This page contains unmarked spoilers.
The legatus is seen wandering near Camp Glory. The Grand Companies assemble an attack squad, only for them to encounter a strange light at the patch of floating islands known as the Rivenroad, similar to what was seen at what was found at Castrum Novus. From the Rivenroad, Nael uses his power to rain rocks upon the realm from Dalamud.
Nael is defeated, even as he draws fully upon Dalamud's power and sacrifices his sanity. With Nael's death, the Rivenroad collapses, but Cid saves the adventurer and their allies from the falling islands.
The Grand Companies celebrate their victory and the halt of Dalamud's descent, but the adventurer still feels uneasy. Louisoix advises them to go on a pilgrimage of the Twelve, during which they encounter Gaius once more. He warns that the VIIth Legion, which survived the collapse of the Rivenroad, was amassing in Mor Dhona to launch an invasion from Castrum Novum. The adventurer relays this information to Louisoix.
Dalamud continues its descent, causing changes to the realm as Atomos appears near aetherial crystals and summons voidal monsters. The Alliance sends its combined forces to Mor Dhona, the predicted point of impact for Dalamud.
In spite of their best efforts, the Alliance is unable to stop Dalamud, and during the battle, the pillars in the moon fall upon the surface. Pieces of Dalamud rain, bathing the realm in fire as the elder primal Bahamut awakens and begins to raze Eorzea.
Louisoix, in a last-ditch attempt to stop Bahamut, attempts to recreate Dalamud and imprison Bahamut once more, but to no avail; his staff shatters, and Bahamut begins to cast Teraflare with the intent of wiping out the realm once and for all. With no other alternative, Louisoix casts a spell that sends a handful of adventurers into a rift in the fabric of space and time, where they would remain until it was safe to return to the Realm. As the last adventurer vanishes in light, Louisoix does naught but smile as the massive ball of fire Bahamut creates engulfs him.
However, in that brief moment, Louisoix is touched by the Twelve, who give him the remaining power from his spell to battle Bahamut. With this amazing power, Louisoix strikes down Bahamut and destroys the Terraflare, but the exertion causes him to fade away into aether, the power spreading across Eorzea and healing it.
After dealing with different threats across Eorzea, you find yourself confronted by the mage Y'shtola, who seeks to recruit you into the group she's part of, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. After speaking to Momodi, the owner of the Ul'dah Adventurer's Guild, about it, you decide to join the group, meeting with its leader, Minfilia, Y'shtola, the secretary Tataru and the other members of its group - Papalymo, Thancred, Yda, and Urianger - within the Waking Sands (If you imported a 1.0 character, Minfilia explicitly remembers you and later apologizes for treating you like a stranger). Your first mission deals with the primal Ifrit and finding yourself defeating the creature after being captured by the Amalj'aa. Your actions prompt the Grand Companies into recruiting you, though Minfilia suggests you go revisit the city-states and their services. As you do, you meet up with two Elezen teens, Alphinaud and Alisaie Leveilleur, the grandchildren of the missing Louisoux, the former snarkily commenting on how "corrupt" the city-states are and the latter angry at the omission of the missing Warriors of Light and Louisoux. After returning and joining a Grand Company, the adventurer ends up rescuing two Airship pilots - Garlond Works members Biggs and Wedge - and their Airship from Garlean soldiers. Afterwards, you soon find yourself aiding the Sylph race with their elder going missing. Rescuing her leads to the sylphs becoming friends of yours.
Soon, you deal with parts of the Ala Mhigo Resistance, a group of Ala Mhigans who seek to liberate their country from the Garlean Empire. No sooner is your trouble with them quelled when word gets out of the arrival of the primal Titan. Seeking to learn how to defeat them, you seek out the old team known as the Company of Heroes, who put you through a series of tests... for your own banquet, before giving you a few pieces of advice. Finding your way inside the Navel, you find yourself facing down and defeating the creature. However, any celebrations are cut short when you return to the Waking Sands to find a bloodbath having taken place and the Scions missing. Thanks to your powers of the Echo, you learn that the Garlean Empire somehow learned of their base, kidnapped the Scions and murdered everyone else in there. With Minfilia's last instructions being told to escape to a church, you do so, biding your time and trying to pick up the pieces.
During your time at the church, you befriend a man named Marques, who seems to have a knack for mechanics but has no idea why. After stopping a Garlean spy, you are met by Alphinaud Leveilleur, grandson of Louisoix, who reveals that Marques is actually the missing Cid Garlond. Alphinaud recruits you and Cid into hunting down the mighty airship Enterprise so that they can go in and stop the primal Garuda. Your search for the Enterprise sends you to Coerthas and caught up in a scheme by heretics to sow distrust within the Ishgardian houses. After exposing the scheme, you're able to retrieve the Enterprise, but it's in rough shape and requires a special stone to get back up and running to full power. After finding it, you, Cid and Alphinaud head off to face Garuda.
Through the aid of your Echo, you help Cid fully recall his past and (should you have played through the Legacy version of the game) reveal that you are one of the missing Warriors of Light, revealing their identities at long last. Confronting Garuda, the primal is vanquished, but resurrected just as quickly... only for the Garleans to make their move, unleashing the massive Ultima Weapon on not only Garuda, but the resummoned Ifrit and Titan, absorbing them and forcing the three of you to make a hasty retreat.
Returning to the Waking Sands in order to plan out their next action, the trio are reunited with Y'shtola and Yda, who were actually elsewhere when the other Scions were captured. Realizing the other Scions are on borrowed time, the team formulates a plan to find where they were taken and sneak in, using captured uniforms and a stolen Magitek Reaper. Rescuing the Scions, you make your escape only to find that Lahabrea, an Ascian who has been a thorn in your side for awhile now is actually Thancred. However, Minfilia corrects them, revealing that Thancred was only possessed by Lahabrea.
With the Scions rescued, they are able to stop the leaders of the city-states from trying to surrender and instead initiate Operation Archon, a massive invasion to stop the Garlean advance and shut down the Ultima Weapon. As the various Eorzean armies handle other Castrums, the Warrior of Light (joined by Cid), invade Castrum Meridianum with the intent on shutting down the barrier around the Praetorium. The resulting destruction draws out Livia sas Junius, who tries her best to prevent the Warrior from getting to Gaius.
Making their way into the Praetorium, the Warrior of Light and Cid confront Gaius. Gaius tells Cid of his father's last regrets and tries to recruit both of them. When they refuse, Gaius heads for the Ultima Weapon, the Warrior giving chase as Cid helping in a control room. During the chase, the Warrior reunites with the Magitek Reaper they stole earlier and follow the path to Gaius, where they confront Nero tol Scaeva, who seeks to prove his superiority over Cid. Though Nero escapes, the Warrior finally confronts Gaius, who attempts to get the Warrior abandon protecting Eorzea and instead rule it. When they refuse, Gaius attacks before retreating to the Ultima Weapon itself. Despite the Weapon's power, the Warrior manages to overcome it and free the Primals inside. To that point, Lahabrea reveals himself again and reveals the Ultima Weapon's true power - the magic known as Ultima. He unleashes it to weaken Hydaelyn's power and tries to get Gaius to use the moment to defeat the Warrior, but is still defeated, the Weapon destroyed. Lahabrea is annoyed at Gaius' failure and attempts to destroy the Warrior himself. However, the Warrior, with Hydaelyn's help, is able to exorcise the Ascian from Thancred. As the Praetorium starts to explode, the Warrior escapes on the Magitek Reaper as the various Scions and leaders watch with worry. Hydaelyn calls out to them to reach out to the Warrior and, should they be one of the original Warriors, they will remember their old friend clear as day as a original Warrior of Light. With the threat of the Garleans stopped for now, the Ultima Weapon destroyed and Thancred safe and sound, the leaders declare that the Sixth Umbral Era is at an end and now, the Seventh Astral Era has begun.
On the side, you offer aid to Cid and a Sharlayan research group, The Sons of Saint Coinach, as they look into the sudden reappearance of the Crystal Tower in Mor Dhona, lest it hold more Allagan weapons like Ultima. Assisted by the heterochromatic Miqo'te G'raha Tia, who christens the allied groups as the Nominated Observers of Artifacts Historical (NOAH), you clear a path through the Labyrinth of the Ancients toward the central spire, the Syrcus Tower, but are stopped by its immovable front door. Two strangers, Doga and Unei, then reveal themselves to NOAH, and effortlessly open it. Nero tol Scaeva, one of the XIV Imperial Legion's commanders who opposed the Warrior of Light during Operation Archon, also expresses his own interest in the expedition, hoping to find a power source stronger than Ultima. He reveals that the door only opens to those of royal Allag blood, and that Doga and Unei are clones of two royal sages. They were created to stop the also-cloned Emperor Xande, who wishes to unleash powerful Voidsent upon Hydaelyn to fulfill an ancient pact with their leader, the Cloud of Darkness. You slay Xande, but then, through the portal he had opened into the World of Darkness, the Cloud whisks away Doga, Unei and Nero. You and G'raha pursue them inside, eventually besting the Cloud and rescuing her three captives. Doga and Unei reveal the nature of G'raha's unusual single red eye - he is a descendant of a Miqo'te gifted royal blood by the last Allagan princess, Salina. The two sages augment G'raha's blood with their own, and you, G'raha and Nero escape back to Eorzea, the portal sealing behind you. G'raha, now understanding his bloodline's purpose, decides to honor Salina's last wish - to make the Tower a beacon of hope for all Eorzea - by sealing himself inside to await the day they can open its gates, whereupon he will be their guide to using the Tower's powers. You exchange farewells, promising to make that day come sooner than later, and as the Tower's doors close once more, NOAH is dissolved.
Soon you find yourself dealing with another group of refugees, this time from the country of Doma, which was also invaded by the Empire. At the urging of Yugiri, you attempt to win over the Syndicate of Ul'dah. Despite Nanamo's desire to help the Domans, the Monetarists refuse despite the overtures of the friendlier Teledji Adaledji. However, Alphinaud decides to do the next best thing and allow the Domans to stay at Mor Dhona as frontier hands. With Teledji Adaledji's help, you're able to get them to the outpost without much trouble. However, trouble looms once more as it is revealed that the primal Leviathan is about to be awoken. Despite your best efforts, the primal is awoken. Using an ingenious plan, the heroes are able to confront and nullify Leviathan's power and slay him. Doing so leads Merlwyb to help aid the Domans and Yugiri, in turn, to teach the fighting skills of her land as those in Limsa Lominsa seem to fight in the same way.
Trouble brews once more as unrest starts to shake up Ul'dah with Alphinaud caught up in the mess. Though not as harmed as lead to believe, you're dragged into a mystery as you attempt to figure out who is behind all of this. Despite your best efforts, you cannot find any real proof, though Raubahn believes that this is part of a plan by Teledji Adaledji - his kind overtures actually belie a far more sinister goal - he seeks to claim the Carteneau Flats as it contains a weapon much more powerful than the Ultima Weapon you destroyed - Omega. Sadly, you are unable to confront the Lalafell and must turn to a greater threat - the primal Ramuh, who has been summoned by the tempered Sylphs. Despite not wanting to actually fight him, Ramuh insists to prove how trustworthy you are. He lets you free as you defeat him, satisfied. However, your actions are starting to towards others, especially Tataru, who wants to make herself useful, and Alphinaud, who decides that he wants to make his own Grand Company, one that will save the world. You recruit a number of people for Alphinaud's brand new Crystal Braves, though you are warned that they may be actually funded by the Monetarists.
As the Scions gain a new ally in Moenbryda, who is helping them in a way to slay the Ascians, you aid the Crystal Braves as you discover a traitor within the Immortal Flames. After defeating and arresting the Garlean spy, you are sent to Coerthas to aid the Ishgardians in finding and stopping the mysterious "Lady Iceheart". Through Moenbryda's help, you are able to confront Iceheart, who reveals she can become a primal by summoning Shiva, who is said to be a heretic within Ishgard history for laying with a dragon. You are able to defeat her, but she escapes, giving hint that she may have the Echo, too.
Things would start going downhill for the Scions here. Not only had Ifrit, Garuda and Titan reawaken, a passage is discovered to enter the mysterious Coils of Bahamut, allowing you to confront the primal beast and learn the truth of Louisoix's fate. Even worse, the dragon Midgardsormr, who was thought dead, is reawakened. After confronting his aetherial form, he creates a new diminutive body for himself while sealing away your blessing of light, at Hydaelyn's approval. Realizing your weakness, the Ascian Nabriales makes a power play, attempting to steal the fragment of Louisoix's staff kept in the Rising Stones, which still serves as a source of great magical power. He grievously wounds Moenbryda and kidnaps Minfilia, but you are able to save Minfilia and protect the staff, using it to create the blade of light that drove off Lahabrea and save Thancred. However, your power isn't enough and the dying Moenbryda sacrifices herself to destroy Nabriales.
You are unable to really grieve as you are called upon to aid Ishgard - Iceheart has destroyed the main barrier protecting Ishgard and the Steps of Faith have become a battleground. You are able to slay the gigantic dragon Vishap and save Ishgard from disaster, leading to the country to consider reopening its gates to the outside world. However, things get very grim - while helping a scholar with his studies, you find the body of Wilred, an Ala Mhigan who joined the Crystal Blades, in Urth's Gift, stabbed and left for dead and assuming that something bad is happening behind the scenes of the Crystal Blades. Then, at a party to celebrate the recent victories, does the other shoe drop.
Sultana Nanamo Ul Namo, after telling you her plans to abdicate the throne and dissolve the monarchy as a means to destroy the stranglehold the Monetarists have on the government, suddenly collapses to the ground after drinking a poisoned wine. Teledji Adaledji and the Brass Blades arrive and arrest you for murder, sending away the delegate for Ishgard, Ser Aymeric, before accusing the Scions of the Seventh Dawn of trying to overthrow the government. Whatever plans Teledji had, however, are completely scuttled when he relentlessly insults a grieving Raubahn, inciting the Flame General to lunge forward and slice Teledji in half. His blades then turn to Syndicate member Lolorito when he accuses him of aiding the Scions, but is stopped when his left arm is sliced off by his now-former friend and captain of the Crystal Braves, Ilberd. Seeking to give our heroes a chance to escape, Raubahn frees the captive Warrior of Light and tells the Scions to flee Ul'dah.
However, the Scions prioritize your own safety over their own as Yda, Papalymo, Y'shtola, Thancred and Minfilia stay behind to stop the Brass Blades and traitorous Crystal Braves. You are reunited with Alphinaud, who is horrified to have learned that his Crystal Braves had been in the pocket of the Monetarists the entire time. Aided by a Lalafell in armor, Raubahn's adopted son Pipin, the three are rescued by the traveling salesman from the beginning, who was recruited by Alphinaud's sister Alisaie to rescue Alphinaud. Dropping the three off at Black Brush Station, Pipin stays behind as Cid spirits the other two off to Camp Dragonhead, where Haurchefant welcomes them in and plans to offer them asylum. It is here that they are reunited with Tataru and Yugiri, whose mask is lost and revealing her as an Au Ra, and learn that Urianger is safe back at the Waking Sands. With Midgardsormr taunting you, the future seems shaky at best...
Some mixed news comes of this soon after - returning to Limsa Lominsa, you're greeted warmly by Merlwyb, who reveals that both her country and Kan-E-Senna's Gridania are open to them and remain staunch allies and Raubahn is revealed to be lined up for execution for his actions. Aided by Yugiri and the Domans, you break in to Halatali and rescue Raubahn, driving away Ilberd and the Crystal Braves. However, you're forced back to Ishgard as there's another attack in the works and Ishgard is still weak from the last attack. Alphinaud decides the best thing to do is to confront Lady Iceheart in order to find the dragons and stop this senseless war. Despite the odds stacking against them, you have Ser Aymeric's blessing and are backed by the Azure Dragoon, Estinien.
Calling out Lady Iceheart, who reveals herself as Ysayle, she reveals the horrid past behind the Dragonsong War, that it was the Ishgardians who betrayed the dragons, not the other way around as perpetuated by the Ishgardian clergy. They realize that confronting the lead dragon Nidhogg would be futile and opt to confront Hraesvelgr instead. With Ysayle joining you, the group journeys to the Dravanian Forelands, slaying the primal Ravana and the dragon Tioman as you reach the Churning Mists. With help of Kuplo Kopp and Kan-E-Senna, you're able to gain the help of other moogles in summon Hraesvelgr. However, Hraesvelgr rebuffs the group - he tells the group the true story of how King Thordan and his Knights Twelve turned against the dragons, kickstarting the Dragonsong War, and that Ysayle's Shiva form isn't the real Shiva, but just her imagination given primal form.
Thus, plan B is given - to confront Nidhogg himself. However, to do so, Cid makes final preparations on a new type of personal airship, the manacutter, capable of weathering the storm surrounding the Aery where Nidhogg roosts. While he's doing this, you are called back to Thanalan as there are leads as to what happened to Nanamo. Finding and confronting her former handmaid, the heroes are, in turn, confronted by Lolorito, who reveals everything - that he had learned of Teledji's plot to assassinate Nanamo and hijacked his plan so that she would instead be put in a deep sleep. He also revealed that he was the one who had control over the Crystal Braves. Despite Raubahn wanting to kill him as well, everyone is forced to stay their hand - the only way the status quo could be restored is if Lolorito goes free. With Nanamo finally revived, the decision is made to deal with the returning threat of the Garlean Empire. The Warrior of Light, however, is called back to Ishgard - the manacutters are ready and Estinien is ready to end Nidhogg's threat.
Entering Nidhogg's abode, the Warrior of Light and Estinien make their way to Nidhogg himself and, in a titanic struggle, the duo defeat the elder dragon, the Azure Dragoon stealing away Nidhogg's other eye. To his surprise, the eye he pulled out isn't Nidhogg's other eye. They confront Hraesvelgr and learn that that eye is his - Nidhogg lost both eyes and he gave him one after Nidhogg guilt-tripped him into doing it. Though Estinien wonders as to where Nidhogg's other eye is, other matters take precedence - Ishgard is under attack by an invasion of heretics. Ysayle intervenes and tells them to go back - Nidhogg's dead and the war is over. Given a moment to breathe, the heroes reveal the truth of the Dragonsong War to Aymeric. Disheartened to learn of this, he decides that, with Nidhogg dead, it's time to put the past behind them and allow the truth to be revealed. The others, realizing how pear-shaped this will go, plan to break Aymeric free if things head that way. When it does, the heroes seek out a woman known as "the Mongrel", a woman who was a child of a highborn and a lowborn; this woman, Hilde, is surprised at you wanting her help, but is willing to entertain that idea, mostly because it allows her to get back at the highers-up.
After an attack by a member of the Heavens' Ward, the heroes set their plans into motion - the Warrior of Light is to invade the Vault and capture the Archbishop while the others rescue Aymeric. The group rescuing Aymeric is successful and join up with the Warrior of Light as they catch up to the Archbishop. The Warrior and Haurchefant chase after the Archbishop, only for a hidden Heavens' Ward knight to strike. Haurchefant blocks his attack with his shield, protecting the Warrior of Light, only for the shield to fail and strike the knight, ultimately killing him. As the Fortemps family is left to grieve, the heroes learn of what happened between Aymeric and Thordan and ultimately realize that, like Ysayle, have become primals themselves, namely King Thordan I and his Knights Twelve. With only the mysterious name "Azys Lla" to go by, the heroes set off after the Archbishop's airship.
Returning to the Sea of Clouds, you meet and befriend the Vanu Vanu tribe, who tell you a bit more about the mysterious Azys Lla and that one needs a "key" to get in. Sadly, the primal Bismarck ate the key along with the island it was on. With the aid of a small island, a pair of dragonkiller cannons and a magitek generator, Cid comes up with a plan to lure Bismarck, capture it and slay it to free the key. The plan works, but the Warrior of Light is paralyzed by a sneak attack by an Ascian, Archbishop Thordan taking the key and making his way to Azys Lla. Slightly dejected but determined as ever, the heroes return to the Vanu Vanu, only to see them captured by the Garleans, meeting the new Emperor Varis. The Garleans opt to retreat when Lucia arrives with her own Magitek Armor, driving them away. Chasing after the Archbishop's airship, Lucia reveals that she was originally a spy for the Garlean Empire, but the Ishgardians drive and Aymeric's own charisma caused her to switch sides. The heroes arrive at Azys Lla, finding it to be a massive floating fortress, however, the heroes are driven back when a massive shield blocks their path, heavily damaging the Enterprise.
Returning to Ishgard, as Cid goes to fix up the Enterprise, they ponder a way to get through the barrier. However, they end up with some good news - returning to Thanalan, at the collapsed site of the Scions' escape from Ul'dah, they learn that while there were no bodies located in the rubble, Y'shtola's old staff was. With Urianger's help, they learn that Y'shtola must have used a forbidden teleportation spell known as Flow to escape from her pursuers, which has a risk of stranding the user in the Lifestream. With the aid of the Seedsters and Y'shtola's half-sister, the missing Scion is freed from the Lifestream. Once reunions (and a new outfit for Y'shtola from Tataru) are given, the mage is asked if she knows of a way to penetrate the barrier. She doesn't, but she knows someone who does - her old master, Matoya. Traveling to Y'shtola's and Alphinaud's old home of Sharlayan, they aid the goblins there who have set up Idyllshire, a colony in the abandoned city, before reaching Y'shtola's master. The old mage sends the Warrior of Light into the Great Gubal Library to retrieve a book needed to make their device, though before the heroes return to Ishgard, Matoya stops Y'shtola and notes the change in her eyes - her trip into the Lifestream has rendered her blind, and her method of seeing via aetheric energy runs the risk of killing her.
With the book in hand, Cid create the device needed and adds it to the rebuilt Enterprise, rechristened Enterprise Excelsior. The plan is to use the Eye of Nidhogg to give the device enough aetheric energy to pierce through the shield. Bidding farewell to the Ishgardians and receiving both Haurchefant's shattered shield as a keepsake and an extra white auracite from Urianger, you head off back to Azys Lla. Breaking through the barrier, the Excelsior is attacked by the Garleans, who hid in wait for the heroes to shatter the shield. When all hope seems lost, Ysayle returns on the back of Hraesvelgr. Leaping off the dragon, she transforms into Shiva one last time and uses her power to attack the mighty Garlean airship. She's able to heavily damage it and save the Excelsior, but the Garleans' retaliation subdues Shiva. Plummeting from the sky, Ysayle reaffirms her belief in her newfound allies as she dissipates into aether.
Arriving at Azys Lla, the heroes activate an Allagan guidance node, which Wedge nicknames "Gilly", and have it lead them to where the Archbishop is. The Warrior of Light is forced to go alone, however, when they encounter the Garleans, taking the eye of Nidhogg with them. They encounter the dragon Tiamat, who has been captured by the Allagans for centuries. Despite Midgardsormr wanting her to be free, she refuses - it was she who allowed the primal Bahamut to awaken because she listened to the Ascians in her grief after the Allagans killed the real Bahamut. This, along with other events since arriving on Ishgard, allows the Warrior of Light to reclaim Hydaelyn's blessing of light, stronger than ever. Midgardsormr, finally acknowledging the Warrior of Light's efforts and resolve even without Hydaelyn's blessing, uses that awakening power to make a bigger body for himself and allows the Warrior to ride him to the Aetherochemical Research Facility, the heart of Azys Lla.
Making their way to the core of the facility, they encounter two Ascians — Lahabrea and Igeyorhm. Despite their power, you overwhelm them and you end up killing Igeyorhm using the auracite and the Eye of Nidhogg. However, before Lahabrea can escape, Thordan arrives and reveals that he has the other Eye. Using its power, he becomes the primal version of King Thordan and, turning the eye and the body of the first dragoon into a massive sword, slays Lahabrea and absorbs his aether. In a final showdown, you challenge the Knights of the Round and defeat them all, leaving Thordan in total disbelief as he dies, not understanding how you could overpower him.
Soon, Estinien arrives and notices that Thordan had the other eye. Taking it, he proclaims relief that his duty is almost over before something goes terribly wrong: Nidhogg's spirit refuses to die and takes Estinien's moment of weakness to take over, turning his body into a healthy copy of his old body. Midgardsormr appears and can only sigh in defeat as to why his son has become so thirsty for revenge. Escaping from the Singularity Reactor, you catch up with the other heroes in victory, leading to the Ishgardians' first encounter with a dragon that wasn't with bloodlust as you ride in on Midgardsormr, marking the first steps to peace between man and dragon.
In the days to follow, Ishgard is reinstated as a member of the Eorzean Alliance in a formal ceremony while the Scions put Haurchefant to rest in the Coerthas Central Highlands, overlooking the Steps of Faith, with you leaving his shattered shield by his grave.
As it turns out, Krile has a way to try to find Minfilia and Thancred, but needs to seek out Matoya to do so. Approaching the mage, she requests a special item — the Crystal Eye, one of the oldest and most potent of Hydaelyn's own crystals — to help scry for them. Matoya warms up to the scholar and willingly allows her to use it. Alphinaud deduces that Krile herself has the Echo, which she reveals gives her the unique ability to track another person's aether, which the Crystal Eye can boost. Krile can't find Minfilia, but does find that Thancred was last dropped off within Sohm Al's base. Using highly detailed sketches of Thancred drawn out by Alphinaud (a talent which Krile reveals he had developed as a means to pick up girls), you're able to deduce that Thancred has been around, though one person gave the description of a warrior holding an axe, not Thancred's signature knives. Before Y'shtola can kill Alphinaud over a perverted comment, the plan is made to go and slay Ravana again to draw out Thancred. However, before they can do so, the primal is found already defeated by a mysterious band of adventurers as they got there. Despite seemingly sharing the same goal, the unknown adventurers do not take kindly toward you and the Scions. The band turns their attention toward your group and easily defeats them, only to be driven off by Thancred's arrival. The self-proclaimed "Warriors of Darkness" promise that they will meet you again.
Reunited with Thancred, he explains that he had been dropped off in the area stark naked, in similar fashion to Y'shtola's retrieval from the Lifestream. Forced to fend for himself, he fashioned a makeshift pair of knives to kill and skin a bear before finding the Vath, who he was able to trade for fanciful clothes and weapons. He planned to wait until the heroes dealt with Ravana to meet up with them, but the Warriors of Darkness almost complicated things. With Thancred back in the fold and Ravana gone, they return to Vidofnir to bring the news. In turn, Vidofnir reveals that Hraesvelgr has allowed the rest of his brood to make their own decisions over the peace offering and they seemed to accept.
However, the return to Ishgard isn't a happy one - Lucia reveals that Aymeric was nearly killed in an assassination attempt. What's more, the city is starting to go up in flames! Though, you are able to stop the arsons and bring the arsonist to justice, there are still many more questions needed answering. Though Aymeric recovers enough to rejoin the heroes, thanks to the Fortemps' healing salve, they're soon worried of news that a group calling themselves the True Brothers of the Faith has invaded the Vault and taken refugees from the arsons hostage. They effectively seek a new Archbishop immediately and that Aymeric must turn himself in to be summarily executed for his perceived crimes. Knowing that a peaceful ending is highly unlikely, Aymeric leads a team inside the Vault to rescue the hostages. The leader, a priest, spirits away a young girl to the roof of the Vault, where he's confronted. Completely convinced of Aymeric's guilt, he attempts to punish Aymeric by tossing the girl to her death, only for her to be rescued by a just-arriving Vidofnir. However, Vidofnir's arrival is less than pleasant - Hraesvelgr brings news that, soon, Nidhogg will resume his war once more.
That bit of news is dulled a bit with news from Tataru - F'lhaminn, Hoary Boulder, and Coultenet are on their way back to Limsa Lominsa after running off to evade the Crystal Braves. Your reunion is a joyous one, though F'lhaminn isn't happy that Minfilia is still missing. However, the Scions learn of a possible way to find her thanks to Krile and Thancred. Returning to Matoya, you seek entrance into the Antitower, a old Sharlayan facility built to survey the aetherial sea, to find and contact Minfilia. After traversing the topsy-turvy tower, you finally encounter your missing friend, only to learn that she has become an emissary to Hydaelyn Herself and unable to rejoin them, something that upsets Thancred greatly.
With that, the Warrior of Light returns to Coerthas, where they learn that Aymeric's plans to broker peace between Ishgard and Dravania are apace, with a stone relief being made in Falcon's Nest to commemorate the end of the war and the reunion of man and dragon in harmony. Unfortunately, not everyone shares the desire to bury their grudge with the dragons; a group of protestors known as the Convictors are rumored to be conspiring to sabotage the coming peace talks. Lucia and Artoirel, the elder son of Count Edmont de Fortemps, leave to investigate the situation as you are left in Falcon's Nest to look after Artoirel's impulsive younger brother, Emmanellain.
After aiding young Emmanellain in his duties, the Warrior of Light retires to a tavern to get out of the cold, a young woman working there offering a drink to him on the house. Unfortunately, the drink is laced with a sedative that knocks the Warrior of Light out...
While unconscious, the Warrior of Light has a vision of the young maid, whose husband had been lost in the Dragonsong War, with a group of other Ishgardians united under one belief; that it was folly to try to make peace with the dragons that had massacred their families. The maid, in particular, is driven to see justice carried out in the names of those they had lost.
When the Warrior of Light comes to, Falcon's Nest is in chaos as injured civilians line the streets. The maid, standing on a rooftop, condemns the idea of peace with Dravianians and calls for a rise to arms against the murderers of their families. Emmanellain, hoping to defuse the situation, orders one of the hamlet's guards to stop her, leading to the maid being shot in the arm. Injured but infuriated, the maid condemns the great houses and Ser Aymeric for trying to strike her down for telling the truth; that they are now left with no choice but to die either by the dragons or the guards' hands. She is shot again, this time near-fatally.
Emmanellain, never wanting to have the maid killed, finds himself with the ire of the people of Falcon's Nest, the words of the maid resonating with them and her apparent death striking a chord with them.
With the possibility of peace with the dragons now in doubt, the Warrior of Light and Emmanellain make ready to return to Ishgard to relay the events that had transpired to Aymeric, but come across Honoroit, Emmanellain's servant, injured in the streets after a run-in with some of the Convictors' sympathizers. Thancred tries to talk an increasingly hysterical Emmanellain down, saying that what happened cannot be changed and he must learn to live with the consequences. Emmanellain lashes out at Thancred, whom he sees as being completely ignorant of what it is like to fail, and punches him. Thancred punches back, harder, and tells him that he had tried to save those closest to him and failed; he must live with those failures, and so too must Emmanellain.
The Warrior of Light returns to Ishgard afterwards with Thancred in tow to discuss the matter with Aymeric and Lord Edmont. Sadly, Ishgard is a nation steeped in tradition stemmed from the sins of antiquity on behalf of their forefathers, perpetuated by the clergy for a thousand years until Thordan VII's downfall. The people would not soon forget what they had lost to the dragons, and to try to convince them to do so as they strive for peace would only invite more like the Convictors and the True Brothers of the Faith to fight back. If there is to be any peace, the people of Ishgard must be once more united under a common goal, like they had with the war against the dragons before.
Aymeric has an idea that can help bring Ishgardians together; a "grand melee", a fighting tournament where Ishgard would would test their mettle against the other city-states of the Eorzean Alliance. Such a show of strength on the part of Ishgard's forces, composed of both Aymeric's Temple Knights and Hilda's watch, would reignite patriotic flames within the hearts and minds of the Holy See's people and help to pave the way for peace. With Lucia and Hilda both on board, the Warrior of Light is sent to find Emmanellain, so that he may make amends for his shortcomings at Falcon's Nest in the melee.
The Warrior of Light finds Emmanellain in the Pillars, his mistakes still heavy on his mind and his heart. Emmanellain had been born into privilege; as a son of House Fortemps, his future had been decided for him before he was even born, and lacking the strength of conviction his brothers held, he had been content to simply do as he had been told until now. Now seeing the harm that came from his indecisiveness, he decides to take his future into his own hands; when he returns to Ser Aymeric, he does not simply agree to accept his father's instructions, but instead asks Aymeric to let him take part in the grand melee.
With Emmanellain taking part, Aymeric asks for one more person to take part in the melee alongside himself and the forces of Ishgard, one who took the cause of his people as their own and gave them hope; the Warrior of Light, who accepts Aymeric's invitation to his delight.
At the grand melee, the battle reaches a fevered pitch as Raubahn and the Warrior of Light duel. Ultimately, the Warrior of Light, and the Ishgardian warriors they fought alongside with, emerge victorious. With the bonds and forces of the Eorzean Alliance strengthened, Emmanellain's resolve renewed, and the morale of Ishgard's people lifted by their symbolic victory, the time is ripe for the peace talks to commence.
At Falcon's Nest, a crowd of Ishgardians, along with the Warrior of Light, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, and even the maid that orchestrated the Convictors' protests earlier, gather as Aymeric and Vidofnir meet to formalize the end of the Dragonsong War and the beginning of a new era where man and dragon stand together. To commemorate the coming peace, Aymeric unveils the relief made in dedication to this monumental event, depicting the two beings that once saw their two kinds come together: Hraesvelgr and Saint Shiva.
Tragically, the peace that had been only newly forged is shattered by the appearance of Estinien, the eyes of Nidhogg grafted into his body, as he drives his lance into Vidofnir, nearly killing her. Before all present, Nidhogg, using Estinien as his medium, proclaims that there would be no end to the war; he would see that the Ishgardians paid for their sins, and any who stood in the way of his vengeance, be they man or dragon, would be slaughtered. With that, Nidhogg transforms Estinien's body into his restored dragon form and takes flight.
The people of Ishgard begin to believe that there would be no end to the war so long as Nidhogg drew breath, and cry out for his death.
In light of Estinien falling under Nidhogg's thrall, Alphinaud reflects on his motivations up to this point. In the past, he had thought only of the good of the realm, and doing anything in his power to ensure it, regardless of the cost. Having seen firsthand how shortsighted such goals are following the Crystal Braves' betrayal and the events that followed, he declares that he wound instead fight for his friends, including Estinien; even if Aymeric and others condemn Estinien to die, Alphinaud would do all in his power to save him.
The Warrior of Light and Alphinaud meet with Y'shtola and Krile to discuss their next course of action. Y'shtola and Krile both note how Nidhogg's hateful influence from the eyes have practically overtaken Estinien's body and soul, but even still, Estinien's spirit still exists within Nidhogg's shade; he may yet be saved. Alphinaud vows to do so, even if it means plucking out Nidhogg's eyes and risking becoming Nidhogg's next host himself.
The fact of the matter remains, however, that with both of his eyes, Nidhogg's might is nigh insurmountable. Ser Aymeric and Alphinaud decide to try and entreat the aid of Hraesvelgr, Nidhogg's brood-brother and equal, likely though it may be that he would refuse.
When the Warrior of Light, Alphinaud, and Aymeric meet with Hraesvelgr, their suspicions are realized when Hraesvelgr remains reluctant to intercede. Alphinaud questions if Hraesvelgr has truly given up on mankind, however; if he had, why would he have intervened to help the Warrior of Light and his allies at Azys Lla, and with Ysayle riding on his back, no less?
With further encouragement from Midgardsormr, Hraesvelgr finally decides to put the Warrior of Light and their friends to the test and assess their mettle. In the trials that come, including a duel between the Warrior of Light and Hraesvelgr, the Warrior and their allies emerge victorious. Hraesvelgr agrees to give mankind one more chance and pledges to aid them against Nidhogg.
Nidhogg and his horde have begun to assault the Steps of Faith, with Lucia and the Temple Knights fighting a desperate battle against a seemingly unending assault by the dragons, when the Warrior of Light and their friends arrive with Hraesvelgr. Hraesvelgr engages Nidhogg in a titanic battle that sees the vengeful wyrm bring his brood-brother crashing from the heavens, having ripped off one of his wings and grounded him. Hraesvelgr, however, is determined to see Nidhogg's shade felled; no longer able to fight himself, he reveals that he has left one of his eyes and the immense power it contains to the Warrior of Light!
The Warrior of Light fights Nidhogg and dispels his draconian form, reducing him to Estinien's body with Nidhogg's eyes grafted into his armor. With Estinien desperately holding back Nidhogg's influence, he begs to be killed, thus ending Nidhogg's threat once and for all. Alphinaud refuses to entertain his request, instead beseeching the Warrior of Light to aid him in wresting Nidhogg's eyes away from Estinien. With the aid of the spirits of Ysayle and Haurchefant, they both muster the strength to extract Nidhogg's eyes. Aymeric frantically calls out to cast them into the abyss beneath the Steps of Faith before they can do any more harm, which the Warrior and Alphinaud do, ending Nidhogg's influence and the threat he posed.
Estinien recovers from his injuries enough to speak with the Warrior of Light, Aymeric, and Alphinaud, whom he came to see as a younger brother not unlike the one he lost in the war. He explains that when Nidhogg took over his body and mind, he saw in Nidhogg's soul the same burning hatred over the death of his brood-sister at the hands of the Knights Twelve as he had for Nidhogg following the death of his family. Were it not for his friends to guide him, he would've been alike to Nidhogg in all respects. With Nidhogg felled and the war over, he abdicates his mantle as Azure Dragoon, declaring Aymeric to be an Azure Dragoon for a new age.
Afterwards, Ser Aymeric sets the foundation for sweeping reform across Ishgard. In his last act as acting leader of the Holy See, he abolishes the theocracy and sets up a republic government in its wake; church and state would be separated and policy for Ishgard would be determined by high and low-born alike in the newly established House of Lords (to which Aymeric is quickly elected to the highest seat) and House of Commons. Afterwards, the peace between Ishgard and Dravania is finalized. The book closes on the thousand-year Dragonsong War, and a new age of peace begins for Ishgard.
Even as the light graces Ishgard, however, the Warriors of Darkness remain afoot, and the ambitions of the Ascians continue to cast their shade...
With things finally at peace, Aymeric finally makes good on his earlier promise and invites the Warrior of Light to dinner. A quiet, lighthearted moment ensues between the two in the comfort of Aymeric's home, which is sadly broken with terrible news - Thancred had arrived in the Fortemps manor with a wounded Alisaie. She had been trailing the Warriors of Darkness (poorly, as Thancred would add) when she was spotted by the Warriors and subsequently rescued by Thancred. However, the archer of the group had struck Alisaie with a poisoned arrow. Before she passes out, she begs the heroes to head to Xelphatol to stop the Ixal from summoning Garuda again. With the aid of the Temple Knights, the summoning is left incomplete and put to a complete halt by the Warrior of Light.
Returning to Ishgard, Alphinaud is overjoyed to learn his sister has fully recovered. Comparing notes, the heroes determine that the Ascians are helping the tribes summon stronger and stronger primals for some unknown reason and this sort of thing should not continue. Aided by Alisaie, the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud first head for the Waking Sands and get help from Urianger. He reveals that the kobolds are attempting to summon Titan once more. A suspicious Alisaie, however, tells Urianger to find a certain book in order to confirm claims made by the Warriors of Darkness.
Heading for Camp Outlook, you learn of a kobold problem at the camp and begin to search. The search leads to a young kobold named Ga Bu, who is trying to protect his parents from Titan by stealing away the crystals they need to summon him. While you are able to secure some of them, many of them have already been taken. Giving the crystals you've secured to Alphinaud, the Warrior of Light, Alisaie and Ga Bu head to where Titan is summoned, finding the bodies of Ga Bu's parents and others, sickening Alisaie. The priest attempts to justify it with the Limsa Lominsans continued expansions into their territory, however, it is cut short when Ga Bu finds his parents and his grief summons a different Titan, one that is influenced by and takes on the mind of the young Kobold's grief. Spiriting Alisaie and Ga Bu away, the Warrior of Light returns to slay Titan once more while Alisaie admonishes herself for having brought Ga Bu with her. Before returning to the Waking Sands, Ga Bu is left in the care of those at Camp Outlook, hopeful that the now-traumatized kobold can recover and was not tempered by Titan.
Returning to the Waking Sands, Urianger reveals what he learned through the book he read, revealing a passage that suggest that a world could be spared by killing the world it is a reflection of and that a world of pure light or pure darkness would end up just becoming a void. Furthermore, Urianger reveals that the crystals being used for the summons were being smuggled by Ishgardian smugglers and being sent to the Ala Mhigan Resistance... news that Thancred later mentions, which sets off Alisaie further. Heading to Little Ala Mhigo, you learn of the resistance growing by a new, masked leader known as "The Griffin", who is a great orator. To their shock, the heroes end up finding two people they hadn't seen in ages — Yda and Papalymo. As it turns out, they had made their way to Little Ala Mhigo after the Scions' escape from Ul'dah, but couldn't really return home since they ended up getting rid of their linkpearls in their escape. Further, the group they were aiding, the Masks, was highly distrusting of the Scions and seemingly worked behind the scenes to keep them from being contacted by the two.
In order to get answers over the crystals, a plan is made to disguise Alphinaud and the Warrior of Light as downtrodden adventurers wanting to join the Masks' cause. Doing so draws out one of the Griffin's decoys, who explains the Masks no longer have the crystals they're looking for, that they were given to the Amalj'aa for their aid in the coming battles with the Empire. He explodes with anger when Yda accuses him of shortsightedness but recovers, inviting the others to search the camp for the crystals. He also thanks the Warrior of Light for a kindness they had done in the past, leading to this moment.
While Yda and Papalymo search for the crystals, the other Scions head for Zahar'ak, where they find the Warriors of Darkness waiting for them. They have taken in the idea to just go ahead and murder the Warrior of Light to save their world and a titanic battle ensues, with Alisaie joining the fight with her own sword of light. The Warriors of Darkness, endowed with the Echo similar to the Warrior of Light, prove stronger once more and bind the Scions, only to be rescued by the Warriors' mysterious ally, revealing himself to be Urianger himself! Their black mage prepares a powerful spell to defeat the Scions, which Alisaie prepares one of her own. Alisaie proves to be the quicker and the Warriors are defeated. However, they remain defiant, refusing to back down as they hold out their own Crystals of Light. Alphinaud realizes that they're already dead as the Warrior of Darkness explains that they were chosen by the Mothercrystal to be Warriors of Light themselves and they rid their world of evil, including their own Ascians, only for their world to be engulfed in light. As the Warriors attempt to escape, Urianger tells the Warrior of Light to hold up their own Crystal, drawing the Warriors and Scions towards the Mothercrystal. Urianger, then, calls out to Hydaelyn for an audience with Minfilia in exchange for a bounty of light.
Minfilia, as the Word of the Mother, turns to the Warriors of Darkness and tells them that Hydaelyn is willing to set the balance right on their world. Arbert, the de facto leader of the Warriors of Darkness, is in disbelief and attempts to strike her with his axe, which she effortlessly repels. As herself, Minfilia expresses joy at being reunited with her old friends one more time. Urianger, upset, reveals that he had played friend and foe alike to save the Warriors' world and give Minfilia her freedom. Though the Scions are upset at this, Minfilia is actually glad to be able to do such a thing. As a parting gift, Minfilia entrusts them Tupsimati, Louisoix's broken staff, before taking the Warriors of Darkness back to their world, to their possible final rest.
Returning to their own world, the Scions opt to return to the Rising Stones, but not before picking up Yda and Papalymo. However, before they leave, the leader of Little Ala Mhigo spots Yda and recognizes her as a great fighter thought dead. Papalymo is able to push aside this before Yda has a chance to try to explain. Back at the Rising Stones, things are put into order - Alphinaud decides to reform the Scions into a group whose members work their own ways to help the realm. Krile and Alisaie are made official Scions and Urianger, still troubled by what he had to do, remains with the group and Alphinaud, very reluctantly, is made leader of the group.
Soon after, Tataru asks the Warrior of Light to visit the Diamond Forge for something... only to be ambushed by the Lalafell and the Diamond Forge workers, taking their measurements. However, the jovial moment is broken with the arrival of a friend of Yda's, wounded and panicked. The Griffin is seeking to attack Baelsar's Wall, the border between Gridania and Gyr Abania, from the Ala Mhigan side. The Scions realizes the scheme is tantamount to suicide — the Empire would drive out the Resistance within a week and would just bring further conflict between the Empire and Eorzea, which may be what he's gunning for. With that, the Scions seek out the leaders of the Alliance to warn them of this, with the Warrior of Light heading for Ishgard. Upon talking to Aymeric, he agrees that something must be done, but there needs to be an envoy to speak for the country in the Alliance. Unsurprisingly, he's been made that choice.
In Gridania, the leaders, joined by Yugiri as Merlywb's escort, learn of what's going on and agree with the Scions' assessment. As much as they hate it, they must ready themselves for war. Returning the Rising Stones, the Scions attempt a two-pronged plan with Yda, Papalymo, Thancred and Yugiri attempting to sneak under Baelsar's Wall to find the Griffin and speak reason to him while the Warrior of Light returns to the Black Shroud and wait for anything bad to happen. Sadly, the plan failed before it even got off the ground — to everyone's shock, soldiers donning the uniforms of the Grand Companies begin attacking the Wall, overrunning it. While Alphinaud attempts to find the others and warn them of what's happening, the Warrior of Light and other adventurers climb the wall to find and confront the Griffin.
To their surprise, once the Griffin is confronted, he's unmasked and revealed as Ilberd. After a titanic battle, the Griffin is defeated and the Warrior is not happy with it. However, Ilberd is nonplussed — his plan is moving forward as Yuyuhase and Laurentius, disguised as Imperial soldiers, unleash Magitek Vanguards on the Rebellion, crushing them easily. Papalymo, Yda and Alphinaud join the Warrior of Light, shocked at the bloodbath. Alphinaud begs Ilberd to retreat, but he refuses, brandishing his latest toy — the Eyes of Nidhogg, fished from the Sea of Abyss by the Ascian Elidibus and the Warriors of Darkness earlier. Despite Alphinaud telling him he shouldn't use the eyes, Ilberd's defiant — he's grown so sick of how much the Ala Mhigans are actually okay with leaving their homeland to the Empire that he'll gladly become a demon to liberate the home he feels they don't deserve: he seeks to summon a Primal even more fearsome than Bahamut itself. Yda attempts to strike Ilberd, but he jumps out of the way, landing on a ledge. With one last cry of defiance, Ilberd falls backwards, smashing into the ground below.
Fueled by the broken bodies of the fallen, the pure cries of vengeance and Ilberd's corrupting presence, the Eyes of Nidhogg gather and unleash the energies to give birth to a new primal, taking the shape of a monstrous wyrm. Papalymo knows what he must do — the primal must be contained and he seeks to use the same spell Louisoix used to contain Bahamut, using Tupsimati. Yda begs Papalymo not to, knowing what will happen. When an airship containing Thancred, Yugiri and Hilda arrives, Papalymo tells the others to get going - Thancred is forced to carry Yda away. Left alone, Papalymo sets about the spell. It works, but it ultimately costs the Scion his life.
With the threat of a new primal literally hanging in the air, a new plan by the Alliance must be made. However, a familiar face turns up — Nero tol Scaeva, who announces that he has a plan to deal with the primal: finding and activating the Omega Weapon, a machine that was designed to confront and capture Bahamut. Reluctantly, they agree and the plan is made to head back to Carteneau Flats and the entrance to the Omega Weapon's control room. Back at the Rising Sands, joined by Nero, the Scions learn of the plan, only to be interrupted by the arrival of a boisterous samurai by the name of Gosetsu. He attempts to bring Yugiri back to Doma with dire news of home, but he is instead convinced to stay to deal with the Empire. Before you set off to the Flats, Tataru gives the Warrior a parting gift - a Scion outfit of your own, a special gem mounted on it to help guide you back home — it seems Tataru has been deeply affected by the losses sustained by the Scions.
With a seemingly revitalized Yda joining Cid, Nero, Yugiri, Gosetsu and the Warrior, they head for the Cartinaeu Flats and the teleporter to the control room. However, a massive Imperial leader named Grynewaht and his contingent are already there. With the aid of Nero's Magitek Armor, you're able to drive off the group and enter the control room of Omega. Inside, Yda makes the decision to be the one to activate the machine and the Omega Weapon roars to life, arriving at Baelsar's Wall just as the primal breaks free from its prison. A furious battle ensues which ends with both the primal and Omega falling back to the ground around Gyr Abania. Appraised of the situation, the Alliance decides that they must take over the Wall and head into Ala Mhigo to find both Omega Weapon and the new primal, named "Shinryu" by the Domans.
Back in the North Shroud, the Scions check up on Yda, who reveals that she isn't Yda and never was — her real name is Lyse, taking up the mask her older sister Yda wore after she was killed years ago. Papalymo allowed her to perpetrate this lie, though only the Warrior of Light didn't know the truth as the other Scions figured it out long ago and played along. With Papalymo gone, Lyse has no reason to continue the charade and now must walk her own path and she resolves to liberate her home.
Arriving at Baelsar's Wall, now occupied by the Alliance, the Scions meet up with Raubahn to discuss the plan of action before the Scions head off to their first stop: Rhalgr's Reach. Upon reaching the hidden encampment, the Scions are approached not only by soldiers, but also Lyse's friend M'naago and two others, Meffrid and the leader, Conrad. After explaining the situation, Conrad confers to the elders of the town before making his decision — they'll help, but there are other settlements who may not want to, so the Scions must confront them themselves.
Speaking with Meffrid, who was the Ala Mhigan whom you aided in the Black Shroud long ago, you head for Lyse's old home town of Ala Gannha, a town broken both by Imperial subjugation and the Griffin's false promises. Though Lyse is able to sway the elder from kicking all of them out, they find themselves hard-pressed to gain assistance for their cause, particularly so after the recent actions of the Griffin, which resulted in the deaths of most of the town's willing and able. Even trying to aid the citizens to win them over doesn't work, especially when one youth chews out Lyse for trying to appeal to them as an Ala Gannhan. However, their fortune changes after they go to rescue a youth who was kidnapped by a group of beastmen bandits. Despite rescuing him, they watch in horror as a group of soldiers known as the Skulls - Ala Mhigans who opted to throw their lot with the Garleans - beat the poor youth. Lyse is heartbroken how everyone is more than willing to just sit there and take it until the youth who attacked Lyse approached to apologize for being such a hypocrite. He begged to join the Resistance and promised to tell others know who were feeling the same way before they made their decision.
Afterwards, the Warrior of Light and Alisaie escort M'naago to Castrum Oriens to give Raubahn Conrad's official reply. Along the way, M'naago's sensitive hearing, honed from years of hunting and learning to be weary of predators and imperial patrols, picks up on a sizable contingent of imperial soldiers passing through the area. After dispatching the patrolling soldiers, they make their way to the castrum to deliver Conrad's reply. The lack of manpower and morale as a result of the Griffin prove troubling, but Pipin proposes an idea to return the fighting spirit to the rebels; a joint offensive between the Eorzean Alliance and the Resistance against the Empire. Even a small victory could restore the Ala Mhigan's hope and boost recruitment to the cause of liberation. An opportunity to do so presents itself in the form of Garlean soldiers field-testing a new prototype magitek armor; destroying the armor would prevent its mass production, harming the empire while proving the Resistance could hold its own against Garlemald's military might.
Raubahn leads a contingent of Alliance and Resistance soldiers, along with the Warrior of Light and Alisaie, against the prototype armor and imperial soldiers. Leading the imperials field-testing the prototype is Grynewaht, who recognizes the Warrior of Light from Carteneau and is eager to take revenge against them for his previous defeat. Unfortunately for the brutish imperial soldier, the Warrior of Light and their allies prove too much for him, prompting him to escape with his life as the prototype armor under his care is abandoned and scrapped. The imperials are humiliated, the Alliance and Resistance soldiers suffer minimal casualties, and morale swells among the Resistance with this symbolic victory.
The victory has its news spread quickly as the Resistance gains new members, in particular a half-breed Ala Mhigan once encounters in the Waking Sands, and the Garleans learn of the prototype's destruction. The Imperial viceroy of Ala Mhigo, Zenos yae Galvus, responds to the news of the loss by murdering the general reporting to him for not being present at the attack and delegating the prototype's protection to a lesser soldier. Realizing this is a wonderful time to attack the Resistance to sate his own bloodlust, he asks for suggestions. One soldier, an Ala Mhigan named Fordola, speaks up and is acknowledged by Zenos as he notes her own desires to fight...
After helping out around Rhalgr's Reach, the time has come to make the next move. Pipin decides they need to capture Castrum Velodyna and has the Warrior of Light and the twins aid him in reconnaissance. However, upon their recon, explosions strike... at Rhalgr's Reach. The four race back to a bloodbath — the Imperials found the base and laid waste. Meffrid is slain by Fordola, who finds herself overwhelmed by Lyse. However, when Zenos arrives, Lyse is defeated and Y'shtola is badly wounded when her barrier is shattered. The four heroes return and begin to turn the tide, but when Zenos steps up, not even the Warrior of Light is able to stand up to his power, only being spared because their battle breaks Zenos's weapon. Raubahn and the Alliance soon arrive, but Zenos, seemingly bored, leaves to depart with the remainder of his forces. Seeing that even the Warrior of Light was bested by this terrifying new adversary, Raubahn refrains from giving chase, leaving the Alliance to tend to the wounded.
The battle has left the Resistance broken, Conrad especially. Despite evacuating everyone to Castrum Oriens, Conrad is about to give up on the fight before M'naago rightfully chews him out for his cowardice. Realizing that Zenos rules over both Ala Mhigo and Doma, Alphinaud suggests a plan - to aid the Domans in their own liberation and force Zenos to fight a two-pronged war, thus lessening his military strength. Heading for Limsa Lominsa, Tataru is given the task to find a captain who is willing to take them to Doma. She comes back with Captain Carvallain de Gorgagne of the Kraken's Arms. Alisaie's disgusted that they chose a pirate, though Alphinaud is able to calm the situation, especially since airships or an Alliance ship would cause too much problems. When the captain begins to have second thoughts, Tataru subtly blackmails him with knowledge of his true identity, which gets him back on track.
Before they head off, Lyse and the Warrior of Light return to Mor Dhona to get information on Doma. The Warrior learns of how Doma was taken over and who runs it while Lyse learned proper eating etiquette. As they prepare to head off, Urianger quickly arrives with a few things for Alisaie. The first is one of his usual cryptic messages, the other being a rapier - noting her aetheric sword was powerful yet heavily taxing, he went through the trouble of obtaining a new weapon that lessened that drain significantly. Partway to their destination, the ship is taken off-path and crashing onto an island admist the Sirensong Sea. The Warrior of Light charges in to vanquish the spirits within and allows the captain to continue the trip, though Alphinaud would be more than thankful to not deal with ghosts again.
Finally arriving in Kugane, the Scions bid Carvallain farewell, only to meet up with an Ul'dahn merchant named Hancock. To the Scions' shock, he's here with them on behalf of Lolorito, which angers Alphinaud due to the Crystal Braves incident. Hancock tries to reassure them, first by giving them a tour of Kugane, then giving them access to his headquarters. Hancock reveals that Lolorito sincerely wants to make up for the incident, but really can't put it into words, thus the accommodations. As much as the others don't like it, they accept. To that point, he tells them that Yugiri and Gosetsu have been around and currently unable to return to Doma — as it turns out, there's a complicated problem involving Hingashi, the Garlean-controlled Doma and the Confederacy which controls the Ruby Sea between the two territories — the current Imperial viceroy of Doma has decided that the Confederacy is a problem and those who converse with them are to be considered enemies of the Empire, forcing Hingashi to break ties with them.
Needing a way to find their friends, Alphinaud provides the Scions with drawings of the two to show various captains. Through a bit of searching, they learn that Gosetsu had been searching for a boat to cross the Ruby Sea, but no sign of Yugiri. One figure, a Namazu named Gyado, claims to have seen both and claims to have a way to meet them. Though Lyse is excited, the others have their doubts, thus plan to spring any possible trap and take him prisoner. Indeed, upon meeting him, they are ambushed by Imperial soldiers and, when they are fought off, find themselves surrounded by the Sekiseigumi, the samurai law-enforcers of Kugane. With the aid of a Kojin named Soroban, they are able to escape and, as thanks for getting him to meet Hancock through their chance encounter, gives them a ship to cross the Ruby Sea. To that end, Alphinaud stays behind to help out should things go astray elsewhere.
Hitting the Ruby Sea, the Scions encounter the Confederacy and witness first hand how powerless they are to the Empire as they try to enforce their Ruby Tithe, only for the Imperial soldier to keep trying to goad them into attacking, forcing the Confederacy to back down lest the Empire crush them. The Scions attempt to get the Confederacy to aid them, but they won't hear it. Reaching a fishing town, they catch sight of the acting viceroy of Doma, a cruel and heartless Doman woman named Yotsuyu, who convinces a Doman youth to shoot an attempted escapee, then kill his parents. When he refuses to do the later, he is struck down when he turns his gun on her. Before she can sic Grynewaht, who was transferred to Doma for his failings, to get the others, Gosetsu steps out to confront them, telling the Scions to head to a nearby tower. Gosetsu is captured as the Scions escape.
Reaching the tower, they find out that a small village filled by the Confederacy is there. Despite trying to help them out, the Scions are once again rebuffed from getting help from them, only for Alisaie, furious over the fact they're willing to leave one of their own to suffer, puts them to the challenge - if they are able to draw away their Kojin Red allies, then they should take back that fishing town. They take them up on the challenge, sending them to the Kojin's village. Thankfully, the turtle beastmen are a lot more receptive of the Scions and are willing to aid them — the Red Kojin's actions by being mercenaries for the Empire have made it hard for them to trade. To that, the Scions learn of a missing great treasure and they should try to find it and return it to their treasure cove.
Given the ability to breathe underwater via a Kojin ritual, Alisaie, Lyse, and the Warrior of Light first head for a nearby underwater village inhabited by Au Ra. They are promptly turned away only to be encountered by Yugiri's parents, who reveal that she had went out into the world to learn the ways of the shinobi, but when she returned, the Ruby Princess threw her right back out despite their protests. Glad to hear of her safety, they aid the Scions through special lamps to find the artifact. Finding the artifact, they return to the Kojin village, where they are given a ceremonial knife to help open the vault containing the treasures. Distracting the Red Kojin, they enter the vault, only for the resulting chase causing the treasure and two others to join together and accidentally summon a primal, Susano. Jubilantly, Susano just wants a fight, which the Warrior of Light reluctantly obliges. Between the victory against the primal and the distraction, the Confederacy make their move, driving out the Empire, rescuing their hostages and reclaiming the Ruby Sea.
With Gosetsu rattled but otherwise okay, the heroes head for Yanxia, the outskirts of Doma itself, where the scars of the failed rebellion remain. The heroes are quickly kicked out of the farming village of Namai, leading Gosetsu to head for the hidden base of the House of the Fierce, where the Doman Liberation Front are housed, and a reunion with Yugiri. Yugiri reveals that she found the missing Hien, crown prince of Doma, but he refuses to return, telling Yugiri to see what Doma wishes. If they wish to be freed, then he'll return to help them, but should they rather remain cowed, then he'll give the Empire his head. Yugiri, aided by Lyse and the Warrior of Light, seek out what's going on with the people and find them broken by Yotsuyu's vicious reprisals, leading to a youngster who drove out the group earlier to do so again. Even worse, a group of Imperials arrive, "recruiting" Domans for various jobs elsewhere. Yugiri sends Lyse back to the base while she and the Warrior head for the nearby Castrum Fluminis. After sneaking in, they learn that the various villagers are being sent across the land, forced to repair machinery way too advanced for them in retaliation for the Confederacy's actions. Yugiri's able to stage a rescue, but the villagers are horrified she did so - scared of Imperial reprisals, they would rather listen to them and suffer than stand up to them. Though they do escape, Yugiri is shaken - are the villagers willing to forsake freedom? Is Doma doomed to be under Imperial rule forever? The Warrior of Light reassures her, only for the moment to be broken as an airship approaches Doma Castle - Zenos is here to find out what happened at the Ruby Sea. While the rebellion and the Scions are willing to hide from Zenos, Yugiri refuses - she views this as the perfect opportunity to fight back and kill him once and for all, despite Zenos's incredible power.
Despite everyone's pleas, Yugiri charges off, the Warrior of Light deciding the join her in her attempt. Waiting until the time is right, Yugiri makes her move, only for Zenos to stop her. The Warrior of Light steps in and a vicious fight ensues. Once more, Zenos defeats the Warrior of Light, but is completely surprised by the fact the Warrior managed to damage his helmet. He decides to spare them, imploring the Warrior of Light to continue to grow stronger, but when Yugiri attempts to attack him again, Zenos strikes her back down. Before she can be finished off, the villagers lead by the youth, Isse, arrive to save her. Zenos is amused and decides to retreat when Alisaie and Gosetsu arrive. Both Yugiri and the Warrior of Light are able to escape with their lives, but with a far greater prize than just escape: the villagers have rediscovered their will to fight and prepare to get ready for round two. Gosetsu reprimands Yugiri for her actions, telling her the true meaning of Hien's words while the Warrior of Light learns that it was Alphinaud who helped rally the villagers, panicking at the fact that they had went on what amounted to a suicide mission.
With the will of the people reforged, Gosetsu decides its time to find Hien and bring him home, though Alisaie decides to stay behind to help her brother. At Doma Castle, Zenos viciously reprimands Yotsuyu for her actions before leaving to check on a "prize". Back at Gyr Abania, Estinien arrives at a massive hole in the earth where Shinryu might have landed, reaffirming his duty to end Nidhogg's threat after learning how it was made.
Arriving at the Azim Steppe, inhabited by numerous tribes of Xaela Au Ra, the heroes make their way to the trading town of Reunion in search of Hien. Helping a Mol tribe member named Cirina and learning of a contest known as the Naadam, Cirina leads them to Hien. Learning that the Domans are ready to fight back, Hien is pleased, but he's not ready to return. He seeks to participate in the Naadam as champion of the Mol in order to become leader and lead the Xaela into aiding him in taking back Doma. He charges Yugiri to return to the villages in Yanxia to prepare them for battle while Gosetsu, Lyse and the Warrior of Light stay behind to aid Hien.
Upon reaching the village, the four are introduced to the leader of the Mol tribe and Hien requests permission to participate in the Naadam. As she believes it was fated for their tribe to find Hien, the leader realizes he might be fated to help them in the Naadam and allows it. As the others prepare to leave, the leader stops the Warrior of Light and tells them that she feels that their presence there is a sign of something big. To participate in the Naadam, they must conquer Bardam's Mettle, a series of tests that is said that no outsider has ever accomplished. After a big feast, the four head for the Mettle, fighting off kidnappers along the way. Going through tough tests of battle and skill, they are victorious, only to be confronted by soldiers of other tribes and brought before Magnai, khan of the Oronir, the winners of the previous Naadam and therefore the dominant tribe of the Steppe. Though annoyed and reluctant, the four play along with his desires and demands, though Hien isn't ready to leave just yet as he wants to know more about the tribes before leaving, learning about the assumed origins of the Xaela. However, Magnai isn't ready to let you go and keeps Lyse and Hien as prisoners as he bids Gosetsu and the Warrior of Light to spy on the Dotharl tribe.
Despite Gosetsu's accidental rudeness towards the Dotharl's way of life, their leader, Sadu, is more than welcome to let them "spy" while Lyse learns from Hien why people like the Domans were more than willing to let the Garleans trample all over them, reigniting her passion to free both his and her own people from Imperial rule. Soon, it is the day of the Naadam and the three clans charge forward toward the ovoo that designated victory for the tribe that claimed it. Despite both Magnai and Sado fiercely trying to claim it before everyone else, the winner is the Warrior of Light themselves, becoming khagan of the Xaela tribes. However, the reign is tested almost immediately when Grynewaht and an army of Imperials enter the fray. Fighting together as one, they drive off the Imperials with a panicked Grynewaht proclaiming he needs more power to defeat them. Victory in hand, Hien asks the two tribes to aid them in the liberation of Doma.
After a final farewell to the Mol, the victorious heroes return to the House of the Fierce, where the twins and Yugiri await. The trio have been busy in recruitment, having gotten the aid of the Confederacy, random Doman villages and the blue Kojin, though the same village that turned the heroes away before still refuse to step in. Alphinaud lays out the strike plan, which sends various waves to drop the Imperials' defenses before the main siege. With much to do, the Warrior of Light helps out with certain duties - retrieving documents on Magitek devices for Alphinaud, being on the lookout for Imperials with Alisaie and convincing a cynical blacksmith to make armor. However, when accompanying Hien to look at Doma Castle and a nearby village does he get the idea to modify the plan. Despite Gosetsu's protestings, Hien modifies the plan so that the Kojin plant explosives underneath Doma Castle, intending on flooding it and preventing Imperial reinforcements. The night before the attack, the Warrior of Light joins Gosetsu and Hien in a drink, where the drunken elder samurai begs forgiveness for his failures.
The next morning, the attack commences and, impressively, everyone plays their part greatly, leading to Hien, Gosetsu, Yugiri and the Warrior of Light to make the charge inside Doma Castle. Battling through the castle, they encounter Grynewaht one last time, heavily modified into a killing machine lost in his bloodlust. Ultimately, the heroes confront Yotsuyu, who tells her story of how she was ignored and abused by her own people and she sought to get revenge on all of them once she gained her power. She attempts to kill Hien, but he is fast enough to cut the bullet aimed at him and incapacitate Yotsuyu. The heroes soon realize that Yotsuyu was stalling for time and that the castle is preparing to cave in upon them. Gosetsu catches the ceiling and bids everyone to leave, but Yotsuyu comes to and fires her pistol at Gosetsu, weakening his hold. Reluctantly, they leave Gosetsu to his fate. By the time they try to go back to him, Doma Castle has collapsed into the river below. Soroban is unable to find any trace of either Gosetsu or Yotsuyu.
Despite the losses, Doma is finally free and Hien rallies his tired people into starting the rebuilding process. Their job done, the Scions prepare to head back to Eorzea, though Tataru opts to stay behind in Kugane. Before they leave, however, Hien and Yugiri catches up to them. Hien thanks them for what they did and pledges to send forces to Eorzea once an intern government has been established. He plans to cause more confusion and chaos within the region by sending shinobi to other villages to incite other rebellions, thus preventing the Empire from retaliating on Doma itself. He also charges Yugiri to join them, not only to aid in the Scions' fight but also to let the Doman refugees in Eorzea know that their homeland is free once more.
However, not everything is happy back in Eorzea - just before their arrival, a group of Resistance Fighters seeking to get Y'shtola and the other wounded to Mor Dhona were ambushed by Imperial forces with Krile captured. Reuniting with Raubahn and Pipin, the story of the Doman Liberation is told, which Pipin responds to the comm chatter from the Imperials trying to squash down other liberation attempts. Raubahn decides now's the time to strike: he initiates Operation Rhalgr's Light, in which the main force would lure out most of the Imperial Forces from Castellum Velodyna, allowing a small team to mop up and allow M'naago to sneak above and apply glamour prisms on the Imperial flags to replace them with the sign of the Resistance.
While preparing for the mission, Conrad bids the Warrior of Light to speak to three different soldiers and, though them, is able to realize that Conrad seeks to pass leadership to Lyse when the time is right, though he asks not to say anything. Soon, the mission starts off with everything going without a hitch. The battle draws out Fordola once more, who is still no match for the Warrior of Light, even despite using brand new assets. With everyone distracted, M'naago is able to pull it off, changing the flag to one of the Resistance, causing the Imperials to fall apart, despite Fordola's attempts to make them stay. Castellum Velodyna is captured by the Resistance.
Learning the M'naago had return to her village on the Peering Stones, the Warrior of Light and the Scions make their way there. However, an Ananta, a serpentine beastmen race native to Gyr Abania, is waiting for them. Speaking as a member of the Vira tribe, she tells them the story of their fellow Qalyana tribe and what they had done — to keep the Imperials away from them, they swore fealty to them. However, their broodmother's daughter was kidnapped by an ignorant Fordola, who was in search of someone known as "the Butcher". When the Resistance made their attack on Velodyna, the Qalyana went to rescue the girl from Fordola. However, in a moment of confusion, one of the Skulls slew her, driving the broodmother to grief and madness and summoning the primal Lakshmi. With no other option, the decision is made to find and stop the primal.
Arriving at the home of the Vira, the Scions are told of Lakshmi and her origins. The entire thing resonates with Alisaie, reminding her more and more of Ga Bu and his tragic fate. With the aid of another Vira, they make it to the Qalyana home and attune to their aetheryte. Sneaking into Lakshmi's abode, they find the broodmother wondering why her daughter isn't alive. Though Lakshmi brought her back to life, she was nothing more than an empty shell, her soul scattered to the winds. In anger, Alisaie made her presence known, berating the Qalyana for following the lies and false promises of the primal. A duel of words ensue, leading to Lakshmi to try to temper them. The Ananta are changed, but the Warrior of Light uses their power to save the others. To Alisaie's regret, the Warrior of Light must fight the creature. After the primal's defeat, the broodqueen snapped at the Warrior of Light for attacking their god. Despite Lyse attempting to get her to see reason, she refused and told them to leave.
Back in Ala Mhigo, Fordola is forced to confront Zenos for the loss of Velodyna, bearing the insults of other Imperials. Zenos forces her to tell the truth — Fordola wants revenge on those who humiliated her. Taking notice of her rage, Zenos places her in the care of a Garlean scientist...
After telling the Vira of their victory, the Scions returned to the Peering Stones, where they were welcomed back with open arms. Urged to rest before heading onward, they are treated to a hearty meal and, that night, Lyse talks to the Warrior of Light about the incident with the Ananta before turning in. The next morning, the Scions ultimately make their way to the Fringes, where the Alliance and Resistance have reclaimed Ala Ghiri. Joining Raubahn, they plan their next move, seeking to capture Specula Imperatoris before heading onward.
In Ala Mhigo, using Krile, the Imperials experiment on Fordola. Through the scientist, she learns she was experimented on mysteriously as a way to help overcome the Garleans' inability to use aether. Learning of the possible attack on Specula Imperatoris, Fordola wishes to join her Skulls, but Zenos requests to do another job. All the while, Thancred watches from above.
As Alisaie and the Warrior of Light patrol Ala Ghiri, the Resistance and Alliance lay siege in Specula Imperatoris. However, in Gyr Abania, Fordola arrives at Castrum Abania with orders from Zenos. To the shock of the Imperial soldier there, she orders the main cannon fired on the Specula Imperatoris main tower, despite all of the other Imperials there. Fordola knows this and claims that they have to do it because only the strong survive. The weapon is powered up and fired, destroying the tower. Alisaie and the Warrior of Light see this and raced to Specula Imperatoris to find survivors. Raubahn is able to shake Alisaie out of her panic to go help others, but the Warrior of Light sees the worst as M'naago, Lyse and Alphinaud try to rouse a badly injured Conrad. With his last bit of life, he passes command of the Resistance to Lyse. Before the Imperials can use the cannon again, Estinien arrives and employs his dragoon abilities to disable the cannon, musing to himself that his debt to Alphinaud is repaid.
Retreating to Ala Ghiri, the Resistance attempt to plot their next move, realizing that the cannon should have kept firing but didn't. The Warrior of Light and Lyse investigate, finding smoke still pouring out from the damage. Returning to camp, the plan is made to capture Castrum Abania to make sure the cannon isn't used again. With the aid of a hidden Resistance member, they sneak inside for a three-pronged attack, making their way to the command center where Fordola is waiting. Lyse calls her out for her brutal murdering of her own people, but Fordola brushes it off, claiming that the only way to be accepted within the Empire is to be strong and if that meant killing their own, so be it. The two begin fighting, but Fordola moves with incredible speed and agility and a pincer attack by Alisaie leads to the girl being struck down by Fordola. Despite her empowerment, when the Warrior of Light attempts to enter the fray, Fordola realizes she's outgunned and makes her escape, though gives an invitation to the heroes to meet Zenos in Ala Mhigo.
Meeting up with Raubahn, he recognizes Lyse's grief and confusion and brings her and the Warrior of Light to a small village and a house, namely Raubahn's home. The Warrior of Light gets a vision where a young Raubahn is convinced by Lyse's father to keep fighting, spurred by the creed "Liberty or Death". Through that, Lyse becomes convinced to become a better leader, to fight for freedom or die trying. On their way back to another village, they're ambushed by a group of youth, who they realize that they were trying to capture them for a favor with the Empire. This forces the Scions to take Alisaie back to Rhalgr's Reach to prevent a reprisal. Once Alisaie is settled, Lyse asks the Warrior to wait outside for something. When she returns, they're surprised by Lyse wearing a stunning red and white outfit, which was once worn by Yda, her reasoning being that, if they were going to make the push into Ala Mhigo, then a part of Yda should be with them. She then asks the Warrior of Light for a sparring match, which lasts for quite some time.
With everything in order, the remaining Scions begin the final push, heading into the Lochs. With knowledge that Krile is inside, the Scions prepare to make their way into Ala Mhigo. Aided by the youth who first attacked Lyse upon her arrival, the heroes made their way to a monastery where the young man's grandfather was hiding. With his blessing, he gives them a key that will get them inside through a special passageway. Before sneaking in, they're confronted by Urianger, who gives them a staff resembling Moenbryda's to be used against Fordola should they run into her again. The Scions are able to sneak into the Ala Mhigan Quarter and allow the Resistance to break through while they pushed further in to find Krile. Inside, they find Fordola, who proved to be a fierce opponent, but the staff tipped the scales in the heroes' favor, capturing Fordola and saving Krile. However, Fordola boasted that Zenos was much stronger than they thought and that he had a power of an eikon.
With everything set up, the gathered armies prepared for the final push. Before heading off Raubahn gave the Warrior of Light a package to give to Pipin. Upon arriving to him, they learned that the package was one of Raubahn's swords. When word comes of a pack of wolfmen were approaching, Alphinaud and the Warrior of Light rush to stop them, hoping that, since they were Doman, the news of the country's liberation will stop them. Despite their attempt, the wolfmen forced them to fight, but their mercy lead them to believe their words. An attempt to bust down the front gates was nearly stopped by a fleet of gunships, only for the sudden arrival of Lord Hien and some of his Doman allies, who give them the chance to bust the doors down and charge forward into Ala Mhigo proper. After a devastating battle inside against Zenos, the Warrior of Light finally has the upper hand and pursues him to the Royal Menagerie, where it is discovered that Zenos has Shinryu in his captivity, and that he has been endowed with the powers of a Resonant, giving him an artificial Echo that allows him to take control of primals. He gloats that he and the Warrior are one and the same - bloodthirsty warriors who crave the next battle. Despite his attempts to get the Warrior to join his cause, Zenos nevertheless decides to show off his immense power, taking control of Shinryu through his Resonant powers.
After a titanic struggle, Shinryu is destroyed and Zenos defeated. However, despite the attempt to bring him in alive, Zenos has other plans. Feeling his life complete, he takes his life, despite Lyse attempting to stop him. Lyse felt that the victory was hollow with him taking his own life, but Raubahn tells her to not see it like that. With Zenos dead, their stated goal is completed - Ala Mhigo is free. With the long and bloody war for independence finally won, all of the soldiers gathered join with Lyse in singing the anthem of their reclaimed homeland.
O come ye wayward brothers,
Bereft of hearth and home,
Beneath yon burning star there lies
A haven for the bold.
Raise up your hands and voices,
Let fill your hearts with pride,
Above the churning waters we
Stand strong and unified.
At Rhalgr's Reach, Lyse gathers the Scions to let them know she's stepping down as a Scion to focus on rebuilding her homeland, though Y'shtola gets in a good rib before they all reassure her that they're all friends and comrades through and through, Scion or not. At the Menagerie, Estinien discovers Nidhogg's eyes, left behind upon Shinryu's defeat. He confirms that they have very little aether left, but decides not to take chances and takes up his lance to completely destroy them, finally putting an end to Nidhogg's vengeful influence. Within Garlemald's lands, Elidibus speaks with the Emperor, the latter seemingly unconcerned that Zenos is dead. He is shocked, though, when Elidibus removes his Ascian mask and reveals his identity. Back in Ala Mhigan lands, Cid finally finds the location of Omega's resting place, but Jessie of the Garlond Ironworks wants to put a leash on him... by hiring his fiercest rival, Nero tol Scaeva.
As Lyse deliberates how to proceed from here, the Warrior of Light earns a much appreciated respite. They are approached by Arenvald, a Resistance soldier, who suggests going on an adventure. He had an idea of what kind of adventure to undertake; with the aid of the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud, he means to find the Mad King's Trove, a cache of riches that Theodoric took from the political enemies he had killed.
The trio set out for the Ala Mhigan Quarter to ask those who had lived during Theodoric's reign if they had any information pertaining to Theodoric's treasure. The Warrior of Light gains a clue from the Mad King's former scribe, who recounts how, in the twillight years of his reign, Theodoric found a creative and disturbing new way to dispose of his enemies; having the court thaumaturge to place a curse on them, transforming them into vile monsters, and casting them into "the darkness below the palace".
The Warrior of Light relays this tale to Alphinaud and Arenvald. Alphinaud thinks he might have an idea, based on this clue, as to where the treasure may lie. Before he reveals his idea, however, he asks Arenvald what he truly sought in finding the Mad King's Trove.
Arenvald confesses that while he did seek adventure, he had a more personal reason for seeking out the Trove: he was born the bastard son of an Ala Mhigan woman and a Garlean soldier. His mother held him in great disdain and would always check his brow for a Garlean "third eye", one day taking a knife to his brow, leaving a scar that he conceals with war paint. Eventually, she abandoned him, and Arenvald was forced to do whatever it took just to survive. The things he had to do to get by haunt him, and he eventually made his way out of Ala Mhigo, taking up a career of adventuring in Eorzea and eventually coming into the employ of the Scions. If he could find the Mad King's Trove, he could spare his countrymen from the same fate that had befallen him in his youth.
Satisfied with Arenvald's answer and sympathetic to his plight, Alphinaud takes his companions out to Loch Seld to explain his idea: in the Sixth Umbral Calamity, a city known as Skalla was flooded and destroyed. It now sat at the bottom of Loch Seld. The "darkness below the palace" the scribe mentioned to the Warrior of Light wasn't a reference to any subterranean prison in the Ala Mhigan palace, but rather, the ruins of Skalla which laid even further beneath the palace. Furthermore, the political enemies that Theodoric cursed had been banished to the ruins to protect his treasure.
Together, the Warrior of Light, Alphinaud, and Arenvald delve into the Drowned City of Skalla. At the heart of the ruins, they uncover the legendary mad king's trove; there was even more treasure than the legends had foretold, more than enough to help Ala Mhigo's poor! The trio of adventurers report their findings to Lyse when she comes to the Ala Mhigan quarter to convene a delegation of Ala Mhigan leaders to discuss policy.
The joyous news, however, is interrupted by reports of an angry mob convening outside the prison where Fordola was being detained. Several Ala Mhigans, many of whom lost loved ones to Fordola and her men, had formed a lynch mob, hell-bent on butchering the Butcher. Accusations fly towards Lyse for keeping her alive. The situation is defused, thankfully, by Raubahn, who explains that exacting revenge against Fordola may provide temporary satisfaction, but Ala Mhigo should set a better example than the Garleans that had ruled over them, and give Fordola a chance to answer for her crimes.
Afterwards, Arenvald asks for a chance to speak with Fordola, since their circumstances are not dissimilar. Raubahn gives Arenvald permission, and are joined by the Warrior of Light and Lyse.
In her cell, Fordola claims that it would've been better to let her die at the hands of the mob. Lyse, however, reminds her that she promised that she would let her live long enough to see Ala Mhigo free. Fordola spits this statement back in Lyse's face; after all, she killed not only Lyse's soldiers, but her own men, and deserved to be put to death. Arenvald shoots back that Fordola didn't come so far just to give up.
As Arenvald and Fordola argue, the Warrior of Light has a vision from the Echo of Fordola's past. Fordola's parents were imperial sympathizers during the occupation of Ala Mhigo, earning them the scorn of their countrymen. Before she could understand what their decisions in the name of survival meant, she was exposed to the ugly truths of the occupation when an angry mob gathered to stone her. Her father shielded her with his body while her mother begged nearby Garlean soldiers to help them, but to no avail. In the end, Fordola's father died when he was struck in the head by a large stone from the mob. This incident would shape her into a cold and callous young woman who knew all to well that citizenship in the empire meant naught unless one was born a full-blooded Garlean. Resentful towards both the Empire for their prejudices towards Ala Mhigans and to her own countrymen for the death of her father, she would enlist in the military with her friends, the same ones she would later sacrifice, to make others respect and fear her until they were free.
After having the vision, Fordola claims her death would serve to unite the people of Ala Mhigo. Arenvald fires back that Fordola had every opportunity to end her own life after she was imprisoned, but that suicide would not have served her anything as opposed to being executed. Fordola then turns to the Warrior of Light, snapping at them and stating that they could know nothing about her just by peeking into her past. She prepares to use her Resonant powers, but suddenly, the Echo gives her visions of the Warrior of Light's past. She witnesses the hardships they had endured; their fight with Gaius, the betrayal of the Crystal Braves, the deaths of Haurchefant and their other friends, their struggle to save Estinien's soul, the trials they faced in liberating Doma, their showdown with Zenos and Shinryu... She is taken aback at all that had happened to them, and can't understand how they have the strength to persevere. With that, Lyse tells Fordola that she still has time, and she must decide how to use it, before she and her companions take their leave.
As the Warrior of Light and their allies search the laboratory where Krile was held, they realize that Fordola had similar powers to those of other Echo-enchanted individuals - in particular, Krile, who could sense the faintest traces of a person's aether - but could not control her power; she was constantly peering into the souls and seeing the memories of those whom she and the Skulls had victimized. Inundated with such hatred on a daily basis from angry crowds to her prison guards, it's little wonder that she would wish for death.
Fordola would have to continue waiting for her execution, however, for the experiments the Garleans had conducted on Krile and Fordola are most troubling. If any word of the experiments had made it back to the empire, it could lead to legions of imperial soldiers who were given the powers of the Echo. The Alliance would need to consider how to react to such a possibility.
As Alphinaud, Arenvald, and Lyse make preparations to retrieve Theodoric's treasure, Pipin approaches the Warrior of Light with a summons by the Sultana.
In Ul'dah, the Warrior of Light meets with Nanamo, who is concerned for Raubahn's future; though he is ever loyal to her and has called Ul'dah his home, he would doubtlessly wish to remain in his homeland of Ala Mhigo to help rebuild the nation. Nanamo claims she would welcome whatever choice Raubahn made, and only wishes for him to not have any lingering doubts with his decision. She still worries about how he could make such a decision, since she relies so much on his counsel. Resolving to become more independent, Nanamo offers the Warrior of Light a chance to accompany her as she travels across the realm to put things in perspective.
As the Warrior of Light walks the realm with her, Nanamo confides in them her lingering doubts and regrets. In the years since the fall of Ala Mhigo and the Calamity, the divide between the rich and poor has grown wider, a discrepancy for which Nanamo felt responsible. She had lost her parents in a landslide when she was young, and was thrust into the throne without any idea on how to govern, simply acting as a puppet for the Monetarists. Whether her parents were victims of an accident or an assassination was not known, and even if their deaths was determined to be intentional, she would only be able to have the ones hired to carry out the assassination brought to justice, not the ones who orchestrated their deaths. She had resolved to take power from the Monetarists and place it in the hands of Ul'dah's people, a decision that turned out to be ill-fated if the attempt on her life and the Crystal Braves' betrayal was any indication.
At the coliseum, Nanamo recounts the tale of how she first met Raubahn; she had been invited to observe a match where the famous Bull of Ala Mhigo was forced to fight several gladiators at once, a ploy by a gambling ring to have Raubahn killed in an inconspicuous way. Even before Nanamo learned of the plot against him, she determined that she would not watch such an injustice brought against Raubahn and used what authority she wielded to demand Raubahn fight in an honorable one-on-one duel. In gratitude, Raubahn pledged to be Nanamo's blade after his victory. Nanamo had been so used to being manipulated by the Monetarists that she never could have imagined Raubahn was sincere in his vow...
The Warrior of Light receives a vision from the Echo of the last battle Raubahn fought at the Coliseum, five years after he met Nanamo. After winning his match, Nanamo approached Raubahn to announce to all that, with the fortunes Raubahn had amassed, he not only had enough money to buy his freedom, but also to take a seat in the Syndicate. In turn, Raubahn made good on his promise to her years ago and vowed to serve as her blade. After the vision ends, Nanamo further explains that there while she had many friends and allies, there was none she could confide in about politics and how to govern than Raubahn, who had served to help her counter the interested of the Monetarists.
With many refugees returning from Ul'dah to their homeland, Nanamo seeks a means to provide housing and supplies to Ala Mhigans using Ul'dah's vast riches. To this end, she travels to the Manderville Gold Saucer, a massive entertainment establishment, to seek the advice of Godbert Manderville, the Gold Saucer's proprietor famous for his generosity and his goodwill to refugees. When Nanamo proposes using Ul'dah's wealth to provide the Ala Mhigans with shelter and employment, however, Manderville disagrees with her; to provide unconditionally to the Ala Mhigans would not only serve to make them reliant on charity, but also foster resentment among the citizenry of Ul'dah for spending the nation's money on improving the lot of foreigners. Instead, her efforts should be directed towards helping the Ala Mhigans achieve self-sufficiency, and in so doing, help to not only turn a profit for Ul'dah, but also strengthen relations between Ala Mhigo and Ul'dah.
To better understand how to make her acts of philanthropy profitable, advice from successful businessmen would be a boon. To this end, Nanamo tasks the Warrior of Light with consulting Hancock, of the East Aldenard Trading Company, in Kugane. Hancock suggests consulting with Lolorito, and arranges for a meeting at the Waking Sands. Nanamo is less than enthused with the idea of dealing with the Monetarists, Lolorito most of all, but resolves to not live in fear of him and try to work with him.
Together, Nanamo and Lolorito meet at the Waking Sands, alone save for the Warrior of Light. Nanamo approaches Lolorito with her face concealed by a mask like his own. Seeing the difficulties in dealing with someone veiled behind a mask, Lolorito sheds his, so the two may negotiate. They eventually come to an agreement; Lolorito would have the East Aldenard Trading Company help to set up a salt industry in the saltery around Loch Seld, generating revenue for the Ala Mhigans with a portion of profits going to Ul'dah.
With the deal struck, Nanamo has the Warrior of Light convey the developments to Lyse. Lyse is onboard with the idea of Ul'dahn aid, as is Alphinaud, albeit on the condition that Ala Mhigo play a key role in stimulating the salt economy, so as to keep Lolorito's influence in check. After helping to lay the foundation of the Saltery's rebuilding, the Warrior of Light is summoned by Raubahn for their advice concerning what to do with Ilberd's conspirators. Afterwards, Raubahn admits that he felt partially to blame for Ilberd's actions; had he been more vocal about his support for Ala Mhigan liberation, things could have been different. Nonetheless, Ala Mhigo was free, and Raubahn was ready to return to Nanamo, for he had promised to be her blade and would keep his vow.
Trouble looms afterwards as the Qalyana tribe of the Ananta, the ones responsible for summoning Lakshmi, demand to be allowed to attend the summit of Ala Mhigan leaders. A compromise is reached with Lyse and Raubahn's aid; the Qalyana would have to relinquish crystal jewelry before entering talks, and in return, they could keep their weapons, with armed guards keeping the peace. Raubahn feels uneasy with the Qalyana, who were under Lakshmi's thrall, being allowed to enter the palace, and arranges for increased security with the Scions.
Within the palace, talks seem to start well enough, as Lyse promotes the idea of a republic in which all of the leaders of Ala Mhigo, from Resistance veterans, beastman tribal representatives, and village leaders. Just as the foundation of the republic seems to be set, however, the Qalyana representative demands all present pledge fealty to Lakshmi. Immediately afterwards, she summons Lakshmi. With the other leaders in danger of being enthralled, and many guards already under Lakshmi's control, the situation grows dire; even with the Warrior of Light and Arenvald using their Echo to keep Lakshmi's influence at bay, they were fighting a losing battle.
As all seems lost, however, help arrives from the most unexpected of sources; Fordola! Using her artificial Echo, she helps to keep Lakshmi from enthralling the representatives and slay the primal. After the battle ends, the Warrior of Light receives a vision from the Echo of what had transpired shortly before; Lyse had fallen back from the palace and made her way to Fordola's cell. Time was of the essence, and Lyse laid a sword at Fordola's feet with a choice: die as Zenos had, or fight for Ala Mhigo.
When the representatives return to the throne room, they are shocked to see Fordola. Fordola receives a vision of their past from the Echo, of the husbands, wives, and children her Skulls butchered. When her visions end, she lays down her sword and requests to be returned to her cell. As she walks past the representatives, one speaks out and says that he does not forgive her, but he thanks her for saving them. Fordola, touched by gratitude she was not expecting, sheds a single tear before leaving.
With the danger subsided, it comes to light that the Qalyana had been able to smuggle crystals into the conference with the aid of city guards who had already been enthralled. Y'shtola offers to use her ability to see the differences in the aether of those under a primal's thrall to prevent another such incident.
Afterwards, the conference continues. When the discussions conclude, Raubahn meets the Warrior of Light on the roof of the palace at night. Ala Mhigo would adopt a representative government inspired by the Houses of Lords and Commons from Ishgard, and with his work complete, he would return to Ul'dah. As the Warrior of Light leaves Raubahn to his introspection, they pass by Nanamo, who approaches Raubahn with a royal decree; effective immediately, Raubahn is relieved of his command over the Immortal Flames and his seat in the Syndicate. Raubahn is shocked, but Nanamo explains, with tears in her eyes, that she could see the pain in Raubahn's eyes when he spoke of returning to Ul'dah while his heart yearned to remain in Ala Mhigo. She wanted Raubahn to be happy, and thus freed him of his obligation to her. The two make the announcement concerning Raubahn to the Scions afterwards, with Pipin taking over his father's duties in the Syndicate, leaving Raubahn free to remain in Ala Mhigo. With Ala Mhigo's military consisting largely of disparate militias, Lyse believes Raubahn's military experience would be invaluable.
All the while, Gosetsu finally returns to civilization, albeit finding himself stuck in Kugane with nary a coin to his name. His misfortunes are exacerbated by his watching over Yotsuyu; having lost her memories, "Tsuyu" now seemed almost childlike in demeanor. Nonetheless, Gosetsu vows to persevere so that he could reunite with his lord.
Meanwhile, in Garlemald, a soldier laments the death of Zenos, only to be reprimanded by his superior; how dare he believe the chest beating of savages when Zenos is alive and well! As the soldier recovers and apologizes for doing so, a figure in white watches in trembling rage...
Finding the pawnbroker, Yugiri confirms that the weapon is Gosetsu's. She wants to buy it back, but she doesn't have the coin. The Warrior of Light tries to, but she refuses his payment. However, Alphinaud decides to ultimately pay for it, as a gift from the Scions. Learning that the two went to a teashop next, the trio head over to it and learn they were already on their way to the Ruby Sea. Reuniting with the others, Alisaie reveals that the gathering of Garlean soldiers are on a secret mission and believed to be following Gosetsu's trail. Before they head off, Alphinaud gives Tataru the bill for purchasing the katana, which leaves her incredibly frustrated. Arriving at the Ruby Price, their plan is sidelined when they hear explosions. Going to investigate, they find the Garleans attacking a Confederate stronghold. Realizing their targets might be there and, if not, their allies are in danger, Alphinaud tells Alisaie to stay back with Soroban to prepare the boat for a retreat while the others head off to aid the Confederacy.
Heading towards land and fighting their way up, the heroes are shocked at the sight of both Gosetsu and Yotsuyu. Driving off the Imperials, the heroes ask for how the two of them survived. Gosetsu explains that, when Doma Castle collapsed, the two were swept to sea, but fate seemed to smile on them as they found a sturdy door that allowed them to use it as a makeshift raft, sending them to an island. While Yotsuyu's kimono had a special Garlean-devised weave that protected her from Hien's blade, it provided little protection from the fall, rendering her amnesiac. He admits he wanted to strike down Yostuyu, but just didn't feel right doing so. With the danger passed, the group reunites with Alisaie and Soroban, the former warning "Tsuyu" that she has her eyes on her. Arriving on land, Soroban bids everyone farewell, though lets the Warrior of Light know of his business venture, suggesting they take it up to help refill the Scions' coffers after Alphinaud's purchase. To his horror, Alisaie lets him know that a sword like that costs the same to buy a house and fully furnish it.
Returning to the House of the Fierce, Hien welcomes back Gosetsu with open arms. After telling Hien of how he survived and returned, their attention focuses on Yotsuyu. They know that the Imperials will be gunning for her as she has secrets within. Hien requests Yugiri to put her under the protection of another shinobi, but Tsuyu panics, leading Gosetsu to join them. Elsewhere, Hien lets the Scions know that Doma's rebuilding is moving quickly and soon their countrymen can return to their homes if they so wish. However, Alisaie's concern over Gosetsu and Yugiri taking so long leads to them returning unable to find the shinobi they were looking for. In concern, the Scions agree to help find the missing shinobi. Finding him, he reveals that he was her "courtesan", sold to him by her adopted father. He noticed the soulless gaze in her eyes, but the men enjoyed her anyhow. When she became acting viceroy, he joined the Liberation Front as atonement, though he admits he's just a coward. Gosetsu and Yugiri agree to have him placed in another position at the moment before they return to the House.
Upon arrival, they're let known of a new development from the Empire as an aircraft has just arrived at a nearby Castrum. Hien recruits Yugiri and the Warrior of Light to find out what's going on and asks the twins to aid in calming the enclave. Arriving at the Castrum, the trio are shocked at the sight of a smoke signal, which Yugiri mentions was used in former times to signal peace. Hien decides to humor them and honor their request, letting Yugiri send up a signal in reply. An aircraft soon arrives and lands with three figures stepping out,the leader being Asahi sas Brutus, ambassador of Garlemald and stepbrother to Yotsuyu. However, he's here on a mission of peace; as a member of the Populares, who seek reform within the Empire, he has been granted permission to speak on Emperor Varis' behalf in wanting peace. Despite possible misgivings, Hien agrees and leads the contingent to the Doman Enclave, where the group, along with the twins, discuss the idea of peace. Asahi reveals that Garlemald wishes peace and only demands that Doma polices people in trying to summon eikons. While Hien points out that the eikons are summoned due to fear and the Kojin are actually quite peaceful when left alone, he agrees to these points. Asahi realizes the irony of how the Empire ends up creating the eikons by their actions, especially when Ala Mhigo is mentioned, but bemoans that another faction, the pureblood Populares, makes it hard to bring about these changes. Hien is wary of all of this, leading to Asahi suggesting a prisoner exchange - Asahi is willing to release the Domans that had been forcefully conscripted into the Garlean military in exchange for the Garleans detained in Doma. This would also include Yotsuyu. Hien decides to ponder all of this for the moment. With the Garleans away, the Warrior of Light and the twins discuss the situation, Hien realizing that Yotsuyu in her present condition is in no state to be given away: even if she was privy to important Imperial secrets, none could hope to glean them so long as she was amnesiac.
As Alisaie and the Warrior of Light plan to wander the Doman Enclave, they are approached by Yugiri and Asahi, the latter wanting to speak to the Warrior and as such wants them to tour the liberated homeland, leading to all four doing so. At the ruins of Doma Castle, Asahi laments its senseless destruction thanks to Yotsuyu's actions. As they head for the village of Namai, they find Isse and his sister under attack by Red Kojin. The four spring to their rescue and felling the attackers. Isse and his sister thanks them as Alisaie muses as to what prompted them to attack. Asahi figures it's desperation from Yotsuyu's disappearance and another bit of Garlean mismanagement. He proclaims that the only way to fix things is from within, which the Warrior agrees with. Returning to the Enclave, the Warrior of Light and Hien discuss what to do about the Red Kojin, which they believe is simply making sure they don't get enough aether to perform another summoning. Before confronting Asahi, Hien has one last act to perform. He reveals that he had Tsuyu brought to the Enclave in secret and, confronting her, Hien draws his blade, telling her that her current state doesn't excuse her crimes and that she should be at the bottom of the river. However, Gosetsu convinces him to spare her, that it was probably the kami's will to give her a second chance. Regretfully, Hien backs down and decides that, if Yotsuyu regains her memories when the time comes to exchange prisoners, she will go back with them and if not, she spends the rest of her days as Tsuyu. Leaving the two alone, Hien discusses to the Warrior that Gosetsu is acting weirdly and realizes he's probably feeling his injuries and age, making them realize that they need to make a world where he need not raise a blade again.
Meeting up with Asahi once more, Hien agrees to Asahi's conditions only if he does the same to his. Much to Asahi's annoyance, he agrees, if only to make up for the earlier attack. Asahi does request to see Yotsuyu, with Hien giving his permission. After awhile, Asahi returns, apologizing for the length it took. Sadly, Yotsuyu doesn't recognize him, resigning him to leave her in Doma's care. Hien does thank Asahi for his earlier heroics and Asahi tries to brush it off as the acts of someone trying to make up for past mistakes. With that, they take their leave, Hien and the others joining them to bid them farewell. However, before he leaves, Asahi talks to the Warrior of Light in private... and his affable demeanor completely shatters, snarling to the Warrior that there will be a "reckoning". Struck with an Echo-induced vision, the Warrior sees Asahi confronted by members of the Liberation Front, who are furious at him abandoning his homeland in favor of the Garleans. Before they can kill him, they are struck down by Zenos. Asahi tells him of Lord Kaien, Hien's father, and watches starstruck as he goes to slay him. Returning to the present day, Asahi, enraged at the Warrior of Light for taking Zenos away, attempts to goad the Warrior of Light into striking him, knowing that they cannot do so without risk of ruining the prisoner exchange. As Asahi leaves, the Warrior tells Hien and the others of what they saw. Asahi's loyalty to Zenos and his revealing his true nature for a brief moment are cause for concern, but in the interest of seeing the conscripted Domans returned to their homeland safely, Hien has no choice but to play along with Asahi's game for the time being.
Returning to Kugane, the Warrior of Light and the twins appraise Hancock and Tataru of the situation. Alphinaud apologizes for his frivolous spending, though she assures him that Soroban's new business venture just might solve the problem. However, Alphinaud wants to find out what Garlemald is doing so they can have an advantage in the coming prisoner exchange...
On Asahi's airship, the ambassador muses how easy it was to set up the prisoner exchange and that his master's plan is proceeding apace. Back at the Enclave, Tsuyu looks at a strange mirror that Asahi left with her during their brief meeting. In the Imperial Capital, it seems Zenos is truly alive...
Soon, the Scions get word of everything moving apace within Doma and the prisoner exchange being underway. Worried about Yotsuyu's state of mind, they head off to the Enclave to ascertain her state of being. However, arriving at the Enclave, Hien tells them of Gosetsu and that he had recently collapsed, most likely from his condition. They find Gosetsu in Tsuyu's care, the latter forcing Gosetsu to get out of his clothes to take a bath. As Tsuyu cleans Gosetsu, she sees the gunshot wounds she inflicted on him as Yotsuyu, and suffers a flash of memory of doing so. As the trio discuss Gosetsu and Tsuyu with Hien, Yugiri approaches the four to lend credence to Tsuyu's loss of memory. With that, Hien decides that it's time to settle that matter with the Garleans, opting to bring her to Asahi out of sight of others. However, as they prepare for everything, Hien comes running - Tsuyu has disappeared, a skiff captain telling him that he carried a mysterious passenger from the Enclave.
Hien, Alphinaud and the Warrior of Light head on with the Warrior talking to the Namazu in Yazuka Manor. One of the Namazu tells the Warrior that a fair-skinned figure might have wandered northeast. Upon finding her bamboo hat, the Warrior is joined by Hien and Yugiri, Hien realizing to his horror she might have wandered into Namai. As the Warrior heads into town, they find Tsuyu entering the town, looking for a persimmon for Gosetsu, confused as to why the citizens are running in complete horror. As Hien and Yugiri join the warrior, Isse finds Tsuyu and is terrified of her appearance, his appearance triggering another memory. As Hien tries to calm the populace, Tsuyu realizes that what was said was true and tearfully begs for forgiveness. The populace is calmed, though, when Isse's sister approaches her, gifting her with a persimmon, realizing this woman isn't the same monster that tormented them before. Hien tells the villagers that she's to be known as "Tsuyu" and that she will remain under his care until her memories return, finally quelling the anger.
With Yotsuyu safe, the group heads for the Castrum to meet with Asahi. After confirming that the Garleans brought the prisoners, Hien reconfirms Yotsuyu's mental health. However, Asahi is undeterred, bringing out two guests - Yotsuyu's adopted parents. This triggers her memories of their anger, along with that of young Asahi. Hien realizes something's up as Asahi continuously taunts Yotsuyu. It seems not to work as Yotsuyu drops and finds the persimmon and remembers she needs to give it to Gosetsu. Asahi seems to give up and let her stay in Doma, though he whispers to her that he plans to get her out soon. As they leave, Alphinaud is wary of Asahi, though doesn't speak much about it. Back at the Enclave, Hien and the others go to tell Gosetsu of Tsuyu's fate. Gosetsu tells Hien that he had seen Tsuyu very upset and Hien tells him that it was because of Asahi's attempt to rattle her memories by using her adopted parents. Alphinaud mentions the mysterious crates of boxes, prompting everyone on their guard. Bad news soon arrives - Tsuyu has gone missing again. As the Warrior of Light searches the Enclave, they hear a weak cry of help. They find Yotsuyu's parents lying on the ground, the mother dead and the father dying. Another Echo vision strikes and they see Yotsuyu having reached the spot where they are now. She had regained her memories and, in her grief, planned to take her own life, unworthy of Gosetsu's kindness. However, she's stopped when her parents arrive. Her mother berates her for not dying and being forced to return to Doma before her father decides to use her looks to sell her back into the same business she had been given off to when she was younger. Yotsuyu finally snaps and returns to her old persona, vowing to get revenge against the world and brutally cuts down her parents in revenge. Hearing clapping, she is confronted by Asahi, who is overjoyed at her return. Though Yotsuyu isn't as joyful, Asahi tells her he has the means to bring about her vengeance as the vision ends. Hien arrives and learns what had transpired, forcing everyone on their guard to hunt down Yotsuyu before she can act again.
Arriving at the shores near the Castrum, Hien plans to keep going with the exchange, but being on the lookout for anything Asahi or Yotsuyu might do. At the meeting, Hien spots a bunch of containers and asks about them. Asahi tries to reassure him that they're nothing more than reconstruction tools. He also tells him of Yotsuyu's disappearance, prompting her arrival in full garb and ready to reassert her authority as acting viceroy. However, Hien calmly tells her that she's going back to Garlemald and that her former position is no longer recognized. However, Yotsuyu is nonplussed and vows to crush everyone in Doma, as was ordered by Zenos. The crates suddenly open, revealing crystals inside: everyone realizes, to their horror, that they were brought over to facilitate a summoning! Using the aether from the crystals and the mirror provided by Asahi, Yotsuyu transforms into a frightening new primal - the Kojin's goddess of the moon, Tsukuyomi. Asahi forces his men to abandon everything and retreat, proudly declaring that a Doman citizen had performed a summoning in violation of his agreement with Hien, and calling off the prisoner exchange. Hien is forced to realize he can't face her, but has everyone retrieve their countrymen while leaving the Warrior of Light to the beast. A titanic battle ensues and, weakening, Yotsuyu realizes her new powers come from her own suffering, allowing herself to be struck by phantasms of her parents, Imperial soldiers, and her brother. When a spectre of Zenos prepares to cut her down, however, a vision of Gosetsu, still calling her "Tsuyu", holds Zenos at bay: the kami had spared her life for a reason, and Gosetsu is determined to save her. However, she finds herself unworthy of his care and prepares to die for her sins in battle. With Tsukuyomi defeated, the Warrior goes to attend to her, only for Asahi to return, shooting her. As he approaches Tsukuyomi's body, he gloats at the ruined peace between Doma and Garlemald and that the Warrior of Light can't harm an ambassador without making things worse. Asahi soon turns his attention to the fallen primal and begins kicking her, cursing her for being chosen as viceroy over him. However, Yotsuyu finally gets her revenge, skewering her brother with the last of Tsukuyomi's strength. As her power fades and Yotsuyu returns to normal, she notices the Warrior isn't happy. When they tell her that Tsuyu would be missed, she realizes that happiness was never meant to be. With her last breath, she wonders if the persimmon she gave Gosetsu was as sweet as he remembered.
As Asahi tries to cling to life, the Warrior gets another Echo vision. In it, it is discovered that Asahi had been acting under orders from who appears to be Zenos himself, who gives him the means to make Yotsuyu summon an eikon: a mirror that had been taken from the Kojin. "Zenos"'s plan was to stop the teachings of the Populares and force ongoing war. As the vision ends, Asahi croaks out that Zenos would come for the Warrior before dying. At that, Hien and the others return, Gosetsu in tow. He spots Yotsuyu's body and mourns in anguish, uncertain why they were spared, only to suffer again. With Gosetsu gone with Yotsuyu's body, Hien realizes their negotiations are ruined. However, Maxima, one of Asahi's subordinates, returns as he felt something seemed off by Asahi's actions. The Warrior tells Maxima about the vision, which confuses both men - how could Zenos be alive and why would someone who'd despise eikons want one summoned? Maxima realizes it's a good idea to investigate these claims. Hien asks if its possible to continue the prisoner exchange, which Maxima confirms they shall. However, Alphinaud surprises everyone when he requests to join Maxima back in Garlemald; he fears that an Ascian is waiting in the wings and they need help to get rid of it. The Warrior of Light gives their blessing as Hien charges him as emissary of Doma. With everything settled, the group prepares to receive the rest of the conscripts who couldn't escape in time. In the Enclave, the heroes watch as the conscripts are reunited with family and loved ones and give thanks to them all. To their shock, they're joined by Gosetsu, who has shaved his hair off. The old samurai realizes he's no use as a samurai any more and he seeks to travel the world in his last days, giving prayer to those who have left the world in suffering. With Hien's blessing, the old man goes forth. Within Hien's manor, Hien explains that Gosetsu had a wife and daughter who died during the Garlean occupation, and that his caring for Yotsuyu in her amnesiac state was because he saw his daughter in her and took her under his wing as a surrogate daughter.
With everything settled in Doma, Alisaie and the Warrior of Light return to Rhalgar's Reach and Lyse. They tell her of Zenos' possible return, which she hopes is a joke. When Thancred arrives, he suggests heading over to his grave and making sure his body is still there. The four arrive at his grave - left unmarked to prevent its desecration by vengeful Ala Mhigans - and, to their horror, discover that it is indeed empty. Some distance away, a katana-wielding soldier smirks at this revelation and walks on. As the Scions muse these turn of events, Thancred believes Alphinaud's theory of an Ascian riding in Zenos' body to be true. As Thancred and Lyse deal with the revelations, Alisaie and the Warrior of Light discuss things with Y'shtola. She also believes that Alphinaud is correct over the Ascians being involved, though she can't help but feel that his decision to go into enemy territory was foolish, with Alisaie similarly worried. In the Imperial capital, the Emperor scolds "Zenos" for his actions, who in turn assures Varis that everything is going according to plan. At Baelsar's Wall, the katana-wielding soldier strikes down a Roegadyn soldier and steals a Magitek Armor — seemingly the real Zenos, as he seeks to find the one who stole his body and put him down.
As they wait, the Scions discuss the trip to Doma and Thancred's investigations, all of which proved a lot of his theories. This makes Alisaie worry for her twin more. Elsewhere, Alphinaud goes to meet Maxima, curious as to where they were. He learns they are over the Burn, an area completely devoid of aether rumored to have been caused by a rapid succession of primal summonings. However, their musings are interrupted as Magitek craft attack the airship, sending it crashing. Alphinaud is knocked out, but recovers and goes to help the wounded. They are soon attacked by other Imperial soldiers, claiming the prince can't let them live. As they are overwhelmed, a mysterious Garlean along with two others arrives and aids in striking down the attackers. Alphinaud and Maxima thank their rescuers, but the warrior initially refuses to reveal his name, though he does reveal that he is hunting down Ascians and that he knows of the Scions. The man, calling himself "Shadowhunter", tells the group they need to leave, either with him or alone. The group decides to join him. Perhaps true to his claims, the stranger is seen to carry many Ascian masks on his person, but there is one strange outlier: the faceplate previously worn by Gaius van Baelsar himself...
Back at the Rising Stones, Alisaie can only hope for Alphinaud's success, though Thancred suggests heading on from the west. When Alisaie suggests coming along, the others stop her. Reluctantly, she lets the others handle things while she waits on the sidelines...
At Alisaie's suggestion, the Scions report the situation to Hien, and discuss with him how they may reach the Burn. All the while, the Warrior of Light meets with Y'shtola, who reports that objects of worship, such as the mirror used to summon Tsukuyomi, can allow primals to be summoned, even in the absence of faith for the primal. This makes them incredibly dangerous.
As the discussion of the Burn progresses, Hien suggests using flying mounts to conduct a search in the Burn. Unfortunately, there is no sign of Alphinaud. There are, however, signs of a battle between a rebel group and the Emperor's personal guard.
After returning to Doma, Lyse arrives with big news: Ala Mhigo requests to officially join the Eorzean Alliance! All of the leaders of the Alliance plan to hold a meeting to induct Ala Mhigo. Inspired by the Eorzean Alliance, Hien seeks to found his own Doman Alliance to aid in the war effort against Garlemald: the dangers posed by the Empire were too great for the peoples of Doma to stand against divided.
After gathering some initial support for a Doman Alliance, Hien is formally invited by Lyse to join in the meeting of the Eorzean Alliance, but he expresses concerns about protecting Doma from Garlean invasion in his absence. Hien, Y'shtola, and the Warrior of Light make for the Azim Steppe, where an aetheric artifact is found, which may be Allagan in origin — one which Y'shtola believes may have been created to allow Azys Lla to take flight using aether from the Burn. Such an artifact could be used to route power to create a protective barrier at the Burn, where aetheric concentrations were now practically absent.
There is but one complication: the artifact is worshipped by followers of Nhaama, particulalry the Dotharl tribe, who were keen to keep outsiders at bay. Their consent was necessary to utilize the artifact.
With that, the Warrior of Light and their allies go to Sadu to ask for her consent. Sadu agrees to allow them to use the artifact, but only one condition: she wants a duel with the khagan, the Warrior of Light. Although Y'shtola is perplexed by the warrior people's love of fighting, there is naught to do but accept her condition.
As the duel between the Warrior of Light and Sadu reaches a fevered pitch, Magnai and his tribe arrive to interfere. Y'shtola and Hien hold him and his men at bay to the Warrior of Light and Sadu could continue their duel unimpeded. After Y'shtola overpowers Magnai and the duel between the Warrior of Light and Sadu concludes, Magnai begins to believe that Y'shtola may be his "Naahma". Y'shtola declines his love proposal, leading to taunting from Sadu and renewed hostilities between her and Magnai. Y'shtola and Hien wisely decide to let them settle the score without them and, with Sadu's permission, Y'shtola uses the Allagan artifact to send aether to the Burn and help form the foundations of Doma's defenses. However, Y'shtola expresses concerns that the aether surrounding the artifact appeared to have gone inert before the artifact was reactivated.
With the matter of Doma's defenses settled for now, the Warrior of Light and Y'shtola accompany Hien to Ala Mhigo, where the Eorzean Alliance has convened. After officially welcoming Ala Mhigo into the Alliance, the discussion turns to dealing with Garlemald and the Ascians. Thancred proposes waging a war of subterfuge in lieu of a direct assault; he, along with some Doman shinobi, could sneak into the Empire and spread rumors (or rather, the truth) of "Zenos" being an imposter. Such rumors would demoralize and divide the people, making it easier for the Alliance to deal with "Zenos".
As the proposal is met with unanimous approval, however, the Warrior of Light's head begins to pound, and their sense of their surroundings fade. Then, they hear a strange voice...
...that way...sorrow...History...must be changed...Ahead lies a Calamity...Ahead lies Light, expunging all form and life...Twin dooms only you can forestall...only you...Let expanse contract, eon become instant...Throw wide the gates that we may pass!
When they come to, the Warrior of Light finds that the other Scions present, save for Y'shtola, had a similar phenomenon occur to them. Then suddenly, Thancred loses consciousness.
In spite of the best chirugeons' efforts, Thancred would not awaken. Kan-E-Senna believes the Scions might have been "called", their souls contacted by some outside force. Thancred fell comatose, likely due to his heightened aetheric sensitivity from being possessed by an Ascian in the past.
With nothing to be done for Thancred, Y'shtola and the Warrior of Light return to the Rising Stones and report what happened to Urianger and Alisaie. Y'shtola and Urianger exchange notes, discussing reports that minor aether outages have occurred scattered throughout the realm. However, they are called once more by the mysterious force, and Y'shtola and Urianger also fall comatose.
After having Y'shtola and Urianger taken into medical care, Alisaie has the Warrior of Light accompany her to Limsa Lominsa, where she arranges a meeting with Ga Bu, the young kobold who had once served as a vessel for Titan's summoning. His condition has not improved since last they met: he remains trapped within his own mind, unable to perceive the world around him. Alisaie confides in Ga Bu and the Warrior of Light her fears of being unable to help her friends in their most dire times of need, but discussing her fears and anxieties helps to renew her resolve. Her spirits lifted, she vows to find a way to revive her fallen friends.
Back in Garlemald, however, the situation grows increasingly perilous as Emperor Varis is confronted by another Ascian: none other than Solus zos Galvus, the founding emperor of Garlemald. Solus tells Varis that the sole reason for the Empire's existence is to sow chaos, and he would make sure Varis ensure the balance of Light and Darkness is not disrupted, much to Varis's chagrin. Meanwhile, Alphinaud and Shadowhunter arrive at a rebel camp, only to find everyone there dead. Shadowhunter realizes that the Empire has begun to use a deadly new weapon: "Black Rose", a bioweapon that kills quickly and painfully. Shadowhunter is troubled by the brutality shown, realizing that the Ascians are responsible.
With their attempts to aid the comatose Scions at a standstill for the time being, Alisaie receives a message over linkpearl from Lyse: Garlean defectors have come to Ala Mhigo with important news. Alisaie and the Warrior of Light make ready to meet with Lyse while Krile remains to find a new means to aid their comrades. Before they leave, however, one of Matoya's magicked brooms falls inert. While Matoya is able to get it to move again, it has been losing its power more often; a worrying effect of the supposed Aether thinning throughout the realm...?
Alisaie and the Warrior of Light meet with Lyse at the Ala Mhigan capitol, where Maxima, a Populares who had accompanied Alphinaud towards Garlemald, awaits. Maxima explains that their ship had been attacked by Garlean troops, but they were saved by a mysterious third party, led by a man who called himself "Shadowhunter". Their journey towards Garlemald led to a resistance camp where all the occupants were dead, by means unknown. With that, Maxima and his comrades evacuated to Eorzea while Alphinaud and Shadowhunter pressed on.
More worrying, however, is news of how Garlean troops are marching on Ala Mhigo, intent on retaking it. With Ala Mhigo's defenses still in a vulnerable state, they would need aid from their allies in Doma.
As Alisaie and the Warrior of Light prepare to leave for Doma, they are once again assailed by the mysterious voice. Both are unscathed by the experience, thankfully, and meet with Hien, who has created an eastern alliance of his own, banding together the kojin, the tribes of the Azim Steppe, the Confederacy, and the peoples of Nagxia and Dalmasca. Hien, however, is reluctant to spare any troops until he is certain the Doman border along the Burn is first secured. To that end, he invites Alisaie and the Warrior of Light to accompany him to see the activation of the barrier, dubbed "Seiryu's Aegis".
To the delight of all present, the activation of the barrier proceeds smoothly. An opportunity to test its effectiveness unexpectedly arrives when a small imperial airship approaches it. The ship hits the barrier and is forced to land.
From the ship emerges an unsettling sight: Shadowhunter, with a comastose Alphinaud in his arms. Hien has the barrier lowered while she and the Warrior retrieve Alphinaud. Shadowhunter explains that he had suddenly fallen unconscious, but still lived; it seemed that nowhere was safe from the voice calling the Scions' souls, not even as far as the Burn...
It is then that Shadowhunter greets the Warrior of Light as though they were old acquaintances. The Warrior of Light sees the masks that Shadowhunter amassed, but one of them stands out: the mask worn by the Black Wolf of Garlemald.
This could only mean one thing: the man known as "Shadowhunter" is known other than Gaius van Baelsar!
Gaius explains that his motive for escaping the destruction of the Praetorium, and his subsequent quest for revenge against the Ascians, was the realization that he had been manipulated by the Ascians into activating the Ultima Weapon. Not long after, he learned that the Ascians had long manipulated the Empire. As a proud Garlean patriot, he could not let that stand, so he abdicated his rank within the imperial army and set himself to excising the Ascians and destroying them.
Gaius explains that there is a hierarchy within the Ascian ranks; those with white masks are subject to those with red masks, but even among the red masks, those originally from "the Source" stand above those who leave for Hydaelyn. Of the red masks, he knows of the existence of three: the late speaker Lahabrea, the emissary Elidibus, and "Emet-Selch", of whom nothing is known. He also reveals the existence of Black Rose, the bioweapon used on the Garlean rebels, but assures the heroes that he and Alphinaud had managed to lay waste to the production plant; even as a Legatus, Gaius disapproved of the weapon and refused to have it used, since such a weapon was not one of conquest, but genocide. With a common enemy, Gaius and the Warrior of Light set aside their differences for the time being as Alphinaud is taken back to Doma.
Little do they know, Emperor Varis, under the watchful eye of "Solus", managed to build a new Black Rose production plant, with the weapon scheduled to be ready for use by the time the imperial forces reach Ala Mhigo. Varis had also created Allagan cloning facilities to create bodies for the Ascian posing as Solus, whose timely "demise" which had once thrown the empire into civil war was in fact by design, all as part of his plot to dispense with the "fraudulent existence" of the world...
After parting ways with Gaius, Alisaie and the Warrior of Light learn that Emperor Varis himself requested to parley. The leaders of the Eorzean Alliance, along with Lord Hien, Alisaie as a representative of the Scions, and the Warrior of Light go to meet with Varis, in the hope that they could stop a war from breaking out.
When the parley begins, tensions flare as Varis calls out the Alliance and their allies on their hypocrisy, having used conquest against the Beastmen to achieve their own ends in their own lands, while refusing to be subject to the Empire in the same way as a means to achieve peace. After taking a moment to recess, the leaders collect their wits and think of a new approach: give Varis an opportunity to explain what it is, exactly, he wants.
When the parley reconvenes, the leaders apologize for their earlier rudeness and ask Varis what it is he seeks. Varis gladly answers that the Garlean Empire was founded by the Ascians, and what he wants is to unite all peoples of the world as one, and initiate a "Rejoining" — the Ascians' euphemism for their Calamities — so they would have the power to throw off the yoke of the Ascians and claim the world for mankind. What Varis suggests, however, is unconscionable; such a Rejoining would be disastrous, with countless lives lost, and even threaten to destroy the world itself!
There is no longer avoiding the inevitable; it has come to war...
Thankfully, the Ala Mhigan line holds, and the Garlean invaders are repelled from the Ghimlyt Dark. Unfortunately, just as the heroes breath easy, the calling voice strikes once again, this time drawing away Alisaie's soul. With nearly all of the chief members of the Scions comatose, there is naught to be done but wait and hope that Krile and Matoya find anything that can help...
... but time is not on their side. As the Garlean forces regroup, "Zenos" takes the field...
Sometime later, the Warrior returns to the Rising Stones and speaks to Hoary Boulder, who confirms that the Scions still haven't wakened from their mysterious spell. They are soon joined by Maxima, who wants to see Alphinaud's condition and thank the Warrior of Light for stopping the Garlean assault. Maxima soon leads the Warrior down to Silvertear, where they are reunited with Cid. Though Maxima professes admiration towards Cid as all Populares do because of his defection with Garlemald, Cid is quick to dismiss such a thing. Both men are troubled by the revelation that the Ascians are behind Garlemald's creation, though. Before things can be pondered further, a message is brought to the Warrior that Raubahn wishes to meet with them in Ala Mhigo for planning. Cid offers to take the Warrior there via the Excelsior.
At the Alliance base, Raubahn explains that the Alliance seems to be slowly gaining ground and they wish to make a decisive push to gain breathing room. However, this plan is stopped when a soldier runs in, warning that the Garleans are breaking through to the east, lead by "Zenos". Raubahn realizes the entire thing was just to bid their time until he arrived. He tells the soldier to call for reinforcements and warns the Warrior that he might have to join in. The Warrior reassures him that they'll be by his side as well. However, the Warrior is hit by another vision, begging them to "throw wide the gates". Despite this and Raubahn's worries, the Warrior is still willing to fight.
At the border, Hien, Lyse, Yugiri and other soldiers confront and battle "Zenos", holding the line until the Warrior of Light arrived. Despite their might, "Zenos" is still quite powerful and knocks them aside as the Warrior finally arrives. They defeat "Zenos", but the mysterious voice calls to them at the worst time and "Zenos" seemingly strikes them down in their weakness. The Warrior seemingly wakes on a mysterious platform where they're confronted by a hooded figure — the voice that had been calling to the Scions. He informs the Warrior that the immediate danger has passed, but warns them that the war they fight will only lead to oblivion and they must take another path. The figure tells the Warrior to go to the Crystal Tower, that a beacon will be found there.
Suddenly, the Warrior finds themselves back in Ishgard, in Fortemps Manor. With Aymeric by their side, he explains that before "Zenos" could deal the final blow, Estinien arrived and rescued the Warrior, taking them back to the Manor. "Zenos"'s weakness has also inspired renewed unrest in Garlean territories, and the Imperial Court is also growing restless. Aymeric bids the Warrior to rest up for awhile, then do what needs to be done. Before leaving, the Warrior meets up with Count Edmont, who expresses relief of the Warrior's safety. Returning to the Rising Stones, they're greeted by Tataru, who breaks down into tears in relief and confusion. After explaining what was going on, Tataru realizes that the other Scions might be at the other world, but with "Zenos" too powerful, she demands that the Warrior not face him again, not without the other Scions. This is something the Warrior agrees with. Tataru ponders the meaning of a beacon at the Crystal Tower, but realizes it had been sealed off, though she's certain Cid and those studying it have a way of finding that beacon.
In the Imperial Palace, "Zenos" questions Varis why he was pulled back from the front. Varis explains that, with rumors of him being possessed, he couldn't risk fighting for the throne a second time. In turn, Varis chastises "Zenos" for failing to strike down the Warrior. When "Zenos" asks for the whereabouts of Varis' grandfather, Varis dismisses it as he thinks he's off doing Ascian-type things. He also tells Zenos that Garlemald will win this war through the strength of man. As "Zenos" leaves, a scientist approaches and tells Varis that preparations to make the Black Rose is now ready at his command. Varis contemplates this... as it seems something is deadly wrong with him.
Before leaving to find the beacon, Tataru gifts the Warrior with a brand new outfit.
Back in the battlefield, the real Zenos realizes the Warrior must be called elsewhere and bids them a wonderful journey while he prepares to fight to regain his body.
In Silvertear, the Warrior of Light gazes at the silent Crystal Tower...
IN THE MIDST OF A REQUIEM OF HEROES,
A VOICE RINGS OUT ACROSS TIME AND SPACE...
IN FIELDS OF TRANQUIL LIGHT,
SOW YOU SEEDS OF DARKNESS
The Warrior finds a beacon in the dig site. At that very moment, the voice that had plagued them and the Scions rings out, the clearest it has been! As the voice calls to them, their consciousness fades. They soon find themself drifting through the rift between worlds, visions and voices of the people they met in the past drifting by...
When they finally come to, the Warrior finds themself in a strange land, the sky above them cloaked in blazing light. A nearby peddler asks what they would be doing out at this hour of the night — a strange query, considering how bright it is outside. The peddler directs them towards a settlement called the "Crystarium", where they may seek shelter. Upon reaching the city's gates, however, they are stopped by a guard who appears like a Viera, who questions them about their origin. Her suspicions are allayed, however, by a familiar hooded figure who vouches for the Warrior — none other than the voice who had called the Scions, the leader of the Crystarium himself, the "Crystal Exarch".
After taking a tour of the Crystarium and meeting the people who help to maintain its many facilities, including a meeting with the curious and impish pixie Feo Ul to assist in ferrying their belongings between worlds, the Warrior meets with the Exarch within a Crystal Tower alike in appearance to the one in Mor Dhona. The Exarch explains that this world is not Hydaelyn, but rather one of its thirteen reflections: specifically, the "First". A great crisis threatens this world as the balance between the powers of Light and Darkness has been gravely disrupted, such that much of the world has been completely destroyed by a Flood of Light. The selfsame light has given rise to a new breed of seemingly angelic monsters known as "sin eaters", most of whom feast on the aether of their victims, while the more powerful in their number are capable of corrupting the aether of their victims and transforming them into yet more sin eaters. Only the region of Norvrandt remains, thanks to the Oracle of Light — who the Scions knew as Minfilia — arriving to stop the Flood. The Warrior of Light from Hydaelyn — also known as the "Source" — is the only one capable of saving the First from the coming apocalypse, and in so doing, forestall doom in the Source. It was to that end that the Exarch attempted to summon the Warrior to the First, although his initial attempts met with limited success as he only managed to summon the souls of their allies in the Scions, for whom he helped fashion artificial bodies. Because of the strange way in which time moves in the First compared to the Source, many of the summoned Scions have been stuck in the First for years. It was only when the Warrior came to the trench beneath the Source's Crystal Tower that he succeeded in summoning them properly, body and soul.
For the moment, the Scions have spread out through Norvrandt in the hopes of doing what they can to aid the people in wait for the Warrior: Alisaie had left for the desert region of Amh Araeng, while Alphinaud went to surveil the islands of Kholusia. Y'shtola was abroad in the dense jungles of the Rak'tika Greatwood, with Urianger in the mysterious and abandoned land of Il Mheg. Thancred's whereabouts where unknown for the time being.
At present, the Exarch suggests the Warrior seek out Alphinaud and Alisaie.
In their excursion to Amh Araeng, the Warrior accompanies a Crystarium merchant, Cassard, to the city of Mord Souq, home to a beast tribe known as the Mord — a race that is known in the Source as Kobolds. To gain acceptance in the city, the Warrior of Light partakes in a ritual known as the "cracking of the coinpurse", where newcomers partake of the wares of the city's vendors. With a highly valuable Voeburtite gold coin, the Warrior samples some of one Mord's culinary "delights".
Afterwards, the Warrior accompanies a young woman named Tesleen, a friend of Alisaie, to an "Inn". The location, known as the "Inn at Journey's Head", is not so much an inn as it is a hospice. As the Warrior learns, those who have been attacked and corrupted by sin eaters tend to be turned out and ostracized out of fear of the monsters they would become. Thus, the kind-hearted people of the Inn provide shelter and care to these victims, and when their time comes, to euthanize them with a poisoned last meal so they may die before turning into a sin eater and know a measure of peace. Alisaie had offered aid to the Inn as a protector, lending her martial prowess to fend off monsters and sin eaters alike.
It is during one of her patrols that Alisaie and the Warrior reunite. Though their reunion is joyous, it quickly turns to tragedy when a young boy who was being cared for at the Inn disappears. The Warrior and Alisaie join Tesleen to search for the boy. Even though they find him and save him from a group of sin eaters, Tesleen sacrifices herself to protect the boy, taking a blow from a sin eater that corrupts her aether. So powerful was this sin eater that the transformation is nigh instantaneous, the Warrior and Alisaie helpless to do aught but watch as Tesleen is horrifically "reborn" as a monstrosity and flies off with the sin eaters to parts unknown.
After returning the boy to the inn, Alisaie elects to return to the Crystarium: perturbed by Tesleen's sordid fate, she decides to aid the Warrior and take a more proactive role in trying to save the First.
The Warrior's next destination is Kholusia, a sparsely populated island to the southwest of the Norvrandt mainland. Over the horizon in Kholusia stands the opulent spires of Eulmore; upon their reunion in a small fishing town, the Warrior learns from Alphinaud that Eulmore is a massive city-state that offers sanctuary from the ravages of the Flood of Light. There are, however, caveats to their offer of safety and shelter: only a select few are actually allowed inside, the requirements for entry always changing with the whims and requests of Eulmore's elite. Those hoping to gain entry gather in Gatetown, a shantytown near the gates into the city; many who take up residence here have waited for years to gain entry, surviving in the meantime off scraps of "meol", meaty foodstuff that Eulmore's representatives hand out to keep the people of Gatetown complacent.
In the hopes of learning more of the city's inner workings, Alphinaud has arranged to purchase some pearls from a local beast tribe known as the Ondo — similar to the Source's Sahagin — in exchange for produce. The plan is derailed, however, by a blue-haired Mystel youth named Kai-Shirr, who steals the produce in the hopes of using Alphinaud's plan to get into Eulmore himself. Realizing how desperate Kai-Shirr is to reunite with friends who were accepted into the city, Alphinaud instructs Kai-Shirr in how to complete his deal with the Ondo, and elects to look for another way in.
Not long after, the Warrior and Alphinaud rescue a young man washed up on a shore near Eulmore. After caring for him, the young man, named Tristol, explains that he was admitted into Eulmore on the merit of his artistic skills. In Eulmore, residents are divided into two classes: free citizens, and the bonded. Free citizens represent the upper crust of society, the nobles and aristocrats who gave up their riches to stay in Eulmore; while the bonded are servants who tend to whatever desire their patron free citizens desire. So it was that Tristol was bonded to a couple to paint pictures for them, only for his artistic creations to fall short of their favor. Eventually, it came to be too much for Tristol, who asked of the city's ruler, Lord Vauthry, to be allowed to leave. His wish was granted, albeit by means of being tossed into the ocean and nearly killed.
Tristol offers his weathered brush to Alphinaud as proof of artistic merit to help him and the Warrior get into Eulmore. With the Warrior posing as Alphinaud's artistic assistant, the two manage to gain purchase into Eulmore when a request is made for Tristol's replacement, and the pair are bonded to the Chai family — the doting albeit naive Dulia-Chai, and her demanding yet devoted husband Chai-Nuzz. As Alphinaud paints for the Chais, the Warrior roams the city, learning what they can.
Eventually, the citizenry are offered a chance to see a "sinner" punished for crimes against the city. Alphinaud and the Warrior follow the crowd to the throne room of the grotesque and corpulent Lord Vauthry, who appears to somehow pacify sin eaters, keeping them as pets and concubines. There they bear witness to Kai-Shirr, the same young man who they helped get into Eulmore, bleeding from his wrist. When Vauthry learned that Kai-Shirr entered the city fraudulently, he demanded an offering of flesh to feed the Sin Eaters in order for the youth to stay. Shocked at the brutality and cruelty Vauthry imposed on the youth, Alphinaud calls Vauthry out before he and the Warrior leave with Kai-Shirr; Vauthry in turn throws a childish tantrum at the offense, calling the guard on Alphinaud and the Warrior. Alphinaud suggests Kai-Shirr return to the Crystarium, where he can be given shelter in exchange for honest labor; Kai-Shirr declines, but wishes the pair luck as they depart for the Crystarium together.
With Alphinaud and Alisaie reunited, the Exarch goes further into his plan to dispel the Light afflicting Norvrandt. At the heart of the influx of Light are the Lightwardens, the strongest sin eaters in the realm. Defeating the Lightwardens would restore the night in each area they reign over. Unfortunately, it wasn't as simple as slaying them, as just doing so would normally cause the Warden's aether to be absorbed by the nearest living being, who would in turn become a new, stronger Lightwarden. The Exarch, however, believes that the key to victory lies with the Warrior's blessing from Hydaelyn...
It is then that reports reach the Exarch of a large swarm of sin eaters descending upon the town of Holminster Switch, with a Lightwarden present among their number. The Warrior, Alphinaud, and Alisaie go to reinforce the Crystarium soldiers and deal with the Lightwarden.
In the battle that follows, Alisaie lays Tesleen's sin eater form to rest, and the Warrior of Light slays the Lightwarden. As expected, the Warden's aether was absorbed into the Warrior's body. However, they did not transform into a new Lightwarden. Instead, with a hand raised high, the Warrior fires a beam into the air, cleaving apart the Light blanketing the region of Lakeland and revealing behind its torn veil the long-forgotten night sky!
With the return of night in Lakeland, the people of the Crystarium celebrate, for the long-awaited Warrior of Darkness said to save the realm from ruin has at last come. Meanwhile, in the fields of Lakeland, a blonde-haired girl admires the night sky, and forges ahead toward the Crystarium to seek out the Warrior of Darkness...