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I've died before, Arbert. I'm not afraid to die again.


Branden, also known as the The Knight of Darkness, is a character from Final Fantasy XIV. He is a member of the the Warriors of Darkness.

During his time on the the Source, Branden went under the alias of Blanhaerz.


Early life[]

Branden and Sauldia.

As a young recruit, Branden caught the eye of the princess Sauldia, who handpicked him to serve as her protector as she embarked on an investigation into a series of mysterious incidents in which innocent souls were irrevocably transformed into malformed beasts. Branden served as the princess's bodyguard until he failed in his duty to protect her during one of her many "investigations". Though she would make a full recovery, Branden was nevertheless stripped of his knighthood and cast out.

During his travels, Branden befriended Ardbert and his companions—Lamitt, Renda-Rae, Nyelbert and Cylva. Together, they returned to Voeburt and sought to identify the culprit behind the mysterious transformations that continued unabated in Branden's absence. They discovered the culprit was Tadric, court mage and loyal servant of the royal family. Consumed by pride and jealousy, he had orchestrated the transformations to throw the kingdom into chaos so he might claim Voeburt's throne. Though the Warriors of Light put an end to Tadric ambitions, Tadric in a final act of spite before he breathed his last, cursed Sauldia like he had so many others, condemning her to a fate worse than death. With her begging for him to kill her in her final moments of lucidity, Branden put Sauldia to rest and received his crystal of light, awakening as one of the Warriors of Light.

Branden and his companions traveled across the realm vanquishing evil, coming to blows with one of their own, Cylva, who revealed herself as the Shadowkeeper and ally to the Ascians. Ardbert spared her life, unable to kill someone he could call a close friend. They turned their weapons against the Ascians, Mitron and Loghrif. With their deaths a Flood of Light came crashing down on their world, eradicating all life in its wake. The Ascian Elidibus offered them a chance to save their world by journeying to the Source, telling them that by causing a Calamity there would halt the Flood on the First. Doing so would require them to sacrifice their corporeal forms, leaving them as souls that would nonetheless have a physical and tangible presence.

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward[]

The Warriors of Darkness.

With Elidibus's help, the warriors arrived on the moon of the Source world where Zodiark laid dormant. To save their world, a shard of the Source world known as the First, the Ascian told the warriors they must sow chaos by slaying primals and, should they come across them, the Source's Warrior of Light. To that end, each of Ardbert's party became a Warrior of Darkness. To blend in with the unfamiliar world, each assumed a pseudonym, Branden calling hiself Blanhaerz.

Their first primal encounter was against Ravana. They encountered the Warrior of Light and their companions, and introduced themselves by fighting them. Thanks to the timely intervention of a skilled Rogue, the group retreated, but not before revealing who they were. Sometime later, the Warriors of Darkness were told of the summoning of a primal at the top of Xephatol with a new masked mage at their side. They were too late as the Warrior of Light had slain the priest who attempted the summoning, accompanied by a familiar-looking youth.

A final confrontation at the Bowl of Embers revealed to the Warrior of Light of the Source and their companions in the Scions of the Seventh Dawn that the Warriors of Darkness had offered up their lives in their own world to travel here. When they began to use their crystals of light, the Warrior of Light drew upon their own and transported them all to the realm of Goddess Hydaelyn. Here Ardbert attempted to strike down Minfilia when she offered to save the First, but was stopped, and promised to return to the First with her.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers[]


Back in the First, Minfilia used the souls of the Warriors of Darkness to stop the Flood of Light, except for Ardbert's. Branden's body became Cardinal Virtue Dikaiosyne, a powerful sin eater who was attacking without mercy and recovering the Voeburtite treasures that were looted. In search of the Fangs of Orthus, Dikaiosyne attacked Wright and turned Milinda who had possession of the treasure into a sin eater.

Once the Warrior of Light traveled to Norvrandt, they assisted Granson—Milinda's husband—on his journey to hunt Dikaiosyne and get revenge against him for turning his wife into a sin eater. The duo learned about Branden’s past and after reflecting on the tale, Granson was convinced he would have nothing to gain from the role of a vengeful hero, since Branden was also a victim. Granson decided to end this tale and let the spirit of Milinda and Branden rest and move on. Satisfied with the answer, Sul Oul revealed the location of Claws of Orthus.

Once with the relic, the duo ambushed and confronted Dikaiosyne one last time. After being defeated, Branden began to fade into motes of aether and a fragment of his memory resonated, revealing that despite everything he was at peace.

After the Ascian Emet-Selch's defeat, the spirits of Branden and his companions appeared one last time in Crystarium to be reunited with the spirit of Ardbert.



Branden is identical in appearance to the male Roegadyn CGArtwork RealmReborn4from the A Realm Reborn promotional material, though his gears is blacked.

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

Upon becoming the Cardinal Virtue Dikaiosyne, his appearance remains the same, though he has black and red eyes, plaster-like white skin, and his body is surrounded by a ghastly white glow.

Spoilers end here.


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During Patch 3.4 "Soul Surrender", Branden is fought as the Knight of Darkness alongside other Warriors of Darkness during the quest One Life for One World One Life for One World in a Special Instance.

Branden in role-play mode.

In Shadowbringers expansion, Branden is temporarily playable during the tank role quest The Hardened Heart The Hardened Heart.

Branden is fought one last time as Dikaiosyne in final tank role quest To Have Loved and Lost To Have Loved and Lost.