Lulu: The fayth are people who gave their lives to battle Sin. Yevon took their souls, willingly given from their still-living bodies.Tidus: Huh?Lulu: Now they live forever, trapped in statues. But when a summoner beckons, the souls of the fayth emerge once again. That's what we call an aeon.Lulu explains fayth to Tidus.
The fayth (Original: 祈り子, Inorigo?, lit. Child of Prayer; International: フェイス, Feisu?) are humans who willingly had their souls sealed in statues in a state of dreaming in Final Fantasy X. Their powers allow a summoner to coalesce the power of pyreflies to create physical forms from the fayth's dream, called aeons, or other magical phenomena.
In the world of Spira the fayth are the souls of the people who willingly underwent a ritual that removed their souls from their still-living bodies and sealed into stone tablets. This technique of creating fayth was used in Zanarkand. When the religion of Yevon arose in the Machina War's aftermath a thousand years ago, summoning became one of its core dogmas and thus it became pertinent to train summoners. Many fayth were placed within the temples of Yevon where they reside within the Chambers of the Fayth, perpetually singing the "Hymn of the Fayth." These fayth are visited by summoners on their pilgrimage who pray for them to receive the power to call forth their aeon.
The fayth's aeon form is the physical embodiment of the fayth itself. Aeons usually embody the fayth's strongest emotion, e.g. in Anima's case pain and sorrow.
Back in ancient times during the Machina War the fayth were created by the summoners themselves with the help of someone they shared deep feelings with, in a ritual implied to be sexual in nature, although it is said that is not the only way to make a fayth. The summoner and fayth must then share a mutual sympathy to summon an aeon.
Final Fantasy X
After Zanarkand's defeat at the hands of Bevelle in a war that would become known as the Machina War, Yu Yevon, the ruler of Zanarkand and the most powerful summoner in the world, converted those of his people still alive into fayth and placed them on a wall on Mt. Gagazet. He used these new fayth to summon a dream world modeled after Zanarkand. With the power of the fayth's dream, he summoned all of the buildings and all of the people who had lived there to "preserve" Zanarkand for all time. Afterward Yu Yevon summoned an armor around himself to ensure nothing would interfere with his summoning, Sin. The strain of this was too much and Yu Yevon lost his humanity, becoming little else than a parasite that exists only to summon. Shielded by his armor Sin, Yu Yevon continually summons the dream Zanarkand, unable to stop, while Sin became a fearsome monster that went on a rampage all across Spira, destroying every machina city.
Yevon's daughter, Lady Yunalesca, made her husband, Zaon, into a fayth to summon a powerful aeon, known as the "Final Aeon," for the first Final Summoning. It defeated Sin, but Yunalesca died when the spirit of Yu Yevon possessed Zaon's aeon body, turning it into a new Sin. Yunalesca remains in the world of the living at the ruins of Zanarkand as an unsent, and awaits the summoner who makes it to her abode to create the Final Aeon from the summoner's guardian. If the summoner defeats Sin using the Final Aeon, the fayth within Sin is allowed to rest as Yevon jumps to the body of the Final Aeon, creating a new Sin, and enters a recuperative state. During the time Sin is absent is called "the Calm."
The religion of Yevon arose to promote the practise of Final Summoning as the only way to free Spira. To ensure the summoner's readiness, they embark in a pilgrimage to visit the Yevon Temples around Spira to pray for their fayth and acquire the power to summon them as aeons. The temples across Spira each house a fayth that only a summoner during their pilgrimage is allowed to visit. The Yevon faith supports Yunalesca's worldview, and posits that the Final Summoning is the only way to rid the world of Sin, all the while knowing the Final Aeon cannot defeat Sin permanently. Yet, the following the teaching of Yevon and revering the summoners who take on the pilgrimage gives Spirans hope to carry on their lives.
According to Final Fantasy X Scenario Ultimania fayth can enter Dream Zanarkand for their lack of physical bodies. Fayth can only be seen and heard by people who are either made out of pyreflies (i.e. summoned people/unsent) or those who can summon. All the aeon-fayth frequent Dream Zanarkand and blend in with the citizens to enjoy themselves in the paradise world. All fayth share a common consciousness. This is why the fayth refer to themselves as "we."
After growing tired of a millennium of dreaming the fayth request Tidus, a person who hails from Dream Zanarkand and thus a product of their dream, to destroy Yu Yevon so they can rest. Bahamut's fayth knows Tidus from his trips to Dream Zanarkand, and due to the fayth's shared consciousness, acts as a spokesperson for all the fayth in asking him to kill Yu Yevon to stop the summoning.
Tidus's party invades Sin on an airship to defeat Yu Yevon directly without the Final Summoning. After Yu Yevon's defeat the fayth are freed to enter the Farplane, but Tidus and his world disappear alongside them. From this day forth summoners are no longer able to summon aeons.
Final Fantasy X-2
The fayth who had sacrificed themselves to help Yuna defeat Yu Yevon become possessed by Shuyin's darkness. During her journey to the Farplane, Yuna meets Bahamut's fayth who tells Yuna about Shuyin and how the fayth tried to stop him but were unable to. Yuna and her friends fight and defeat Shuyin, thus freeing the fayth of his influence. At the end of her journey, Bahamut's fayth appears before Yuna and asks if she wishes to see Tidus again. If Yuna wills it, the fayth gather Tidus's pyreflies into a corporeal body and send him back to Spira to reunite with Yuna.
Each fayth has two physical forms (not counting the aeon form): The spirit-like fayth, and its soul form, sealed in a stone tablet.
- Zaon: The fayth of the first Final Aeon. Though Zaon is only referred to in Final Fantasy X, he reappears in the depths of Via Infinito in Final Fantasy X-2.
- Fayth of Bahamut: A child-like fayth who watched Tidus grow up in Dream Zanarkand. Stationed at Bevelle Temple, he is the one who brought Tidus and Yuna together so the fayth can end their dreaming. Two years later, when the Gullwings defeat Anima, the last aeon twisted by Shuyin, Bahamut's fayth appears to the girls to apologize on behalf of the other aeons for attacking them and explaining why they did so. Bahamut's fayth acts as a representative for all fayth; except for Seymour's mother, Jecht and Zaon, Bahamut's fayth is one of only two original designs and not a reused model for NPCs. The halo behind Bahamut's head is present on the hood of the fayth's clothing.
- Fayth of Valefor: A young girl who lived at Besaid.
- Fayth of Ifrit: A male Crusader who was stationed at Kilika Temple. His character model is reused throughout the game, as well as for the Final Fantasy X-2 NPC Yaibal.
- Fayth of Ixion: A man dressed in clothes from the seas who was stationed at the Djose Temple.
- Fayth of Shiva: She was a Macalanian priestess prior to becoming the fayth for her temple.
- Fayth of Anima: Seymour's mother, a tortured soul who suffers because her son, Seymour, became power-hungry after receiving the power of Anima from her fayth. She was stationed at Baaj. Her fayth design is one of the few not to be used by another NPC.
- Fayth of Yojimbo: A bodyguard in life, he was stolen from a temple to hinder the summoners' path. He ended up in what came to be known as the Cavern of the Stolen Fayth. His only companion is a dog named Daigoro. His is a reused model for Crusaders, the blitzball free agent player Kyou, and the Final Fantasy X-2 NPC Beclem.
- Fayth of the Magus Sisters: The three sisters became the fayth of Remiem Temple, though it is rarely visited due to its out-of-the-way location. The fayth themselves are reused models of NPCs; Cindy resembling Kiyuri, Sandy resembling Vilucha, and Mindy resembling Calli's Final Fantasy X-2 design.
- Jecht: Tidus's father, the fayth of Lord Braska's Final Aeon.
Lady Yunalesca is the only one described by Final Fantasy X as having created the fayth after her father converted the Zanarkand residents into fayth 1,000 years ago. Consenting to this procedure may be a requirement, as only those offering themselves to become fayth have been known to exist. In any event, a fayth must willingly offer its aeon to a summoner, but once the fayth's imaginings have been summoned, the summoner can keep summoning it as long as they have the strength to do so.
Final Fantasy X Scenario Ultimania posits the temples themselves created the fayth placed in each temple of Yevon summoners visit before traveling to Zanarkand to aid them in preparation for the Final Summoning. The summoner's guardian willingly allows Yunalesca to make them the Final Aeon's fayth, who then becomes a vessel for Sin once Yu Yevon enters the Final Aeon, using its form to build a new Sin. After the new Sin is defeated the fayth is free to enter the Farplane. The only exception would be Zaon, the first Final Aeon, who resides at the bottom of Via Infinito underneath Bevelle.
The fayth predate the Zanarkand war, since Zanarkand was the long-time home of the summoners. As told in Final Fantasy X-2.5 ~Eien no Daishō~, during those days summoners created their own fayth with help of someone they shared a deep bond with, but this practise faded after the rise of Yevon as the dominant religion in the world. Summoners summon aeons, which are themselves associated with individual fayth. The "Dream of the Fayth" is a different manifestation performed by the fayth created from the Zanarkand survivors who allowed Yu Yevon to make them into fayth. It is to be assumed the fayth are at least as old as the existence of summoning itself.
The fayth are different from spirits as they are in a state of dreaming, tied to Spira because of Yu Yevon and even after departing for the Farplane their aeons could be used in Spira by Shuyin. Tidus was conscious enough on the Farplane to whistle at Yuna when she was there, so it is possible that Farplane dead merely have a different type of consciousness.
Etymology and symbolism
"Fayth" is an obsolete spelling of the English word, "faith". It is believed to be an intentional use, giving religious undertones to the fayth, who are referred to as "children of prayer" in the Japanese.
The Siddham Sanskrit script, which is the basis for the script of Yevon in Final Fantasy X, is used in Japan mostly by the Shingon School of Buddhism that draws on early Hindu traditions. One traditional concept is that deities manifest their thoughts or spiritual energy in the physical world on several different "wavelengths:" Sound, Form, and Symbol. The form through which a deity can manifest is an anthropomorphic representation that is not the deity itself, but a living form humans can comprehend. The form physically expresses the deity's essence in the same vein the aeons represent the fayth's dreams rather than their temporal bodies. In some Hindu and Buddhist practices one can invoke a deity through the physical representation of a statue, similar to the link between aeons and fayth. The fayth also sing the "Hymn of the Fayth," which may represent the "sound" part of the different ways deities manifest in the physical realm in Shingon School of Buddhism.