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Herein I commit the chronicle of the traveler. Shepherd to the stars in the dark. Though the world be sundered and our souls set adrift, where you walk, my dearest friend, fate shall surely follow. For yours is the Fourteenth seat—the seat of Azem.

Emet-Selch

Azem is a character from Final Fantasy XIV. The forgotten fourteenth seat of Amaurot's Convocation of Fourteen before the sundering of Etheirys, they were associated with the sun. They were an adventurer in spirit, yearning to explore the world to discover its wonders and help its denizens. "Azem" is a title rather than a given name, a position otherwise known as the Traveler and tasked with exploring the larger world of Etheirys and becoming intimate with its myriad peoples and cultures.

History[]

Before Final Fantasy XIV[]

Prior to their induction into the Convocation of Fourteen, the seat of "Azem" was held by Venat, who, unlike many other Amaurotines, did not return to the aetherial sea after completing her duties and retiring from her position. The next Azem was Venat's friend and protégé, and noted as being "more than half [her] age" when they first sparred. This Azem was also friend to Hades, holder of the seat of "Emet-Selch", as well as Hythlodaeus, an influential Amaurotine. As a person of action, Azem would solve problems they encountered without seeking the counsel, or approval, of the other Convocation members. This made them somewhat of a headache to their colleagues.

In one such incident, Azem defied the Convocation's wishes to stop the explosion of a volcano on a tiny island.[1] The Convocation intended to merely watch and acknowledge the event, but Azem intended to use the fire spirit "Ifrita", a concept of Lahabrea's creation, to transform the volcano's aether safely into the spirit and destroy it elsewhere. Though the reason they gave for doing this to an impressionable Elidibus was the particularly delicious grapes on the island that would be lost otherwise, it is implied that Azem simply wanted to save the livelihoods of those who called the island home. Emet-Selch, evaluating the situation, realized it meant Hythlodaeus, in his capacity as Chief of the Bureau of the Architect where concepts were stored, had assisted Azem in obtaining the concept for Ifrita.

Azem opposed the Convocation's plan to sacrifice Elidibus and half of their surviving population to bring forth Zodiark to avert the Final Days, a calamity that heralded the end of their world. Azem vacated their position, an act their former allies construed as defection. Azem did not respond to the invitation to join Hydaelyn's summoning, a primal Venat's group was to call forth to bind Zodiark. Like the majority of the world, Azem's soul and very being were split into fourteen by the sundering, the result of Hydaelyn and Zodiark's battle. As a defector to the cause, the Convocation considered Azem unworthy of having their memories preserved in the constellation crystals the unsundered had created. Emet-Selch acted behind the backs of his brethren to create Azem's crystal and imbue it with his friend's signature incantation, the ability to summon allies from far afield.

As the Ascians brought about Rejoinings in an attempt to restore the now splintered world to its former form, the disparate fragments of Azem's soul present within the rejoined shards would merge with the fragment found on the Source. This greater part of their soul would eventually be reincarnated as the Warrior of Light, while the First's fragment would become Ardbert.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers[]

While within a false Amaurot that Emet-Selch had recreated at the bottom of the ocean, the Warrior of Light and Ardbert encountered a shade of Hythlodaeus. He revealed that before the sundering the warriors had been one person, and referred to the Warrior of Light as his "new old friend". During the Warrior of Light's final battle with Emet-Selch, Ardbert gave his power to the Warrior and their souls rejoined, Emet-Selch briefly glimpsing Azem standing in the Warrior's place.

After fighting Elidibus in Amaurot, the Warrior of Light encountered the shade of Hythlodaeus again. He gave the Warrior of Light an orange crystal that Emet-Selch had created long ago, which held Azem's memories, implying that he was acting on Emet-Selch's behalf and through his will. During the Warrior of Light's final battle with Elidibus atop the Crystal Tower, they used the crystal and learned the name of the fourteenth seat: Azem. Through the message Emet-Selch had left on it, they also gained access to a spell of Azem's own making, allowing them to summon their friends to their side, including the spirit of the departed Emet-Selch.

Following the Warrior of Light's return to the Source, Azem's crystal appeared before them within the Crystal Tower. The Warrior of Light held onto it.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker[]

When the Warrior of Light arrived on the moon, they were assaulted by the wandering souls of the Ancients who had been sacrificed to Zodiark. The soul of Hythlodaeus—the real one, not a recreation as in Emet-Selch's false Amaurot—recognized the Warrior of Light as Azem's reincarnation and kept the rest of the Ancients at bay. When Zodiark was freed from his prison under Fandaniel's control, the Warrior once again used Azem's crystal to call on their power to summon friends to their side.

When the Warrior of Light later used the Crystal Tower to travel back in time to the era of Amaurot of the intact world, they encountered Emet-Selch and Hythlodaeus at Elpis. Both Amaurotines recognized the Warrior's soul was the same color as Azem's, and so assumed that the Warrior was Azem's familiar. Venat, however, immediately recognized them for what they were.

When the way forward is hidden even from the mind's eye, look not to the invocation, but within yourself. These were the words of the crystal's original bearer.

Hydaelyn, to the Warrior of Light

After the Warrior of Light and Scions of the Seventh Dawn cleared Hydaelyn's final trial in the aetherial sea, she imbued Azem's crystal with her own aether, temporarily giving it the power to give form to the formless. At the edge of creation, Ultima Thule, when facing Meteion alone, the Warrior used Azem's crystal to summon the spirits of Hythlodaeus and Emet-Selch; once the star had been remade into a place of hope rather than despair, they used the spell Hydaelyn had imbued it with to restore the Scions' dissipated corporeal aether and bring them back. As they bid farewell after their work was done, Emet-Selch entrusted the Warrior of Light with Azem's duty to wander the world and the remaining Shards and see their myriad civilizations.

Characteristics[]

In Amaurot's Convocation of Fourteen, the position of Azem was given to one who would best travel the world and counsel the people.

Appearance[]

Azem shares the appearance of most Ancients of Amaurot; taller than any of the races in the current world and wearing a black robe to hide their more distinguishing features. When Emet-Selch glimpses Azem in the Warrior of Light, he sees them without their mask, but the face appears blank to the player. Elidibus later also perceives the Warrior as Azem, and in this vision they are wearing a black mask. The thirteen other members of the Convocation appear in an Echo vision of Elidibus's inauguration as Emissary, and one member wears what appears to be a black mask, distinct from the red ones worn by their fellows. This black-masked individual is believed to be Azem.

Personality[]

Azem was tasked with traveling the world, becoming intimate with its cultures and people, and identifying potential threats to the star to eliminate them. As the seats on the Convocation were given to those best suited for the roles they represent, this implies that Azem had an adventurous spirit, an open mind, and cared for others. They were gifted in combat, as Venat described them as astoundingly strong. They preferred to solve the problems they encountered by their own hand, rather than referring it to their colleagues in the Convocation, and more often than not gathered friends and allies from the local area to assist them.

They appear to have been headstrong and playful, rejecting the Convocation's usual practice of observing events with detached interest—even tragedies—and instead attempted to stop them to preserve the local flora and fauna, as well as the livelihoods of an area's inhabitants. Their perspective was considered unique and refreshing to the likes of Elidibus, though also frustrating to their comrades. This personality appears to be reinforced by the star's denizens, who immediately pass off strange occurrences if they learn Azem was likely involved. Azem has been described as reckless and unruly by Emet-Selch, incorrigible by Hythlodaeus, and whimsical by Venat.

Behind the scenes[]

The crystals used by the unsundered Ancients to raise the shards of their fellows bear the constellations associated with their counterparts in Final Fantasy XII. Azem's crystal, uniquely, does not have an associated constellation, rather using the alchemical symbol for the sun, marking their status as a wanderer due to the old belief of the sun traveling between constellations.

Urianger Augurelt speculates that Azem was one of the sources of the myths behind both Azeyma and the Dawn Father Azim due to the similar names and their association with the sun.

Depending on the player character's gender, Azem is referred to as either male or female.

References[]

  1. (n.d.) . "Tales from the Shadows: Ere Our Curtain Falls". From The Lodestone. Lodestone. Archived from the original on 10th September 2020.
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