The Third Umbral Calamity
, also called the Calamity of Fire
, was the cataclysmic event that spelled the end of the Second Astral Era
Faith and fear had given the churches absolute power over the realm of Eorzea
during the Second Astral Era; however, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Soon, desire for plenary control pit rival religions against one another, culminating in the advent of an extended dark age of holy wars, witch hunts, and cleansings. Towns were burned, children sold into slavery, all while men and women died in the thousands. With no one to tend the fields at home, crops withered, leaving those few who had not marched to war to starvation. The coffers of the victors swelled with the spoils taken from their enemies, but there was nowhere to spend this newly acquired wealth.
The road to rebuilding would be a long one, but the people were convinced that if they maintained their faith, they would rise as they had done once before. By this time, however, the gods had grown weary with mankind—the hubris displayed by the church enough to convince the heavens that the people of Eorzea must, once again, be humbled. In the following moons, the sun grew large, parching the earth and sapping the life from all creation, be it plant or animal. Verdant fields and lush forests were reduced to dust-choked wastelands, the people who relied on them for their livelihoods, stricken with famine. The Calamity of Fire was upon them.