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The Maelstrom in Ishgard

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 Connecting all lands and peoples in her everlasting embrace, the sea bears to Limsa Lominsa the wisdom and voices of a thousand shores.
In today’s edition, The Harbor Herald takes a close look at the sea change that has been brought about by the appearance of a maelstrom…

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Dragons above the Veil

Change is afoot in Limsa Lominsa, and blind is the sailor who has failed to notice. While it is true that our city-state’s wharves are inherently dynamic places, ever-vibrant with the coming and going of vessels, folk, and freight, the changes of which I speak fall not into the daily norm.

The dragon galley has launched—the sleek, black craft on a field of red that is the ensign of the Maelstrom, Limsa Lominsa’s recently revived Grand Company. Pennants bearing the oared dragon now snap and ripple across the city-state, raised at the behest of our military’s brass hats. Their purpose: to kindle citizen morale. It would appear that our leaders have forgotten that Limsa Lominsa is a port of freemen. Did it not occur to them that such an overt display of jingoism would sooner wake a spirit of defiance within hot-blooded sailors than instill them with a sense of unity?

This brings me to a concern that has been hot on Lominsan lips of late: precisely how does Admiral Merlwyb mean to wield the might of the Maelstrom she has amassed at her fingertips? Not wishing to wait for the tide to wash the answer ashore, The Harbor Herald struck out to shed light upon the dark depths of uncertainty. Only through great difficulty and a stroke of good fortune were we able to obtain a top-secret document, the contents of which we now divulge to our readers in hopes of laying to rest the collective anxiety of the populace.

Operation in Ishgard

Attached is a confidential document sourced from the Maelstrom, painstakingly procured by our investigative team. We are given to understand that the knightly orders of the Holy See of Ishgard had been distributing copies of it to hired swords ahead of the operation to retake Dzemael Darkhold.

Operation Briefing: Dzemael Darkhold Sector A

Being in the midst of construction, extensive sections of the Darkhold remain unwrought and unsecured. Nameless perils lurk in the shadows, and knights and hired swords alike are firmly warned against venturing beyond the bounds of the designated operation area.

Much remains beyond our knowing at present, such as the manner of traps the invaders may have laid. In light of the youngness of the hour, however, our strategists deem it unlikely that the enemy has had time to entrench itself in the Darkhold. Commit the strategy to memory and heed to the letter any orders given you, and together we shall prevail.

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I. Chocobo Stable Entrance
Ishgardian miners were set upon and overwhelmed by firearm-bearing invaders in the midst of excavation. Casualties in excess of a score.

II. The Gullet
Murder holes and hidden compartments had been scheduled for construction. The invaders will not have overlooked the position’s potential for laying ambush.

III. Grand Hall Entrance
A point of strategic importance that leads to the Darkhold’s innermost depths. The likelihood is distinct that the invaders will welcome us with an array of fiendish traps.

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Any sailor worth his salt will have heard tell of Dzemael Darkhold, the subterranean fortress meant to become Ishgard’s bastion in its unending war against dragons. According to the document, however, the Darkhold was handily seized by invaders noted to be of exceptional guile and equipped with firearms besides. Excluding Limsa Lominsa, only one nation boasts a military force that fits such a description: Garlemald. The information recently put forth by The Mythril Eye in its article “Disaster at the Darkhold” corroborates with this conclusion.

As it stands, one mystery remains: to what end does the Maelstrom possess knowledge of Ishgard’s military secrets? Our analysts speculate that Chief Admiral Merlwyb seeks to gauge the Empire’s military capacity on the pretext of an investigation. Further, should the opportunity to claim occupation of Ishgard present itself, she is not like to decline it.

After nigh a score of centuries in repose, the Maelstrom, the Lominsan squadron of legend, finally raises anchor once more. But towards which horizon does it sail? Will it cast its might against the Garlean Empire in a showdown, or ride the tide of chaos to the shores of Eorzean domination? The answer, dear readers, will become apparent in the midst of the coming storm.

Yumah Molkot