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G'raha Tia

G'raha Tia is a character from Final Fantasy XIV. He is introduced in the Crystal Tower quests as a historian and marksman with the Students of Baldesion, and has a greater role in the events of Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker. Unlike many of the game's other characters from Sharlayan, G'raha never attended the Studium.

History[]

Early life[]

Although raised in Sharlayan, G'raha Tia was born much further away, in Corvos on the continent of Ilsabard. Long ago the ancient Allagan Empire brought many tribes of Miqo'te there to serve as slaves. During the empire's last years G'raha's ancestor, Desch, was entrusted with safekeeping the royal bloodline by Allag's princess Salina. Desch's descendants would occasionally be born with one red eye, the Allagan Eye, as a sign of this legacy. While many Miqo'te returned to Eorzea during the Age of Endless Frost that froze the seas, G'raha's tribe remained in Corvos to protect the Allagan technology there from being misused.

Thousands of years later, G'raha was born with the Allagan Eye, and made fun of by the other children of his tribe for having two different-colored eyes.

When the Garlean Empire conquered Corvos and the imperial House Darnus began searching for Allagan relics, the tribe feared being discovered and buried their ties to ancient Allag. As a bearer of the Allagan Eye, G'raha was sent to Sharlayan and entrusted to the custody of friends in the Students of Baldesion.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn[]

To pass the magick barriers at the entrance to the Crystal Tower, the Warrior of Light was tasked with acquiring elemental-charged aethersand from various sources. G'raha's unseen voice told the Warrior he had already claimed the water-blessed ore sought in Urth's Gift.[2] He directed the Warrior to find a wind aethersand shipment at the Ixali Logging Grounds in North Shroud. After fighting off the beastmen to claim the prize, the "unseen voice" congratulated the Warrior of Light for being entertaining and told them to inspect Proud Creek for the reward. The item turned out to be water aethersand, with G'raha promising they would "meet again soon". Once the Warrior of Light returned the sand to Cid nan Garlond and Rammbroes back in Mor Dhona, G'raha Tia formally introduced himself and dubbed the Crystal Tower investigation team NOAH ("Nominated Observers of Artifacts Historical"), after an ancient Allagan scholar.

Later meeting Doga and Unei, G'raha Tia learned that he possessed the lineage of Allagan nobility. After the Cloud of Darkness abducted Doga, Unei, and Nero at the top of the Crystal Tower, taking them into the World of Darkness, G'raha returned to camp with the rest of NOAH to figure out a way to rescue them.

G'raha seals the Crystal Tower with himself inside.

Once Cid opened a portal to the World of Darkness, G'raha ventured through it with the Warrior of Light. Upon the Cloud of Darkness's defeat, they discovered Doga and Unei who intended to remain to sever the Cloud's ties to Eorzea. Before sending the group off, the duo infused a portion of their blood into G'raha to grant him control over the Crystal Tower. This allowed G'raha to learn Salina's last will, an ancient princess who had used Allagan technology to infuse her DNA into G'raha's ancestor so that his family could restore the tower as a beacon of hope. G'raha sealed the Crystal Tower with himself inside, intending to guide the Eorzeans once they had reached the same technological level as the ancient Allagans.

Well, now I must rest. Recalling so much has put me in the mood for sleep. Farewell, my friends. I eagerly await a future born of your courage and the ancients' wish.

G'raha Tia

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers[]

Artwork for Shadowbringers.

By the time the Crystal Tower was reopened two centuries into the future, G'raha had partially fused with the tower to prolong his life as its keeper. He learned of the Eighth Umbral Calamity that had claimed the lives of the Warrior of Light and the Scions of the Seventh Dawn along with the endless conflict that had followed. Acting on a hypothesis proposed by Cid, G'raha sent himself and the Crystal Tower to the First some time after the Flood of Light had occurred there, the catalyst that had allowed the Umbral Calamity to unfold on the Source. Taking on the identity of the "Crystal Exarch", G'raha established the city of Crystarium as a haven for the people of Lakeland.

G'raha attempted to summon the Warrior of Light to the First via the Calling, but ended up summoning the other Scions instead. Due to the time difference between the Source and the First, the latter being a parallel world of the former, the Scions ended up appearing years apart from each other. G'raha confided in Urianger Augurelt, telling him everything, and asking him to be his accomplice in a scheme to prevent the First's Umbral Calamity—with full knowledge that the negation of the Eighth Umbral Calamity on the Source would erase him and send the Scions back to their world fully restored.

When the Warrior of Light finally arrived on the First, G'raha, in the guise of the Crystal Exarch, acted as the Scions' guide and leader, directing their efforts in defeating the Lightwardens. When the final Lightwarden was defeated, G'raha revealed his plan all along had been to steal the light that the Warrior had absorbed from the Lightwardens. With it, he would transport himself and the Crystal Tower to the Dimensional Rift where the light could be safely expunged, killing him and returning the Scions to the Source. Emet-Selch thwarted the plan, having figured out his true identity. When the Warrior prepared to battle Emet-Selch, G'raha used his powers to summon heroes from other worlds to fight alongside them. After Emet-Selch's defeat, G'raha returned to Crystarium where he continued to aid the Scions in finding a way to return to the Source.

In time, G'raha, with the help of Beq Lugg, worked out a method to send the stranded Scions back to the Source using crystals infused with his own blood. He created spirit vessels for each Scion, plus an additional one for himself, intending to take the first as a safety precaution. However, drawing upon the Crystal Tower's energy to such a degree caused G'raha's body to further crystallize.

The Ascian Elidibus seized G'raha's spirit vessel and used it to conduct the Crystal Tower and summon spectral versions of otherworldly heroes, having them relentlessly hunt down the Warrior from the Source, who in averting the Flood of Light on the First had gained the moniker "Warrior of Darkness". Coming to the Warrior's aid as they overpowered Elidibus, G'raha used the last of his strength to finish the Ascian off, using the Crystal Tower like White Auracite. G'raha gave the Warrior of Darkness his spirit vessel containing his soul and memories, content to having fulfilled his mission. He cryptically hinted to the Warrior honoring his last request before fully crystallizing.

Yours is a long road, my friend, and it stretches on to places beyond imagining. With your every step, these grand adventures shall grow more distant and faint. And there may come a day when you forget the faces and voices of those you have met along the way. On that day, I bid you remember this... That no matter how far your journey may take you, you stand where you stand by virtue of the road you walked to get there. For in times of hardship, when you fear you cannot go on... The joy you have known, the pain you have felt, the prayers you have whispered and answered—they shall ever be your strength and your comfort. This I hope—I believe, here at memory's end.

G'raha Tia to the Warrior of Darkness

After the Warrior brought the Scions back to the Source, they revived the still-resting G'raha at the Crystal Tower, which was warded with Krile's assistance. Days after recuperating from being fused with his future self's soul and memories, G'raha pledged himself to the Scions as their newest member and agreed to accompany them on future adventures.

G'raha then accompanied the Warrior of Light and Alisaie in search of the tempering cure.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker[]

G'raha and his fellow Scions departed to Sharlayan to learn about the coming of the Final Days. He accompanied the Warrior of Light on a tour of the city, and joined the group of Y'shtola, Alisaie, Alphinaud, and Krile of learning the Forum's plan. While investigating at the Studium's library, he was caught due to his use of floating magick and the Scions were brought to the Forum for questioning.

After getting banned of researching the Forum's goal, G'raha joined the Scions to storm the Tower of Zot where he stayed behind to heal the kidnapped Arkasodaras. After Estinien destroyed the tower's core, the structure disappeared and G'raha used a mass floating magick to save everyone inside it.

G'raha joined his fellow Scions and the Eorzean Alliance at storming Garlemald as Ilsabardian Contingent. He stayed alongside Y'shtola at the contingent's main base of operation for providing succor. When Zenos Galvus used the Warrior of Light's body to infiltrate the contingent, G'raha realized the ploy and stormed the Tower of Babil alongside the Scions.

After the Warrior of Light returned from Mare Lamentorum, G'raha visited their room and the two talked about their promises to have an adventure together. The next day, Final Days fell upon Thavnair and G'raha stormed the forest of Vanaspati alongside his comrades. When the blasphemies attacked Radz-at-Han in full, G'raha resumed the Crystal Exarch persona to rally the civilians. With the crises averted for now, G'raha had an idea to research Final Days' cause by consulting the soul of Elidibus trapped inside the Crystal Tower on the First.

Some time later, the Final Days fell upon Garlemald. G'raha and his fellow Scions arrived to help the refugees there. Afterward, they were brought back to Sharlayan where the Warrior of Light explained what they had learned in Elpis.

After helping the Forum with the Starship Ragnarok's aetherial engine, the Scions used the Aitiascope to meet with Hydaelyn herself. She commended G'raha for his efforts of uniting the people of the First during a moment of hopelessness.

Following the Final Days' aversion, G'raha joined Krile in her efforts to rebuild the Students of Baldesion.

A Newfound Adventure[]

While assisting in the rebuild, G'raha was stuck with a variety of administrative tasks. The Adventurer approached G'raha, intending to recruit him on an expedition to the ruins of the Bounty. Krile, sensing G'raha was resisting the urge to ditch his work to go on an adventure, gave him permission to go. G'raha gladly accepted, and also assisted in recruiting Y'shtola and Uriangier to the expedition. During the expedition, G'raha learns that the secret of the ruins was a voidgate to the Thirteenth created at Vrtra's request. He offers his insight into how the soul gets corrupted from overexposure to extreme amounts of a specific type of aether, but quickly attempted to soften his comments when he realized he was being insensitive to Vrtra. Afterwards, he assisted Vrtra in getting a sense of the current difficulties facing the people of Thavnair. Most notably, the extended closure of ports and lack of able-bodied sailors is ruining the economy and the rise in the number of orphans, which was a result of the Final Days.

Characteristics[]

Appearance[]

The Crystal Exarch.

G'raha is a male Miqo'te with a muscular build and red hair. His height is the shortest available to male Miqo'te. His left eye is green and his right eye is red, being referred to as an "Allagan Eye" or the "Royal Eye". He carries a bow and a quiver of arrows. After a storyline event, his left eye becomes red as well. G'raha bears the trademark neck tattoos (Archon's Mark) of a Sharlayan sage, as well as an arm tattoo resembling the eye worn by the members of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. In his case, they may simply be symbols of the Students of Baldesion as a whole.

As the Crystal Exarch, his body has partially crystallized and his robe conceals his tail. He wears a black robe alongside a red and white toga with golden accents. Its hood obfuscates his face. He wears a pair of wrapped sandals, and has wrapped his left arm in the same material. He carries a hefty golden staff that doubles as a walking cane, which has an intricate and mysterious design befitting his visage. The crystallization begins to overtake more of his body and clothing with glowing cracks due to overexerting himself in his work.[3] By the time of the climatic battle of Norvrandt, most of his body and clothing, save for his face, are crystallized and cracking at the seams until it finally consumes him.

After his soul and memories merge with his original self, G'raha regains his former physical appearance, now sporting an outfit better suited for traveling that has embellishments from his Exarch attire, with gold and blue jewelry and a black scarf. As a Black Mage or White Mage, he wields a staff that uses a piece of the Crystal Tower as its focus. When acting as a Paladin, G'raha wield a light-constructed sword and shield.

During his trip to Garlemald, he wears a gray Urban coat and wears brown gloves to stave off the cold. This outfit could be unlocked to use in the Trust dungeon runs after he achieved level 90 in Avatar mode.

Personality[]

G'raha's appearance back on the Source.

G'raha is eccentric, initially playing a game with the Warrior of Light while they are gathering the aethersand, and whimsically naming the combined investigation team after an ancient Allagan sage.

As the Crystal Exarch, despite his youthful appearance, his mannerisms border on that of a wise older figure, giving both the people of the Crystarium and the Warrior of Light guidance for the duration of their stay in the First. He is not without his own form of pleasant beguilement. Often inspiring those around him to action with words of encouragement, he is an effective leader revered by the people of Crystarium as a source of wisdom. He is cordial, respectful, and inviting toward the Warrior of Light as well as the other Scions and is concerned for their safety and health during their stay in the First.

After coming back to the Source, G'raha adopts a calm and friendly personality once again. But his experiences in leading people as the Crystal Exarch still rear its head sometimes, culminating in him taking a leadership role when Radz-at-Han is assaulted by the blasphemies. Despite the influences from his time as the Exarch, he frequently expresses some of his more innocent youthful traits, such as being insecure about joining the Scions; such traits help him form a particular bond with Alisaie Leveilleur, who playfully acts like his senior.

Despite his good intentions, G'raha is secretive and does not reveal his identity or endgame until he feels it necessary. This creates a sense of uneasiness in some of the Scions, Y'shtola Rhul stating that he speaks in riddles and half-truths. Nonetheless, G'raha proves himself devoted to the cause and to his friends. He becomes embarrassed anytime someone mentions his admiration towards the Warrior of Light or any of the other legendary heroes he has read about, such as Lyse Hext and Estinien Wyrmblood. G'raha dedicates himself to his work to such extent that those close to him occasionally have to remind him not to push himself so hard. He is unafraid of death should his demise help his allies, so much so that he was planning to sacrifice himself to see the Scions return to the Source.

Gameplay[]

FFXIV Trust G'raha Tia.png

The Crystal Exarch is available as a Trust System NPC for Holminster Switch and The Grand Cosmos. He can fill any role as a Paladin, White Mage, or Black Mage. Before patch 5.1, after completing Shadowbringers' main scenario, he could no longer be selected. After completing patch 5.3, he could be selected again as a level 80 All-Rounder for any trust dungeon.

In the Main Scenario Quest, "Death Unto Dawn", G'raha Tia is a playable character in the fourth part of the solo instance. His role is a mix of Black and White Mages. While battling Lunar Ravana, he must use Break on certain adds that are attacking the Confluence, while keeping Alisaie Leveilleur healed up.

In Endwalker, G'raha is available as Trust party member once again in all dungeons. He can also participate in The Mothercrystal trial.

Behind the scenes[]

The name G'raha coined for the investigation of the Crystal Tower, NOAH, is an allusion to Noah from Final Fantasy III. That name also alludes to the Abrahamic character, Noah, who saved lives during a great flood, reflecting G'raha's story in Shadowbringers.

Additionally, G'raha Tia's role in the Crystal Tower storyline alludes to Desch from Final Fantasy III, an amnesiac who joins the party as they explore the mysterious Tower of Owen, as he feels drawn to the tower. When they reach the top, Desch recovers his memories, and realizes that he is the last of the Ancients who built the tower. He chooses to remain inside, seemingly sacrificing his life, to repair it and prevent a destructive earthquake. Similarly, G'raha Tia realizes his heritage after exploring the mysterious Crystal Tower, and chooses to stay within to maintain it and protect the outside world from it. A character named Desch is mentioned during the "Heaven-On-High" story, who is revealed to be the man that Princess Salina of Allag fell in love with, making him a distant ancestor of G'raha Tia.

G'raha Tia is the second character in Final Fantasy XIV to originate from an optional questline before being promoted to an integral character in a later expansion, the first being Estinien. As of 5.3 however, the Crystal Tower raid had been fully integrated into the Main Scenario Quest. Before, if the player cleared the Crystal Tower raid before entering the Shadowbringers main scenario, dialogue options expanded for the Warrior of Light to immediately suspect that the Exarch is G'raha. Following Emet-Selch's defeat, the player can call G'raha by his real name again, who will cry tears of joy. Additional interactions included showing the Exarch their Wind-up G'raha Tia Wind-up G'raha Tia, where if the player had not yet completed the Crystal Tower raids, the Exarch would be uncomfortable and ask that the Warrior of Light not show him it, as it brought up unwelcome memories.

Gallery[]

References[]

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