The Azure Dragoon (蒼の竜騎士, Ao no Ryūkishi?, lit. Dragon Knight of the Azure) is a position within the military of Ishgard in Final Fantasy XIV, widely seen as the Holy See's preeminent warrior. Entrusted with the left Eye of Nidhogg, they led the fight against the Dravanian Horde during the Dragonsong War.
The position of Azure Dragoon was first established in the opening moments of the Dragonsong War. During the battle between Thordan I's forces and the great wyrm Nidhogg, Thordan's son Haldrath successfully wrested Nidhogg's eyes from their sockets, driving the dragon off. Dubbed the Azure Dragoon for his actions, Haldrath would wield the Eyes against the Dravanian Horde and become known as one of Ishgard's greatest heroes. However, wielding the Eyes would subject the user to Nidhogg's influence, which ultimately caused Haldrath's premature death.
Burying Haldrath with the right Eye of Nidhogg, the left Eye would be passed to his successor, also dubbed the Azure Dragoon. The line of Azure Dragoons would defend Ishgard against the Dravanian Horde for a millenia, using the power of the Eye to cow the dragons, even Nidhogg himself. The power of the Eye would continue to prove dangerous, as the Azure Dragoons would constantly have to battle to maintain control, Nidhogg's influence ever-present. The reward was generally seen as worth the risk until the position fell to Ser Alberic Bale, who forsook the power of the Eye when he was nearly overwhelmed by it while battling Nidhogg in the village of Ferndale, which was burnt to the ground as a result.
The title of Azure Dragoon would eventually be passed to Estinien Wyrmblood, the sole survivor of Ferndale. Estinien's severe hatred of Nidhogg for the sacking of Ferndale would cloud his judgment, and he would go rogue as he believed Ishgard was not doing enough to combat the Horde. This would lead to Ishgard for the first time naming a second concurrent Azure Dragoon in the adventurer who would go on to be known as the Warrior of Light. The adventurer would do battle with Estinien in the Steel Vigil when Estinien, having learned of Alberic's actions in Ferndale, flew into a rage and fell prey to Nidhogg's influence. Aided by the spirit of Haldrath, Estinien was returned to his senses, and after re-establishing his control over the Eye, was reinstated as Azure Dragoon.
Estinien would prove to be the last Azure Dragoon of the Dragonsong War. With the death of Nidhogg at the Steps of Faith and the Eyes discarded into the Sea of Clouds, Estinien would step down as Azure Dragoon in order to distance himself from the hatred that had until then dominated his life. His friend and commander, Ser Aymeric de Borel, would succeed him as Azure Dragoon. However, with the Dragonsong War ended, Aymeric tied up in his duties as the head of Ishgard's newly founded House of Lords, and the Eyes later destroyed by Estinien following the liberation of Ala Mhigo, the position is widely seen as defunct.
List of known Azure Dragoons
- Saint Valeroyant
- Ser Alberic Bale
- Estinien Wyrmblood
- The Warrior of Light
- Ser Aymeric de Borel (unofficial; largely comparison in station)
Dragoon" is the traditional name for a special soldier type in classical European warfare. Unlike in Final Fantasy, the original dragoons did not fight with lances, that being the job of "lancers"—a different soldier class. Dragoons were infantry that rode on horseback, but fought on foot. Originally they fought with a hand-held blunderbuss called the "dragon", giving them the name. The dragoons' arsenal expanded to include guns, sabres, and axes. During the Napoleonic Wars they became medium cavalry and reached the height of their popularity."
After the Napoleonic Wars, to make better use of the number of men the European military had, the dragoons were trained to use lances and lancers became obsolete. Thanks to the advances of modern warfare, dragoons lost their niche and modern dragoon units exist only for ceremonial purposes.
- While most Azure Dragoons are members of the Dragoon job, this is not strictly the case, as seen in Aymeric, who is not a Dragoon, and the Warrior of Light, who can freely switch jobs and yet is still referred to as an Azure Dragoon even in other jobs, though the Warrior gains the title via the Dragoon job questline.