The Ascians are the principal antagonists in Final Fantasy XIV. They wear black (or rarely, white) robes and masks that conceal their faces. They are powerful, mysterious, and almost-immortal servants of Zodiark, the god of Darkness that opposes Hydaelyn. Many questions about these beings yet remain unanswered, for lack of evidence. The few details we do know about the Ascians are heavily entwined with key story details for all expansions of Final Fantasy XIV.
Servants of Darkness, the Ascians are pledged to Zodiark, a celestial syzygy legend holds was exiled to the moon by Hydaelyn Herself. From the shadows, they have shaped history by imparting forbidden knowledge unto mortals, stoking the fires of war while revealing the secrets of primal summoning. Throughout history, they have been known by many names, among those, Paragons and the Bringers of Chaos.
On the Ascians
What are the Ascians and whence did the shadowless beings come? Do their bodies harbor “life” as is defined by our laws of nature, or are they something different—something more sinister? As of this writing, these questions and more remain unanswered for want of evidence. Mankind has not, however, been completely blind to the existence of the Ascians. A report compiled by the Scions and the Students of Baldesion points to their lingering presence throughout recorded history. Indeed, it is thought these beings also known as Paragons have long interfered with the affairs of man, and are somehow connected to each of history’s seven umbral calamities.
Recent direct encounters with the beings have shed more light on both their true nature and intentions. For one, the Ascians are known to possess the Echo—just as the Warrior of Light and a handful of his companions—and use this power to transfer their souls into the bodies of others. This is doubtless the secret behind how the so-called “immortals” have survived for so long. Should the vessel an Ascian inhabited to be utterly obliterated, his soul does not appear to succumb to the tug of the Lifestream. Instead, the Paragons harness the power of the Crystal of Darkness to find sanctuary in a space that lies twixt corporeal and aetherial. At present, there is only one known means to destroy an Ascian: entrap its soul within white auracite—a substance capable of temporarily holding aether—and then shatter the stone with a blade of concentrated life energy.
— Encyclopaedia Eorzea Volume 1 (2022 printing), page 213
Long ago, in a time well before recorded history, Hydaelyn battled and triumphed against the will of Darkness, Zodiark, casting him into space, and imprisoning him within the silver Moon. In doing so, Hydaelyn tore open the dimensional fabric, spawning thirteen mirror images of the world, and effectively dividing--or "Sundering"-- the aether that made up the original world into fourteen parts. 
Doctrines and Beliefs
To wake their exiled god, Zodiark, the Ascians seek to "rejoin" these mirrored worlds with the original "source" world, by breaking down the walls between dimensions, causing the mirror worlds to collapse in on themselves. On the Source, where Final Fantasy XIV takes place, this also causes Umbral Calamities.
Operating together under a strict social hierarchy, the Ascians have successfully "rejoined" a recorded total of seven worlds by sowing chaos and discord on Hydaelyn, but they do not accomplish this randomly; they have clear methods, now practiced a total of seven times.
Efforts to cause the necessary conditions for these Rejoinings are led, foremost, by the three Unsundered Ascians, also known as the Ascian Overlords. The overlords are fundamentally more powerful than their counterparts because their souls were able to escape the effects of Hydaelyn's Sundering, retaining their original identities and abilities, whereas all other souls that existed at the time were divided into fourteen parts among the fourteen worlds.
Overlords make up the topmost rung of the Ascian social hierarchy. To them, all other beings are considered inferior, and therefore disposable.
The Ancient people who existed before the Sundering were governed by a structure of their own, a council of fourteen members, known as the Convocation of Fourteen. The Convocation members are also referred to by their title, or seat, and have different personal names from before assuming a position on the council. A successor would then assume the name of the seat they filled. Preceding the sundering, each of the current members of the Convocation stored their memories in crystal, a format that the ancients commonly used for information.
Seeking allies for their cause in the times that came after the Sundering, the Ascian Overlords would seek out the souls that were sundered from the former Convocation members, restore their memories, and thus bring them back into the fold. Each Ascian occupying a seat on the "new" Convocation of Fourteen wears a red mask as their ancient counterparts did, with each mask bearing a design symbolizing the owner's specific seat on the Convocation. The Ascian Overlords, each being members of the Convocation prior to the sundering, also wear red masks for this reason.
Frequently unnamed, Ascians wearing black masks are exclusively made up of sundered peoples recruited to the Ascians by other members. The method of how being unclear.
- Emmerololth -- the one exception on this list. Mentioned again in Patch 4.55, but still does not appear on screen.
- See also: The Convocation of Fourteen
Not including instances of "masked mages" from 2.0 that were actually just Lahabrea
- Ascian of the Twelfth Sword
- Ascian of the Twelfth Staff
- Ascian of the Twelfth Chalice
- Ascian of the Twelfth Pentacle
As the game's primary antagonists, the Ascians are fought throughout the Main Scenario Questline and beyond.
A Realm Reborn
- Lahabrea is fought as the final boss of the main storyline, during The Ultimate Weapon. He was originally faced as the final boss of The Praetorium, but due to the lack of an ilvl sync and the lack of mechanics, the encounter became notoriously easy. In Patch 6.1, Lahabrea's encounter was revamped to become a solo quest battle.
- Nabriales is fought as the boss of the trial, The Chrysalis.
- Lahabrea and Igeyorhm are faced as the penultimate boss(es) of the main storyline, during the final encounter of The Aetherochemical Research Facility. The second phase sees the Ascians fuse into a Ascian Prime. In Patch 6.3, this encounter was mechanically overhauled, with the first phase especially extended.
- The Ascian of the Twelfth Chalice is faced in two quest battles during the expansion's Summoner storyline. He is first faced alone during I Could Have Tranced All Night, and then alongside the other three Ascians of the Twelfth during A Flare for the Dramatic.
- Lahabrea reappears as the boss of the intermission phase of The Weapon's Refrain (Ultimate).
- Elidibus is fought as the final boss of the patches storyline during A Requiem for Heroes, while using Zenos yae Galvus' body as vessel.
- Emet-Selch is fought under his true name, Hades, as the final boss of the main storyline, during the trial, The Dying Gasp. It's extreme mode sees shades of previously defeated Ascians reappear.
- Elidibus is twice faced during the events of Patch 5.3's storyline. The first battle is against him possessing the body of Ardbert in the solo quest battle during Faded Memories. The final battle is against him in his "Warrior of Light" guise during the trial, The Seat of Sacrifice, as well as it's exterme mode.
- A mutated Ascian Prime consisting of Mitron and Gaia/Loghrif, Eden's Promise, is the final boss of the Eden raid series. It is faced during Eden's Promise: Eternity, as well as it's savage mode.
- Fandaniel is fought thrice throughout the main storyline, though never under his true name or form. The first battle is against him possessing the body of Zodiark in the trial, The Dark Inside, as well as it's extreme mode. He is later fought as his unsundered incarnation, Hermes, as the final boss of Ktisis Hyperboreia. The third battle is against Amon the Dying, a lich version of his Amon incarnation, as the final boss of The Aitiascope
- Lahabrea's splintered fragment, Hephaistos, is fought as the boss of Abyssos: The Eighth Circle, as well as it's savage mode.
- A reincarnation of Elidibus's orignal self, Themis, is fought as the boss of Anabaseios: The Eleventh Circle, as well as it's savage mode.
In prehistory, a single race, known as the Amaurotines, inhabited all corners of the planet Etheirys. Through their vast pool of aether and the innate ability to use "creation magick" they accomplished wondrous feats and built utopian cities, including Amaurot, the center of their civilization and home to the Convocation of Fourteen.
The actions of the Convocation's current "Fandaniel", Hermes, doomed their people when he allowed his creations, Meteion and her sisters, to commence the song of oblivion. Only the former "Azem", Venat, escaped Hermes's act of altering the memories of those who learned of his deed. The Meteia's song stagnated Etheirys's aether and instilled despair in the ancients, warping their creation magick to unleash grotesque monsters formed from their subconscious fears. This calamity would come to be known as the Final Days.
The Convocation devised a plan to "weave the laws of reality anew" through the summoning of Zodiark, an entity able to quell the aether stagnation as a darkness-attribute primal. The ancient who succeeded Venat in the seat of "Azem" refused to participate in the summoning and left the Convocation who yet went on to sacrifice half of the ancients' population for the amount of aether needed to summon Zodiark; the ancient bearing the title of "Elidibus", Themis, offered himself as Zodiark's core. Though the summoning halted the Final Days, it was but a temporary solution, as the calamity had reduced most of the star into a lifeless, blighted land, prompting the Convocation to sacrifice another half of their population to restore life to the world.
The Convocation sought to call upon Zodiark's power once more by offering the primal the harvested life energies of the new life forms that had been born in their world to reconstitute those who had sacrificed themselves and now rested within their deity. Venat assembled a faction of ancients who opposed the Convocation's plans to sacrifice the new life forms, this summoning the current Azem also refused to participate in. Elidibus separated himself from Zodiark to aid the Convocation as a primal in a failed attempt to restore order. Venat used her followers' sacrifice to become Hydaelyn to subjugate Zodiark to buy time until she would devise a permanent solution to stop the Meteia. The two elder primals fought ceaselessly until Hydaelyn used all her strength to fragment Zodiark, shattering the "very fabric of reality" and dividing the world into thirteen reflections and the Source. Amaurot was destroyed along the remains of the ancients' civilization, while the souls of the living similarly split into fourteen pieces across the fragmented worlds.
Only three ancients escaped the sundering with their souls intact: Elidibus, the ancient bearing the title of "Emet-Selch", Hades, and Hephaistos, the ancient bearing the title "Lahabrea". The three resolved to orchestrate a series of events to revive Zodiark and restore their home via Umbral Calamities, cataclysms designed to gradually merge the Source and the thirteen shards back into the original Etheirys. They intended to resume sacrificing some of the rejoined current humanity to bring back their loved ones once the Rejoining was complete. They reformed themselves as the Ascians, and began searching for the fragmented souls of their fellow Convocation members to bring them into the fold. By imparting their knowledge of creation magick, the Ascians posed as saviors to the races whose persecution they exploited, allowing the beast tribes to summon their "gods" to grant them succor. Elidibus and Emet-Selch also contributed across the Source and its shards as part of their plan, the latter nurturing civilizations while the former began the legend of the "Warrior of Light".
Originally, each Ascian was entrusted to personally oversee a shard. That changed following Igeyorhm manipulating the heroes of the Thirteenth shard into using auracite to contain primals to prevent their resummoning. The heroes, corrupted by the leaking aether, turned on each other and the people they were meant to protect. The conflicts escalated into great wars, unleashing a Flood of Darkness that decimated the Thirteenth shard and transformed the survivors into voidsent, rendering the world unfit for Rejoining. The Ascians discovered a link between the aether of the shards and the Source, and theorized that a simultaneous disaster on the Source and the shard of the same elemental aspect would allow for them to rejoin, a theory subsequently proven in the first Umbral Calamity of Wind. Since then, Ascians have worked in groups to oversee the process.
During the Third Astral Era, Emet-Selch established the Allagan Empire on the Source to set up the Fourth Umbral Calamity. The Ascians manipulated the grief-stricken Tiamat and the First Brood into reviving Tiamat's deceased mate Bahamut as a primal and provided the Allagan emperor, Xande, the means to capture and bind primals. While the Allagans sealed the primal Bahamut in Dalamud, the Warring Triad were imprisoned at Azys Lla to power Allag's aetherochemical research. Prior to Xande causing the Fourth Umbral Calamity in his attempt to destroy the world, Emet-Selch inducted the Allagan scientist Amon into the Ascians by restoring his memories as a fragment of Hermes, the ancient who had held the seat of "Fandaniel" in the Convocation of Fourteen.
By the time that the Fifth and Sixth Umbral Calamities were completed, the centuries in between each Rejoining gradually took their toll upon the three Unsundered. Lahabrea's fanatical obsession of completing the Rejoining would see him constantly swap bodies, draining his mental and physical strength. Elidibus would forget about his original life in Amaurot, rejecting Emet-Selch's suggestion to use a memory crystal and remaining committed to his duty. Emet-Selch was the only Ascian to maintain his sanity and full strength, taking rests in the rift between each Rejoining. He later assumed the identity of Solus zos Galvus and established the Garlean Empire to suit his brethren's needs in setting up the Seventh Umbral Calamity.
A Realm Reborn (2.0)
Following the Seventh Umbral Calamity, the Ascians became much more active in their efforts to influence the Source. The Ascians' actions were uncovered with several reports of "Masked Mages" spotted interacting with the beast tribes. Lahabrea was the first named Ascian introduced, introducing himself to the Warrior of Light within the depths of Toto-Rak during the Level 24 quest Into the Beast's Maw. It would be him, operating from the shadows, working to manipulate Legatus Gaius van Baelsar into being an unwitting pawn for his master plan. The Garleans would cooperate while being completely unaware of his true motives, seeking out The Ultima Weapon made by the Allagans, and using it to absorb the Aether of summoned Primals.
Lahabrea struck a personal nerve with the Scions when he took possession of Thancred Waters, using him as a spy against his friends for an unknown amount of time before revealing his charade during Escape from Castrum Centri. Thancred remained the unwilling vessel of Lahabrea until Operation Archon; after the Warrior of Light's defeat of The Ultima Weapon, Lahabrea attempted to kill the hero using the powers of darkness. His attempt was initially successful, but the Warrior was then revived by Hydaelyn's intervention. Empowered, the Warrior defeated Lahabrea and expelled him from Thancred's body.
In the Epilogue cutscene for A Realm Reborn, Lahabrea was shown to have survived his expulsion, and three more named Ascians were introduced with their hoods down, but faces obscured. This included Pashtarot, Igeyorhm, and Nabriales in that order.
Pashtarot: Bahamut stirs.
Igeyorhm: As will the others ere long.
Nabriales: 'Tis not a question of whether Eorzea's champion shall yield, but of when.
Lahabrea: And with each passing moment we draw closer to the Reckoning.
(Lahabrea raises his hands, and the camera zooms out to reveal the presence of more hooded Ascians behind them).
Ascians: To the one true god!
Ascians: To Zodiark!
— Cutscene dialogue following Lahabrea's defeat, during The Ultimate Weapon
As the Scions are making preparations to depart for Mor Dhona, the white-robed Ascian Elidibus appears within the solar and introduces himself to Minfilia as 'emissary of the Ascians.' Elidibus departs again in at the end of The Gifted, leaving the Warrior of Light with some ominous words to chew on.
"As it was, so shall it be again."
— Elidibus, during The Gifted
After this, Nabriales appears again in a brief confrontation with Elidibus, asking him why he revealed himself to the Scions.
During cutscenes for the Extreme fights for The Howling Eye, The Navel, and The Bowl of Embers, we are first introduced to an unnamed Ascian of the Twelfth Staff and an Ascian of the Twelfth Sword. Their contribution to the plot is minimal at best.
Patches 2.2 through 2.5
- Elidibus is credited with "granting the Echo" to a Sahagin priest, teaching him how to cheat death by possessing the body of another. Interestingly enough, this is also the first recorded case of an Ascian who does not belong to one of the "races of man", even if he was shortly subsumed by the Primal Leviathan
- In What Little Gods Are Made Of, the first information is revealed about how Ascian "immortality" works, resulting in a wonderful slideshow presentation. Within this same quest is another scene with the Ascian Convocation meeting in the Chrysalis, in which Emmerololth and Altima are named and shown on screen for the first time. We also get to see the first visual depiction of Zodiark, outside of his "crystal" form.
- In The Instruments of Our Deliverance, Nabriales is shown observing the defeat of Shiva at the hands of the Warrior of Light.
- The scenes during Aether on Demand give us our second slideshow presentation about the Scion's plan to trap an Ascian soul within White Auracite, the first step in destroying it. Later, Nabriales meets his end during An Uninvited Ascian, marking the first time an Ascian is permanently killed.
Heavensward (Patch 3.0)
- Lahabrea and Igeyorhm work in the background for most of the expansion, teaching various parties how to summon new primals.
- During the Summoner class quests, the Ascian of the Twelfth Chalice flees Azys Lla after being defeated by the Warrior of Light. The finale of these quests results in the defeat of the Ascians of the Twelfth Chalice, Staff, Sword, and Pentacle. These scenes also reveal that the four of them are specifically servants of Lahabrea (or were). Their mortal forms are defeated, but it is unclear if they are able to harness rebirth the same way their masters do.
- On Azys Lla, Lahabrea and Igeyorhm use the power of the Echo to fuse into an Ascian Prime for the first time. After the defeat of Ascian Prime, Igeyorhm dies at the hands of the Warrior of Light, using a White Auracite in their possession. Following this, Lahabrea dies after being betrayed by Thordan VII, who consumes the aether of his soul to further empower his primal form.
- Off-screen, Mitron and Loghrif attempted to enact an Umbral Calamity on The First at the same time as Lahabrea and Igeyorhm on the Source. Their plots were foiled by the Warriors of Light on the First; their leader Ardbert destroyed Loghrif with a blade of light and caused Mitron to transform into a sin eater, Eden, triggering a Flood of Light.
- Elidibus reappears in an Epilogue scene, shown on the Moon for the first time. With the Ascians taking heavy losses, he opts to recruit the First's Warriors of Light to restore balance on the Source.
Patches 3.1 through 3.5
- Elidibus tricks the Warriors of the First into believing they can save their homeworld by enacting an Umbral Calamity on the Source. They perform various tasks for Elidibus, such as retrieving the eyes of Nidhogg and defeating numerous newly-summoned primals, such as Ravana.
- The Warriors are eventually sent back to the First by Hydaelyn to stop the Flood of Light themselves. Meanwhile, Elidibus hands over the eyes of Nidhogg to the Griffin, who goes on to use them to summon the primal Shinyru, leading to all-out war between Garlemald and Eorzea.
Stormblood (Patch 4.0)
- Ascians are largely absent from this expansion, as the Echo and its capabilities take the stage in other ways.
- An unnamed Ascian causes trouble under the sea: Kurenai of Sui-no-Sato mentions the visitation of a "man cloaked in black" in the days before a voidsent takes possession of the Ruby Princess's body.
- At the conclusion of Stormblood, Elidibus appears to Emperor Varis zos Galvus after the death of his son, Zenos. Elidibus removes his mask before the Emperor, causing him shock for reasons that are not revealed within the scene.
Patch 4.1 through 4.5
- Elidibus is revealed to have stolen the body of Zenos from its unmarked grave in Ala Mhigo, and assumes his identity.
- Elidibus teaches Asahi sas Brutus how to summon a primal, leading to the summoning of Tsukuyomi. He continues to escalate the war between Garlemald and Eorzea in hopes of goading Varis into using Black Rose, a chemical weapon that will produce the desired calamity.
- Gaius van Baelsar is revealed to have survived his apparent demis. In revenge for Lahabrea's manipulations, he has been hunting Ascians. Gaius collected the masks of the Ascians he defeated, including those of Altima and Deudalaphon. It is unclear if his actions resulted in the "true death" of the Ascians involved, or if he merely dispatched their corporeal forms.
- In Patch 4.4, Solus zos Galvus is introduced, and revealed to be an Ascian, and to have built the Garlean Empire specifically to further the goals of the Ascians.
- A memo from Galuf Baldesion reveals that, by casting the Isle of Val into the Lifestream, they also ensured the defeat of an Ascian known as Emmerololth, also ensuring that he would "never reform."
- The Warrior of Light does battle against Elidibus posing as Zenos. Due to an untimely vision, he deals a critical blow and nearly defeats the Warrior, but is foiled by Estinien Wyrmblood rescuing them before he can deal a finishing blow. Elidibus-Zenos returns to Garlemald afterwards.
Shadowbringers (Patch 5.0)
- In this expansion we get a very clear idea of what happens with Rejoinings, Umbral Calamities and how the Ascians have been involved the whole time.
- Solus zos Galvus comes forth pretty quickly and re-introduces himself as the Unsundered Ascian, Emet-Selch. Although his objectives remain obscured for several chapters, Emet-Selch eventually emerges as the primary antagonist of the expansion.
- When the Scions reach The Tempest, we are first introduced to the concept of the Ancients and their capitol city, Amaurot, through the recreation made by Emet-Selch (other details that were revealed about the Ancients during this time are detailed on that page).
- The Final Days is also name-dropped and partially explained during the final few chapters, before the Warrior of Light eventually fights and kills Emet-Selch.
- Meanwhile, Elidibus, now the last remaining Unsundered, is forced to flee Garlemald after the real Zenos, who had cheated death by possessing another, takes back his body and murders Varis to halt the Black Rose. He vows to avenge his comrades by using the "Warriors of Light"
Patch 5.1 through 5.3
- Release of the first two parts of the Eden raid series, providing hints about the past and potential future on the First.
- Release of the lead-up to Seat of Sacrifice, featuring Elidibus.
Following the defeat of Emet-Selch, the Scions begin investigating The Empty and discover the slumbering form of Eden. After awaking the Sin Eater, then begin using its power to try to reverse the effects of the Flood of Light. They are interrupted by the arrival of Gaia, a girl they determine to be the Oracle of Darkness. Throughout her life, Gaia has been hearing what she calls a 'fairy,' an internal voice or feeling that guides her actions. She then joins the Scions in their investigation.
- Release of The Seat of Sacrifice, resulting in the capture of Elidibus within the Crystal Tower.
Elidibus heads to the First and possesses the body of Ardbert and awakens the latent power of the Echo in the people of the First to continue the legend of the Warrior of Light, using their faith in the myth to strengthen himself the way a primal would feed on the faith of those who would summon it.
Elidibus, at his peak strength, attacks the Crystal Tower and summons simulacrums of the Warriors of Light from other worlds to fight the darkness with him. He and the Warrior of Light engage in combat at the top of the tower, and he almost wins. However, in a turn of events, the call that Elidibus evoked reached Emet-Selch, who pulled the Warrior of Light out of the Void to continue the fight.
The Warrior of Light prevails, and the last Unsundered Ascian was sealed within the Crystal Tower. Before fading completely, the remnants of Elidibus's shade gifts the Warrior of Light with the Soul Crystals of the Convocation of the Fourteen, sharing his memories with them. With Elidibus gone, the Ascians can no longer replenish their ranks, meaning the end of them and their plans.
- Release of Eden's Promise, the final third of the Eden Raids, revealing the history and fate of Mitron and Loghrif on The First.
It is discovered that Gaia is the reincarnated form of the Ascian Loghrif, and that the 'fairy' was Loghrif's former partner and lover Mitron, trapped in the form of Eden. Mitron forcibly integrates Loghrif's memories into Gaia while erasing Gaia's own memories, and together they form an Ascian Prime. The Ascian Prime is then defeated by the warrior of darkness. After the defeat, Mitron's essence is returned to the aetherial sea, and a restored Gaia remains on the First.
After the death of Elidibus, Fandaniel begins to act of his own accord. He entreats with Zenos and convinces him to help him in his mission to destroy the Source, promising him the chance to face off against the Warrior of Light one more time.
Fandaniel confronts the Scions upon their return to the Source, warning them that he and his group of rogue Ascians, the Telophoroi, will destroy the Source using their Lunar Primals, which they create by kidnapping the people of the Source and trapping them in strange towers, draining their Aether to summon the twisted versions of the Primals. Fandaniel, Zenos and the rest of the as yet unnamed Telophoroi ready to engage with the Warrior of Light, who intends to stop their coming apocalypse.
Endwalker (Patch 6.0)
Fandaniel siphoned aether from his towers around Eorzea and concentrated them upon The Tower of Babil. Knowing the the prison of Zodiark laid upon the moon, Fandaniel used the aether to severely weaken Zodiark's binds, and had Zenos finish the job. Fandaniel then plunged into The Dark Inside and took control of Zodiark's body, and battled the Warrior of Light. The Warrior defeated the incomplete Zodiark, but the elder primal's destruction had been the Ascian's goal all along, as it recommenced the Final Days. Zodiark's death in Fandaniel's suicidal gambit marked the end of the Ascians as a threat, if any remained.
No Ascians appeared in this patch.
No Ascians appeared in this patch.
- Encyclopedia Eorzea, 2022 edition, "Dimensional Compression"