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The Crystal Braves was a model army designed to serve as a trial for a unified Grand Company of Eorzea, founded by Alphinaud Leveilleur and headquartered at the Rising Stones alongside the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. They existed outside of any single nationality or city-state with ranks built on citizens of all walks of life from throughout Eorzea.

History[]

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn[]

With the announcement of the Seventh Astral Era, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn began to operate outside of the shadows they had withdrawn into, taking on the challenges of the realm, such as sheltering Doman refugees led by Yugiri Mistwalker. The number of problems the realm faced were far beyond a single independent group, prompting Alphinaud Leveilleur to propose a unified Grand Company of Eorzea that would come to serve all city-states and could be called upon by any of the powers. With the approval and funding from the Eorzean Alliance, the Crystal Braves were established as a precursor to this organization. Alphinaud himself served as the first commander and recruited members heedless of homeland or background.

Alphinaud and the Warrior of Light scouted many individuals from across Eorzea. Those who joined were Ilberd Feare, Yuyuhase Luluhase, Laurentius Daye, Alianne Vellegrance, Wilred Glasse, Riol Forrest, Rhesh Polaali, Ephemie Giphelmont, and Aergmhus Saehstymmsyn, as well as various other unnamed individuals who joined the ranks over time.

The Crystal Braves were first tasked with rooting out the Garlean spy known as "the Ivy", believed to be a high-ranking member of the Immortal Flames. They traced one of the Ivy's agents to Coerthas, who was caught dealing with Lady Iceheart. Eventually, the spy was revealed to be Flame Grand Marshal Eline Roaille.

Ilberd captured her the Warrior of Light and Yugiri's help as Eline was meeting with her contact in the East Shroud, yet she escaped custody and fled to Northern Thanalan. Ilberd cornered her outside Castrum Meridanum and recaptured her. In Ul'dah, Ilberd and Alphinaud met with Raubahn Aldynn to discuss the Ivy's web. She had also been working for the Monetarists in addition to Garlemald, the government party that sat with Ul'dah's Sultana and influenced the city-state's decisions.

The Braves investigated the murder of fellow member Wilred, whose body was found at Urth's Gift in South Shroud. Certain members began to question the nature of his death, and as the banquet of Ul'dah was approaching, the Warrior of Light began to notice suspicious behavior among several soldiers, such as being called on errands where no one was present (or places where no one needed them) and finding a mysterious vial of unknown contents.

Ilberd during the bloody banquet.

About half of the Crystal Braves were pawns of the Monetarists, serving as their own private army in secret. These rogue Braves were seemingly complicit in Teledji Adeledji's plot to assassinate Sultana Nanamo Ul Namo, but turned out to follow the commands of Lolorito Nanarito, who had exploited the conspiracy for his own benefit.

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward[]

After the events of the bloody banquet and the subsequent exile of the Scions, the Warrior of Light brought Alphinaud and Tataru Taru to the city of Ishgard for refuge. While trying to reconnect with the remaining Scions and their former contacts, Tataru learned of Raubahn's planned execution. Returning to Thanalan and rescuing him from Halatali, the Warrior of Light told Raubahn of Nanamo's survival. Though Lolorito employed the turncoat Braves, there still existed Braves who swore loyalty directly to Ilberd, who saw his opponents knew the truth and told the Warrior of Light they were both pawns used by others. Alphinaud officially disbanded the Crystal Braves, labelling Ilberd and his followers as wanted criminals.

Using his remaining following, Ilberd joined the Ala Mhigan Resistance under the identity of the Griffin, and launched an attack against Baelsar's Wall in what first appeared to be a means to force the Eorzean Alliance to the border of Gridania. This presence led Garlean forces to retaliate, as resistance members wearing Grand Company uniforms were present on the wall engaging the false Garlean counterattack, led by Laurentius. Ilberd revealed he had led his followers to use their dying faith to summon a primal whose pure violent rage would dwarf that of Bahamut. Ilberd committed suicide to complete the summoning ritual, creating Shinryu, who was temporally sealed by Papalymo Totolymo and defeated by Omega.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers[]

Though the Crystal Braves were long since disbanded, Kan-E-Senna approached Alphinaud to ask if he would consider leadership once more in assisting the creation of a force that could help Eorzea during the coming Final Days. Though he knew he could never lead such a group again, Alphinaud still sought out the living veterans to learn why they had been dissatisfied with the Crystal Braves and the means of leadership. Individuals like Riol and Alianne provided their accounts personally, while Alphinaud's sister Alisaie assisted in collecting recounts from those who would not speak directly with Alphinaud.

Once the Eorzean Alliance was finally able to invite the beast tribes of Eorzea to their political table, the Warrior of Light suggested this new organization be named the Grand Company of Eorzea, as it ultimately was the dream that Alphinaud had carried all this time.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

There were many individuals invited to the Crystal Braves who turned down the invitation: Carvallain de Gorgagne, Rhoswen Leach, Ursandel Peuclagne, H'naanza Esi, Ceinguled, Sister Ourcen, Syntgoht, Landebert, Reyner Hansred, and Yellow Moon. Isildaure Vellegrance also declined active membership, but nevertheless accompanied his granddaughter Alianne to the Rising Stones where he would spend much of his time.

References[]

  1. Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, Patch 5.5: "Death Unto Dawn"
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