Not just to drive out the darkness from people's hearts in a figurative sense, but to literally cast out aetheric shadows, and free the afflicted from the clutches of the Totentanz.
Yes. This is the truth of Troupe Falsiam, passed down from principal to principal for generations. What I did for the Duskwight was to use my dance to extract the darkness from their hearts, and give it physical form. Form that can then be struck down and banished.
It has been several centuries since the menace of the Totentanz last reared its ugly head. To be honest, when we first came to Eorzea, I was unsure as to what we would encounter. So as not to worry the two of you overmuch, I kept the truth from you.
Yet now that I have seen it with my own eyes, our mission could not be more clear. As the inheritors of the Kriegstanz, we must chase the shadow of the Totentanz from this realm. I beg forgiveness for the secrecy, my friends, and ask that you lend me your aid.
!You can count on me. !Fine. But no more secrets...
Of course you can count on us! After all, Forename and I are dancers of Troupe Falsiam, too! And it's like you always say: a dancer never abandons her partner. Why should you have to carry the burden of saving the whole realm all by yourself?
Ranaa... Forename... After all of my harsh words and hidden truths, you are far too kind.
I must confess that I still am struggling to understand all this, but one thing is clear: this dancing epidemic you speak of poses a grave danger to our realm. I will contact the other Grand Companies immediately and apprise them of the threat.
Should there be any reports of similar phenomena in other nations, we would like to call upon you to deal with the matter. Forgive us the imposition, but clearly this is beyond our ability.
Leave it to us. Nothing would honor us more than if the nations of Eorzea would place their trust in Troupe Falsiam, and allow us to perform for their people.
And with that, only Ishgard and Ala Mhigo remain on our itinerary. Of the two, Ishgard has had more time for its people to recover from the scars of war. Let us make it our next destination.
And with that, only Ishgard and Ala Mhigo remain on our itinerary. Ala Mhigo yet struggles to free itself from the Garlean yoke. We have no choice but to make Ishgard our next destination.
And with that, only Ishgard and Ala Mhigo remain on our itinerary. Yet Ishgard's borders remain closed to outsiders, and Ala Mhigo still struggles under the Garlean yoke. We will have to rely on our friends here at the Twin Adders to secure us passage.
At any rate, we will need more time to properly prepare for the confrontation ahead. In the meantime, Ranaa, you are to continue your performances. You require more practice still before I can bequeath to you all the secrets of the Kriegstanz.
You can count on me, Mistress Nashmeira!
And you, Forename─pray continue to hone your skills in battle. If we hope to prevail against the Totentanz, we will need your martial skills as much as we need your dancing.
For no, it is not enough that we lure the shadows out of people's hearts. We must dispel the darkness for for good, lest it simply drift on until it finds another unsuspecting host. Yes, we will be needing your strength more than ever.
And with that, I, too, should prepare myself. Our true last act draws ever closer at hand.