but gridania and yda and papalymo

10

Today’s 1.0 lookback - Heroes’ welcome:

-The adventurer arrives at the Lotus Stand to find lots of familiar faces waiting for them with cheers, salutes, and smiles all around. Raubahn, Kan-E-Senna, and Merlwyb all wait to greet the hero of the hour, and the General congratulates them on a job well done, reminding them, too, that every Eorzean owes them their lives.

-But the adventurer isn’t willing to accept all the credit.  They run back to Cid, and to his own surprise and embarrassment, suddenly all eyes are on him.  He finds himself just as much the subject of celebration.

-Amidst the celebration, Urianger walks up to Louisoix who nods, either at satisfaction of the outcome of all that has transpired, or at something whispered to him by the cloaked Elezen.

-The celebration goes on long enough that, in the end, the adventurer and Cid are the last to leave the Lotus Stand.

-Minfilia is nowhere in the crowd. Neither is the Path Companion. We haven’t seen him since the Ala Mhigan resistance was annihilated in Mor Dhona. The last we heard was that he/she was sent to a healer in Ul’dah following that incident.

2

I love Hoary Boulder and Coultenet so much that they were some of the first characters whose biographies I looked up in the lore book when I first got my hands on it. Lo and behold, they’re listed on one of the first pages on the list of Scions - listed before even Y’shtola, Thancred, Yda, and Papalymo. They deserve it, in all honesty.

Hoary Boulder

Hailing from the northern reaches of Abalathia, Hoary Boulder is considered of formidable build, even amongst other Hellsguard. When he was eighteen, he descended from his mountain home hoping to prove his mettle, and earned countless accolades as an adventurer for taking on deadly marks most others would avoid. It was on one such quest in the outskirts of Gridania that Hoary met Coultenet. Though different in personality and origin, the two bonded as if they were brothers, and have worked side by side since. Eventually, the pair would earn a name for themselves, earning them the attention of one Tataru Taru. Now twenty and five, Hoary Boulder guards the Rising Stones, and has taken it upon himself to teach the Doman younglings which call the halls home the way of the sword, hoping that one day people will look up to him as they do the Warrior of Light. (189)

Coultenet Dailebaure

Born and raised in the Twelveswood, Coultenet joined the Scions alongside Hoary Boulder, his adventuring companion and best friend of seven years. Though the Wildwood Elezen is calm by nature, he can also prove calculating and cold should the situation require it. He thus respects Hoary Boulder’s pure sense of duty - though he would be loathe [sic] to say so out loud.

Ambitious and brimming with curiosity even after twenty-six summers, Coultenet has taken an interest in the arts of the Doman shinobi, and discovered common points between mudra and arcane geometries. When forced to flee Mor Dhona, he travelled to Radz-at-Han, and is thought to be quietly devising new arcane arts based in his encounters with Near Eastern knowledge. (189)

10

Today’s 1.0 lookback - The Pilgrimage:

-Not all of the guardian deity stones had cutscenes, so the next few sets will only include the ones that did. I don’t think it mattered which order you went in.

-The adventurer arrives in Gridania, where Nophica’s symbol has been etched into the stone above the entry to the Conjurer’s guild.  Praying causes the symbol to pulse and glow in response, evidence that something has been stirred.

-They are joined by Yda and Papalymo, the latter of whom explains the possible consequences and benefits of what the pilgrimage is intended to do.  Even sustaining one deity will cause a drain to the land, but they’re trying to summon twelve of them in order to stop Dalamud.  Doing so will tax the adventurer’s strength, as well as Eorzea’s aether, but the aether Dalamud absorbed from the other Primals should be returned.

-Just as the two head on their own way, Yda stops to provide a very important reminder: There are thirteen symbols at which to pray due to Nald’thal’s dual aspects.

It’s taken me a while, but here’s a post I’ve slowly been writing up for fyeahffgirls! Final Fantasy fans love honoring the wonderful ladies of the series, but many brush over XI and XIV in their creative works because they just don’t know enough about the games or their characters. Hopefully this post will serve as an introduction to the women of Eorzea, and hopefully it will help spark some interest in the game as a whole!

It should be noted that nearly all of Eorzea’s political factions are governed by women. (The only exception to this is the eternally absent Holy See of Ishgard, who have very little influence in XIV’s plot.) All of these leaders are completely different in their morals and their approaches to ruling their respective peoples. There are even a few female antagonists; they are shown to be just as brutal, if not more so, than their male counterparts.

Eorzea is generally far more friendly to women than most fictional fantasy worlds and even many other Final Fantasy worlds. We see this not only in the high-ranking political spheres but also in almost every aspect of everyday Eorzean society. Female NPCS own and operate businesses just as often as the male ones do, and women make up a significant portion of each city-state’s armed forces. Exactly half of Eorzea’s pantheon - known as the Twelve - are female. In the English text, gendered phrases such as “brother in arms” and “sister in arms” are used with equal respect. XIV is not perfect in terms of its portrayal of women - sexual harassment is occasionally played as a joke, there’s some violence against women that’s shrugged off as “the norm”, there are hardly any notable women of color or openly lesbian, bisexual, or transgender women - but there’s a lot to appreciate in XIV’s established lore all the same.

Here are some of XIV’s most influential female characters, who together make up most of the game’s cast. All images are either official character renders or screenshots pulled from my own XIV: A Realm Reborn playthrough.

Y'shtola (pronounced “yahsh-TOH-la”)

  • I’m putting Y'shtola first not because she’s the most important but because she’s become something of a representative for Final Fantasy XIV. She’s a favorite among Japanese fans and has been given the most attention outside of her own game. She’s slated to appear in both Theatrhythm: Curtain Call and Final Fantasy Tactics S.
  • Y'shtola is a Seeker of the Sun Miqo'te, and she is the Scions’ agent in La Noscea. If the player begins their journey in Limsa Lominsa, Y'shtola is the one who will recruit them to the Scions. She is a conjurer.
  • Y'shtola is intelligent and kind but often critical of other people’s failings. She is at odds with Merlwyb, admiral of Limsa Lominsa, for the Maelstrom’s treatment of the beast tribes.

Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn (pronounced “MERL-vib BLOO-fiss-vin”)

  • Merlwyb is the admiral of the thalassocracy of Limsa Lominsa. She is a Sea Wolf Roegadyn. In the original Final Fantasy XIV, when only male Roegadyn were playable, Merlwyb was the first female Roegadyn ever to make an appearance in the game. (Read this post for an account of one fan’s efforts to include female Roegadyn - their efforts paid off!) In the Roegadyn language, Merlwyb’s name means “Sea Woman, daughter of Blue Fish.”
  • Before becoming admiral, Merlwyb followed in her father Bloefhis’s footsteps as a pirate by succeeding him as the captain of the League of Lost Bastards. To attain the rank of admiral, she competed in an event called the Trident, which is essentially a no-holds-barred nautical race around the southern coast of Vylbrand.
  • Although formerly one of the most notorious pirates of the age, she has taken steps to crack down on piracy since becoming admiral. She is an authoritarian ruler, and more than one freedom-loving Lominsan has labeled her a tyrant. She has also received criticism for her overwhelmingly aggressive policies against the sahagin and kobold beast tribes of La Noscea, and many argue that the actions she’s taken against these beast tribes borders on immoral.

Kan-E-Senna (pronounced “KAHN-eh SEN-ah”)

  • Kan-E-Senna (referred to more informally as Kan-E) is a Padjal, a non-playable race. She is the leader of Gridania and its armed forces, the Order of the Twin Adder; her title is Elder Seedseer. As a Padjal, she is able to communicate with the elementals of the Black Shroud and govern Gridania in accordance with their will.
  • Kan-E is much older than she appears, although her exact age is unknown. She was able to hear the elementals from a very young age, and she was only five years old when she was able to avert several natural disasters with her gift of prophecy. This granted her inclusion into the Stillglade Fane, Gridania’s elite league of conjurers, and she soon rose to the rank of Elder Seedseer.
  • She has two younger siblings, Raya-O and A-Ruhn. Although she used to live with them deep in the Twelveswood, her duties in Gridania now keep her away from them most of the time.

Nanamo Ul Namo (shown here with Raubahn Aldynn)

  • Nanamo is a Dunesfolk Lalafell. She is sultana of the desert city-state of Ul'dah.
  • Though she is the seventeenth of her line to rule over Ul'dah, Nanamo’s powers of authority are severely weakened by another branch of the city-state’s government. The Syndicate, who are comprised of the six wealthiest people in Ul'dah, seek to undermine Nanamo’s capabilities as leader. Some even seek an end to the sultanate altogether. Not by any means naïve to these internal threats, Nanamo finds herself hard-pressed to carry out her will.
  • Nanamo’s greatest ally and confidant is Raubahn Aldynn, the only member of the Syndicate to prove his unwavering loyalty to her. Raubahn organized the Immortal Flames, a new branch of Ul'dah’s military, for the purpose of returning more military power to the sultanate. Raubahn himself leads the Immortal Flames as their general, and he represents Nanamo in all foreign affairs of war.
  • Nanamo has done her best to provide for the countless refugees seeking asylum in Ul'dah, but some dialogue in the 2.2 story hints that she has not always done so. For twenty years, Nanamo has chosen to turn away refugees from the Garlean-occupied city-state of Ala Mhigo, leaving them to stay in camps scattered throughout the desert of Thanalan.

Minfilia

  • Minfilia is a Midlander Hyur of Ala Mhigan descent. She has acted as the leader of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn since Louisoix Leveilleur’s death at Carteneau five years ago.
  • Minfilia, though a capable leader, struggles to follow in her late mentor Louisoix’s footsteps. She loves each of the members of the Scions and fears for not only their safety but for the safety of all Eorzea.
  • Her birth name is Ascilia, although this is kept hidden from others for her own safety. Minfilia’s father, Warburton, was a key figure in the Ala Mhigan resistance against the Garlean Empire, and he stole Garlean intelligence for several years. Much of the Scions’ knowledge of the primals comes from his efforts. Warburton was killed in the year 1562 of the Sixth Astral Era, however, and Minfilia was adopted and raised by the famous dancer F'lhaminn.
  • Minfilia expresses more of a desire to learn about the Echo than any of her comrades. This curiosity has been the driving force behind her motivations as a character from 2.1 onward.

Yda (pronounced “EE-dah”)

  • Yda is a Midlander Hyur. She is the Scions’ agent in the Black Shroud, along with her partner Papalymo. If the player begins their journey in Gridania, both Yda and Papalymo will recruit them to the Scions. She is a pugilist.
  • Yda is upbeat and cheerful, although she often receives criticism from Papalymo for her laid-back attitude. Despite her tendencies to be a little ditzy, however, she is a skilled fighter and has proven her match against even the most dangerous of foes.
  • She likes sylphs and moogles.

Livia sas Junius

(CONTENT WARNING: Livia’s bio contains details that some may associate with incest.)

  • Livia sas Junius is a tribunus of the Garlean Empire. She serves directly under Gaius van Baelsar, one of XIV’s key antagonists, and helps carry out his plans to conquer Eorzea. As of yet, Livia is the only female Garlean antagonist.
  • Livia is extremely sadistic and has no qualms about destroying those of no use to her. She demands nothing less than absolute respect of her subordinates.
  • Livia was adopted and raised by Gaius van Baelsar after her homeland was conquered by the Empire. She is fiercely loyal to him and will obey any of his orders without question. It is also heavily implied that the two are lovers, although this doesn’t by any means decrease her credibility as a villain.
  • She is never seen without her mask, but her towering height and graceful posture suggest that she is Elezen.

Alisaie Leveilleur (shown here with her twin brother Alphinaud; Alisaie is on the right)

  • Alisaie is the granddaughter of the late Archon Louisoix Leveilleur, the former leader of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. She is a Wildwood Elezen.
  • Like her brother, Alisaie has a sharp, sarcastic wit, although she usually lets him do most of the talking when they’re together.
  • Alisaie is working with Urianger of the Students of Baldesion to unlock the secrets of the Binding Coil of Bahamut; she believes that this is the key to securing Eorzea’s continued safety.

Yugiri

  • Yugiri is a relatively new character from the 2.2 story plot. She hails from the nation of Doma, which was recently destroyed by its Garlean conquerors.
  • She is of an unknown race, although it is speculated that this race may eventually become playable in a future patch.
  • Yugiri struggles to find a place of safety for what remains of her countrymen, and she will go to any lengths to keep her people safe. She has a special fondness for Doma’s children, and many of them look up to her as a role model.
  • Yugiri is highly proficient in Doman fighting techniques, and she eventually joins a league in Limsa Lominsa where she can hone her skills. It’s possible that Yugiri will eventually be the guildmaster for a new, undisclosed job.

Tataru

  • Tataru is a Dunesfolk Lalafell. Her name is most likely a reference to the Tarutaru race from Final Fantasy XI.
  • She is the Scions’ secretary. Despite her lack of battle experience, she’s a valued member of the family.
  • She is extremely romantic and loves to sing love songs.
  • Look at her, she’s just such a cutie.
  • Okay, she’s not that influential, but I couldn’t make a list and not include Tataru.

If anyone has any questions at all about Final Fantasy XIV, please feel free to ask me! I’m not a loremaster by any means, but I’ll do my best to help you. As a longtime fan of the Final Fantasy series, I’ve loved every bit of my adventures in Eorzea and couldn’t give the game a higher recommendation, especially because of its complex and well-written female characters.