Death Unto Dawn
|«On Official Business|
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Have you more to discuss with the Elder Seedseer?
Throughout my childhood, I remember Grandfather arguing with my father over Sharlayan's policy of nonintervention. And this time, it was my turn to play the role.
But if even my grandfather could not win him over, what chance had I? If words exist that may sway him, I know not what they are...
With their knowledge, Sharlayan could have done so much for the cause! They could have helped us to uncover the secrets of the towers and save the tempered captives within, and yet─ Gods!
The Forum includes representatives from all of Sharlayan's central institutions. With them hindering Krile's investigation, she will struggle to make any headway on her own.
While Sharlayan's stance is indeed disappointing, we cannot allow ourselves to be distracted from the challenge before us. There is much and more to be done.
I shall begin by sharing the Forum's response with my counterparts in the Alliance. Meanwhile, I would ask that the Scions─
Grave tidings, walking ones! Grave, grave tidings!
Calm yourself, my gentle friend. What has occurred?
These ones who went to see feathered ones send terrible news! Destroying ones have appeared in Xelphatol!
Destroying ones and captured ones and even frightful godly ones! Feathered ones didn't stand a chance and were sent flapping and squawking!
When did this happen!? Is it too late to help them?
Too late, yes, much too late! But luckily, destroying ones were only passing through, and continued on west. Feathered ones who did not fight were left unharmed.
West... That would be Coerthas.
Keeper of the Entwined Serpents
My lady, the Ishgardians report that the Telophoroi have emerged from the eastern highlands of Coerthas and are marching at speed.
Though their purpose has yet to be determined, the Carteneau Flats would seem their most likely destination. Lord Aymeric has already dispatched his forces, and requests our immediate support.
Tell him he shall have it. The time is come for the Grand Company of Eorzea to prove its worth.
Well...mayhap it is a mercy that we do not have time to stew upon our misfortunes. Come, my friends, let us make haste to Carteneau!
W-Wait! This one almost forgot! Destroying ones were said to be led by cackling robed one! This one must see that all walking ones know! Farewell!
Who else. It was only a matter of time before that grinning maniac showed himself again.
I shall have an airship readied to bear you to Carteneau. Pray see to your preparations and report to the landing with all haste.
At once, my lady. Let us away.
The airship will be ready to depart ere long. I bid you make for the landing as soon as you are able. And may the Twelve keep you.
I have apprised our comrades at the Rising Stones of the situation. They will head directly to Carteneau.
Alphinaud has been unexpectedly delayed... But you should probably go and see for yourself. He's by the entrance.
Come on. This'll only take a moment, all right?
Forename. It would seem Fordola here has come all the way to Gridania to find us.
I have explained the situation, but she insists her business is urgent.
Aye, and it'll be over sooner if you shut up and come with me.
|Voiced cutscene start.|
Arenvald! I can't tell you how good it is to see you!
It arrived a lot sooner than expected, eh? The day I crane my neck up at you...
Only because you're sitting down. Unless...
'Fraid so. The chirurgeons say I may never walk again.
Come on, Alphinaud. It could be worse. Besides, I didn't come here to dampen the mood. Quite the opposite.
All I've ever wanted was to fight for a cause I believe in.
But my fighting days are over. So I want you to fight in my stead. Be the hero I can't.
I am no hero.
That's what they all say, though. No one ever calls themselves a hero. Even the ones who eat primals for breakfast. It's for others to decide.
Look, Alphinaud... You already are a hero, to me and countless others. We see you doing your damnedest to protect us all. And you're not alone, are you? There are people who believe in you, just as you believe in them.
|We carry the dreams of many. We'll carry yours too.||We'll be sure to give your regards to the Telophoroi.||Some things may have changed, but the adventure isn't over yet.|
I know what's at stake, and how many people are depending on you. But I believe in you. Believe that you'll see it through.
That's why I'm entrusting my dreams to you. Like A'aba and Aulie once entrusted their dreams to me.
There was a time when I would have borne the weight of such expectations without a second thought.
But now...I know just how heavy that burden can be.
To tell the truth, I am beginning to wonder if I chose the right path. Sacrifices will inevitably be made for the sake of the ideals I uphold.
Maybe I am not the person I thought I was. The person you think I am.
I wouldn't presume to tell you. But I will say this...
In spite of everything, you've come this far.
The road ahead might not always be clear, but you've never been one to give up or take the easy way out. And everything you do, you do for others. For a brighter future. I'm proud to call you my friend.
Well, I've said my piece, so I'll let you go. I know you've got more important things to be doing. Just...give what I've said some thought, all right?
I shall, my friend. And we will meet again soon, I promise.
Nothing left for me to do but wave and smile.
You've got a pretty narrow view of what it means to be a hero, do you know that?
You think they're all “forged in the fires of battle”? That it's all about being brave and killing villains?
Alphinaud and the others will carry on their fight, but theirs isn't the only one. There are other ways you can make a difference─if you stop feeling sorry for yourself and put your bloody mind to it.
There's not much chance of me living the quiet life with you around, is there?
If you're content to twiddle your thumbs, thinking of what might've been, that's your lookout. But I reckon you've got some fight left in you.
And I reckon you might be right. If there's a way I can still help my friends, I'll bloody well find it.
|Voiced cutscene end.|
After Paglth'an, I had assumed the Telophoroi would continue to target settlements, but it is plain they considered Xelphatol a mere obstacle on the road to Carteneau. What, then, draws them to the Flats? ...We must keep a close eye on their movements.
I rather doubt that Fordola obtained the chirurgeons' permission before bringing Arenvald halfway across the realm.
...And solely to deliver a message at that. They should both have known better! But what's done is done...and I will not soon forget his words.
You can tell me later what that was all about, but judging by the set of Alphinaud's jaw, it appears to have done him some good.
Thancred and the others have already left the Rising Stones. And according to the communications officer, Amalj'aa and kobold forces are also bound for Carteneau as we speak.
They mean to keep the promise they made in Ala Mhigo, and we must do the same, by saving as many of their tempered kin as possible.
Anyway, the airship is ready to depart. We should get going.
|Voiced cutscene start.|
My fellow Scions... As I am sure you will have heard, we can expect no help from Sharlayan, nor are we any closer to discerning the Telophoroi's grand design.
And now, our adversary moves against us in unprecedented numbers, compelling us to answer in kind. The outlook, in short, is bleak. Yet though our foes are many, and we but few, we may still tip the balance in Eorzea's favor.
Of course. We will do what we always do: deal with the ones our allies can't.
A less-than-daunting prospect, judging by your expression. Could it be that you've dispelled your lingering doubts, Alphinaud?
Oh, I doubt I ever will. But as my friends have kindly reminded me, I have come this far, and that must count for something.
Gods be good, Alphinaud! That's what we've been trying to tell you all along.
For one so bright, you can be remarkably dim at times. There is such a thing as overthinking, you know.
Might I suggest that we continue this conversation after the battle? It would appear the Telophoroi have already arrived.
I'll do what I can to cure the tempered, but they'll have to be incapacitated first.
Have care, my friends, for none can say wherefore our foe did choose this fateful field to be our battleground. Whatever may transpire, pray grant him not the pleasure of deterring you.
|Voiced cutscene end.|
Listen well, friends. The Telophoroi are sweeping across Carteneau.
As for the Ascian, he was briefly sighted above the battlefield, but has since vanished. He likely intends to watch events unfold from afar.
Thus far, the movements of the lunar primals have proven difficult to predict. Even when poised to ambush our troops, they instead withdraw for some unknown reason...
Whatever the Telophoroi's plan may be, the primals are our primary targets.
Understood! They will not elude the Scions for long!
We cannot allow ourselves to be stalled here!
So they would overwhelm us with sheer numbers...
I will keep them occupied! The rest of you, seek out the primals!
Let us divide our forces that we may locate the primals more swiftly. Thancred, Y'shtola, and I shall head east...
I'll concentrate my efforts on the tempered. With luck, I should have the chance to cure some of them.
Then I'll go west. Forename, Alphinaud─ Come with me.
We are counting on you!
Have faith and victory shall be ours.
Let's get moving!
I do not see any primals...
Something's not right...
Th-There are so many of them...
I won't be curing anyone at this rate... We'll have to incapacitate them first!
Their tempering has gone too far to treat them here on the battlefield...
With this degree of physical alteration, I fear they are beyond help. Imperials or no, I hate to see them in such pain...
We must see that their suffering is not prolonged!
It seems we've earned a moment's respite...
Then let us take this opportunity to cure the tempered!
With me, Alisaie!
Do you see that?
The glyph? Yes. How worried should we be?
Listen well, and judge for yourself. Though I can see aetherial currents, I had not thoroughly examined those that flow through the heart of Carteneau. But now that I am here, things have become clear.
The Flats conceal an aetheric confluence, like to the pillars of the Azim Steppe, but greater in scale. Far greater.
The glyphs that Fandaniel has conjured reach into its very midst...
...And I believe I know their purpose. Should the lunar primals destroy them, it would spark a chain reaction with the potential to obliterate the confluence entirely.
The resultant disruption to the flow of aether would sow chaos among the elements, prompting earthquakes, floods, and tempests large enough to lay waste to the realm.
That he would go so far cometh as little surprise. We must needs protect the confluence at all costs.
Is that...Odin? So the time has come to pit my blade against his. Follow my lead!
Leave the chains to me! Urianger, it's your turn to act as shield!
This does not bode well... We'd best brace ourselves!
I've let my guard down!
Ugh... Such strength! It will take all three of us to protect the confluence!
But first, Thancred doth require our aid!
Stay close to me!
We were fortunate on this occasion...
Now it's our turn!
Odin is preparing to strike again! Stay out of his reach, but guarding the confluence must come first!
He yet stands... A glutton for punishment, it would seem.
In which case, I'd be glad to oblige him!
That must be Ravana! A formidable opponent, by all accounts, but so are we!
So it falls to us to protect the confluence from this fiend...
Like moths to the flame... We have to keep them from the confluence, but there are so many!
Then allow me! A quick casting of Break should buy us time!
That was a little close for comfort... But now's our chance!
He's gathering aether... G'raha, try stopping him with Break!
I have a way of breaking his defenses, but I'll need time. Keep him occupied!
Understood! Let us hope that Break works as intended...
All right, I'm ready... It's now or never!
Lunar Ifrit... The one Arenvald and Fordola encountered!
This one is not to be taken lightly. Be on your guard.
Whatever those are, they bode ill for us. Smash them to pieces, before it's too late!
I do not like the look of that...
Leave this one to me!
More of them!? Our foe seeks to destroy the confluence, and us along with it!
So, it's come to this...
Not what I was expecting...
As long as I draw breath, I won't give in!
|Voiced cutscene start.|
And thus another plan went up in smoke! I am beginning to see why Lord Zenos thinks so highly of you...
Not that this changes anything, you understand. You have merely earned yourself a stay of execution.
How fare the tempered?
We've treated as many as we can. But some were beyond help...
Do not hang your heads so, brave Scions.
Though not all of our captured brethren could be saved, we are grateful for those whose minds have been restored.
You could do no more. And that is enough. So please, hold your heads high.
I should've been quicker... But I'll do better next time.
Thank you for your kind words. They mean a lot.
A victory at great cost...but a victory nonetheless.
We must stay strong and press on. Isn't that right?
|One battle at a time, we'll get there.||To the very end.||Well, you've come this far...|
|Voiced cutscene end.|
The tempered that we were able to treat will be taken to the city–states for observation. As soon as the Alliance is satisfied that they're fully recovered, they will be free to return home.
At the close of the battle, when the clouds parted and the moon shone down on us all...I cannot well express how I felt. Somehow, it seemed more a beginning than an ending.
Throughout the battle, I could not shake the feeling that all present were performing for the amusement of Fandaniel.
Nor did his blithe reaction to this latest defeat give me cause to think otherwise. I can only conclude that such failures are of little consequence to his broader scheme...whatever it may be.
It was decent of Lord Aymeric to bear us home aboard his airship. The gods only know how we would have squeezed this many people onto the Bonanza...
I will recommend that the Alliance keep a closer watch over Carteneau. The Telophoroi may have failed in their attempt to destroy the confluence this time, but there is naught to stop them trying again.
The Carteneau Flats seem fated to play a prominent role in the history of the realm, do they not? I wonder...might the abundance of aether that floweth through the region have led the Allagans to entomb Omega there?
Many though the enemy were, their numbers consisted largely of tempered beastmen, with a few lunar primals to keep things interesting. The Garleans themselves ventured little, and lost less.
It has ever been the Empire's way to have others fight their battles, but even they would blush at the Telophoroi's use of tempered slaves.
You should've seen my face when Lord Aymeric turned up on our doorstep. Did none of you think to send word he was bringing you home?
I trust you all enjoyed a comfortable flight aboard the pride of the Ishgardian fleet? Lest you worry, the Bonanza has been towed to a nearby location to be retrieved at your convenience.
You have thought of everything, Lord Aymeric. And may I say how much I appreciated the hospitality you afforded us on the way home.
Think nothing of it. Our destination lay in the same direction─and it afforded me the perfect opportunity to learn how my errant friend has been since last he took his leave.
It would seem you have finally found a place to settle down.
Hmph. I merely grew weary of wandering the Far East.
Returning to more serious matters─while the Telophoroi have been driven from Carteneau, 'tis like that the bulk of their forces yet remain.
On the evidence of the Grand Company of Eorzea's first joint military operation, however, I am confident that we have the potential to meet such threats head-on─even without the aid of you and yours.
As such, while our forces keep the Telophoroi at bay, I would ask that you apply your talents to the task of neutralizing the towers.
A sensible division of labor. While the towers remain, so too will the threat of the lunar primals.
And given our expertise in the field of aetherology, we are better qualified to find the solution.
That we are. Especially should it happen to lie beyond the Alliance's dominion.
There is a time and a place for formal investigations, of course, but certain secrets are wont to hide where only enterprising individuals may venture.
I could not agree more. There are none better suited to this task, nor any upon whom I would rather rely.
On behalf of the Alliance, I thank you. We look forward to receiving any information you are able to uncover.
And with that, I must take my leave. Should you have need of assistance, pray do not hesitate to ask. Fare you well, my friends.
I confess, I had hoped to be able to study the towers more closely, vital as they plainly are to the Telophoroi's plans. If we can discern their ultimate function, we will be one step closer to understanding our enemy's grand scheme.
Should we succeed in neutralizing them, of course, it is all but certain that the Telophoroi will mount an all-out invasion.
And then it will begin. The one who awaits at the heart of the chaos will come for us. For you.
...Yet in the end, our true nemesis may be the calamity to end all calamities. The Final Days themselves.
Yes, all right, Alphinaud. We need a plan, not portents. As Thancred so eloquently pointed out, we are in a position to seek information from all manner of places, not least...
According to Krile, the Forum have been more secretive than ever of late. While this may be related to the appearance of the Telophoroi, that remains a matter of speculation.
But one thing is clear: the Forum is determined to keep us from discovering the truth. Master Fourchenault's performance at the Lotus Stand was enough to convince me of that.
The matter beareth further investigation, I do heartily concur.
Nor can I think of a more promising place to look for the answers we seek on the matter of the towers. Sharlayan hath ever been the wellspring of aetherological knowledge.
I care not where we go. Here or there, my lance will be ready.
And what of you, Forename? Might you be persuaded to join us?
|Plot a course for Sharlayan!||If it means I can have words with Fourchenault...||An island of bookworms and bureaucrats? Have we no other choice?|
It appears we are in agreement. We have but to wait for Krile to secure the necessary permissions. In the meantime, there is a matter I would investigate.
Does it involve tall structures?
By strange coincidence, it does. At present, I have only a creeping suspicion, but with your help, I will soon find out whether my fears are warranted.
|Voiced cutscene start.|
Those Eorzeans certainly are a stubborn bunch, though I suppose you knew that already.
My plan to redirect the aether from Carteneau came to a rather less-than-satisfactory conclusion. It was, in many respects, an abject failure.
Which does of course raise the question of where we are going to procure the requisite amount. The obvious solution would be to draw on resources a little closer to home, though that would require our dreamer to dream a trifle more deeply...
So be it. The dreamer will not complain.
Then let us begin the preparations at once. With the “gateway of the gods” complete, all that remains is to gather the necessary aether, and our prize shall be within reach!
The time has come to fulfill your heart's desire! My desire!
To relieve those wretched creatures of their meaningless existence!
While I await you, I shall drink a sea of souls and gorge myself upon the darkened moon.
Then you shall come to me, all roiling rage and rancor...
And the stars shall bear witness to our final contest.
As I thought... The aetherial currents have been disturbed here, too.
It was the same in Thanalan. Make that every location we surveyed.
And the strength of each current has diminished dramatically. Far more than could be attributed to a natural occurrence.
What tidings bringest thou from Dravania?
We took a number of readings, and noticed that the closer we were to the tower, the lower the aetheric density became. In short...
The towers are drawing upon the land's aether. Which would explain how they were able to carry out the summonings.
Our allies must be informed of this. We should return to the Rising Stones and have Tataru relay our findings to them.
Hear me... Hear me...
Darkness comes...and with it...the end...
The fate...of the star...is in your hands...
Everything all right back there?
|Voiced cutscene end.|
Whatever is it my father and the Forum are hiding, I'm determined to get to the bottom of it.
I have received word that Arenvald is back at the Phrontistery. As much as I would like to visit him, I shall wait until there is good news to share.
The last time we met, it was strange that he should be the one trying to cheer me up, in spite of everything that has befallen him. Still, I was glad for the chance to meet with him, and his words continue to be a source of encouragement.
Not only did the members of the Forum intend to adhere to their long-standing policy of nonintervention, they made a point of sending Master Fourchenault here to explicitly state that fact. Rather than simply refusing to involve themselves in our affairs, it would appear they are actively trying to prevent us from meddling in theirs.
That does, of course, make Krile's mission of securing our entry into Sharlayan nigh impossible, but I am confident that she will find a way regardless.
When Arenvald tried to free the Amalj'aa held in the tower, it triggered some sort of alarum and the captives were killed instantly. As such, we have no choice but to leave them in the clutches of the Telophoroi until a means of rescuing them has been found.
In the meantime, the summonings of lunar primals will continue. Just as we must rely on the Grand Company of Eorzea to put down such entities and prevent any further abductions, so too do they rely on us to come through with our investigation.
Those who are brought within close proximity of the towers are tempered into serving Garlemald, then forced to summon lunar primals with aether drawn from the land.
But even having understood this, we are yet to uncover what the Telophoroi wish to achieve by all this. Are the towers purely for strategic advantage or do they serve some other purpose?
Much and more have we discovered of the Telophoroi's machinations since Thancred and I did return from Garlemald mauled. Verily, their troops doth appear to have been tempered in much the same manner as those engaged in the construction of the towering edifice in the capital.
After the end of the Dragonsong War, I spent many a moon roaming. Kugane, Raz-at-Han... even Garlemald. But never Sharlayan.
In all honesty, a nation populated entirely by bookish types like Alphinaud is not a place that appeals to me...
I've a feeling the journey to Sharlayan is going to be quite the test of your nerves, in more ways than one. You'll miss this place while you're away, I just know it! But for now, the best thing you can do is get plenty of rest while we wait to hear from Krile.
I have conveyed Lord Aymeric's wishes to Coultenet and the others. For the present, their role will be to facilitate communication between our allies and gather information on our enemy.