Stairway to the Heavens

Sidequest1 Icon.png Lv. 50   Stairway to the Heavens
Quest
Stairway to the Heavens Image.png
Rewardsicon.png Rewards
XP
Expicon.png24,000
Guaranteed Rewards
Soul of the Astrologian Icon.png Star Globe Icon.png Velveteen Cowl Icon.png Velveteen Tights Icon.png 
Informationicon.png Description
Jannequinard of the Athenaeum Astrologicum simply cannot take his eyes off you.
Objectivesicon.png Objectives
Issuing NPC: Jannequinard
The Pillars -Athenaeum Astrologicum  (15.2-10.0)
Type: Job Quest
Unlocks: Sidequest1 Icon.pngFortune Favors the Bole
Requirements
Quest: Mainquest1 Icon.pngBefore the Dawn
Lore & Dialogue
Loremonger:Stairway to the Heavens
NPCs Involved: MuguenielHeurrietteFleuraieQuimperainForlemort
Journal
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  • Jannequinard has invited you to study with him the many mysteries of the Sharlayan school of astrology.
  • You speak with Jannequinard and express your interest in his field of study. The aged astrologian accepts you with open arms and proceeds to give you your first astrology-related assignment─inquiring with other Athenaeum students on the whereabouts of an important visitant from Sharlayan.
  • The brains of the Athenaeum students have been picked clean. Inform Jannequinard of your findings.
  • Jannequinard believes Forlemort of the Observatorium may be privy to information regarding the whereabouts of the missing Sharlayan party, and is resolved to make the journey south into the Coerthas central highlands to ask the chief astrologian himself. Jannequinard has requested that you meet him at the astroscope so that he will not have to entreat Forlemort alone.
  • A series of unpredictable circumstances forced the Sharlayan party to make a long and dangerous detour through the Black Shroud. If Chief Astrologian Forlemort's information is to be believed, the party lingers currently somewhere in the vicinity of Quarrymill. Jannequinard's retainer Quimperain is already en route to the hamlet. Join him in the search.
  • While Quimperain thanks you for your assistance in helping his master, he ever-so-subtly advises you against continuing your studies in astrology. Follow Quimperain into Snakemolt to commence your search for the Sharlayan party.
  • Quimperain locates the party, only to find that they have been beset by bandits. Elder astrologian Mace is dragged off at knifepoint by the ruffians, but not before he inconspicuously tosses his soul crystal in the loam for you to find. Mace's granddaughter claims that this turn of events was foretold in the stars, and that it is, and always has been, your fate to take up the crystal.

    ※The next astrologian job quest will be available from Leveva upon equipping the Soul of the Astrologian.
Transcript
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Ishgard[edit]

The Pillars[edit]

Athenaeum Astrologicum[edit]

Greetings and welcome to the Athenaeum Astrologicum. Might I ask what drew you here to this place of learning?
"I am unsure..."

As are all of us until we learn to open our eyes and see the answers which lie above us in the boundless firmament.

"It was fate!"

You could not be more correct. For in the stars are written the fates of every woman and man on Hydaelyn.


And it was there in the stars that I read a man would call upon the Athenaeum this very day. A man who would play an important role in my own life. Ah, but my apologies. Even the most skilled reader cannot scry a name from the heavens. Would you be so kind as to give me yours, so that I might know who is to be my newest protégé?


"No"

Well...er... That was awkward. It would not be entirely true if I said this was the first time my offer had been spurned today... But Twelve be damned, I was certain you were the man from my vision!

"Yes"
Forename. Well... I was not expecting that. But what is a name, but an attempt by our begetters to wield power over the lives of their sons and daughters? Lives whose paths have already been foretold! In a sense, that is. My name is Jannequinard de Durendaire and I am an astrologian for the Holy See. Remember that name, for it shall echo forevermore in the annals of Ishgardian history. Well...it will once I put it there. Once we put it there!
Now, where to begin!? I suppose I could consult my divining deck for an answer, but that would be too easy now, wouldn't it? Very well, at the beginning it is! Astrology, or the reading of the stars, is a branch of aetherological science which originated in distant Sharlayan. There have been astrologians in Ishgard for thousands of years, but it wasn't until three centuries ago when Adaunel the Younger learned that the movement of the stars could also be used to foresee the movements of the Dravanian Horde that the field became popular. Since then, what was once a single science has bifurcated into two similar yet ultimately different schools of learning: the Sharlayan school of astrology and the Ishgardian school─the former placing a focus on tapping celestial aether and transforming it into beneficial magicks, or astromancy; the latter specializing solely in determining the actions of our dragon enemies to the north. I am a student of the former─the only student of the former here in Ishgard─and have been actively seeking a partner with whom to conduct my research. Let us just say that my fellow astrologians here have been less than approving of my path. But that is simply because they are afraid of what they do not know. Once they do know of how Sharlayan astrology can benefit the See and its soldiers, they will feel foolish for ever having doubted me...ah, us! You will be joining me, will you not? Walking the path that has been laid out before you, instead of stubbornly denying your fate, postponing the inevitable?
I see you wasted no time making your decision. Like I always say, the stars are never wrong! Alas, even a lifetime of study and training cannot unlock all the secrets written in those stars. Myself, I have been a student of the astromantic arts for more than thirty summers, and I still oft misread the signs shown to me in the skies. Though, my readings are far more accurate now than they were when I attended the Athenaeum in Sharlayan. Not the Sharlayan, mind you. The colony that once thrived in the Dravanian hinterlands. I can recall my time there like it was but yesterday. The first six moons, I was not even allowed to touch the Deck of Sixty, let alone conduct a reading with the major arcana. Most of my time was spent in the scriptorium transcribing old tomes on astrological fundamentals such as the six elemental houses, divine duplicity, class triplicity, house modality and polarity, dignity versus detriment... I abhorred the task, and would tirelessly pester my instructors as to when I might actually be granted the opportunity to weave a spell or perform a reading. It wasn't until the end of the sixth moon that I realized all that transcribing had prepared me with the essentials I would need to do those very things. The positions of the celestial bodies within the six elemental houses, and their relation to the major and minor arcana of the Deck of Sixty─therein lie the secrets to tapping the aetherial power locked in the heavens. And soon, you too will become privy to these secrets. But not this day. No, no. I would not have you transcribe musty old tomes, like I was once forced to do. No, the task I have for you is much more interesting. You see, I am expecting the arrival of a very important guest─my old mentor from the Studium has agreed to make the journey from the Old World to Ishgard and speak with the Holy See regarding the implementation of Sharlayan astrological techniques in city-state defense. Alas, the professor and his party are now fully seven days late in arriving, and I have begun to worry for their safety. I should be much obliged, therefore, if you would inquire of the other astrologians here at the Athenaeum if they have heard aught.
...Beg pardon? If the professor is so important to me, why haven't I asked them myself? Ah, let us just say that the other astrologians and I do not always see eye to eye on everything...or, in fact, anything.
Why would Lord Jannequinard think I had information on the whereabouts of a handful of unbelievers from across the Bloodbrine Sea? I am an astrologian, not a fortune-teller. I cannot simply look to the stars and scry the location of the viscount's guests...unless his guests are dragons, that is. I suppose if anyone knew aught, it would be the Observatorium. We here at the Athenaeum are but students dedicated to research. Those with any influence in our field are assigned to the astroscope.
Let me guess, the good Lord Jannequinard said he saw you in a vision and that the stars told him that you were to study Sharlayan astrology with him. Am I close? You must be the hundredth of his little pets to pester me this week alone. I harbor no ill will toward ignorant unbelievers unlucky enough to find themselves caught up in talk of stars and fortunes, but you may tell that sorry excuse for an astrologian─for the umpteenth time─that I have heard naught concerning his imaginary friends from faraway Sharlayan. (Just do not tell the viscount I called him a sorry excuse for an astrologian, all right?)
Jannequinard still waiting for word on his missing Sharlayans instead of actually making an effort to find them, is he? Of course he is. Is it any wonder that in the nearly twenty years since his return from Sharlayan, his skill in astromancy has remained unchanged? Any wonder that he has never yet managed to convince a single peer of the value of the Sharlayan school? He is a privileged little sprat who spends more time gazing at the stars in young maidens' eyes than actually trying to read the ones above his head. <sigh> All right, all right. You tell the poor man I just returned from the Observatorium, and one night at the communal feasting hall, happened to overhear Chief Astrologian Forlemort speaking with one of his aides regarding Sharlayan. He was visibly upset, and I wasn't about to risk my career over something I care little about, so I merely put my head down and ate my beet soup. But that is all I know, and you did not hear it from me.
Master Forlemort!? And I thought this day could not get any worse... Ah? Oh, no. I'm not suggesting that meeting you in any way has been unfortunate. It is just...ah...that, er... It may not be in our best interests to be seen together as of yet. There are certain people in the See who do not approve of my studies. Couple that with the fact that you are an outsider and an unbeliever, and...well, people may come to the wrong conclusions. We must act with caution until we can prove that our intentions are just and for the good of all Ishgard. So, I must ask you to travel to the Observatorium alone, and meet me there.


Coerthas Central Highlands[edit]

Dragonhead[edit]

First Dicasterial Observatorium of Aetherial and Astrological Phenomena[edit]

I know not which is worse─the blasphemous wretch who mocks the very principles from which our field is sown, or the bumbling unbeliever who blindly follows him in hopes of gnawing on the scraps he drops in his wake.
Ah, Forename. Allow me to apologize again for not accompanying you here. As for our business with the chief astrologian, you may leave the talking to me.
Ah, Jannequinard. I might have known it would be you. Who else would be so indecent as to drag an outsider into this holy place of observation? You have always had an unhealthy obsession with the foreign. 'Tis why you are as worthless to the Athenaeum now as you were when you returned from that heathen city nearly twenty summers since.
But the stars, they can serve us in other ways than merely revealing when the Horde will attack. Their powers can be tapped! The aether within can be used for─
The aether should be left be! Has history taught you naught about the folly of the Nymians? The Amdapori? The Mhachi?
Mine uncle, the Sharlayans have been wielding astromancy for ages without disrupting aetherial balance. This power, combined with Ishgardian astrology could be what is needed to turn the tide of this thousand year conflict. Moreover, I have reason to believe that our masters at the Vault agree, as they have given me their blessing to continue my research. <sigh> I did not come to trade barbs with you, Nuncle. Let us save that for another time. I am here because it has come to my attention that you may have information as to the whereabouts of Professor Mace and his party from Sharlayan.
For someone who says he is not here to trade barbs, you have been quite generous in your dealing of them today. If it means you will leave and allow me to return to my work, then I'd be more than happy to let you know what information found its way to my desk just yesterday morn. Serpent Reaver sightings and foul weather prevented the professor's ship from entering the Strait of Merlthor, where they would have made their way up the Maiden and into Coerthas. After detouring around the south of Vylbrand, they finally disembarked at Vesper Bay, where they took the land route along the Allagan Royal Sunroad to the Black Shroud. It is there, it seems, they lost their way. A lost astrologian! Hah!
It is as my morning reading predicted. Dalamud was in detriment in the House of the Spire while ascending over the ecliptic! Forename, you must journey to the Black Shroud and assist Professor Mace. Allow me to introduce you to Quimperain. He is my personal manservant, and shall accompany you. He is not one for conversation, but his sword arm is amongst the best in all the Pillars. He should see you safe if any danger were to befall you, and something tells me danger lurks on the horizon.
It is a pleasure to serve you, milord. I shall make haste to Quarrymill and await you there.


South Shroud[edit]

Silent Armbor[edit]

Quarrymill[edit]

Milord. I have questioned the residents of this hamlet and learned that a party of queerly dressed outsiders passed through not but a bell ago. It should not prove over difficult to find them now...but before we begin, might I ask a moment of your time? I would not dare utter aught ill of my master, but his recent fixation with finding a protégé... I believe it ill considered. This passion, however pure, has left him with more than one enemy within the astrological community. Lord Forlemort has seen to this. I fear not only for how his name might be sullied...but for his life. I beg of you. Pray, do not drag him any further down into this quagmire. Let him quietly dabble in his dream, but let it remain at that─a dream. No good will come of encouraging him. It will only hurt the viscount and his family. You must remember that while I serve Lord Jannequinard, it is his father, the count, who employs me. Now, as for the task at hand, I suggest we find the wayward travelers and hurry back to our respective hearths. I shall lead. Might I ask you to take the rear and see that none might take us unawares?


Snakemolt[edit]

Grandfather...
These are the Sharlayans we seek, and it appears they have found themselves some trouble.
Unhand my grandfather!
Ah, feisty. We'll fetch a fine price for that one from the pleasure barge captains.
The Soul...has spoken...
Grab the old man. These wizard-types carry on them all manner of begemmed baubles and golden trinkets.
Up, or I'll toss you to the snakes!
You want to see the old man again, you leave us the girl. Try anything, and he's dead.
Wait!
Grandfather's soul crystal... Why would he leave it here, surrendering any power he might have had to free himself from those bandits? Unless... You were the one he saw in his reading before we left the Old City... But that was more than a moon ago! My grandfather scried from the cards that he would serve as the bridge for countless souls to be passed to another... Might you be that other...?
These men of the forests are careless. Tracking them will be no difficult feat. I shall follow and strike before they have time to regroup in numbers.
The stars have spoken and laid their path not before you, but before the adventurer here. You. You must take the Soul of the Astrologian and place it near your heart. Listen to the tales of those who walked before you, and know their journeys as you do your own. As for the tools you require and the knowledge needed to wield them, I, Leveva, shall see to those matters. You saw there was no fear in my grandfather's eyes when the bandits took him. This is because he has seen you come to his rescue. Our lives were written in the stars long before we trod upon this land. It is not by chance that you stand here today with the Soul of the Astrologian in your hand. It is fate.
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