Windurst Part 8: A Red Mage's Story
Travelling to Port Jeuno, Rapifafa travels to docks with the airship bound for Windurst.
As the consulate told Rapifafa, the airship was a far faster mode of transportation back to her home country than by foot or chocobo.
(One of the cool things about boat/airship travel in this game is that they bothered making the landscape when you look out the side look roughly like all the areas you had traversed on foot. It's one of those details that helped reduce the immersion break from having zoned areas.)Music: Airship
Back in Windurst, Rapifafa is relieved to find that the Star Sibyl is fine. However, during the attack on Windurst, the talisman Rapifafa had seen in the Horutoto Ruins had been stolen. The Star Sibyl was also visited by a strange “bearer of darkness”- an agent of the Yagudo, perhaps?
The Star Sibyl tells Rapifafa that they will go check on the seals in Bastok and San d’Oria, while she is given a different task. Rukususu, the minister of the Rhinostery, explains.
Rapifafa is to travel to the northlands and enter the ruins of a lost city called Fei’Yin. Rukususu explains that long ago, another race inhabited Vana’Diel, called the Zilart, and that these ruins were likely left behind by this civilization. Thirty years ago, a group of representatives from the three nations of Windurst, Bastok, and San d’Oria were sent to investigate Fei’Yin and the strange powers which emanated from below. The expedition was a failure. After the Great War, however, the ruins were successfully investigated, and it was chosen as the place for a fourth seal.
Needless to say, they want Rapifafa to investigate this very seal.
Rapifafa accepts the task. She travels to San d’Oria by airship and takes a chocobo to the northeast of the Ronfaure forests, where she enters the Ranguemont Pass.
The pass is sealed off because of the danger beyond- if Rapifafa wishes to venture further, she will need to find her own way back.
The Ranguemont Pass is filled with enemies far beyond Rapifafa’s capabilities, but fortunately she can still cast those sneaking spells and makes her way past them. On the other side of the pass was the northlands.
The Beaucedine Glacier is a massive series of passageways and cliffs too high to scale, so Rapifafa needs to make her way through the passageways.
Near the bottom were the ruins of Fei’Yin, which Rapifafa instantly recognized as being made of the same white cermet which also constituted the Delkfutt’s Tower and numerous other structures she had seen throughout the continent.
Inside, she runs into Lion and Zeid, apparently doing an investigation of their own.
Zeid recounts a story, which Rapifafa recognizes as being the visions she received from the Magicite- 30 years ago, an expedition travelled to the northlands, consisting of Raogrimm, Cornelia, Ulrich, Francmage, Iru-Kuiru and Rabntah- all known as great heroes in their homelands. After the loss of Raogrimm and Cornelia in the northlands, the other four returned to their homelands, only to suffer mysterious deaths one by one. Zeid speculates that perhaps they had awoken some curse in these lands, prompting Lion to tell him about what we had seen under Davoi. To this, Zeid recites the lyrics of an old song.
The great bane will devour the fair land of Vana’diel.
The ancient seal will be broken, awakening nightmares of ages past.
The blood of innocents will soak to earth, and the world will fall into fear and despair.
But as one bright star shines through the clouds at night, and as one song rings clear above the roar of beasts, we hold to one hope in these darkest of times.
That they will come, with the wisdom of ages and the strength of thousands, to deliver us from our plight. We await the awakening of the Warriors of the Crystal.
Zeid apologizes for the tangent, saying it’s just an old song he thought of before running off. Rapifafa also couldn’t stay here much longer- she had to go check on the seal.
As Rapifafa approaches the seal, she is attacked by numerous undead.
They put up quite a fight, but soon they all fall to Rapifafa. Taking cues from Lion, Zeid decides to show up after the fight is all over.
Zeid asks Rapifafa what she’s doing here, and upon her answer he promptly tells her that the seal will no longer be of any use, as the Shadow Lord died 20 years ago. Rapifafa knows what she saw with her own eyes however, and completes her task before returning to Windurst.
The Star Sibyl seems concerned as all four seals were displaced, so she tells Rapifafa to stand by for her next mission as she calls for the five ministers to discuss the situation.
Rapifafa doesn’t expect a quick answer given what's been happening in Windurst, and she knows she will need to prepare for the journey ahead, so Rapifafa instead decides to trace a rumor about a powerful Red Mage she had heard in San d’Oria. She passes through Jeuno on the way to San d'Oria by airship, so she pays another visit to Maat who sends her on another task.
In the Lion Springs Tavern of Southern San d’Oria, the Elvaan Sharzalion tells Rapifafa he will give her the information she wants if she’ll run an errand for her in Davoi.
Rapifafa has little trouble in completing the task, and return to Sharzalion.
Sharzalion is happy to tell Rapifafa the recent rumors that a ghost had been sighted in the church. He even confirms that he had seen the ghost himself- it was the ghost of Rainemard, a powerful Red Mage from the days of the Great War. There is not much else to the story, but the bartender and Sharzalion gossip about how he had a daughter-they take some time to remember her name, but they finally spit it out- Curilla, the Captain of the Temple Knights.
Curilla is troubled by the rumors of her father’s ghost, but she is not comfortable being around the church despite being a believer. Rapifafa has no problem fulfilling this request, so Curilla hands Rapifafa her father’s old watch in case it comes in handy. Rapifafa then travels to the lower floor of the church she had heard about in the rumors, and proceeds to pray.
She soon feels a strange presence behind her, creeping close. Just as Sharzalion had described, she could not move her body.
The ghost asks if Rapifafa is Curilla, and then drops a pair of boots in her hands before leaving.
When Rapifafa awakens, the priest nearby tells her she seemed to be in pain as she prayed. Just then, the papasque walks in- quite the occasion, as many San d’Orians would be honored to meet the holy man.
Shamonde asks Rapifafa why she is here, and Rapifafa answers truthfully. The papasque is very disturbed by this, cursing Rapifafa as a blasphemer and telling her that she should pray to Altana for forgiveness before leaving the room. The priest joins in the condemnation, and tells Rapifafa to reflect on her sins.
Upon return to Curilla, she is shocked at Rapifafa’s story, and attempts to put the boots on. It seems they are cursed in some way, and the nearby Prince Trion pipes in, saying that such boots could probably be exorcised if they were buried in a place where light shines in the Crawler’s Nest. Curilla says for all her work, Rapifafa may do with the boots as she pleases, but to return to her if she has clues of her father’s death.
Traveling back to Jeuno and then out to Crawler’s Nest, Rapifafa has little trouble finding the strange area in the lower levels. Soon, she walks away with what she assumes were the Red Mage Rainemard’s boots.
(To put the item in perspective in gameplay terms, back when these came out the majority of equipment had nothing but defense on them, so getting these felt like a really big reward)
Returning to Jeuno, an armorer named Guslam spots her new boots and tells her of the legendary hands of Borghertz, each one unique. He tells him one of them may be found in the nearby Eldieme Necropolis, so Rapifafa decides to take a look.
It takes her a while to find a treasure coffer containing the gloves she was searching for in the mess of the Necropolis, but she soon takes her prize back to Jeuno. After tracking yet another rumor, she meets the spirit of Borghertz, who is willing to repair the old gauntlets if she brings some Shadow Flames from the Castle Zvahl.
It is the perfect opportunity for Rapifafa to scout the area, as well as complete the task that Maat asked her to perform, so she flies back to San d’Oria and travels back to Beacedine Glacier. Travelling to the very top of the Glacier, Rapifafa arrives in the heart of the northlands- Xarcabard.Music: Xarcabard
She first completes the task Maat had given her, involving killing three powerful monsters and obtaining the stones they guard.
Afterwards, Rapifafa travels into the Castle Zvahl at the far end of Xarcabard, home to the demons which fall under the Shadow Lord’s direct command.
There, she scouts the area preparing for her mission ahead, as well as fights the powerful Dark Spark, after which she obtains the Shadow Flames she needs. With that, Rapifafa returns to Jeuno.
With his work done, Borghertz returns to his rest.
After Maat finished teaching Rapifafa the new techniques he promised, Rapifafa decides to follow some other rumors she had heard about lost armor pieces, finding them in the coffers of Castle Oztroja and Garlaige Citidel.
With that, Rapifafa returns to Curilla wearing the boots she had exorcized earlier. She notes that since the boots were created for Red Mages, it was very likely to have been owned by her father. She is closer to being convinced that the ghost is indeed her father, but she has no further leads.
Rapifafa returns to Sharzalion to see if he has anything else to tell her. Upon seeing her boots, he thinks aloud that the rumor seemed to be true after all- when pressed further, Sharzalion tells Rapifafa and the bartender that there is a rumor that Rainemard was murdered for knowing too much about something. However, he is unwilling to say much beyond that. The bartender pipes in and tells Rapifafa that if she wishes to speak with the dead, there’s another rumor that throwing an antique coin into a fountain in Fei’Yin will allow for this. It's an adventurer's job to follow rumors, no matter how stupid, so Rapifafa sets off.
Traveling to Fei’Yin, Rapifafa procures an antique coin from a ghost nearby. It’s in no way an easy task- it nearly kills her multiple times. Upon throwing the coin into the fountain, Rainemard ghost appears- he doesn't seem particularly chatty however, and only mutters something about being trapped in darkness before disappearing.
Rapifafa returns to the Lion Springs Tavern to see if there’s any new information, but Sharzalion is not willing to divulge any more information. Thankfully, a nearby Galka gives Rapifafa some information- or at least, the only thing fitting the description Rapifafa can give. There’s a chest in the Garlaige Citadel that he was unable to open.
Like with most anything else in Vana’Diel, there’s always something defending anything even slightly important.
This particular Guardian drops a nail puller for Rapifafa to open the box with. To Rapifafa’s dismay, it didn't contain something particularly pleasant, let alone any treasure.
Rainemard, however, is thankful for Rapifafa’s assistance, telling her that someone had killed him a long time ago and hid his remains in the box. He claims he still has something he needs to do before disappearing. Rapifafa knew where he was likely to go.
Returning in San d’Oria, Rapifafa noticed there was a commotion at the church. The Temple Knights arrive at the church, but Rainemard simply wishes to speak with Curilla. He first thanks Rapifafa for all her work by handing her one last item, and tells her to be careful of the church. He laments that he is incapable of giving any details before bidding his final farewell to Curilla.
It seems Curilla is satisfied despite not knowing how exactly her father died, and she thanks Rapifafa for her help.
As they all leave the church, Rapifafa turns and takes one last look.
Rapifafa has little reason to investigate further, nor did she think she had any more time to waste. Rainemard's armor should be the edge she needs for the task ahead.
(She finally got her spiffy hat too)
As soon as she returns to Windurst, Rapifafa receives another Star-crested summons. Rapifafa is asked to return to the Star Sibyl’s Vestal Chambers.
The Star Sibyl gives Rapifafa terrible news-the ministers have decided Windurst will not be taking any military action against the Shadow Lord. A sudden mobilization of their army would destroy the peace they had worked for with the Yagudo, and there simply wasn't enough information to make that sacrifice. Instead, the Star Sibyl tells Rapifafa that she is the alternative: she must travel to the Castle Zvahl and prevent the resurrection of the Shadow Lord alone.