This week things are going to differ from previous posts relating to Cryspi Wonton’s adventures through Eorzea, previous instalments have dumped a whole load of story on you, name dropping people left, right and centre, there will obviously be a bit of that, but with how much I got through last night, this post would be in the region of 3000 words.
Picking up where we left off midweek, as I had to catch up then, I jump straight into the MSQ “Call of the Forest” which introduces me to Gridania’s head of the Adventurers Guild Mother Miounne, she and Lewin of the God’s Quiver ask me to head into Tam-Tara Deepcroft as there’s been suspicious activity there just like in Sastasha last week, though here a cult has begun to gather. For the first time, I get to team up with people I “know” for a dungeon run, as AmiPlays joins me as the second DPS and Arata Kekkaishi who I partied up with last week takes on the role as our healer. We have a random Tank assigned to us that we believe to be new, they were running around with their level 9 sword equipped and even when they earned a new one from the dungeon’s loot, they didn’t equip that, they also didn’t seem to be pulling enemies away from the rest of us which meant Arata had his hands full.
With Tam-Tara complete the next dungeon comes quickly, in Ul’dah Papashin informs me that some hecatonchires having been running amok in the Copperbell Mines, so again, I’m tasked with solving this issue. These early dungeons are fairly uncomplicated, even so, its been so long since I’ve run them that I just follow the others, this time another player from the restart event, Hjek Ymir, joins us as our tank which makes things run much smoother. It’s at this point I realise I hadn’t touched my job quests for a while, so get those done, up to and including level 20, before I head for Horizon in Western Thanalan to begin the trek to Vesper Bay to visit the Waking Sands, headquarters of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn.
The Scions are an organisation that are independent from the three city-states of Eorzea, they’re not the police, but they are tasked with trying to keep the peace between pretty much every single faction in the land. They all carry the ability to access the Echo, which also allows them special control over the Aether, these are abilities that I have, and thanks to a recommendation from Thancred, Minifilia wishes to recruit me to their group. I’m then introduced to the others, Urianger who talks in riddles and keeps watch over the Waking Sands, Yda and Papalymo who are responsible for representing the Scions in Gridania, Y’shtola who operates out of La Noscea and then, lastly, Thancred whom I’ve already met and will be spending more time with when in Ul’dah.
Now that I’m a member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn I begin to unlock a whole load of stuff, in Vesper Bay I gain access to being able to Dye my gear and use Glamours. For those that aren’t familiar with that latter term, it means I can use an item that will cast another piece of equipment’s appearance over what I’m currently wearing. There are limitations, it can only be an item that is equippable by my current class/job and can’t be an equivalent or higher level than what I already have equipped. I then make an effort to visit the Residential area of Thanalan, there are other districts, one in each of La Noscea and Gridania, and one day I may even be able to own an apartment or house in one of them (I have an apartment on my main, its quite nice actually, but other than being able to decorate it I’ve not got any of the dressers etc that would allow me to use it for anything more). I open up the ability to extract Materia, I think this is for when I’ve equipped Materia to some of my gear to improve its stats, that’s what I’ve previously used it for, I can also turn gear into Materia once I’ve used it enough.
My main unlocks, however, are acquiring a retainer, which is basically used for storage, you can also send it out on gathering quests and use it to sell items on the motherboard. I’ve not touched those two elements yet, I’ve literally customised my female Lafallel and called her “Garibaldi” (not a very feminine name, I know, but you may notice a pattern with my name choices for this alt) then used her storage to keep hold of items like the Dye’s I’ve earned as rewards.
However, this all pales in comparison to what’s to come. My involvement with the Scions leads me to investigate the disappearances of some residents of Thanalan. It’s suspected that the Amaljaa beast tribe are responsible. Further digging reveals they’ve been gathering Aether crystals, this can only mean one thing according to Minifilia and Thancred, they wish to summon their Primal: Ifrit. They’re absolutely right, and its now up to myself, with a few other adventurers to take him down. I ended up fighting this trial with three other randoms, by the time I got to here last night everybody that I have on my Friends List thus far had signed off for the night. It was really weird playing this as a ranged-DPS. I’m so used to being in there, smacking Ifrit up, dodging AOE’s (Area of Effect attacks, where a circle, line, box or some other tell will appear on the floor for me to evade, these are usually charged up, giving the player ample time to move out of the way), and whilst Ifrit did place targets down on the ground that I had to move away from, I spent most of the fight stationary and just focusing on getting my current rotation correct (I still haven’t figured out anything beyond switching between Fire and Blizzard so I’m going to spend some time studying a couple of “Thaumaturge for Beginners” videos between now and next weekend).
Ifrit down, I report back to the Waking Sands, it seems rumour of my, erm, talents have spread and Grand Companies (this games equivalent to an army I suppose) from the three main cities have arrived to try and persuade me to join each of their causes. I can only choose one, though I can change at a later date, so Minifilia suggests I attend the memorial service that Raubahn had been arranging last week. However, it would seem each city has decided to take it upon themselves to host their own individual services and so I tour between the three of them, listening to Kan-E-Senna (Gridania), Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn and Raubahn Aldynn address the citizens of each city. Whilst I’m among the crowds, I’m approached each time by the twins that were in that caravan with me when I first arrived in Eorzea, they’re names are Alphinaud and Alisae Leveilleur. Both make sarcastic comments about the messages the three different leaders are giving to their people, and generally, Alphinaud comes across as a bit of a tosser, Alisaie is a little more direct but seems to take the things her brother says with a pinch of salt as it just feels like he’s a bit of a know-it-all. Honestly, without spoiling things, he does improve, but I’ve never really warmed to him, even though on my main I’m nearing the end of the base Stormblood release (got all that post-release content to work through next!).
I’ve actually already made my decision, and so head back to the Waking Sands to inform Minifilia and the three representatives of the Grand Companies that I’ve chosen to serve Ul’dah’s Immortal Flames. My reasons for this are:
- I already represent the Maelstrom from La Noscea on my main
- I’m trying to keep everything I can on this character to my starting city, Ul’dah
- Raubahn’s an absolute badass
Decision made, I’m sent out on a quest to help rescue the crew of an airship that has crashed within the Thanalan region, it is here I’m introduced to two Final Fantasy stalwarts: Biggs and Wedge. In this release they’re airship engineers who are soon recruited by the Scions in order for them to make sure the three states don’t abuse the power of magitek equipment (which also includes the construction of airships), this then leads to one thing I’m been desperate to unlock!
I’ve also, finally, gained my mount, a Chocobo I’ve named “Figroll” because it wouldn’t let me put a space in the name. This’ll make running around outside of cities much quicker, but that’s not all, my companion can join me in battle, so long as its not an instance, dungeon, trials or a FATE.
Whilst I’m still in Thanalan I also unlock access to the Golden Saucer, where I can partake in a bunch of mini-games that earn my currency to spend in that location, this can be on playing more mini-games, entering lotteries or buying gear that can only be obtained through the Golden Saucer, I also gain access to an optional dungeon, Halatali, though whilst I queue up to try and do that tonight (as many of the others have done it) I forget to uncheck the Ifrit fight from my Duty Finder and end up doing that a second time instead, it’s here I call it quits, its gone midnight, I’m getting tired, my youngest is already having a rough night and whilst I’m two quests, one optional dungeon and a surprising amount of levels (I think Neon-Genesis is in the thirties now, I’m level 24), the catch-up isn’t as much of an issue as it was last week.