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Battle on the Steps of Faith was the final battle in the Dragonsong War between the Holy See of Ishgard and the Dravanian Horde led by Nidhogg. The end result of the battle eventually led to events, that sparked Eorzean Alliance's campaign of liberating Ala Mhigo from the Garlean Empire.

Background[]

The Dragonsong War had been fought for thousand years. But during the Warrior of Light's and his companions efforts to bring a peaceful resolution to war, they discovered, that the true cause of the war was covered with lies. Ishgardians had always believed that Nidhogg started the war by attacking King Thordan and his Knights Twelve unprovoked, causing the deaths of Thordan and some of his knights, until his son Haldrath defeated Nidhogg by gouging his eyes. However, the war was started by Ishgardians, when Thordan and his Knights murdered Nidhogg's brood-sister Ratatoskr, in an effort to gain her eyes for their power. Nidhogg reacted with vengeance, but was defeated. He was then healed by his brood-brother Hraesvelgr by giving one of his eyes for Nidhogg. For generations, Nidhogg launched several attacks against Ishgard.

When the truth was revealed, Ser Aymeric de Borel intended to bring the truth out, but his father, archbishop Thordan VII, who already knew the truth, denied it. Eventually, the Warrior of Light and the Azure Dragoon Estinien Wyrmblood cornered Thordan and his Heavens' Ward, and they fled to Azys Lla. Giving chase, the Warrior defeated the Ascians Lahabrea and Igeyorhm , allowing Thordan use Nidhogg's second eye to become Primal King Thordan, and bring a about a new world order. However, he and his knights were defeated by the Warrior of Light and his companions. But when Estinien took both of Nidhogg's eyes in his possession, Nidhogg's rage consumed him, and he was reincarnated with Estinien as his host, swearing to to bring about the final chorus of Dragonsong War upon Ishgard.

Afterwards, Ser Aymeric assumed acting leadership within Ishgard, and for his first acts, he joined Ishgard with the Eorzean Alliance and sought to bring an end to Dragonsong War by parleying with Hraesvelgr's brood through Vidofnir. With the Warrior of Light, Alphinaud Leveilleur and Thancred Waters assisting him, he proceeded to hold a peace conference with Vidofnir. However, those who still maintained the old vision about Ishgard's history, plotted to convict Aymeric, but thanks to the efforts of those loyal to him, the peace conference went forward, and Vidofnir agreed to work for a peace between man and dragon once again. But during the conference, Nidhogg crashed the proceedings using Estinien's body, and declared that the final verse is upon Ishgard, and wounded Vidofnir. He then fled, and the people of Ishgard agreed unanimously, that peace can't be achieved as long as Nidhogg lives.

Battle[]

To prepare for battle, Ser Aymeric requested that the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud journey with him to the Churning Mists to request Hraesvelgr's aid against Nidhogg. Hraesvelgr was very much against joining Ishgard in a battle against his brood-brother, but was eventually convinced by his father, Midgarsormr, to fight alongside them. Hraesvelgr agreed on the condition, that the Warrior, Alphinaud and Aymeric prove their worth in a trial. Warrior was tested by Hraesvelgr himself, while Alphinaud fought Vidofnir and Aymeric held his own against Vedrfolnir. All three succeeded and Hraesvelgr agreed to fight alongside Ishgard.

By the time Hraesvelgr joined the fray alongside the Warrior, Alphinaud and Aymeric, Nidhogg had already started his attack, and was winning. When Hraesvelgr faced Nidhogg personally, the brood-brothers exchanged fiery words before engaging each other in a fierce duel between two great dragons. However, Nidhogg was more battle-hardened than Hraesvelgr, and he wounded him severely by biting off one of his wings. Nidhogg declared himself victorious, but blinded by this, Nidhogg failed to notice, that Hraesvelgr had given one of his eyes to the Warrior of Light. Empowered by both the blessing of Hydaleyn and the power of Hraesvelgr's eye, the Warrior engaged Nidhogg in a duel, that would decide the fate of Ishgard. The battle was fierce, but the Warrior eventually overpowered Nidhogg. Weakened, this allowed Estinien to regain control over himself and fight Nidhogg's influence. In his struggle, he demanded that the Warrior and Alphinaud kill him, but they refused. Instead, the attempted to rip Nidhogg's eyes from his armor, and through the spirits of Lord Haurchefant Greystone and Ysayle Dangoulain, they succeeded. Ser Aymeric then told the to cast the eyes into abyss. With that, Nidhogg was defeated, and the Dragonsong War was ended.

Aftermath[]

After the battle, peace between Ishgard and the Dravanians was ratified and both sides began to work towards everlasting peace. The eyes of Nidhogg were eventually recovered from the abyss by the Warriors of Darkness and given to the Ascian Elidibus. He then gave them to the shadowy leader of Ala Mhigan Resistance, known as the Griffin. When Griffin began to move towards Baelsar's Wall, the Eorzean Alliance had to respond. The whole attack was a false flag operation, in which Griffin's forces wore Alliance uniforms to make it look like the Alliance attacked the Garleans. In the closing moments of the battle, Griffin, revealed to be the former captain of Alphinaud's Crystal Braves, Ilberd Feare, sacrificed his own men and himself to perform a summoning, all for his misguided attempt to liberate Ala Mhigo. This, empowered with Nidhogg's eyes, summoned a great primal wyrm, Shinryu. Through the sacrifice of Papalymo Totolymo and an ancient weapon, Omega, Shinryu was driven back, and the Eorzean Alliance was forced to launch a liberation campaign for Ala Mhigo.

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