FFXIV: Heavensward Story Summary
The following is a crash course for the plot of Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. IT CONTAINS SPOILERS, it does not have any sort of personal insight, and is mainly meant as a tool for those who have skipped, forgotten, or want a refresher on the major plot points of the Heavensward narrative.
Following the death of the Sultana of Ul’dah and the collapse of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, the remaining members – Tataru, Alphinaud, and the Warrior of Light – are left without a home and without allies. Their only chance of survival at this time is to head northward and enter Ishgard under the protection of House Fortemps, one of Ishgard’s noble houses, with the help of long time friend of the Warrior of Light, Haurchefant, who is the illegitimate son of the Fortemps patriarch, Lord Edmont de Fortemps.
To repay House Fortemps aid in offering shelter during these turbulent times, the Warrior of Light offers their assistance to Edmont’s two other sons: Artoirel and Emmanellian. Emmanellian is a lazy good for nothing who plans to schmooze with other noble houses and utilize the Warrior of Light to earn some glory and step out of his older brother’s shadow by ‘assisting’ the Rose Knights in the Sea of Clouds. Emmanellian means to have the Warrior of Light do the work and for him to take the credit, but the Rose Knights and the others serving at Camp Cloudtop are quick to see through this and ask that the Warrior of Light just try to keep the youngest Fortemps out of trouble. Unfortunately, Emmanellian is kidnapped by the Vanu Vanu, a tribe of bird beast people, and relies on the Warrior to rescue him and narrowly escape the Vanu Vanu’s patron primal: Bismarck the sky whale.
Artoirel, on the other hand, is steadfast in his duties and loyalties to Ishgard. As such, he is leery of outsiders and refugees entering the city and his treatment of even someone as renown as the Warrior of Light shows it. Artoirel is tasked with the rebuilding of Falcon’s Nest, a fortress on the outskirts of the Coerthas Western Highlands that has been reduced to ruin after the Calamity turned the once vibrant Highlands into a frozen waste. While working towards the rebuilding effort, the Warrior of Light and Artoirel run across a group of Heretics – primal worshippers hunted by the Holy See of Ishgard – including Lady Iceheart, the once vessel for the primal Shiva. Lady Iceheart communes with the Warrior of Light and Midgardsormer, the dragon who has secretly accompanied the Warrior of Light since they battle with the great dragon. Iceheart reveals her mission here is not to bring about ruin to Ishgard but to break an ancient cycle of hatred and bring about peace between Ishgard and the Dravarians. She escapes but the rest of her heretics are killed before the Warrior of Light returns to Ishgard.
Upon returning to the city the Warrior of Light finds that Alphinaud and Tataru have been arrested after being accused of herecy by one of the twelve members of the Heaven’s Ward, the personal knights of Archbishop Theradan VII. The Warrior takes their concerns to Ser Aymeric, Knight Commander of the guard, but even he is powerless to the will of the Heaven’s Ward. The Warrior of Light’s only choice is to challenge the accusation with a trial by combat and acting as a surrogate for their allies. Once freed, Alphinaud and Tataru reveal to the Warrior of Light that they have a possible lead on how to save Raubahn, the Flame General who was incarcerated after the conflict in Ul’dah. The General is set to be executed in the depths of Halatali and there the Warrior can rescue him before the deed is carried out. From there the Warrior of Light and Raubahn flee to the former Scion base of the Waking Sands to find Urianger, Papashan, and Dewlala Dewla – a member of Ul’dah’s Syndicate – who reveals to the Warrior and Raubahn that the Sultana is not dead, but in a deep sleep brought about by Lord Lolorito who paid off Sultana Nanamo’s lady-in-waiting to switch out the poison withing a sleeping draught to subvert Teledji Adaledji’s assassination plot. The celebration of the news is short lived as Tataru sends word from Ishgard – the Dravarian Horde is on the move and they are coming for Ishgard.
The Warrior of Light and Alphinaud leave Papashan and Raubahn to find out more about Nanamo to return to the North. Alphinaud is convinced that Lady Iceheart may the key to ending the war between Ishgard and the Dragons before both are annihilated. They decide to seek out Iceheart in the Western Highlands were the Warrior last saw her and they will be joined by the famed Azure Dragoon of Ishgard and holder of the Great Wyrm Niddhogg’s eye: Estinien. Estinien insists on joining the mission to parlay with the Horde which Alphinaud consents to so long as the Dragoon stays his lance. Tataru will stay behind and see if she can discover any news about the missing Scions. The group takes up the hunt for Iceheart and eventually locates her. She explains that negotiating with Niddhogg, one of the seven great wyrms and the one currently leading the Horde’s charge, is impossible since Niddhogg has a savage hatred of the lesser races. However, another of the great wyrms – Hraesvelgr – maybe more open to the idea. Iceheart decides to join the cause and deep within the Warrior of Light, the Crystal of Ice reignites overcoming the separation to Hydaelyn’s Light that Midgardsormr created to test the Warrior.
To reach Hraesvelgr’s lair, the group will need to travel through the Dravarian Forelands and ascend through the ruins of Sohm Al to reach the Churning Mists. Along the journey, Lady Iceheart welcomes the Warrior of Light to call her by her true name: Ysayle. Ysayle and Estinien spend much of the journey bickering about the true intentions of the dragons and whether they could even be trusted, with Alphinaud only assuring them both that all shall be made clear by use of the Warrior of Light’s ability to utilize the Echo to see the truth in things. However, a bigger problem faces them along the way. The bug like beast tribe of the Gnath have summoned a powerful primal named Ravana to help them wage war on the Ishgardians and Dragons alike as revenge for an Ishgardian knight felling a dragon and causing the beast to crash into the Gnath’s hive. To avoid adding a third faction to the conflict, the Warrior of Light must stop Ravana and quell the Gnath’s rage.
After claiming victory over the Gnath and earning the trust of the forelands dragons, the Warrior of Light and their party ventured up through Sohm Al and into the Mists where they encountered the Moogles of Moghome. These moogles were the original group who served the Twelve before Good King Moogle Mog broke away and lead a faction of moogles to the surface in the Twelveswood. The Moogles of Moghome now serve the Dragons and the Warrior of Light must prove themselves to the moogles to earn the right to meet with Hraesvelgr. However, the meeting does not go as planned. The tired old wyrm arrives to shatter any hope of peace as he explains that Ysayle is not Shiva reincarnated but only resurrected a shadow of Shiva from her hearts desire no different than the men of Allagan did ages ago to Bahamut under the guidance of the Dark Ones. The great wyrm also explains the start of the Dragonsong War. That after the true Saint Shiva died 1200 years ago to bring about peace between dragons and men with her love, the peace was shattered not but 200 years later by King Thordan I and his knights who slew Hraesvelgr and Niddhogg’s sister, tore out her eyes and devoured them like savage animals to gain the dragon’s power. This taste of dragon blood still runs in Ishgardian veins till today, which is why a Heretic could turn into a half dragon monster at the slightest taste of pure dragon blood. A technique that Niddhogg now utilizes to build his army to spill every drop of stolen blood and power in Ishgard. With Ysayle’s faith broken and hopes of peace dashed, Estinien decides then that it is his duty as a dragoon to put an end to Niddhogg once and for all.
However, to penetrate the Aery where Niddhogg dwells, the Warrior and Estinien will need a new method of breaching the aetheric storms that surround the Wyrm’s lair. Luckily, the technical genius trio of Cid, Biggs, and Wedge have been working hard on creating something that might do the trick back in the Skysteel Manufactuary in Ishgard: the Manacutter. It still needs sometime to perfect however, but luckily the Warrior of Light has a distraction in the form of news from Ul’dah. It seems the time has come to awaken the Sultana. With Nanamo revived, Lord Lolorito is quick to share more dire news. The Garlean Empire, now emboldened by their new Emperor, has nearly completed a new massive airship to assault Eorzea with in the same scale as the one used in the Calamity that now rests in the lake of Mor Dhona. Alphinaud laments that this is the sort of things he had wished that the Crystal Braves would be able to defeat but that his dream of a grand unified army to defend Eorzea was for naught. Instead he resigns himself to be a member of the Scions – nothing more or less. With Ul’dah beginning preparations to face the Empire, the Warrior of Light returns to Cid to gain a new set of wings.
The Warrior of Light and Estinien wage a fierce battle with Niddhogg forcing Estinien to draw upon Niddhogg’s stolen eye for power which nearly allows the Great Wyrm to seize Estinien’s mind only for the Dragoon to barely resist. The beast is finally slain with his blood spilling forth and staining Estinien’s drachen mail armor to a permanent crimson. His lifelong revenge fulfilled, Estinien feels nothing but emptiness realizing that a similar revenge was all that fueled his foe as well. Meanwhile, the Echo blesses the Warrior of Light with the truth of Niddhogg’s lost eyes in a vision of ages past. It seems that after Niddhogg slayed King Thordan as revenge for killing the wyrm’s sister, Thordan’s son – Prince Haldrath – took up a quest for revenge against Niddhogg as well that ultimately ended with them killing the very same dragon the Warrior of Light just fought. With Niddhogg slain, his four knights asked Haldrath to please take his father’s throne but Haldrath declined saying that as another who partook in the eating of the dragon eyes years prior, his lineage was cursed. So long as the dragons darken the sky, he will be a dragon hunter until death gives him retirement and he will fight for the people he and his father doomed when they broke the peace. The four knights decide then that Ishgard will have no king and that their four houses will handle the affairs of the city from then on. But the question remains, if Haldrath had taken both of Niddhogg’s eyes, and one was passed down to Estinien as the Azure Dragoon, then what was the remaining eye that he had? The truth is that Niddhogg’s brother, Hraesvelgr, offered one of his to the dying Niddhogg in penance for being blind to threat of man in the face of his mortal love Shiva. Thus the Dragonsong War continued.
The Warrior of Light and company return to Ishgard to have the city under siege by Heretics, both Ysayle and Haurchefant try to calm each side of the conflict insisting that peace is won due to Niddhogg’s defeat. Meanwhile, The Warrior of Life and Alphinaud meet with House Fortemps to discuss the matter of the the true history revealed by the Echo. Not only are the Church’s scriptures about the beginning of the war being caused by the dragons a lie, but they also insist that the four noble houses that rule Ishgard are legitimized by their direct lineage to King Thordan – another lie. In fact, anyone in Ishgard be they low born or high born could be related to the last king of Ishgard and a drop of dragon’s blood is all that it takes to prove it. While Niddhogg’s defeat may have stopped the War, it seems that the consequences of it may through the whole of Ishgard into chaos and societal upheaval. Ser Aymeric takes the burden of taking this matter to the Archbishop himself and facing the consequences for speaking blasphemy and treason. However, it doesn’t go well as Aymeric is imprisoned within the Vault with the Knights given free reign to do what is necessary to extract who else may know about the truth.
With Aymeric imprisoned, his right hand Lucia decides to rescue him. Haurchefant pledges his aid as does the Warrior of Light. However even with a full squadron of knights to back them, breaking into the Vault seems like an impossibility. However, if they were to gain aid from the Brume Revolutionaries that live in the lower levels of the city they may stand a chance. The Warrior of Light, Tataru and Alphinaud descend into the depths of The Brume and learn of ‘The Mongrel’, the revolutionary leader who earned the name because of a mixed heritage of a noble father and low born handmaiden who was cast out when it was revealed she was pregnant with the nobleman’s child. After some digging, the group finds Hilda, the mysterious Mongrel, and after defending her from the Temple Knights of Ishgard she agrees to aid the Warrior of Light in their mission to save Ser Aymeric. The assault successfully save Ser Aymeric but fails to stop the Archbishop who sends two members of the Heaven’s Ward after the Warrior revealing that they can manifest ‘Primal Forms’ like Ysayle did with Shiva. In the end, the heroes are dealt a fatal blow as Lord Haurchefant dies protecting Ser Aymeric and the Warrior of Light from a blast from the Archbishop. The only thing they have to show for the loss is a name: Azys La.
While the name is unknown to the Warrior of Light’s allies, Cid wagers that if Thorden VII has had dealings with the Ascians, it’s likely something related to what they tempted Gaius Van Baelsar with: The secrets of the Allagan Empire. Cid preps The Enterprise to chase after the Archbishop’s airship in the Sea of Clouds but the party makes a startling discovery upon arriving. The Garlean Empire is attacking the Vanu Vanu in efforts to discover where Archbishop Thordan VII went. After rescuing them, the Vanu Vanu reveal that Azys La is “The Birthplace of Sin” and “The Homeland of Forbidden Secrets” but confess they have the Key to Azys La and it is kept on a floating island shrine. However, the shrine is promptly destroyed by Bismarck the White and the key with it. Bismarck has been driven into a frenzy by the Empire attacking it. The only way to get that key is to assault the giant whale primal and defeat him. However upon claiming victory over the Primal, it appears that the Archbishop was merely waiting in hiding for someone to do his dirty work and snatches the key from the Warrior of Light’s hands while they were momentarily distracted by a message from the slowly growing stronger reconnection with Hydaelyn.
Cid gives chase on the Enterprise, but can’t penetrate the Aetherical barrier that surrounds the floating continent of Azys La. It is during this endeaver that Lucia reveals that not only was she not born in Ishgard as had been established, that she was in fact a Garlean and the sister to Livia Sas Junius, one of Gaius Van Baelsar’s trusted inner circle. With no luck in breaching Azys La’s barrier without a key, the party returns to Ishgard. It’s not all bad news however as Tataru mentions she has news that there may be a lead on the Scions. The Immortal Flames have been scouring the waterways for signs of Minfillia, Thancred and Yshtola and managed to retrieve Yshtola’s wand. With the help of the Padjal of Gridania the Warrior of Light discovers that before the collapse of the waterway, Yshtola teleported away but without a precise destination. The result was Yshtola becoming trapped in the natural flow of aether – The Lifestream. There are ways to bring her back but it will be dangerous and require someone of a close connection and the Warrior of Light is sent to find Yshtola’s sister to aid in the ritual. The whole ordeal proves to be a success but with a cost. Yshtola has been permanently blinded by the whole thing and that she does not believe her studies into aetheric research could construct a weapon to pierce Azys La. She does know someone who might though – her old mentor Matoya.
The Warrior of Light, Alphinaud and Yshtola travel to the Dravarian Hinterlands where the ruined city of Sharlayan lies. Here they find the barren city now occupied by goblins, more specifically the Illuminati – a cabal of goblins trying to raise their own primal Alexander – and a less hostile faction that asks for The Warrior of Light’s aid in establishing a new city in the region by the name of Idyllshire. From there the group heads south to Matoya’s Cave in the mountains. Matoya knows of a device that might accomplish exactly what the party needs called an Aetheric Converger. She designed it way back in the day and it caused a falling out with her and her colleagues. However the research was locked up in a dusty old tome and placed in the Great Gubal Library. Upon retrieving the book, Matoya deciphers it and Cid studies the findings to help design an Aetheric Ram to mount on the airship. The only problem is a power source for it. It dawns on Alphinaud that Niddhogg’s Eye is a near limitless source of Aether and could easily do the trick if they could get Estinien to part with it. Set Aymeric goes to discuss the matter with the dragoon while Cid preps the Enterprise. The Warrior of Light assembles their team: Yshtola, Estinien, Biggs, Wedge, Cid, and Yasyle. Yshtola and Estinien begin to argue over whether the Eye will begin to consume Estinien which he denies the possibility of saying that he’d destroy it first. Cid finishing installing the ram and dubs the remodeled airship the Enterprise Excelsior before launching.
As the Enterprise Excelsior prepares to break through the barrier surrounding Azys La, the ship is attacked by the massive Imperial Battleship that Lord Lolorito had spoken of before. With the ship heavily damaged, the Eye’s rage quickly building and channeling through Estinien, and hope quickly diminishing, Ysayle choses to sacrifice her life to take the form of Shiva once more and engage in combat with the ship. The battleship is damaged and Ysayle killed, but the Warrior of Light and their team have broken the barrier and made it to Azys La. The group explores the floating island a bit and discover that at its heart stands the Warring Triad, three powerful primals that have been rendered to stone by being drained of everything they have to power the island’s facilities. They continue around the island until they are confronted with the Garlean Imperial Army VIth Squadron and their commander Regula van Hydrus. Hydrus applauds the Warrior of Light’s fabled strength and tenacity but walks away to have his underlings deal with the heroes much to Estinien’s rage. He hands the Warrior of Light the Eye and says that he’ll handle the Imperials so they can go finish this. Unfortunately, the final connection to reach the central flagship of the island has been broken for centuries. Midgardsormer urges the Warrior to seek out one of his children – Tiamat – on a nearby island and think on the dragons 5000 years of sufferring before deciding their quest was for naught. There Tiamat explains the history of the dragons, how they lived in peace across the world for a millennium before the men of Allag came into power. They slaughtered countless dragons and destroyed Bahamut. The Ascians came to Tiamat and offered the secret to raise her beloved Bahamut from beyond, but when she did she knew that it wasn’t Bahamut. It just looked like him. Then the Ascians turned around and handed Bahamut to the Allag where they enslaved him and Tiamat to fuel their machines. Tiamat warns that the beings that the world calls Gods are actually just summoned from our minds and hearts desires and not truly Gods, but their summoning does extract a terrible toll on Hydaelyn. In this moment of clarity, the final elemental crystal ignites and the Warrior of Light’s connection to Hydaelyn’s light is restored in full. The Goddess warns of the coming of the Servants of Darkness soon and that they must use their gift to the fullest to protect the world. Midgardsormr is impressed and congratulates the Warrior of Light on proving their worth of Hydaelyn’s gift. The dragon transforms into a larger form capability of flight and carries the Warrior off toward the flagship and to the final showdown.
The Warrior of Light descends into Azys La’s Aetherochemical Research Facility to face off with a pair of Ascians – Lahabrea, who the Warrior had encountered before, and Igeyohrm – who speak of wanting to resurrect their Lord Zodiark. They reveal the true power of the Echo, that it doesn’t just give one the ability to glimpse another’s life but to break down the barriers of existence itself and using it the two Ascians fuse into a singular entity calling itself Ascian Prime. However, the Warrior of Light has regained the blessings of Light and has grown in power utilizing Niddhogg’s Eye to cleave the Ascian Prime back into two. Shocked by this development the Ascians curse Hydaelyn’s name before the arrival of Archbishop Thordan VII, who reveals his plan to rule the world and bring peace as a primal God-King utilizing the untapped power of Niddhog’s other eye which lied buried with and bonded to Haldrath, son of King Thordan and the first Azure Dragoon, whose coffin the Archbishop brought along. With the other Eye and countless years of prayers and belief harnessed by the church, the Archbishop will turn himself and his entire Heaven’s Ward into primals. He becomes God-King Thordan and his Knights of the Round. His first act is to kill Lahabrea and absorb the Ascian’s aether into himself. Then Thordan faces off against the Warrior of Light themselves until finally the primals are defeated and the Archbishop lies dead. Estinien arrives just as the fighting dies down and takes the pair of Niddhogg’s Eyes in hand, speaking of how all that remains is to take them far away from the hands of both man and dragon. However, this relaxed moment is all it takes for Niddhogg to seize Estinien’s mind and command him to use the Eyes to drink deep of Niddhogg’s rage. Doing so, Estinien’s body transforms and the Azure Dragoon himself becomes a new vessel for Niddhogg as the dragon flies off to renew his wrath on the world.
With the Archbishop dead, the Warrior of Light returns to Ishgard with Midgardsormr who asks a simple question of Ser Aymeric, “Child of Thordan, do you desire peace?” To which the people of Ishgard happily say yes. For now there will be peace, and Ishgard made a full member of the Eorzean Alliance. The Warrior of Light holds a small funeral in the Coerthas Central Highlands, just beyond Dragonhead, for Haurchefant. And high above on the surface of the moon, Elidibus of the Ascians ponders on the failures of Lahabrea to bring about the Eighth Rejoining and how the Warrior of Light’s power is beginning to border on godhood. He turns to a figure in the darkness and says that it perhaps it is time for the Warrior of Darkness to make his debut.
As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness (3.1)
The Gears of Change (3.2)
Revenge of the Horde (3.3)
Soul Surrender (3.4)
The Far Edge of Fate (3.5)