The Word of the Mother
The Rising Stones
It'll all be like it was. Just you wait and see!
Thancred and Krile contacted us a short while ago. It would seem that their foray into Castrum Meridianum bore fruit. They ask that we rendezvous with them and Y'shtola in Idyllshire, where they will share their findings. Rude though it is to depart without speaking to the guest of honor, I expect she will forgive me if I return with her daughter.
What are you still doing here? They're waiting for you in Idyllshire!
How is F'lhaminn, by the way? Enchanting as ever, I trust. I shall have to pay my respects when time allows.
'Twas rather less than I had hoped...though mayhap I asked too much.
My apologies, I see I am the last to arrive. So─what news have you for us?
Well, as we postulated, there were indeed what appeared to be the remnants of an unexplained disturbance in the aether at the scene of the Ultima Weapon's destruction. A ripple at odds with the presiding pattern. Though faint, the waveforms bore a strong resemblance to those observed following the destruction of the Isle of Val─when I believe Hydaelyn shielded me with the Blessing of Light.
To confirm our findings, we paid a visit to the Sil'dih Aqueducts. There we detected the same waveform, but orders of magnitude larger...as one would expect of a more recent disturbance.
Hydaelyn. There is no other explanation.
But there is more. When I studied the site where Y'shtola used Flow, it appeared that not two but three beings had been affected. Yet unlike Y'shtola and Thancred, there was no trail to follow. Our unknown third party was simply there...and then not there. Now, recall your visions of a vast crystal floating in a sea of aether. Though this too is but a theory, studies of gifted subjects suggest that, when communing with Hydaelyn, we briefly leave our bodies behind. So, let us consider the facts. One─Hydaelyn interceded. Two─a third being was caught in Y'shtola's Flow and vanished without a trace. And three─Hydaelyn may have the capacity to summon the consciousness of gifted individuals to Her side.
You are implying, I take it, that Hydaelyn guided Minfilia into the compass of my magick...that She might summon her, body and soul, unto the aetherial sea? In which case, we must needs continue our search there. For a blessing, the means to do so already exists. I speak of the Antitower─a Sharlayan construction conceived to provide scholars a vantage point over the aetherial sea. Though I know not where its entrance lies, we need only ask its last custodian─a contrary old crone who, for another blessing, refused to join the exodus.
Master Matoya was the keeper of the Antitower!? I had no idea... Then our course is clear. We must petition her aid once again.
The Dravanian Hinterlands
Oh, what a surprise. Well? What secrets have you come to extract from me this time?
Ah. Though it pains me to admit it, your words strike close to the mark. We humbly ask that you grant us entry to the Antitower, that we might use it to seek a friend who we believe has been transported to the aetherial sea.
And who told you I could do such a thing, I wonder. The tower was abandoned to its magical keepers fifteen years ago. They have the run of the place now. If that is no deterrent to you, then by all means.
Is that all? I felt sure you would seek to dissuade us from our course, given your role as custodian.
Role? Hardly. The Forum foisted the title on me. During the exodus, every entrance to the Antitower was sealed save one. My role consists of making sure no one with ill intent sneaks through it. Such was the Forum's final “order” to me. Well? I can remove the wards right now. Will you be going or not?
We will, Master Matoya. We will do whatever it takes to find Minfilia!
...We'll see about that. Forename can go. Take the magickless rogue too if you like─he's no use to me. The rest of you will stay and work, and I'll hear no argument. Those are my terms.
Oh. ...And I should be delighted to accompany you. Lead the way, Forename.
Thancred, no. Your aetheric flow has been compromised. Do not deny it. To venture into an environment so thick with aether, so close to the aetherial sea would be to risk further impairment─or worse.
But Minfilia could be in there, waiting for us!
And you could die─and for what? If she is waiting beyond, Forename will find her. Trust in him. Have faith!
Damn it all... ...Bring her back to us.
(The least she could do is let me go in Thancred's place!)
Whatever it takes, do you hear me? Whatever it takes.
Long did I wonder what waited beyond that door. Several times in my youth, I even tried to open it, but the wards placed upon it were far beyond my skill to dispel. Be that as it may, I hardly think the work of three Scions fair trade for its opening.
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what you'll need to do once you reach the bottom...but you've always been so resourceful, so...
To be clear, I don't mind if you take others with you. I expect you'll need the help. But this lot are staying with me.
The Aetherial Ocean
Voice of the Mother (Minfilia)
Hear... Feel... Think... Through time and space hast thou journeyed unto me...as I knew thou wouldst. We are the Word of the Mother. We who were once called “Minfilia.” Much time hath passed for thee, since the bloody banquet. Since...since I hearkened to Her word. Mother... Hydaelyn guided me...towards Y'shtola and Thancred, that I might be swept up in their Flow...and delivered unto the aetherial sea... There, adrift and alone, Her voice silent once more, I prayed... For those we have lost. For those we can yet save. To Her I would make an offering... We speak now with one Voice. One Will. One Word. Unto thee we bequeath the most precious of gifts: the truth which lieth at the heart of this world. Thus do we beseech thee once more... Hear... Feel... Think... Before there was life, in the depths of the aetherial sea, Light and Dark did once dwell as one. But the Darkness coveted power, and the balance was broken. Thus was I forced to banish Him unto the distant heavens, to forever remain apart. A moon bound. In sundering the star did we cry out, and the barriers 'twixt planes chance to falter. Across ten and three were we then divided. Reflections of the Source, each possessed of a shard. Zodiark longeth to be made whole. For His restoration, for His resurrection, His servants labor without cease. They seek to tear down the barriers which surround the Source. Thus do they rejoice in their Ardor─in your calamities─for each marks a Rejoining. Seven times have they succeeded. Seven times hath the Darkness grown stronger. Seven times have I failed. The Ascians cannot be suffered to continue. This...this is my final...
The crystal's power is all but spent. With what remains, I will return you to the shore of the aetherial sea. Blessed children, go forth and seek...seek...
The Dravanian Hinterlands
Thank the Twelve!
Did you find her!? Did you find Minfilia!?
The Word of the Mother...? I am not sure I understand.
Nor am I. Krile?
As unbelievable as it sounds, I see no reason to doubt her─the Word's tale. No one was more sensitive to the will of Hydaelyn than Minfilia. And if Hydaelyn has grown so weak that She can barely make Herself heard, it is not hard to see why Minfilia, having joined with Her, might struggle to maintain her own form.
What? Why would she need to “maintain her own form”? Are you saying─ Are you saying she's gone? But that cannot be! Not now, not after all we have accomplished! We were meant to usher in the dawn's light together!
She threw herself on the fire to fuel your “dawn's light,” boy. You'll just have to usher it in on your own.
Must you be so ungentle!?
Tell me about the Scions, boy.
The...the Scions of the Seventh Dawn labor for Eorzea's salvation. Whenever the realm is threatened, be it by primal, Ascian, Garlean or any other, we take up arms in her defense, that all in Eorzea may live to see a brighter tomorrow.
And that's very noble of you. But in chasing after these lofty goals of yours, you seem to have lost sight of some basic truths. To win a war, you must be willing to do whatever it takes. To fight, to kill, and, if necessary, to die. The path you've chosen is paved with the dead. Walk it with your eyes open, or not at all.
I know the truth of which you speak, and have from the first. If the Ascians will go to any lengths to resurrect their god, then we must needs be as committed to our cause─to unmask them and their schemes, and to crush them both utterly. Come. There is much to be done.
Y-Yes, of course.
Thancred, wait! No... No, this is all wrong.
'Tis a blessed few who get to choose how and when and for what they die. Not that you need reminding, I suppose. But that boy... <sigh> For all the suffering he has known, he still clings to the notion that there is a cosmic justice, a morality by which we are saved or condemned. And there isn't.
She...she's not coming back, is she.
She did what she thought was best.
I know that, I do. To give all for her beliefs was ever her way. So will we, as we must. What greater calling could there be than to stand against the Dark as defenders of the Light? And yet...where does it end? The sacrifice, the loss...
...We carry on, as we must. She went to great lengths to inform us of the enemy's designs. We stand, as ever, against the Dark, as defenders of the Light. Yet for how long, I wonder. How much more loss must we endure...?
It weighs on you too, I know. I understand why she made her decision, and yet... Every time we lose another friend, I have to ask myself if there was not another way...