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Known also as "Paragons," these malevolent, black-robed figures sow the seeds of conflict across the lands of Eorzea. Just as their faces are concealed by sinister masks, the true motives of the Ascians remain obscured behind veils of secrecy and terror.

Official A Realm Reborn site description[1]

The Ascians, also referred to as Paragons (天使い, Amatsukai?) and Bringers of Chaos, are a mysterious cult in Final Fantasy XIV who taught the beast races of Eorzea how to summon primals from the aether. According to legend, Ascians arrive in times of need to lead those in darkness to the light of the primals. In truth, they have hidden agendas revolving around their deity Zodiark. They generally appear wearing masks and black robes and possess people to further their goals.

Profile[]

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

Lahabrea, Elidibus, and Emet-Selch with Zodiark in the background.

Ascians are the remnants of an ancient race of beings who lived on the planet Etheirys before it was shattered into the Source and its thirteen parallel dimensions in an event known as the sundering. This disaster, caused by the battle between the elder primals Hydaelyn and Zodiark, also divided the souls of all living beings on these shattered reflections. Only three ancients, who came to be known as "the unsundered", survived with their souls intact. As the Ascians, they labor to reunite the dimensions to revive Zodiark and restore their lost civilization. This "Rejoining" process involves the ultimate destruction of these parallel reflections and all life therein. To aid in this task, the unsundered raise individual fragments of the souls of their ancient colleagues into Ascians.

The unsundered—Lahabrea, Emet-Selch, and Elidibus—are the most powerful Ascians with the power to recruit others into their group. Under them are the Ascian overlords, whose souls belonged to the remaining sundered members of the Convocation of Fourteen (the ruling body of ancient Etheirys that summoned Zodiark). Members of the Convocation are referred to by their title rather than their true names, these titles are based on the names of the Scions of Light from Ivalice. Lesser Ascians are the weakest and generally unnamed, referred to only by their rank.

Ascians are immortal aetherial beings as a result of their mastery over a power known as the "Echo", which allows their souls to maintain their individuality within the aetherial sea instead of dissipating. This lets them travel freely through the aetherial rift to other dimensions and allows them to possess mortal bodies to directly interact with the physical world. Ascian overlords can possess living beings, shaping the body to suit their needs, whereas lesser Ascians must use the bodies of the deceased and cannot return to the rift if slain. Possessing new bodies considerably weakens an Ascian, but possessing the same body or a clone does not appear to place the same strain on them. Ascian overlords are notoriously difficult to destroy, as their souls can escape to the rift if their mortal body is killed. Materials that absorb aether, such as white auracite, can temporarily trap an Ascian in the mortal plane and a potent enough blast of pure aether can effectively destroy them.

With the exception of Elidibus who wears white, Ascians are generally depicted as wearing black hooded robes with purple markings and silver adornments, such as pauldrons. When they ready for combat, red glyphs appear over their faces. Ascians use dark crystals to convert people into host bodies, using them to suit their ends. Ascian overlords wear red stylized masks while their subordinates wear black masks. Ascians can also appear in a skeletal form, similar to contemporary representations of the grim reaper, wearing long habits with hoods that cover their heads and faces. In this form, their legs are not visible and they have skeletal bird-like wings. "Ascian Prime" is a form similar to the skeletal Ascians, but larger and wearing a mask composed of the two Ascian overlords that combined to form the Prime.

In all forms, they are supposed to lack a shadow, but due to technical issues with A Realm Reborn this has not been consistently portrayed. Michael-Christopher Koji Fox has jokingly claimed that when a shadow appears the Ascian's clothes are the cause and any accurately portrayed Ascian is therefore wearing nothing but incredibly complex body paint.[2]

Members[]

The unsundered[]

The three unsundered red-masked Ascians are also called the Paragons of the Source (オリジナル, Orijinaru?, lit. Original). They were originally members of the Convocation of Fourteen.

  • Lahabrea - Following the Seventh Umbral Calamity, he sowed instances of chaos throughout Eorzea and aided the XIVth Imperial Legion in awakening the Ultima Weapon. When these plans were thwarted by the Warrior of Light, Lahabrea aided Thordan VII and the Heavens' Ward in seeking the power to become primals, which led to his own demise by Thordan's blade of light. Known originally as a specialist in creation magics.
  • Elidibus - Emissary of the Convocation who became the heart of Zodiark. Several of his efforts included bringing the Warriors of Darkness to the Source, possessing the body of Zenos to lay the foundation for the Eighth Umbral Calamity, and attempting to defeat the Warrior of Light on the First when he was the last remaining unsundered.
  • Emet-Selch - Became Solus zos Galvus and ushered in the rise of the Garlean Empire. Following Solus' passing, Emet-Selch's efforts to hasten the flood of light on the First brought him in conflict with the Warrior of Light from the Source. Known originally as the keeper of the aetherial realm.

Ascian Overlords[]

The sundered red-masked Ascians (転生組, Tenseigumi?, lit. Reincarnated Group), set adrift with the shards, were reincarnated members of the Convocation of Fourteen.

  • Pashtarot - Whereabouts after A Realm Reborn unknown. Known originally as a preserver of discipline and order.
  • Altima - Whereabouts after A Realm Reborn unknown, though their mask was in the possession of the Shadowhunter Gaius Baelsar.[3] Known originally as an advocate of the arts.
  • Emmerololth - Sought out the power of Eureka on the Isle of Val, but was caught in a spell by Galuf Baldesion and his allies to return the entire island to the Lifestream. Known originally as a specialist in medicine and healing.
  • Nabriales - Following the advent of the Seventh Astral Era, he directly confronted the Scions of the Seventh Dawn in a bid to seize Tupsimati's power for a new calamity, and was killed by a blade of light through the Scions' combined efforts.
  • Igeyorhm - Her efforts to bring calamity to the Thirteenth resulted in it becoming a Void unsuitable for the Rejoining. In repentance, she aided Lahabrea on the Source during Heavensward and was killed by the Warrior's blade of light. Known originally as a champion of enlightenment and rhetoric.
  • Loghrif - Reincarnated with her partner, Mitron, and tasked with bringing calamity to the First. After being killed by the Warriors of Light on the First, her shard was reincarnated again as Gaia. Known originally as a specialist in terrestrial life and husbandry.
  • Mitron - Reincarnated with his partner, Loghrif, and tasked with bringing calamity to the First. His defeat by the Warriors of Light on the First turned him into the sin eater Eden. Known originally as a specialist in aquatic life.
  • Fandaniel - Reincarnated as Amon during the time of the Allagan Empire, and regained his memories as Fandaniel from Emet-Selch. He opposed the plans for the Rejoining, and following the deaths of the unsundered, formed the Telophoroi to bring the Final Days to the Source and end all life.
  • Halmarut - Whereabouts after A Realm Reborn unknown. Known originally as a specialist in fungal and plant life.
  • Deudalaphon - Whereabouts after A Realm Reborn unknown, though their mask was in the possession of the Shadowhunter Gaius Baelsar.[3]

Minor Ascians[]

The sundered black-masked Ascians served as subordinates to the red-masked. They are unable to possess living bodies like the red-masked, meaning they are more easily dealt with.

  • Travanchet (Pseudonym)
  • Ascian of the Twelfth Pentacle
  • Ascian of the Twelfth Sword
  • Ascian of the Twelfth Staff
  • Ascian of the Twelfth Chalice
  • Masked Mage

Telophoroi[]

The Telophoroi (テロフォロイ, Teroforoi?) are a faction of the now-splintered Garlean Empire headed by the crown prince Zenos yae Galvus and the rogue Ascian Fandaniel who is puppeteering Asahi sas Brutus's corpse. Their goal is to reenact the Final Days, the series of events that ended the unsundered world.

Story[]

Before Final Fantasy XIV[]

A shade of an ancient from before the sundering.

In prehistory, a single race, known as the ancients, inhabited all corners of the planet Etheirys. Through their vast pool of aether and the innate ability to use "creation magick" they accomplished wondrous feats and built utopian cities, including Amaurot, the center of their civilization and home to the Convocation of Fourteen.

The actions of the Convocation's current "Fandaniel", Hermes, doomed their people when he allowed his creations, Meteion and her sisters, to commence the song of oblivion. Only the former "Azem", Venat, escaped Hermes's act of altering the memories of those who learned of his deed. The Meteia's song stagnated Etheirys's aether and instilled despair in the ancients, warping their creation magick to unleash grotesque monsters formed from their subconscious fears. This calamity would come to be known as the Final Days.

The Convocation of Fourteen.

The Convocation devised a plan to "weave the laws of reality anew" through the summoning of Zodiark, an entity able to quell the aether stagnation as a darkness-attribute primal. The ancient who succeeded Venat in the seat of "Azem" refused to participate in the summoning and left the Convocation who yet went on to sacrifice half of the ancients' population for the amount of aether needed to summon Zodiark; the ancient bearing the title of "Elidibus" offered himself as Zodiark's core. Though the summoning halted the Final Days, it was but a temporary solution, as the calamity had reduced most of the star into a lifeless, blighted land, prompting the Convocation to sacrifice another half of their population to restore life to the world.

The Convocation sought to call upon Zodiark's power once more by offering the primal the harvested life energies of the new life forms that had been born in their world to reconstitute those who had sacrificed themselves and now rested within their deity. Venat assembled a faction of ancients who opposed the Convocation's plans to sacrifice the new life forms, this summoning the current Azem also refused to participate in. Elidibus separated himself from Zodiark to aid the Convocation as a primal in a failed attempt to restore order. Venat used her followers' sacrifice to become Hydaelyn to subjugate Zodiark to buy time until she would devise a permanent solution to stop the Meteia. The two elder primals fought ceaselessly until Hydaelyn used all her strength to fragment Zodiark, shattering the "very fabric of reality" and dividing the world into thirteen reflections and the Source. Amaurot was destroyed along the remains of the ancients' civilization, while the souls of the living similarly split into fourteen pieces across the fragmented worlds.

Due to an intentional flaw in Hydaelyn's attack designed to spare Emet-Selch, he, Lahabrea—who happened to be nearby—and Elidibus escaped the sundering with their souls intact. The three resolved to orchestrate a series of events to revive Zodiark and restore their home via Umbral Calamities, cataclysms designed to gradually merge the Source and the thirteen shards back into the original Etheirys. They intended to resume sacrificing some of the rejoined current humanity to bring back their loved ones once the Rejoining was complete. They reformed themselves as the Ascians, and began searching for the fragmented souls of their fellow Convocation members to bring them into the fold. By imparting their knowledge of creation magick, specifically the arts first used to bring Zodiark and Hydaelyn into being, the Ascians posed as saviors to the races whose persecution they exploited, allowing the beast tribes to summon their "gods" to grant them succor. Elidibus and Emet-Selch also contributed across the Source and its shards as part of their plan, the latter nurturing civilizations while the former began the legend of the "Warrior of Light".

Originally, each Ascian was entrusted to personally oversee a shard. That changed following Igeyorhm manipulating the heroes of the Thirteenth shard into using auracite to contain primals to prevent their resummoning. The heroes, corrupted by the leaking aether, turned on each other and the people they were meant to protect. The conflicts escalated into great wars, unleashing a Flood of Darkness that decimated the Thirteenth shard and transformed the survivors into voidsent, rendering the world unfit for Rejoining. The Ascians discovered a link between the aether of the shards and the Source, and theorized that a simultaneous disaster on the Source and the shard of the same elemental aspect would allow for them to rejoin, a theory subsequently proven in the first Umbral Calamity of Wind. Since then, Ascians have worked in groups to oversee the process.

During the Third Astral Era, Emet-Selch established the Allagan Empire on the Source to set up the Fourth Umbral Calamity. The Ascians manipulated the grief-stricken Tiamat and the Meracydian dragons into reviving Tiamat's deceased mate Bahamut as a primal and provided the Allagan emperor, Xande, the means to capture and bind primals. While the Allagans sealed the primal Bahamut in Dalamud, the Warring Triad were imprisoned at Azys Lla to power Allag's aetherochemical research. Prior to Xande causing the Fourth Umbral Calamity in his attempt to destroy the world, Emet-Selch inducted the Allagan scientist Amon into the Ascians by restoring his memories as a fragment of Hermes, the ancient who had held the seat of "Fandaniel" in the Convocation of Fourteen.

By the time that the Fifth and Sixth Umbral Calamities were completed, the centuries in between each Rejoining gradually took their toll upon the three Unsundered. Lahabrea's fanatical obsession of completing the Rejoining would see him constantly swap bodies, draining his mental and physical strength. Elidibus would forget about his original life in Amaurot, rejecting Emet-Selch's suggestion to use a memory crystal and remaining committed to his duty. Emet-Selch was the only Ascian to maintain his sanity and full strength, taking rests in the lift between each Rejoining. He later assumed the identity of Solus zos Galvus and established the Garlean Empire to suit his brethren's needs in setting up the Seventh Umbral Calamity.

Final Fantasy XIV (version 1.0)[]

Travanchet

The adventurer encountered two mysterious figures, called Emerick and Travanchet, linked to recent attacks by the Sahagin beast tribe. Travanchet, who wielded mighty powers and did not cast a shadow, stole a stone "key" from the Miqo'te sage Y'shtola Rhul before knocking the adventurer unconscious and vanishing.

Minfilia Warde tasked the adventurer with visiting an Amalj'aa excavation site in Gridania to negotiate with two of the beast tribes, the Amalj'aa and the Ixal, who were on the verge of summoning their respective primals. As the adventurer stopped the tribes from going through with the ritual, a bestial Ascian appeared and frightened the tribes away.

The Sylphs, who were in the process of reopening crystal trade with the two tribes, mentioned the Ascians by their alternative name, "Paragon", saying they were the ones who taught the tribes to summon their primals. The Ascian overlord Lahabrea later watched the unleashing of Bahamut during the Seventh Umbral Calamity.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn[]

The end of your tale is but the beginning of another. The tale of the Crystal's demise.

Lahabrea in the "Crystal's Call" trailer[4]

Lahabrea

In the aftermath of the Seventh Umbral Era, the Ascians emerged from hiding and began spreading their influence across Eorzea to prepare for the Eighth Umbral Calamity, beginning with local criminal groups across Eorzea and the beast tribes. Lahabrea oversaw their actions, whom the adventurer, known as the "Warrior of Light", encountered in a vision received from the primal Hydaelyn's crystal. As the Warrior of Light embarked on the first missions in either Limsa Lominsa, Gridania, or Ul'dah, a black-masked Ascian manipulated the events behind the scenes. The Warrior resolved the threat with black-masked Ascian retaliating by encasing the village in darkness and summoning a gargoyle from the void. The Warrior defeated both the gargoyle and the masked Ascian, who vanished to be replaced by a dark crystal that shattered as the Warrior approached it.

The Scions of the Seventh Dawn was established to oppose the primals and the Ascians, whose influence was uncovered with recurring sightings of "masked mages" throughout Eorzea. In addition to influencing beast tribes, they had a hand in other events, such as spurring the youth of Little Ala Mhigo in a scheme to summon Rhalgr, orchestrating the strange events at Haukke Manor, and making a deal with the dark summoner Tristan Nightflicker to obtain knowledge on primals. During the Garlean invasion force led by Gaius van Baelsar, Lahabrea set his sights upon the Heart of Sabik, which held a power that had lain dormant for eons: Ultima. The Heart of Sabik was stored inside the Allagan Warmachine, Ultima Weapon, which Gaius had happened upon. Lahabrea established an alliance between Gaius's forces and the Ascians, secretly intending to betray Gaius by using Ultima to start the Eighth Rejoining.

To neutralize the Scions, Lahabrea possessed the Scion Thancred Waters and instigated conflict with the Garleans and the Scions. Lahabrea also personally encountered the adventurer twice, first when attempting to have Frixio, the elder of the Sylphs, eaten by the vilekin Graffias, and later at The Stone Vigil, where he empowered a dragon named Isgebind in a failed bid to kill the Warrior. Lahabrea also observed the Ultima Weapon absorbing the primals Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda to increase its power. Eventually, the Warrior partook in an assault on the Ultima Weapon, prompting Lahabrea to intervene to aid Gaius, who was piloting the Weapon.

Lahabrea twice attempted to kill the Warrior by unleashing Ultima on them, but Hydaelyn shielded them from the first attempt and the Warrior destroyed the Utima Weapon before Ultima could be cast again, presumably killing Gaius in the process. Lahabrea then battled the Warrior of Light himself, wrapped them in chains, and defeated them with a massive darkness attack. However, Hydaelyn again intervened and empowered the Warrior, enabling them to resume the battle. Lahabrea was finally defeated and purged from Thancred's body with a blade of light. He regained physical form and he met up with other Ascians, including Pashtarot, Igeyorhm, and Nabriales, to regroup.

The wisdom of His plan shall become apparent in time, when the veil is lifted from their eyes...

Elidibus

While Lahabrea recovered, Ascians pursued alternative plans for the Eighth Rejoining, Elidibus deciding to appear before the Warrior to see if they and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn could be useful. He ended up knocking out Minfilia in self-defense when she refused to let him leave, prompting the Warrior to confront and chase the Emissary. Elidibus took the opportunity to test the Warrior by sending groups of voidsent and lesser Ascians for them to fight. After the Warrior triumphed, Elidibus described the Ascians' desire to revive Zodiark and conceded that the Warrior of Light may doubt his words and motives before departing.

Minions of Lahabrea, the Ascians of the Twelfth, noting that Hydaelyn had grown weaker despite the people of the Source having survived the "Rejoining" seven times by now, had been teaching the beast tribes how to summon more powerful versions of their primals. Two of them observed the Warrior of Light fight the primals as their victory only served to further the Ascians' plans. Meanwhile Emet-Selch, who had spent decades as the Garlean Emperor Solus zos Galvus, allowed his host body to pass away. Emet-Selch returned to the Source, well aware that a civil war would follow the emperor's death. The war was eventually won by Emet-Selch's grandson, Varis zos Galvus.

The Scions studied a countermeasure to combat the Ascians. Moenbryda, having traveled to Eorzea from Sharlayan to help with Lady Iceheart, hypothesized that aether could be used to destroy an Ascian's soul if enough was gathered into a "blade of light". Nabriales, having questioned Elidibus's actions and refusing to wait for another "Rejoining" to naturally occur, decided to take advantage of the Warrior of Light losing Hydaelyn's blessing in the aftermath of encountering Midgardsormr. Nabriales attacked the Scions' now defenseless headquarters to obtain Louisoix Leveilleur's staff, but was destroyed when Moenbryda sacrificed her life to confirm her theory.

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward[]

The Ascians next appeared in Ishgard, with Lahabrea and Igeyorhm offering aid to Thordan VII in his mad quest to end the Dragonsong War as part of their plan to start the Eighth Rejoining. Igeyorhm observed the Warrior of Light's battle with Ravana, and later subdued them after their battle with the primal Bismarck to help Thordan reach Azys La. There, she and Lahabrea confronted the Warrior of Light at the Aetherochemical Research Facility to end their interference, but were outmatched due to the Warrior's drastically increased strength from their trials across Ishgard in combination with the newly regained Blessing of Light from Hydaelyn.

Ascian Prime.

Unwilling to lose, Lahabrea and Igeyorhm resorted to fusing into an Ascian Prime to gain the upper hand. The Ascian Prime was defeated, Lahabrea separating from Igeyorhm before she was destroyed by being sealed in white auracite and shattered by aether from the left eye of the dragon Nidhogg. Thordan appeared, revealing he knew of the Ascians' agenda, and ended their alliance when he became the primal King Thordan and destroyed Lahabrea's physical form before absorbing the Ascian's aether-based essence.

Meanwhile, on the First shard, the void consuming the Thirteenth caused an imbalance on the other reflections, and the First was on the verge of being consumed by light. The sundered Ascians Loghrif and Mitron were instructed to halt the flood until Emet-Selch told them to commence it in conjunction with a light-affiliated Calamity unfolding on the Source. The pair battled Ardbert and his comrades, the First's Warriors of Light. Ardbert destroyed Loghrif and struck Mitron with a Blade of Light, mutating him into the first sin eater, which would later be known as Eden. Ardbert's wish for the Light to prevail against the Darkness caused Eden to unleash the Flood of Light.

With Lahabrea, Igeyorhm, Loghrif, and Mitron all gone, Elidibus knew there would be imbalance of the Light and Darkness needed for the Eighth Rejoining. Elidibus went to Ardbert and his team, tricking them into believing they could save their world by traveling to another and causing a calamity there. The newly minted "Warriors of Darkness" were tasked with harassing the beast-tribes and killing the Warrior of Light of the Source. The plan ended with Minfilia—now Hydaelyn's avatar—returning the Warriors to the First to halt the Flood. Nonetheless, Elidibus obtained the eyes of Nidhogg and bestowed them to the Ala Mhigan extremist known as the Griffin, leading to renewed war between Garlemald and the Eorzean Alliance.

Meanwhile, the Ascian of the Twelfth Chalice, reanimated by the body of Tristan's brother, attacked many travelers in Thanalan. Once the undead summoner was slain, the Ascian revealed himself, frustrated at losing another pawn. He later attacked the Warrior of Light, Y'mhitra, and Dancing Wolf at the Carteneau Flats during an attempt to harness the Dreadwyrm's power to achieve a trance, but fled when the trance was achieved. Noting his sudden cowardice, Y'mhitra suspected lesser Ascians could not possess living beings and would perish if no available host was nearby. To test this, she tricked him and the other Ascians of the Twelfth into an ambush outside the Great Gubal Library in the Dravanian Hinterlands, knowing the place was too remote for them to find another host.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood[]

Elidibus in Zenos's body.

Following their heavy losses, Ascian activity was sparse until the death of Zenos yae Galvus. Elidibus possessed the Garlean prince's corpse and introduced himself to Emperor Varis. Emet-Selch reluctantly came out of his rest and used one of the clones of his mortal body to aid in enacting the Eighth Umbral Calamity. Elidibus used Zenos's face and influence as the prince to undermine any attempted rebellions in Garlemald's surrounding provinces while sabotaging Varis's peace treaty with Doma; he manipulated Asahi sas Brutus into orchestrating his sister, Yotsuyu goe Brutus—who was recognized as a Doman citizen—to summon a primal unto herself.

Elidibus intended to escalate the war between Garlemald and Eorzea to the point where Varis would authorize the deployment of the deadly chemical weapon Black Rose, which would be amplified by the First's destruction enough to cause the eighth rejoining. As the conflict escalated, Elidibus and the Warrior of Light came face-to-face on the battlefield. Though Elidibus believed he could defeat the Warrior with his dark magick combined with Zenos's physical prowess, he found himself nearly outmatched when confronted with the Warrior's unexpected growth in power. Varis ordered him to retreat to Garlemald when word began to spread in the Empire of a demon masquerading as his son.

Gaius Baelsar, revealed to be alive and under the pseudonym of "Shadowhunter", had been traveling with his companions to hunt the Ascians to avenge his manipulations at Lahabrea's hands and the deaths of his comrades. He collected the masks of the Ascians he defeated, including those of Altima and Deudalaphon.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers[]

The Warrior of Light and the Scions found a way to the First, one of the reflections of the original Etheirys that the Flood of Light had taken over. Emet-Selch and Loghrif had caused for "the Flood" by manipulating Ardbert and his companions. While Minfilia had stalled the Flood, Emet-Selch had changed his approach in claiming the First by making the unborn Vauthry a Lightwarden. As the Warrior and the Scions began hunting and eliminating the Lightwardens, Emet-Selch made himself known to them but did not impede their progress. Sensing the Warrior to be fragment of Azem, he embarked on a test to see if the Warrior could be prove themself stronger than any other sundered by containing the Lightwardens' essence, at which point he would consider them worthy inheritors for his civilization.

After the deaths of the third and fourth Lightwardens, Emet-Selch gradually revealed more about the Ascians, their ancient civilization of Amaurot, and the origins of Hydaelyn and Zodiark; how they sought to undo the sundering by wiping out and then rejoining the shards; and how the Ascians' attempt to bring about the Rejoining had rendered the Thirteenth a "useless void". The Warrior failed Emet-Selch's test when they could not contain the Lightwardens' aether after slaying Vauthry. When the Crystal Exarch attempted to sacrifice himself to take the aether away, Emet-Selch incapacitated the time-traveler, aiming to study how the Exarch had traveled through time and utilize the information to speed up the rejoinings. Expressing his disappointment in the Warrior, Emet-Selch left them to transform and departed with the Exarch.

Stabilizing themselves, the Warrior and the Scions tracked down Emet-Selch to a copy of Amaurot, created by the Ascian paragon in the bottom of the ocean in the region known as "the Tempest". Refusing to believe Alphinaud Leveilleur's arguments that the people of the Source and its shards were of equal worth to the ancients, Emet-Selch forced them through a recreation of the Final Days before battling them under his true name: Hades. The Scions were outmatched until Ardbert, revealed to the First's fragment of Azem, merged his soul with the Warrior's to cease the Lightwardens' corruption. With the aid of allies summoned by G'raha, the Warrior of Light defeated Hades by impaling him with an axe of light after a painstaking battle. Hades accepted his fate, asking the Warrior to remember their people before fading away.

On the Source, Elidibus's plans would also meet disaster when the real Zenos—who had cheated death by possessing another—returned to Garlemald, outmatched Elidibus, and murdered Varis, plunging Garlemald into another civil war. Forced to abandon Zenos's body after sensing Emet-Selch's death, Elidibus was now the last Unsundered Ascian. In a last-ditch attempt to kill the Warrior of Light, Elidibus traveled to the First and possessed Ardbert's corpse in a scheme to awaken everyone's potential to use the Echo and use their faith to strengthen him. During a journey into the Anamnesis Anyder, deep beneath Emet-Selch's vision of the past, the Warrior of Light and the Scions discovered concept containers that displayed ancient images of the intact world. They observed the memories of Venat's faction and learned of Elidibus's true nature as Zodiark's disembodied heart.

Though Elidibus summoned spectral Warriors of Light, he failed to defeat the Warrior from the Source after they used the crystal of Azem, the missing fourteenth member of the Convocation, to invoke a spell to summon their allies from a great distance. Emet-Selch answered his "dearest friend's" call after Elidibus attempted to banish the Warrior to the aetherial rift, and pulled the adventurer and their allies out to finish the weakened Elidibus off to the "last" unsundered's surprise. Elidibus was sealed within the Crystal Tower where the Warrior presented the youthful shade of Elidibus the other thirteen soul crystals (sans Azem's), restoring the memories he was missing.

With the last of the Unsundered gone and the means of siring new members lost, any prospect of completing the Rejoining evaporated. The remaining sundered Ascians either went quiet or pursued their own goals. When the Warrior helped Ryne restore the Empty through the Eden, Mitron made contact with Loghrif's reincarnation, the amnesic Gaia, and persuaded her join them. Once the trio restored the Empty, Mitron broke free from his bonds within Eden. He attempted to erase Gaia's memories and replaced them with that of Loghrif to restore his lover, only to be slain by the Warrior.

Fandaniel.

The Scions used their experience from the First to begin administering cures for the tempered and ended the practice of primal summoning. Meanwhile, another sundered Ascian, Fandaniel, considered his leaders' deaths as just cause to act on his own agenda to finish what Xande had begun, siding with Zenos to establish the Telophoroi cult with the intent of resuming the Final Days to destroy the Source.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker[]

Fandaniel used the Garleans' faith in their late emperor Varis to summon the primal Anima and erect towers across the realm that collected aether from the land. He planned to use the aether to destroy Zodiark's bindings on the moon via the Tower of Babil. The Warrior of Light was initially able to prevent this, but Fandaniel and Zenos traveled to the moon to destroy the last binding themselves. Fandaniel then joined himself with Zodiark, becoming his heart. The Warrior of Light defeated Zodiark, but the elder primal's destruction had been Fandaniel's goal all along, as it recommenced the Final Days. Zodiark's demise in Fandaniel's suicidal gambit marked the end of the Ascians as a threat, if any members remained.

When the Warrior of Light and the Scions set out to find a way to avert the Final Days, they thought to seek help from Elidibus whose essence remained sealed within the Crystal Tower on the First. The Warrior found him and told him everything about Fandaniel and Zodiark's demise. Elidibus was saddened but surprised that the Fandaniel of this age had sought to end everything, unlike the one he had known long ago. Elidibus illuminated the Warrior about Elpis, the facility Fandaniel had overseen where Amaurotines had used creation magicks to generate new kinds of life. Elidibus suggested the Warrior travel to the past to a time when Elpis still existed. Having familiarized with the Crystal Tower's systems, Elidibus fused himself with the tower and sent the Warrior to the past at the cost of his life. He was content to return to the aetherial sea and reunite with his friends, and before disappearing, Elidibus spoke to Hydaelyn and asserted that the fate of their star was now in her hands, as well as her champion's.

Later, in Ultima Thule, the Warrior of Light summoned Emet-Selch's soul from the aetherial sea to restore the sacrificed Scions. He issues a final challenge to the Warrior and the Scions to see everything the Source and its reflections could offer.

Spoilers end here.

Musical themes[]

Nearly all appearances of an Ascian in all versions of the game are accompanied by "Without Shadow". While most boss fights against Ascian overlords use "Thunderer" as the battle theme, "The Maker's Ruin" plays during the battle against Ascian Prime and "Torn from the Heavens" is used during the solo instance against Lahabrea after defeating The Ultima Weapon.

Behind the scenes[]

In Japanese, the Ascian versions of the Convocation titles are rendered in a manner "Ascian Emet-Selch" (アシエン・エメトセルク) rather than just "Emet-Selch" (エメトセルク), making the two groups—the presently operating Ascians and the Convocation of Fourteen of ancient times—more distinct.

Bestial Ascians in the original Final Fantasy XIV.

"The Paragons" (天使い, Amatsukai?, lit. Heavenly Messengers) is a legacy term that dates back to 1.0, referring to those responsible for teaching the beast tribes to summon their gods. In 1.0, the Ascians were portrayed as "shadoweaters" who had "eaten their own shadows", hence the name Ascian, meaning "shadowless". They resembled grim reapers, commanded voidsent, were feared by the beast tribes, were rumored to have been the first to learn summoning from the Paragons, and thus the first to summon a god. The "Ascians" and "Paragons" were consolidated into a single group in A Realm Reborn, explained via the official website and early in the main quest simply that "Paragon" was another term for the Ascians.

The red-masked (high ranking) Ascians are led by the (オリジナル, orijinaru?, lit. the originals) who command the (転生組, tenseigumi?, lit. the reincarnated). These terms are not localized consistently in English. In Shadowbringers and Endwalker, オリジナル is usually translated as "the unsundered", while 転生組 is translated variously as "fractured", "sundered", and "reincarnated". The unsundered are the three surviving Convocation members (Elidibus, Emet-Selch and Lahabrea), and the reincarnated are fragments of the souls of the other ten fallen members who had summoned Zodiark, chosen from the various shards, including the Source.

The term "Paragons of the Source" is essentially a mistranslation of オリジナル in the English localization of patch 4.5 and does not perfectly align with information later revealed in Shadowbringers and Endwalker. In the original Japanese, Shadowhunter (Gaius) explains the hierarchy of the red-masked Ascians and states that "a few of their number claim to be the originals and lead the rest, called the reincarnated," and that Nabriales belonged to the reincarnated, but that was troublesome as "the three originals wield far greater power". In the English version they changed the dialogue to Gaius explaining that among the red-masked Ascians, "those set adrift with the shards clearly stand below those still joined to the Source", and that Nabriales's "powers were inconsequential next to the Paragons of the Source".

The localization may have incorrectly assumed that the division was a matter of being either of the Source or of its reflections, but in Shadowbringers it is posited that the originals survived the sundering unsundered, and there are reincarnated souls of the Convocation in each shard, including the Source (like Amon and the Warrior of Light), and it does not matter which shard each comes from. During the Eden raid series, Mitron says that Emet-Selch considers the reincarnated Ascians expendable as they can be easily replaced with their counterpart from another shard.

Gallery[]

Etymology and allusion[]

Ascian means "without shadow". This reflects their distinguishing trait and their musical theme.

A paragon is a person or thing regarded as a perfect example of a particular quality. The title is often used figuratively to denote a model of excellence or perfection. The Ascians' overlords are named after the Scions of Light mentioned in Final Fantasy XII. This fits in with their Ophiuchus-themed deity and emissary, the former named after the Esper and the latter after the legendary wizard from the Ivalice games. Those Ascians whose true names have been revealed (Hades, Artemis, Gaia, Hermes) are named after deities from ancient Greek mythology.

The glyphs over the Ascians' faces in A Realm Reborn relate to the Espers from Final Fantasy XII. Lahabrea occasionally is seen with a symbol similar to the bottom of Mateus's glyph and the anonymous Ascian fought early in the story has a glyph resembling Belias's glyph.

The mask worn by Lahabrea and Elidibus resembles the kind of masks used in the Noh theater tradition in Japan, albeit only partially covering the face. The skeletal Ascians resemble the recurring lich, specifically the design seen in Final Fantasy Tactics.

References[]

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