After an absence of centuries, the king of kings did return to lead his kind against the might of Garlemald...
...Only to fall in his duel with the Agrius, proud flagship of the Garlean fleet. Devoid of life, his corpse remaineth entwined about the magitek monstrosity even unto this day.
The Battle of Silvertear Skies is a conflict in Final Fantasy XIV. It was fought between the Dravanian Horde and the Garlean Empire, in response to the latter's invasion of Mor Dhona. The guardian of Lake Silvertear, Midgardsormr, Father of Dragons, had called forth the Horde in retaliation to a fleet of Garlean airships approaching the lake.
The battle was originally depicted in the opening movie for version 1.0, and later seen in A Realm Reborn in Gaius van Baelsar's flashback. The aftermath of the battle set the stage for all the events of Final Fantasy XIV.
With the fall of Ala Mhigo, the Garlean Empire was poised to invade the remaining city-states of Eorzea. Mor Dhona's central location—along with Lake Silvertear being the nexus of the realm's network of Aetheric energy—made it the prime target as a staging point for invading the rest of Eorzea.
A fleet of airships, helmed by the mighty Agrius, began its move into Mor Dhona.
What the scholars of Garlemald didn't realize was that Silvertear had a guardian: the ancient dragon Midgardsormr. In response to the Garlean aggression, the Horde descended from Dravania to rally at the wyrmking's side. An aerial battle commenced over Lake Silvertear, dragon versus airship, filling the sky with fire and smoke.
The dragons would eventually prove to be no match for the magitek infused armada of the Garlean invasion. The colossal wyrmking began coiling around the Agrius in an attempt to cripple the imperial warmachine.
Fall of the Keeper
Midgardsormr had damaged the hull with energy blasts from his maw, sending the dreadnought plummeting into the lake. As the guardian paused to celebrate atop the fallen warship, the internal ceruleum tanks ignited into an explosion, destroying much of the bulk and killing Midgardsormr. A column of light erupted where they stood, as images of the primals were released into the realm.
It has been fifteen years, but the bitter taste of defeat lingers still... Fifteen years since the imperial fleet set course for Mor Dhona, led by the Agrius, mightiest of all vessels. Silvertear Lake lay ripe for the taking, and all of Eorzea would soon be ours...or so we believed. But an innumerable host of dragons met us that day, at the heart of which flew the great Midgardsormr. Though we succeeded in slaying that lord among wyrms, the dread serpent's defeat was bought at too high a price. Our invincible flagship was lost, and all hope of victory with her. So ended our glorious conquest.
The explosion of the ceruleum tanks, along with Midgardsormr's depleting lifeforce, caused significant environmental effects in the region. Much of the native flora along the shores of Lake Silvertear became crystallized. The flow of Aether caused the sudden growth of large crystal deposits through out Mor Dhona. The region became a surreal landscape over the next decade, and remained so even after the Calamity struck.
Despite having won against their draconic adversary, the loss of the Agrius forced the Garlean forces to retreat to Ala Mhigo and halted further invasion into Eorzea, starting a time period called the Age of Calm. This setback caused Gaius van Baelsar to lose some favor, allowing Nael van Darnus the go-ahead to use Project Meteor on Eorzea. Gaius himself remained bitter over the loss, and sought out the Ultima Weapon as a new trump card to intimidate the city-states and beast-tribes of Eorzea.
Shortly after the battle, the Echo was sounded and awakened in many individuals such as Minfilia Warde. The primals soon began to be summoned by the beast-tribes under guidance of mysterious benefactors. All of this would set the events leading to the Seventh Umbral Era and beyond.
The entwined carcass of Midgardsormr around the hull of the Agrius would become known as "the Keeper of the Lake". The structure remains a dominant fixture of Mor Dhona's landscape, both before and after Calamity. For many religious and mythological enthusiasts, it stands as proof of the existence of the gods. But for most people, it serves as a grim reminder of the horrific power of Garlemald.