Patch 3.0 is the initial release of the Heavensward expansion.
Notable Features, Additions, and Changes
- Main Story: Heavensward (Level 50-60, 94 quests)
- New Locations: Ishgard (Major City), Idyllshire (Minor City), Coerthas Western Highlands, Sea of Clouds, The Dravanian Forelands, The Churning Mists, The Dravanian Hinterlands, Azys Lla
- New Race: Au Ra
- New Jobs: Dark Knight ( Tank), Astrologian ( Healer), Machinist ( Physical Ranged DPS)
- Dungeons: The Dusk Vigil, Sohm Al, The Aery, The Vault, The Great Gubal Library, The Aetherochemical Research Facility, Neverreap, The Fractal Continuum
- Trials: Thok ast Thok (Hard), Thok ast Thok (Extreme), The Limitless Blue (Hard), The Limitless Blue (Extreme), The Singularity Reactor
- Raid Series: Alexander: Gordias (3.01), Alexander: Gordias (Savage) (3.05) the first part of the Alexander story and raid series
- PvP mode: Seal Rock (Seize) (3.05)
System Changes and Additions
- macOS support added
- Level cap increased to 60 for all classes and jobs
- Temple Leves added
- Collectables system added
- Favors system added (3.05)
- Specialist System added
- Free Company Crafting added
- New Allagan Tomestone currency: Allagan Tomestones of Law and Allagan Tomestones of Esoterics
- New Scrip currency: Blue Crafters' Scrip and Blue Gatherers' Scrip (3.0) and Red Crafters' Scrip and Red Gatherers' Scrip (3.05)
Note: Not all content listed here will launch on the same day. This article is about the 3.0x season as a whole.
Main Story Summary (Spoilers)
So it was that the Warrior of Light, together with some few companions, would come unto Ishgard at the behest of their faithful friend Lord Haurchefant. Though they had been brought low through treachery, their names blackened with royal blood, they yet held hope in their hearts and dreams of redemption...
Coming to Ishgard
Upon emerging from the Sil'dihn ruins through which he had made his escape from Ul'dah, the Warrior of Light was met by none other than Alphinaud Leveilleur. The Scion, who had been betrayed and imprisoned by his own Crystal Braves, had been freed by Pipin Tarupin, Vice Marshal of the Immortal Flames and adopted son of General Raubahn. With the aid of Pipin and a humble peddler, the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud sought out Cid Garlond, who delivered them out of Thanalan and into Coerthas with all haste. Beyond the reach of the Crystal Braves and the Brass Blades at last, the pair sought refuge in Camp Dragonhead, where they were reunited with Tataru Taru and enjoyed a brief respite to consider their next course of action.
After some discussion, the Scions resolved to seek sanctuary in Ishgard with the backing of Lord Haurchefant and his familial connections. They enjoyed the hospitality of Camp Dragonhead until finally being granted admission to the city proper as wards of House Fortemps. And so, together with Alphinaud and Tataru, the Warrior of Light passed through gates long closed to outsiders and arrived in Foundation. There they were greeted by a humble manservant, who then guided them to Fortemps Manor, where they would attempt to begin anew.
Count Edmont de Fortemps, patriarch of House Fortemps, had taken a tremendous risk in granting the Scions his protection, and so Alphinaud soon realized that only by publicly serving Ishgard could the Scions hope to silence his opponents’ objections. However, Alphinaud also believed that this arrangement could benefit the Scions in unexpected ways, such as inviting contact with people outside Ishgard who might feasibly know something of their missing comrades’ whereabouts.
While he and Tataru focused their efforts on that task, the Warrior of Light aided the count’s two trueborn sons, lords Artoirel and Emmanellain, with their activities in Falcon’s Nest and at Camp Cloudtop respectively. In western Coerthas, the adventurer uncovered a hidden heretic sanctuary, and in the process was briefly reunited with the Lady Iceheart. To his surprise, the once-defiant heretic leader expressed regret for the atrocities committed by the Dravanians in the second assault upon Ishgard, which had taken place during the banquet in Ul'dah. In the Sea of Clouds, he encountered the Vanu Vanu, a race of bird-like beings, and discovered that like so many other beast tribes, they had called upon a primal for salvation—in this instance, Bismarck, the Lord of the Mists.
However, the Warrior of Light’s actions did not serve to endear the Scions to all the inhabitants of Ishgard. In what Lord Edmont surmised was nothing more than a political ploy to defame House Fortemps, Alphinaud and Tataru were arrested by Ser Grinnaux, a knight of the Heavens’ Ward, on the charge of fomenting heresy.
These twelve chosen sers answered to none save the archbishop himself, and their testimony was unimpeachable. As such, under Ishgardian law, only the Fury could disprove Ser Grinnaux’s claims by granting victory in a trial by combat between the accuser and the accused. Owing to his magical talents, Alphinaud was capable of fighting, but as Tataru was not, the Warrior of Light was allowed to fight in her place as champion. And so, under the watchful gaze of the Fury, and the assembled gentry of Ishgard, the two Scions fought and defeated Ser Grinnaux and Ser Paulecrain, thereby earning Alphinaud and Tataru their freedom.
Unlike many of his highborn peers, Count Edmont de Fortemps was willing if not eager to work closely with the Warrior of Light and other foreigners. The personal memoirs he wrote chronicling the events surrounding the end of the Dragonsong War would be treasured by later generations for their historical value.
Keeping the Flame Alive
Shortly after the trial by combat was concluded, the Warrior of Light received an invitation to a personal audience with His Eminence Archbishop Thordan VII. The archbishop warmly welcomed the adventurer, apologizing for the misunderstanding which led to Alphinaud and Tataru’s incarceration. Having taken the highly unusual step of dismissing his personal guard, he then revealed that he had communicated with the Ascians, going on to explain that he was paying lip service to their wishes while plotting to move against them. He bade the Warrior of Light assist him in this endeavor, stating that only by wresting Eorzea from shadowless villains’ grasp could a lasting peace ever be forged.
Yet this would not be the only troubling revelation that day, for upon returning to Fortemps Manor, Tataru Taru reported that Raubahn Aldynn was to be executed for crimes against the sultanate. Determined not to lose yet another ally, the Scions resolved to do everything in their power to rescue the deposed Flame General. They traveled to Limsa Lominsa and met with Admiral Merlwyb, who had remained a stout ally and had been working closely with Doman shinobi to ascertain Raubahn’s whereabouts. She directed them to her contact in Revenant’s Toll, who had learned that Raubahn had been taken to Halatali in Thanalan. Together with the Domans, the Scions then rescued Raubahn from the clutches of the traitorous Crystal Braves.
Outside Halatali, Raubahn and the Scions were approached by a messenger, who claimed that his mistress was sympathetic to their cause and bade them return to the Waking Sands in Vesper Bay. Intrigued, they accepted this invitation, and upon arriving at the Scions’ former headquarters, they were greeted by a number of familiar faces—Urianger, Pipin, and Papashan.
Soon after, it was revealed that the messenger’s mistress was Dewlala, head of the Order of Nald’thal and member of the Syndicate. To Raubahn’s immense relief, she confirmed a suspicion Alphinaud had long harbored: that Nanamo Ul Namo had not been murdered and was in fact still alive, and was likely confined somewhere in a state of induced slumber. Raubahn resolved to free her from her captivity, and thereafter see that Lord Lolorito and all others involved were made to answer for their part in the betrayal.
In Search of Lady Icehart
Regrettably, the Scions had precious little time to enjoy their reunion with General Raubahn. Nidhogg’s forces, twice before beaten back, were preparing to resume their siege of the Holy See. Upon returning to the city, the Warrior of Light and his comrades were faced with a choice: to remain in a besieged Ishgard, or seek sanctuary elsewhere. But though Lord Edmont would have them seek shelter from this storm, the time for running had passed. Together, they would stand and fight. Yet even should the knights succeed in turning back the Horde, the casualties would be catastrophic. Recognizing this, Alphinaud proposed that he and the Warrior of Light seek out Lady Iceheart, who had expressed contrition for her crimes, and persuade her to act as their intermediary in an attempt to convince Nidhogg to abandon his bloody course. They would be aided in this diplomatic mission by an unexpected ally: the Azure Dragoon, Estinien, who wished to be present in the event negotiations failed and there was no recourse but to slay the beast outright. Thus did the three journey to western Coerthas, seeking to learn what they could of the heretics and their elusive leader, before eventually managing to summon her to a peaceful parley, where she related the history of treachery that fueled Nidhogg’s wrath and the Dragonsong War.
Twelve hundred years ago, an Elezen tribe first sought to claim the lands of Coerthas as their home—lands which were already home to dragonkind. Thus did a bloody war begin, a war that may have never ended were it not for a woman named Shiva. While those around her fought and died, she attempted to parley with the dragons, and in so doing discovered them to be possessed of profound intelligence and reason. The great wyrm Hraesvelgr in particular so enchanted Shiva that she found herself growing to love the creature, whom her people considered a monster.
In the eyes of a near-immortal dragon, however, the fleeting life of an Elezen is as that of a freshly cut rose—scarce has the flower bloomed before it begins to fade and wither. Such melancholy musings plagued Hraesvelgr, who had found in Shiva an unexpected and beloved soulmate. Unable to bear the thought of their separation, the maid bid the wyrm consume her, that their spirits might be entwined for eternity. Though loath to perform the deed, Hraesvelgr ultimately gave in to her plea, and soon thereafter, the tale of their ill-fated love spread throughout the two warring factions. No more could they raise blade or claw against one another, knowing that the souls of their kin were so inextricably bound. In the days that followed, man and dragon learned to live in harmony, and together built a nation unlike any the world had ever known.
For two hundred years did this blissful age of peace continue, as it would to this day, had vilest envy not stirred in the hearts of the Elezen. It was said that wyrms owe their longevity to the boundless reserves of vitality found within their eyes—and ’twas in this belief that a traitorous band of knights deceived their allies of some two centuries, and took by force that which they coveted.
Nidhogg—he who then stood poised to unleash his wyrmlings upon Ishgard—was the great dragon who lost an eye to Elezen treachery, and until he prised it from the hands of the traitors’ progeny, no amount of conciliatory words would stay his fury.
So spoke the Lady Iceheart, who had learned the truth when walking in the memories of Hraesvelgr himself years ago, for like the Warrior of Light, she too possessed the Echo. Nevertheless, Estinien was quick to question the veracity of her account, and reiterated his belief that Nidhogg was lost to reason, prompting Alphinaud to propose that they instead seek out Hraesvelgr, who had once before endeavored to end the violence between dragon and man. Iceheart agreed to guide them to him, and so the four set forth for his home in Dravania.
The Lord of the Hive
At the behest of the Lady Iceheart—or Ysayle, as she requested they address her henceforth—the party stopped at the village of Tailfeather within the Chocobo Forest to rest and make inquiries before pushing on towards Sohm AL. The village’s leader, Marcechamp, told them of the beast tribe known as the Gnath, and of their recent acts of unprovoked hostility. According to the hunter, no one in the region—not even the mighty Dravanians—had been spared the insect-like people’s aggression. Vidofnir, the leader of the dragons who call the ancient ruins of Anyx Trine home, later confirmed this account, declaring that she could not leave her post unguarded for fear of the Gnath’s god. Suddenly, the beastmen’s aggression began to make sense—they had been acting under the influence of a primal.
Alphinaud understood that so long as the primal was permitted to remain, the way to Sohm Al would remain closed, and so the Scion proposed that they deal with the threat to the Dravanians’ territory in exchange for safe passage. The bargain was struck, and the party retraced their steps, returning to Tailfeather before then seeking the counsel of the Wath, a group of outcasts who lived apart from the main colony of Loth ast Gnath. The Nonmind, as they called themselves, had been severed from the Onemind and thus were not party to their thoughts, nor were they loyal to their warlike god, Ravana. Ultimately, they could provide the party with little in the way of useful information as to how the primal might be engaged, save for an offhand suggestion that they offer themselves as sacrifices. Ysayle and the Warrior of Light decided to heed the Vath’s advice and surrendered themselves to the Gnath after dispatching no small number of their drones. The plan worked, and soon the pair found themselves dragged before Lord Ravana, Master of the Sacred Blades and Wrath of the Colony.
Seizing the opportunity, Ysayle boldly challenged him to a contest of might. Should the pair prevail, the Gnath would cease hostilities with the Dravanians; but should Ravana emerge the victor, they would join his army as eternal thralls. Having goaded the primal into accepting her terms, Ysayle drew upon the energy of the Gnath's hoarded crystals to transform herself into Saint Shiva. Even with Shiva's great strength, however, the heretic leader was no match for Ravana's flashing blades, leaving the Warrior of Light to take to the field alone.
After a long and furious battle, Lord Ravana at last laid down his weapons, defeated. He duly proclaimed the Warrior of Light the victor by sacred rite of combat, and vowed to call his followers back from the dragons' domain.
True to her word, Vidofnir opened the way to Sohm Al, and at the end of the perilous mountain path the Warrior of Light and his companions came to a domain where dragons and men had once lived in harmony, whose majesty no mortal eye had glimpsed for nigh on a thousand years. Yet in a strange twist of fate, they would first encounter none other than a moogle, who fled upon spotting the unexpected travelers. Thanks to the diplomacy of Kan-E-Senna-and the sight of her companion Kuplo Kopp's familiar form-the moogles of the Churning Mists were at last persuaded to reveal themselves. Despite Kuplo Kopp's reassurances, however, the moogles' chieftain, Moglin, was not convinced that the Warrior of Light would act in his people's best interests. It was decreed that the party would undergo a number of trials that Moglin might judge them worthy of his assistance. In truth, however, they were nothing more than a convenient distraction-a means to keep the Warrior of Light and his companions occupied while the moogles secretly repaired the horn required to summon Hraesvelgr.
With the horn in their possession, the party departed for Zenith, and there atop the ruins of the ancient palace beckoned the great wyrm to parley. To their great relief, he answered the horn's call at once, but their hopes were soon dashed by the harsh words-and the grim truth-he rendered unto them that day.
Heart of Ice
Hraesvelgr was displeased to find that his sanctuary had been invaded by the children of man, and he only grew further incensed when Ysayle proclaimed herself to be Shiva reborn. The wyrm angrily decreed that the spirit she had summoned belonged not to Shiva, but was a shade conjured by her own fancy-a deity of her own making, crafted with the knowledge she had gleaned from her visions years ago.
Shaken but undeterred, Alphinaud implored Hraesvelgr to join his voice to theirs in a call for peace and forgiveness. But, in response, the wyrm recounted the tale of his brood-sister Ratatoskr's murder and the treachery of King Thordan.
In the two centuries of harmony that followed Saint Shiva's sacrifice, the Elezen learned that the eyes of a great wyrm were the wellspring of his strength. Out of the selfish desire to possess that strength, King Thordan and his leal knights lured Ratatoskr into an ambush, and took from her that which they craved. They feasted upon her eyes in the manner of wild beasts, and in so doing gained strength beyond that of mortal men.
Nidhogg was the first to learn of the atrocity, and he took to the skies, hungry for vengeance. But though he slew Thordan and some few of his knights, their fellow butchers knew only too well where to aim their spears, and with now-practiced savagery, they claimed his eyes and sent him flailing from the field. When pressed for evidence of his claims, Hraesvelgr observed that all the traitors' progeny bore a trace of Ratatoskr's essence, and but a single sip of dragon's blood was enough to awaken it. Those who abandoned their loyalties would be rewarded with a drink, and thus be transformed, to join the ranks of Nidhogg's ever-growing army as newborn dragons. One by one, through death or defection, his brood-brother would account for all of the betrayers' children.
Though Hraesvelgr had revealed much that was hidden about Ishgard's bloody history, it did naught to change the fact that the Warrior of Light and his companion's mission had ended in failure. With their hopes for peace shattered, it was time to consider more desperate measures.
New Winds, Old Friends
If Ishgard was to be spared, then Nidhogg must be slain. Such was the opinion of Estinen following the failed negotiations at Zenith. Though she could not condone their actions, Ysayle had not the strength of will to oppose them, and so the party left her and her shattered faith behind, continuing eastwards towards the Aery, the home of the dread wyrm.
However, having sensed the death of his consort, a wary Nidhogg had surrounded his lair with a barrier of impenetrable winds. Gazing upon the scene, Alphinaud was reminded of how a similar barrier once barred their entrance to the primal Garuda's domain, until they had discovered means to penetrate it with the aid of the engineer Cid nan Garlond. Leaving Estinien to stand watch over the Aery for a time, the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud returned to Ishgard, where they found Cid-and perhaps more importantly his two employees Biggs and Wedge, who had been hard at work at the Skysteel Manufactory developing a diminutive airship known as a "manacutter," which seemed an ideal means for surmounting the Aery's defenses. As they set about explaining the craft's various advantages and disadvantages, however, the door burst open to admit a panting Tataru, who had news of the sultana. Noting the urgency of the situation, Cid bade the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud concentrate on matters in Ul'dah while he and his engineers continued work on the manacutter.
Awakening in Ul'dah
The Warrior of Light and Alphinaud returned to the Waking Sands and there met with Raubahn, who despite his injury had regained considerable strength. He and his allies had concluded that the sultana was most likely being kept in a poison-induced sleep somewhere within the palace. However, before any attempt would be made to rescue her, they deemed it prudent to track down her poisoner: Meriel, the sultana’s former lady-in-waiting. Taking care not to alert the Monetarists or their agents, the group converged upon the Silver Bazaar, where they confronted the former lady-in-waiting. But before Raubahn could wring the truth from the trembling Meriel, Prioress Dewlala appeared, accompanied by Lord Lolorito, who proceeded to reveal the details of the assassination plot.
All of his actions, he claimed, were intended to expose and eliminate Teledji Adeledji, and to ensure the stability of Ul'dah. Captain Ilberd had been complicit in the scheme from the beginning, his services having been secured with a promise to support Ala Mhigan independence once Lolorito's authority had been solidified.
However, Ilberd had grown to despise his fellow countryman Raubahn, calling him a traitor to their people and a disgrace to their homeland. His hatred had driven him to order the deposed Flame General's execution against Lolorito's wishes, forcing the merchant to sever all ties with his agent and withdraw his support of the Crystal Braves.
As proof of his good intentions and a gesture of conciliation, Lolorito presented Raubahn with the means to rouse the sultana from her deathlike state. Although he cared not for the merchant's motives, Raubahn recognized that Lolorito had saved the sultana's life, and for that he was willing to forego his vengeance. So it was that Nanamo Ul Namo was at last awoken from her slumber, and Raubahn Aldynn was reinstated as general of the Immortal Flames.
Into the Aery
With matters in UL'dah resolved, the Warrior of Light returned to the Skysteel Manufactory in Ishgard. There, he met with Cid Garlond once more, who was pleased to announce that the manacutters were undergoing final adjustments, and would soon be ready to fly.
Together with Estinen, who had recently returned to the capital, the Warrior of Light then met with Ser Aymeric and apprised him of recent developments, as well as their plan to assault the Aery and slay Nidhogg once and for all. The lord commander did not hesitate to pledge his blade to this cause, but Estinien was steadfast in his refusal, for should they fail, it would be Ser Aymeric's duty to command the city's defenses against the Horde. Alphinaud, too, wished to participate in the great endeavor, but he was denied by Estinien as well, who acknowledged his promise but believed that his skills would not suffice. So it was that the Warrior of Light and the Azure Dragoon set forth to engage the dread wyrm Nidhogg in a battle that would forever change the course of history.
As one of the First Brood, Nidhogg was more than a match for any mortal being. Yet Estinien was possessed of a secret weapon: the Eye of Nidhogg, safeguarded by the Holy See for centuries. An ancient relic and a wellspring of power, passed down from Azure Dragoon to Azure Dragoon through the ages. With the Eye, Estinien could not only drawn upon the wyrm's strength, but suppress it as well.
Aided by the Azure Dragoon, the Warrior of Light finally succeeded in bringing the mighty creature down. Estinien then took to the air and delivered the coup de grâce, gouging out Nidhogg's remaining eye with his legendary spear Gae Bolg and sending the lifeless wyrm tumbling into the clouds below.
The Dragonsong's Beginnings
Nidhogg, that incarnation of rage who had tormented the people of Ishgard for nigh on a thousand years, was dead, his remaining eye a trophy for the Azure Dragoon. As he looked on his triumphant ally, the Warrior of Light was treated to another vision of the past through the power of the Echo.
He bore witness to the aftermath of another battle with Nidhogg long ago, in which Haldrath, the son of the fallen King Thordan I, and his surviving knights claimed the dread wyrm's two eyes. But unlike his father, Haldrath lamented the dark deeds which were done that day, and so he foreswore the throne and embarked upon a journey to repent for his sins.
Others followed his example, renouncing Thordan's legacy, and when all was said and done, four knights remained. Four knights who would found the four great houses of Ishgard-Fortemps, Haillenarte, Durendaire, and Dzemael. Together they would shape their nation with a history of their own making and consign the bitter truth of their betrayal to oblivion.
The Warrior of Light shared this revelation with his companion, who though greatly troubled had no choice but to accept it as immutable truth. Yet from these answers rose another question: for if Haldrath had taken with him one of Nidhogg's two eyes and entrusted the second to the founders of Ishgard, then whence came this third eye which Estinien had claimed but moments ago?
In search of answers, the pair returned to Zenith, where Ysayle yet lingered, unable to come to terms with the magnitude of her self-deception. They summoned Hraesvelgr once more, who reclaimed the third eye as his own. Once more, by the power of the Echo, the Warrior of Light was made to know the truth-the beginning of a thousand-year torment. Bereft of his eyes and howling with rage for the murdered Ratatoskr, Nidhogg decried Hraesvelgr for placing his faith in man for the love of Shiva. He beseeched his brood-brother for the strength to punish the murderers and every child of their line, and with it began the terrible vengeance which consumed him until his dying breath.
Hraesvelgr confirmed what the Warrior of Light had seen-that he had helped condemn the people of Ishgard to an eternity of suffering. Though the truth of the Dragonsong War's beginnings had at last been laid bare, the adventurer and his companions found no solace in the knowledge.
Unrest in Ishgard
Alas, Nidhogg's death did not mark the end of Ishgard's troubles. As the party reflected upon the many truths they had learned, Ser Aymeric contacted Estinien via linkpearl to inform them that heretics had infiltrated the capital and begun an uprising within its walls. Joined by Ysayle, who had no knowledge of her people's plans, the party returned to Ishgard and sought to bring a peaceful end to the senseless destruction. Chaos reigned in the streets as fires raged and the heretics cried for blood, but heedless of the danger the Warrior of Light and his companions pushed on, until they met with the vanguard of the advancing mob. Ysayle stood before them and delivered an impassioned speech, declaring Nidhogg and his quest for vengeance to be dead and imploring her people to go in peace. Though they heeded her words and thereafter quit the city, tensions remained high in the wake of their assault.
At Fortemps Manor, the Warrior of Light and his companions revealed to their Ishgardian allies the sordid origins of the Dragonsong War. Unsurprisingly, all were troubled by the revelation that the Ishgardian faith was built upon a lie. Moreover, as the structure of Ishgardian society presupposed a stark difference between the origins of the lowborn and highborn, the fact that all Ishgardians could trace their ancestry to the surviving knights twelve threatened to undermine the foundations of their class structure.
Overcome with emotion, Ser Aymeric declared that these lies could not be suffered to continue, for Ysayle would share the truth with her followers, and the Holy See would be powerless to stop its spread. No longer ruled by a common fear of the dragons, the lowborn and highborn would be free to turn on one another. The disenfranchised would rise up, united, and blood would flow in the streets once more.
Ser Aymeric fervently believed that Ishgard could only be saved by revealing the truth and striving for fundamental change. To that end, he left to confront the archbishop alone-despite the others' warnings that he was certain to be branded a heretic for his trouble.
Though all present were doubtful as to the wisdom of Ser Aymeric's plan, Lucia was determined to support her commander. However, she also professed that should he fail to return from the Holy Vault, she would not hesitate to marshal forces to set him free. The Warrior of Light, Alphinaud, Estinien, and Lord Haurchefant all agreed that should the worst come to the worst, they too would join in his rescue.
A Knight's Calling
Having seen the determination writ upon the faces of those around him, Lord Edmont pledged the support of House Fortemps to Lucia's plans. Alas, even with an army of knights at their disposal, a direct assault on the Vault would be fruitless. However, there was one other faction whose aid would prove invaluable to their cause: a group of lowborn revolutionaries headquartered in the Brume that would doubtless be eager to see the established order overturned.
Alphinaud and the Warrior of Light made their way to the lowest levels of Foundation and asked after the revolutionaries and their elusive leader, the Mongrel. Though the locals were not wont to speak freely of the group, the party's efforts eventually bore fruit, and they were granted an opportunity to plead their case at a private meeting in the Forgotten Knight.
As Alphinaud attempted to win the revolutionaries' cooperation-seemingly in vain-Ser Charibert, a knight of the Heavens' Ward, strode into the tavern, accusing all present of plotting insurrection. With no recourse left to them, the Warrior of Light and the others stepped outside to confront the knight and his men, and soon Saint Valeroyant's Forum was transformed into a bloody battlefield.
Joined by Lord Haurchefant and Lucia, the Warrior of Light and his comrades managed to overwhelm Ser Charibert, who withdrew. However, the joy of victory soon faded when they learned that Ser Aymeric had been imprisoned, and the Heavens' Ward placed in command of the Temple Knights. Clearly, they could wait no longer to act. Lucia's plan to rescue Ser Aymeric hinged upon luring the bulk of Ishgard's defenders out of the city. Correctly deducing that the revolutionaries had recruited knights in service to the High Houses, she bade Hilda help by ordering these sympathizers to spread word of a heretic army massing outside the Gates of Judgement, and the revolutionaries' leader agreed. At last, the assault on the Vault could proceed.
While Lucia and Lord Haurchefant led a party into the gaol beneath the Vault to free Ser Aymeric, the Warrior of Light and his men aimed for the highest levels and attempted to capture Archbishop Thordan VII. After facing wave after wave of Temple Knights and the Heavens' Ward besides, the adventurer and his allies stood at the pinnacle of the Vault, unbowed. Unable to repel their advance, Ser Zephirin ordered a full retreat, and the Warrior of Light gave chase. Rejoined by Lucia's party and a wounded Ser Aymeric, he pursued Thordan VII, finally catching up with him as he prepared to board an airship and escape.
The Warrior of Light rushed headlong towards the vessel-but in his haste to apprehend his quarry, he failed to notice a transformed Ser Zephirin taking aim, a spear of pure light in his hand. Alert to the danger, Lord Haurchefant bellowed a warning and raised his shield in the Warrior of Light's defense, but the steel gave way, and the spear found a mark.
The airship forgotten, the allies surrounded Lord Haurchefant, who lay upon the ground struggling to breathe. As Ser Aymeric cradled him in his arms, the fallen knight looked to the Warrior of Light with a mixture of agony and relief, and bade him favor him with a smile....before the light left his eyes forever.
The Key to Azy LLa
The Warrior of Light and the others reflected upon the unnatural powers demonstrated by the knights of the Heavens' Ward, and ultimately concluded that the knights must have used their own bodies as vessels for the souls of the legendary King Thordan and his knights twelve, much as Ysayle had for Saint Shiva. Though Ser Aymeric knew not his father's plans-or the significance of "Azys Lla," a mysterious land of which the archbishop was heard to speak before fleeing-he declared that the archbishop and the Heavens' Ward must be stopped, and implored the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to help bring his father to justice. Alphinaud answered his request by stating that if the Heavens' Ward had indeed harnessed primal powers, it was the duty of the remaining Scions to oppose them.
So began the hunt for the Soleil, the archbishop's personal airship. Once more the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud turned to Cid Garlond, who with the Enterprise delivered them to the northern reaches of the Sea of Clouds, where the Soleil had last been seen. There the party made contact with Vanu Vanu of the Zundu tribe, who revealed to them that the archbishop had come in search of the key to Azys Lla, a land of forbidden secrets. However, their quest was complicated by the fact that Bismarck, the insatiable white whale that was the primal of the Vanu Vanu, had devoured the island upon which the key was kept.
That they might deny the archbishop his prize, Cid conceived a plan to lure out the ravenous primal by using the Enterprise to tow a small island through the Sea of Clouds. From this selfsame island the Warrior of Light then launched his offensive against Bismarck, and like so many before the Lord of Mists soon fell to his might.
It was then that the archbishop and the Ascian Igeyorhm chose to reveal themselves. With her dark magicks the Ascian effortlessly plucked the key from the Warrior of Light's grasp, despite the fact that he had managed to regain the blessing of Light-albeit at a fraction of its former strength. The archbishop raised the key aloft, and from it shone forth a beam of light which split the heavens, revealing the way to the legendary floating isle. The Warrior of Light could only watch, powerless, as the archbishop and Igeyorhm then departed for Azys Lla.
An Engineering Enterprise
Though their efforts had ultimately served to aid the archbishop, the Scions were not about to admit defeat. Before resuming their pursuit of the Heaven's Ward, however, the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud paid a visit to Ok' Zundu, to inform the Vanu Vanu that Bismarck was no longer a threat. To their shock, upon arriving in the village, they were greeted not by the chieftain but by a contingent of imperial soldiers under the command of Regula van Hydrus and escorted by Varis zos Galvus, the newly crowned Emperor of Garlemald, who like the archbishop coveted the secrets of Azys Lla. After taking measure of the two Scions, Varis ordered the execution of the beastmen. Yet before they could carry out his command, Lucia, piloting a suit of magitek armor, forced the imperials to withdraw with a barrage of cannon fire, and escorted the two Scions back to the Enterprise.
The airship followed the path marked by the beam, and before long the Warrior of Light and his companions found themselves nearing Azys Lla. However, they soon discovered that it was surrounded by an impenetrable barrier which threatened to tear the Enterprise apart, and so they set course
for Ishgard that they might make repairs and discuss how to breach the floating isle's defenses.
Cid believed that it might be possible to pierce the barrier surrounding Azys Lla by mounting a ram of condensed aether on the Enterprise. There was just one problem: he had not the faintest idea how to make one. Designing such a device would require the expertise of a true authority in the field-an authority such as Moenbryda or Y'shtola. Alas, Moenbryda had perished, and Y'shtola was nowhere to be found-that is, until Tataru acquired a clue.
During their search of the Sil'dih Aqueducts, the Immortal Flames had discovered Y'shtola's wand. After close study, Urianger determined that the Archon had invoked Flow, a forbidden teleportation magic, in order to make her escape. Traces of her passing led to the Twelveswood and suggested she remained there, her essence adrift in the Lifestream. And so the Scions turned to the Seedseers for assistance, who in turn petitioned the elementals' aid in plucking Y'shtola from the aether.
The First Flight of the Excelsior
After being briefed on the situation regarding Azys Lla, Y'shtola flatly stated that she lacked the knowledge to build an aetheric ram. However, she knew someone who could: her former master, Matoya, who had been living as a hermit on the fringes of Sharlayan, in the Dravanian hinterlands. After an unexpectedly eventful journey to the previously thought abandoned colony, the Scions met with Master Matoya, who was willing to lend her aid to their cause.
The esteemed scholar revealed to them that long ago she had developed a device known as an aetheric converter, which could be used to draw in and concentrate aether to produce a destructive force that could conceivably breach the barrier surrounding Azys Lla. The fruits of her research were apparently compiled within a tome which then lay sealed within the Great Gubal Library, and the Scions had to overcome the dangers within in order to retrieve it.
Armed with the knowledge to build the aetheric ram, Cid Garlond set to work with obvious relish. When finished, he rechristened his airship the Enterprise Excelsior-or simply the Excelsior, should one prefer. Alphinaud, Y'shtola, Estinien, and the Warrior of Light took their places aboard the vessel, and together with Cid and his two assistants departed for Azys Lla once more.
As they approached the floating isle, Estinien brought forth the Eye and channeled its boundless energies to fuel the newly installed aetheric ram, which made short work of the Allagan barrier. However, the party would have no time to celebrate, as moments later the Enterprise Excelsior found itself within the shadow of a gargantuan vessel. Successor to the Agrius, the imperial flagship lost at Silvertear Falls fifteen years ago, the Gration was the newest addition to the imperial fleet and the pride of the VIth Legion. The imperial battleship had lain hidden within the cloud bank, waiting for the Scions to defeat the Allagan defenses-and now the path was clear.
The Gration opened fire on the Enterprise Excelsior, and the smaller vessel struggled in vain to evade the explosions which bloomed throughout the sky. Hopelessly outmatched, they braced themselves for the inevitable, when from the west appeared Hraesvelgr, and upon the wyrm's back, Ysayle.
Wracked with guilt for the countless lives lost to her crusade and seeking to atone for the sins committed in Saint Shiva's name, the young maiden had yearned to come to Azys Lla that she might fight alongside the Warrior of Light once more. She beseeched Hraesvelgr that he might bear her to the adventurer's side, and even in his melancholy, the wyrm could not deny her. Ysayle leaped from Hraesvelgr's back and plunged headlong towards the Gration, clutching tightly to her breast a Crystal of Light once bequeathed to her by Hydaelyn long ago. Transforming into Shiva, she turned to face the enemy battleship, and engaged it single-handed so that the Warrior of Light, in whom she placed her hopes and dreams for the future, could live. She froze the battleship's missiles and cast them back, ripping holes in its reinforced hull. She encased herself in a great glacier of ice and rammed the vessel with all her might, bringing it to a grinding halt. Yet the Gration, the largest airship ever built, withstood her desperate assault.
As the Enterprise Excelsior sped safely towards Azys Lla, the Warrior of Light and his companions could only watch helplessly as the Gration took aim at an exhausted Shiva and fired, again and again. Returning to her original form, Ysayle fell...but with a smile on her lips for those she had saved.
Fetters of Lament
By Ysayle's sacrifice had the Scions and their companions at last set foot on Azys Lla. Determined that her death should not be for naught, they set forth to explore the area, and with the aid of ancient Allagan technology they determined that the archbishop was likely inside the Aetherochemical Research Facility, at the heart of the floating isle. To reach him, however, they would first need contend with the imperial troops from the Gration, which had also made landfall on the isle.
While Alphinaud, Y'shtola, and Estinien kept the forces of the VIth Legion occupied, the Warrior of Light proceeded towards the Aetherochemical Research Facility alone. Along the way he encountered Tiamat of the first brood, who had consigned herself to an eternal punishment within her Allagan prison for consorting with the Darkness five thousand years before. She explained that during a great war between the Allagans and the dragons of Meracydia, Bahamut, her brood-brother and mate, had been slain. In her grief, she heeded the counsel of the Ascians, and with their dark arts she summoned forth Bahamut from the aether-only to discover that the primal was but a cruel mockery of her beloved.
As the Warrior of Light reflected on this cautionary tale and once more resolved to oppose the Ascians, the last remnants of the wall Midgardsormr had built around his soul shattered, and the blessing of Light once more abided within Hydaelyn's chosen.
Having borne witness to this triumph of will, the Father of Dragons was at last convinced that the Warrior of Light was worthy of Hydaelyn's favor. Before the adventurer's eyes the avatar of the great wyrm shifted and grew, until at last it was large enough to bear him on its back to the Aetherochemical Research Facility. There the Warrior of Light fought and defeated Regula van Hydrus once more, and delved deeper into the heart of the floating isle and towards his quarry.
King Thordan and His Knights Twelve
While fighting his way through the Aetherochemical Research Facility, the Warrior of Light found himself face-to-face with two Ascians: Lahabrea, who had gifted Gaius van Baelsar the Heart of Sabik and brought Eorzea to the brink of destruction once before, and Igeyorhm, who had stolen the key to Azys Lla and placed it in the hands of the archbishop. In a bid to eliminate the adventurer, the Ascians attacked as one, but with Hydaelyn's blessing restored, they were no match for him.
Realizing the battle was lost, Igeyorhm attempted to flee, but before she could make good her escape, the Warrior of Light entrapped her within a piece of white auracite-a final legacy of Moenbryda's work, presented to him by Urianger as a parting gift before they first set forth for Azys Lla. The adventurer then destroyed the Ascian with a blade of Light forged from the remaining aether within Nidhogg's Eye, forever ridding the world of a terrible menace.
In spite of seeing his comrade fall, Lahabrea could not help but smile. The Warrior of Light had exhausted the Eye's aether and had not the means to strike him down. Yet the Ascian, who had for an eternity rugged at the reins of history from the shadows, had underestimated man for the last time.
The archbishop and his knights arrived, bearing the body of Haldrath and the Eye's long-lost twin. Having summoned the soul of the legendary King Thordan into himself, the archbishop conjured a divine blade using the power of the second Eye, and summarily executed Lahabrea. Like all souls, the Ascian's was comprised of aether, upon which primals feast. So it was that Lahabrea's soul was shattered and consumed, until naught remained of his essence.
Judgment passed, the self-proclaimed god-king duly turned to leave, but not before issuing the Warrior of Light a challenge. Should he reject the archbishop's vision for a peaceful and prosperous Ishgard, he would need to strike him and his knights down. How the Warrior of Light managed to overcome such impossible odds that day, none can say. History only states that in the end, he prevailed, and was the first man in Ishgardian history to arrive in the city upon dragonback.
In the days that followed, Ser Aymeric temporarily assumed the duties of archbishop and began to guide his people towards a lasting peace. However, he and the others were yet haunted by the tragedy that had befallen Estinien in Azys Lla. After Thordan's defeat, the dragoon collected the Eye and its twin, and in that instant fell prey to Nidhogg's lingering influence, and was claimed as a vessel for his rage. Transformed into the great wyrm, he took wing and vanished. Alas, so long as Nidhogg's vengeful shadow remained, the Dragonsong War would never truly end. 
- Encyclopaedia Eorzea: Volume I, page 66-73