Keeper by Lee Acaster
Via Flickr:

There’s so many Phan things killing me at the moment. I mean,

1). PINOF 8 is just around the corner. How the hell did that happen?! It feels like I’ve just blinked and then the last year has just come and gone.

2). In two months time Phil is 30.
He’s 30……. (Also incidentally, has it ever occurred to anyone that as the older brother, this makes Martyn about 35?)

3). Dan just eluded to at least another 2 or 3 videos on our way before the month is out. PINOF, DINOF vid and gaming video(s).

4). The BONCAS awards are tonight. We get to see the boys all dressed up, looking at their most dapper.

5). And the biggest one of all…TATINOF finishes for good 2 weeks today. I expect that the final Stockholm shows are going to be ridiculous, loud and a lot of fun. And potentially very emotional. Make sure you sing extra loud Sweden, because that last show will probably be the memory that lives with them forever.

All in all, screw them. I didn’t sign up for any of this and I’m feeling extremely emotional, vulnerable, attacked and very, very proud of them. How dare they make me so invested.


(via https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt1h1MinlLI)

Full FFXIV Stormblood Trailer

;; Just a little information as we keep in mind 4.0 and new revelations from the most recent keynote:

The Empire launched its campaign against Othard as a whole in the year 1528, and Doma eventually fell and was annexed by Garlemald in the year 1552. It’s subjugated even before Ala Mhigo, which falls to the Empire five years later in 1557 – it just seems like Ala Mhigo was conquered first because we only heard about Doma’s fall partway through A Realm Reborn, and we also didn’t get additional information concerning where Doma was on the timeline until the lore book was released. Othard has dealt with trying to fend off the Empire for a long time and has been occupied quite a while, something to remember as we move forward with assisting the various resistances.

The rebellion in Doma also succeeded in taking back the nation’s capital city temporarily before being eventually crushed when the Empire turned its attentions back on Othard following the complications concerning succession back home in Garlemald. Also considering how long they resisted the Empire prior to its first fall, Doma is – or was – a nation not to be taken lightly.

Hingashi isn’t actually part of Doma but is a separate nation entirely:

“One group, lead by Yugiri, boarded a great galleon, and in their panic made east across the Ruby Tide for the island nation of Hingashi. Alas, this nation would not risk inviting Garlemald’s ire, and turned away the Domans.” (Encyclopedia Eorzea, pg. 196)

It’s mentioned on the slides as being a nation of its own, but it’s easy to lump in in as part of Doma and call it Doman housing because of the similar aesthetics. Doma and Hingashi were/are separate nations! Hingashi sounds a bit like Othard’s answer to Ishgard, given its history of isolationism and its desire to keep its boundaries closed to foreigners. It seems to have a history of keeping itself largely neutral and self-contained, as well.

A little background information on Yugiri, now that she’s likely returning to the story in an expanded capacity:

“Having witnessed the terrors wrought by the Garlean Empire, a young Yugiri made the pilgrimage from her Raen home to the village of the shinobi, seeking tools with which she might fight the Empire. Through years of inhuman trials, she learned the ways of the shinobi – how to fight from the shadows – eventually earning the rank of “jonin.” Having thus mastered ninjutsu and being given the epithet “Mistwalker,” she pledged herself to the remnants of the Doman general’s clan. Thereafter, she waged a war against the Garlean Amy. Alas, the rebellion ended in defeat, and the Domans lost everything. Obeying her lord’s orders, Yugiri led a number of her countrymen in flight. Though the journey was long and arduous, she never allowed her people to despair, and, at the end, found them a new home. At twenty-six summers, she continues her fight alongside the Scions and the Eorzean Alliance, but has not once forgotten about her homeland or her people’s desire to one day return. Her lone indulgence is a bowl of rice doused in warm soup and topped with a small pinch of ground white radish – a Doman delicacy.” (Encyclopedia Eorzea, pg. 196)

And finally, some about Othard in general and its geography:

“Othard, or the Far East, as it is commonly referred to by those living in the west, is the smallest of the Three Great Continents, yet much like Aldenard in that it is comprised of a main landmass and countless islands off its coasts. While Aldenard is longitudinally situated farther south than Ilsabard, the towering spires which line the region’s northern border are covered in snow year-round, and the land beyond them is predominantly frozen. From these mountains trickles down the water which gives Othard life, eventually forming the One River – the longest and widest watercourse in all the Three Continents. This river passes through the great swath of grasslands in which the Auri Xaela clans live before winding through Yanxia – a fertile land that, until the recent invasion by the Garlean Empire, was controlled by the nation of Doma.

Though connected geographically, for thousands of years little interaction has taken place between Ilsabard and Othard, the main reason being a combination of near-impassable mountain ranges and deadly wastelands which severely restrict all land routes. While coastal cities have experienced limited contact with the outside via trade, the overall isolation of Othard has allowed local cultures to evolve with little to no influence from the west. Only in the past two decades have things begun to change – the advent of airship technology thrusting open the once-closed doors of the Far East. However, this new exposure also served to alert the power-hungry Garleans of new territory ripe for the plucking and it was not long before the Empire had set their sights on Doma and Dalmasca – two nations which have since been brought under the imperial standard.” (Encyclopedia Eorzea, pg. 12)

Also, this mostly my own personal thoughts, but I think it makes a lot of sense to be including both Doma and Othard in Stormblood, and that’s beyond just talking about similarities to Ala Mhigo. I definitely don’t want to talk down the really excellent opportunities to compare and contrast how the Empire handled Doma vs. Ala Mhigo and how the resistances will likely be very different, as well… but on the other hand, remember that the Meteor Project was born on Othard. It was tested on Othard. It failed and was revised on Othard. Remember what we’re faced with at the end of 3.5? What’s potentially alluded to in the 3.5 trailer with Nero’s dialogue and some of the images? And now that we’re heading to Othard again? Yeah. Might be a chance to expand some on the Meteor Project and a possible revival/revision/redirection of that knowledge and idea concerning the primal that’s hanging in the sky over the Wall, depending on what happens in 3.55. We’ll see!