MogTalk: Episode 230 Digest – Endwalker Trailer & Pre-5.5 Story/Lore

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From colorful Thavnair to the alluring atmosphere of the moon, the Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker trailer provided players with a teaser of the many exciting places and encounters to come in the fall expansion. This digest follows MogTalk: Episode 230, which features lore expertise from guests Anonymoose and Slyakagreyfox. After having a week to absorb the new Endwalker trailer, Frosty and guests discussed the expansion’s featured content and how it could possibly relate to the story and lore they expect to see.

The trio dived straight into the trailer to discuss Sharlayan, an infamous nation of scholars from the Old World. 

FrostyTV: In the trailer, we got to see Old Sharlayan, right? Y’shtola was speaking to someone with white hair. Is it the twins’ father? [11:52]

Slyakagreyfox: Fourchenault Leveilleur. He’s mentioned in the first Encyclopaedia Eorzea.

FrostyTV: I’m guessing he leads the council there.

Slyakagreyfox: He’s of high standing, but I think there is someone above him. One thing I’m interested in about Old Sharlayan is the hierarchy, who is allowed to know certain things, and who makes the decisions. I want to know why, historically, Old Sharlayan is neutral. Why didn’t they want to act when the Calamity hit?

FrostyTV: Moose, could you do me a favor by telling me everything you know about the Sharlayans and Old Sharlayan?

Anonymoose: Let’s start with Fourchenault. Fourchenault is the twins’ dad, and he’s the eldest son of Louisoix, which implies there may be more kids of Louisoix that we might meet when we get there. As Sly said, he’s a very influential and respected member of the forum. He respects everybody’s autonomy but also believes that wisdom and pacifism is the way. My first guess is that he feels this way because Sharlayan was founded during the War of the Magi. He believes that war leads to nothing good, and that it will eventually lead to Calamity, especially if the Ascians are involved. 

Slyakagreyfox: In terms of Endwalker, I believe the fight will be brought to Sharlayan. How will they protect themselves? Will they protect themselves? Do they have the power to? This might be where we get some of the Sage lore.

FrostyTV: We didn’t see anything of note about defenses at all. What do they do if they’re completely non-war and the war comes to them? Do you think Anima is involved at all here? [17:30]

Anima is a devastating opponent and endgame summon from Final Fantasy X. Infamous for her signature summon abilities Pain and Oblivion, Anima represents darkness and is depicted as a demon chained down by pain. Fans of FFX were thrilled to hear that Anima is coming to Endwalker during the FFXIV Fan Fest 2021 keynote address.

Anonymoose: There’s something alluring about the idea of Anima being Seymour’s mom. Would they do that again here, and if so, who would they do it to?

FrostyTV: I’m excited to see how that one plays out. However, I don’t know what the Sharlayan end goal is. They said they don’t get involved because they have a higher purpose, and there’s something they must preserve.

Anonymoose: I could see them having a duty to preserve knowledge. If you let all of it be lost in a Calamity again and go back to the Fourth Astral Era, it’s not going to be good for anybody.

FrostyTV: Does the statue of the lady holding a spilling pot of water mean anything, or is it just really cool looking? [21:38]

Anonymoose: I’m pretty sure those are the waters of Thaliak, Sharlayan’s patron deity.

FrostyTV: By the way, is there a New Sharlayan? [24:38]

Anonymoose: When they founded their colony up in Dravania, in what we now call Idyllshire, that became New Sharlayan. It’s essentially a meta reference because of the way the game was developed. The game was originally supposed to have six city states on the continent of Aldenard. We would visit all six, and one of them was going to be Sharlayan. Eventually, the excuse for that not being there was “Oh, they went home to a mother Sharlayan, and they’re gone now.” We started calling that other island Old Sharlayan, and now we’re just sticking to it.

FrostyTV: What we know of Sharlayan from references in the game now are in Idyllshire and the area around Idyllshire. We saw the great Gubal Library, which is a small taste of Sharlayan. I’m assuming they have libraries that are 50,000 times more massive than that.

In addition to showing off new areas, the Endwalker trailer featured two of the game’s antagonists, Zenos and Fandaniel.

FrostyTV: In the trailer, Fandaniel was seen giving a grumpy face to Zenos. Are they displaying a conflict between the two of them? [36:09]

Slyakagreyfox: Zenos is focused on us as the Warrior of Light, whereas Fandaniel has plans with the Telophoroi for ending everything. Zenos just wants one person, and that’s it. Fandaniel wants the world to burn. It’s a case of two different objectives. One is on a massive scale and the other is centralized on one person.

Anonymoose: There’s many cool possibilities of where we could go with Fandaniel, but there’s something I can’t let go of. In 5.0, they had Emet-Selch lay out that they were all tempered. We don’t know a way to get out of that as long as you still have your identity. Mitron and Gaia are great examples of this, because the only thing they care about is their goal to be together forever (well Mitron’s goal is this). He still introduces himself as the matron servant of Zodiark. Even though it didn’t get put into the game, one of the Oracle of Darkness’ lines that she could have shouted when she gets her memory back while seething darkness was “in Lord Zodiark’s name.” I don’t see any reason to assume that the tempering on Fandaniel has broken. That brings me to this idea that we’re partly dealing with the second Nabriales and that he knows what Zodiark really wants, believing the plan of the originals lacked vision and ambition. I’ve also got this idea that both Fandaniel and Zenos think the other is an idiot that can be used to get ahead with their plans. They can work together for now, but in the end, one will prevail. I think Zenos has much bigger plans than he’s letting on.

FrostyTV: I’ve noticed that Fandaniel’s personality is unpleasant. He’s the type of character you’re okay with seeing die and fade away. I feel like he’s going to lose horribly. There’s no way I can see him coming out on top.

Anonymoose: I actually really like him right now, like how I loved Zenos as the bad guy of 4.0. I’m curious as to why he’s here. I don’t know if he’s the best villain for this arc of the story. It doesn’t thematically line up for me yet, but Fandaniel is this murderous clown coming out of nowhere in the last chapter. That’s classic Final Fantasy, and I’m all over it. Depending on where it goes, I might regret those words.

Slyakagreyfox: Frosty, I agree with you. Fandaniel is easy to hate. When we finished the other Ascians, there was a slight feeling of redemption in their ending moments. I don’t want that for Fandaniel. I want him to actually just die. He’s good as a foil and a villain, but I hope they don’t give him any redemption. Something I’d like to know about Fandaniel is his role in the Convocation. For the others, we learned this through Akadaemia Anyder. What was Fandaniel’s turning point, and when did he start getting messed up in the head?

FrostyTV: In chat, people are asking why they picked one of the most annoying characters for him to take over. I don’t think anyone wanted to see Asahi again after his little role in Stormblood. I don’t know why they picked that body to represent the new villain.

Anonymoose: I think it’s a shortcut to making sure you feel about him the way you’re supposed to right out of the gate. There’s no question about it because mostly everybody has had the same reaction.

After agreeing that Asahi has the game’s most punchable face, the gang moved on to discuss how FFXIV’s two new jobs, Sage and Reaper, could apply to the universe’s lore.

FrostyTV: We briefly mentioned Sage earlier. Are there any other possibilities of how we get introduced to Sage besides Old Sharlayan? [55:19]

Anonymoose: Either Cid is pulling up new Allagan stuff, or Sharlayan or Garlemald is playing around with new stuff. There could be a new player on the field technologically, but if it’s not Ironworks, then it’s probably Sharlayan. 

FrostyTV: Reaper was also recently announced. While we could pin down Sage fairly confidently on the Sharlayan side, can we pin Reaper on anything? [1:03:14]

Anonymoose: It’ll be whatever makes sense out of Yoshida looking at seven plus years of feedback about how we want a scythe job, how Dark Knight should be a DPS, and how we want to play with voidsent. We may have to go to the Thaumaturge guild or find a way to recreate the essence of a voidsent. Whatever has to be done to make that fan wish come true, we’re going to do it.

Slyakagreyfox: Every job that we’ve gotten since 2.0 has been set up in a way lore wise. With Reaper, we get a little trailer and a weapon shown hidden behind a pillar. It’s not a lot to draw from, but there is a group of people who potentially used this.

FrostyTV: It’s weird that Zenos is the highlight for this job. Does he get a voidsent? Maybe it’s Zodiark hanging behind him. I assume Zenos is coming into this role because he’s trying to get closer to Zodiark. It almost makes me think that we may start seeing Zodiark as something that’s not horrible and bad, and that Reapers could be close to Zodiark. I’m on team Zodiark, and I hope this expansion proves that Zodiark is a good guy and that Hydaelyn is the bad guy.

Anonymoose: Zenos is planning to gun for Zodiark, even if he’s the more powerful one. This is weird because if he really wanted to have a battle where we each eat one of the gods and fight again, he should go for Hydaelyn to force our hand. If she’s gone and Zodiark is still there, it’s two birds with one stone. Like you said, I’m curious to see how they characterize Zodiark, because light and darkness are not inherently good and evil in this game. We’ve had nothing but hints over the years that he is greedy and resentful and hates the Star. They’ve characterized him in a way that is antagonistic, and I’m curious to see if they stick to their guns or reveal that it’s not so simple.

Thavnair was another destination shown off in the game’s trailer and keynote address. In Endwalker, players will visit Thavnair’s dazzling Radz-at-Han as part of the main story.

FrostyTV: We saw a lot of Thavnair, which is a very colorful place. Did you expect that, Moose? [1:11:56]

Anonymoose: I thought we would go to Thavnair in 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0. I predicted we’d go there in 6.0 because it’s tradition. I’m impressed because they went to South Asia with it and made it so colorful.

Slyakagreyfox: I’ve been saying I want to go to Radz-at-Han for quite a while. Back in the day, I said maybe we’d go there in dungeon form. When we got closer to this expansion, I thought Thavnair seemed nice. We’ve been begging for this for quite some time. We get a lot of Thavnairian lore and many items of trade from Thavnair, but we’ve never seen the place. Now we finally do, and I was excited to see it.

FrostyTV: I can understand the Sharlayan side of everything, but can you think of a reason why we’re going to Thavnair? 

Slyakagreyfox: Every time I think of Thavnair, I think of more economical things like trade and the many goods we get from Thavnair. Remember in Stormblood when we got to Kugane and things became very political and economical? I think Thavnair is going to be a bit like that, with something going on between Eorzea and Thavnair. 

FrostyTV: We’re also going to the moon. That’s likely where Zodiark is. [1:18:26]

Anonymoose: It’s what we’ve been told in a way, as the allegations said the moon wasn’t even there until Hydaelyn kicked him into the sky. If we take that at face value, it makes sense with what we’ve seen on the moon. Since 3.0, there have been textures on the moon of a massive sigil of Zodiark and the statue of Zodiark. We knew that there was something more than nothing up there. Now we’re seeing that there’s an actual bastion that’s built, reminiscent of Amaurot. We don’t know why that’s there. That could have been the last bastion of Zodiark’s followers. We might go there to learn something. We might go there to fight.

In Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker’s key artwork, players were shown a mysterious white-haired woman in the top center.

FrostyTV: In the promo picture, we see a character at the very top. Who is this character? [1:27:27]

Slyakagreyfox: Moonfilia.

Anonymoose: I can’t see it being anyone other than Venat right now. Venat is the leader of what I would call the counter Convocation. When it became clear that the Convocation was being stubborn about the use of Zodiark and weren’t hearing debates to the dangers of Zodiark, Venat was the one who rallied the alternative to somehow chain Zodiark. She became like the counter Elidibus. She sacrificed herself to become the heart of Hydaelyn.

During the keynote address, the new 24-man raid, titled Myths of the Realm, was also announced. This new alliance raid will feature the Twelve gods of the Source and provide players with lore surrounding the deity they chose during the game’s character creation.

FrostyTV: What are your predictions on what this alliance raid will look like? [1:29:54]

Slyakagreyfox: I was initially under the impression that we’d get to fight the Twelve. However, I believe these raids are going to be like a small anthology of mysteries that we have yet to solve, Silvertear Lake being one of them. It won’t deal with the Twelve directly, but will feature some of the mythos and mysteries that we have yet to solve in Eorzea.

Anonymoose: When they announced that we’re going to delve into the last mystery of 1.0, I got excited thinking about specific things. Is it going to be Sabik? Is it going to be the presence of Silvertear Lake? What is this last mystery? The Twelve was obvious but not on my list at all. The original lore of the Twelve is that they left us during the First Umbral Era, when the age of man began. It’d be cool if they stayed true to that but also tie the Twelve figures around Venat, who sacrificed herself to bring forth Hydaelyn.

In addition to the Myths of the Realm, the new 8-player raid, Pandaemonium was announced. The raid will feature the Ascians and include an original story. 

FrostyTV: What do you think of Pandaemonium? [1:36:38]

Slyakagreyfox: We’re going to hell. I’m actually excited for this and hope Satan is an actual thing. There’s going to be a story focused on Lahabrea, but we’re going to hell.

FrostyTV: What is FFXIV’s hell called?

Anonymoose: The Seven Hells. Now that you mention it, how cool would it be to alternate raids from the Seven Heavens and the Seven Hells?

FrostyTV: These raids are going to feel so deep in FFXIV’s story and lore. It’s not just going to be a little goblin side story or fighting random bosses through the universe. It’s going to feel like these fights matter.

To fans’ enthusiasm, the keynote address introduced male Viera as a playable race coming to Endwalker.

FrostyTV: What is the lore behind male Viera being introduced to the game? [1:49:59]

Anonymoose: It follows FFXII to a degree. Yoshida really respects Matsuno-san and doesn’t want to veer too far from his creations. As a male Viera, as soon as you hit puberty, you’re a defender of the wood and no one ever sees you again. This morning, some clarity was given on this. You cannot distinguish between male and female Viera until puberty. 

As this episode was recorded prior to patch 5.5’s drop on May 25, Frosty and guests ended the show by predicting how Death Unto Dawn will lead the story into Endwalker. Click here to enjoy the entire conversation.

MogTalk is a weekly podcast airing every Saturday at 5 P.M. ET on twitch.tv/Frosty_TV. The show is entirely focused on bringing the community together to discuss topics of interest regarding FFXIV, including patch notes, game mechanics, and raid insights. MogTalk Digests are now available thanks to Patreon supporters! If you are interested in supporting all of the content MogTalk has to offer, please visit our Patreon page.

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