In the last days of the Sixth Astral Era, war broke out between the Garlean Empire and the city-states of Eorzea, the only continent in the known world that had not fallen under their rule. The conflict saw the end of the Sixth Astral Era and Seventh Umbral Era, the fall of the false moon Dalamud, the unleashing of Bahamut and the destruction of large tracts of land, including the sack of the imperial territory of Doma and the coming of an eternal winter in Coerthas.
The war evolved into a proxy conflict between the wielders of the Echo—known as the Archons, Scions of the Seventh Dawn, or Warriors of Light—and the Ascians and their pawns, including the beast tribes, who seek to defend themselves from all other factions by summoning primals, an offense punishable by death by both imperial law and the decrees of the Eorzean Alliance. Later, the war spilled over into Yanxia as the Scions began sending aid to the Doman Liberation Front.
The Eorzean invasion is a major plot point in Final Fantasy XIV, with the exception of the earlier patches of Heavensward, which focus on the Dragonsong War, an interrelated conflict between Ishgard and Dravania.
- 1 Prelude
- 2 Fall of Ala Mhigo
- 3 Mor Dhonan campaign
- 4 Seventh Umbral Era
- 5 The war winds down
- 6 Global revolution
- 7 Ascian control of Garlemald
- 8 War against the Telophoroi
In the year 1521 of the Sixth Astral Era, Solus zos Galvus was proclaimed Emperor of Garlemald. Using advanced magitek, the once city-state swept across the continents of Ilsabard and Othard, easily conquering the former. The armies of Othard summoned primals to fend off the Garlean assault, though Othard eventually fell anyway. Those who summon primals were labeled enemies of the Empire who should be put to death.
Fall of Ala Mhigo
In 1552, Sixth Astral Era, Theodoric, the King of Ala Mhigo, sought to wipe out the Fist of Rhalgr, a militant and religious order of monks. Nearly all monks were killed, but the purge was deeply unpopular, and five years later led to a civil war incited by the XIVth Legatus, Gaius van Baelsar. Because Ala Mhigo was politically isolated from the rest of Eorzea due to the Autumn War, the other city-states did nothing about the invasion, and Ala Mhigo fell to the Empire tough Garlemald was slowed by a primal summoning. Countless Hyur fled to the inner cities of Eorzea, an event known as the Third Hyruan Migration. After Ala Mhigo's fall, the XIVth Imperial Legion built the Baelsar's Wall along the mountainside of Gyr Abania to isolate Ala Mhigo from the nearby Gridania.
Under Baelsar's rule of Ala Mhigo, Imperial scientists devised a chemical weapon called the Black Rose that functioned halting aetherial activity, killing any living being and disabling any magitek it came into contact with. Finding the Black Rose to be a weapon of destruction rather than conquest, Baelsar ordered the program shut down and all samples destroyed.
Mor Dhonan campaign
Aside from being the geographical center of Eorzea, the no-man's-land of Mor Dhona was believed to be the center of aetheric energy on the continent, and thus a prime target for the XIVth Legion.
Battle of Silvertear Skies
The Imperial air force, including their flagship Agrius, met the Dravanian Horde over Lake Silvertear in southeastern Mor Dhona, summoned by the Father of Dragons, Midgardsormr. The Dravanians proved no match for Garlean magitek, and were on the verge of defeat when Midgardsormr coiled himself around the Agrius, causing it to crash-land in Lake Silvertear, destroying the fleet and ending the Empire's hope of an easy invasion of Eorzea. The ruins of the Agrius, entwined with Midgardsormr's dormant body, became known as the Keeper of the Lake. The remnants of the Horde retreated and regrouped, resuming the Dragonsong War shortly after the catastrophe at Silvertear.
Though the XIVth Legion was forced to retreat to Ala Mhigo, the victory at Silvertear was by no means a happy occasion. A Mor Dhonan village known as Revenant's Toll was destroyed in the fighting (and later a second village, the modern Revenant's Toll, is founded in memory of the civilians lost that day). The aetheric energy the Keeper of the Lake released had catastrophic consequences: the skies turned purple and the flora to crystal, and the beast tribes gained the ability to summon primals. The Echo awakened in certain individuals, suggesting a lead-up to the Seventh Umbral Era. Certain individuals with the Echo began organizing, forming the Circle of Knowing, to fend off the primals. The Amalj'aa primal, Ifrit, was summoned and slain around this time.
The news of primal summonings set the Empire on edge, leading the Emperor to approve VIIth Legatus Nael van Darnus's plan, Project Meteor, to put down Eorzea's beast tribes once and for all. Darnus's plan entailed bringing down the false moon of Dalamud, a relic of the fallen Allagan Empire, upon Eorzea, to annihilate the beast tribes and protect Garlemald from the primal threat. This apocalyptic scheme was undermined by elements in both the XIVth Legion and the Emperor's own family, who sought to defeat and conquer the Eorzeans, rather than massacre them.
The Eorzean Alliance
In response to the threats of the VIIth Legion and the primals, the states of Limsa Lominsa, Ul'dah, and Gridania agreed to reform the Eorzean Alliance, a faction that had been founded to defend Gridania and Ishgard against the Ala Mhigans in the Autumn War, but was since long forgotten. The Alliance featured the three Grand Companies of the Maelstrom, the Immortal Flames, and the Order of the Twin Adder, combined into a single military force with Louisoix Leveilleur, a member of the Circle of Knowing and the leader of the Sharlayan faction known as the Archons, as their strategist. Under Louisoix, the Alliance moved from a defensive to an offensive plan, seeking to destroy the VIIth Legion before it destroyed them.
The Empire began launching seemingly random attacks on various sites in Alliance-held territory using Magitek Vanguards to hold down Alliance troops while the VIIth Legion gathered in Mor Dhona for the final battle.
While the Eorzeans organized, the XIVth and VIIth Legions finally took Mor Dhona, building a fortress known as Castrum Novum at its nexus. Castrum Novum's purpose was to serve as a "Lunar Transmitter" to bring down Dalamud via the Rivenroad. Baelsar, still seeking to avert Eorzea's destruction, leaked the details of Novum's true purpose to the Alliance. The Alliance sent a squadron of adventurers, later known as the Warriors of Light, to prevent Dalamud's fall. Though the satellite's lunar energies (actually the primal Bahamut imprisoned inside it since the days of the Allagan Empire) transformed Darnus into the monstrous Nael Deus Darnus who was slain and the Lunar Transmitter destroyed; before his death, Darnus cast Meteor, ensuring Dalamud's fall.
In the weeks after the battle of Castrum Novum, Dalamud grew larger and larger in the skies above Eorzea. The Twelve, the gods of Eorzea, began intervening in minor conflicts, including those between adventurers and monsters, and a deluge of rain, lasting for days or weeks on end, began. Atomos and other powerful monsters began launching attacks, and it seemed that Eorzea was entering the end times.
Battle of Carteneau
As a last-ditch attempt to avert the Calamity, Louisoix sent the Warriors of Light on a pilgrimage to the Twelve to summon the deities to defeat Dalamud. The entire army of the Eorzean Alliance marched on the Carteneau Flats in Mor Dhona, preparing to drive out the VIIth Legion once and for all.
The battle of Carteneau proved even more cataclysmic than that of the Silvertear Skies, as during the battle, Dalamud shattered, unleashing Bahamut, a monstrosity that not even the VIIth Legion expected. As both armies were engulfed in Bahamut's Gigaflare, Louisoix dueled the Dreadwyrm over the skies of Eorzea, nearly imprisoning him by invoking the Twelve, only for Bahamut to break through the chains and cast Teraflare. Louisoix sent the survivors of the battle ahead in time to continue the fight when Bahamut would be contained, only for the aether unleashed by the summoning of the Twelve to transform Louisoix into the primal Phoenix. Bahamut and Phoenix were imprisoned within the Binding Coil of Bahamut, where they remained for five years.
Seventh Umbral Era
The Calamity at Carteneau, which ushered in the Seventh Umbral Era, was likely orchestrated by the Ascians who seek to bring the "Ardor" or "Umbral Calamity" to bring about the rise of their own god, Zodiark. Bahamut's rampage left much of Eorzea in ruin, but despite the losses and preternatural intervention at Carteneau, the Alliance began rebuilding, and within five years life has mostly stabilized.
Bahamut destroyed the once-great pirate vessels of Limsa Lominsa, and the reavers of the sea were forced to become farmers, sponsored by Admiral Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn. This brings Limsa Lominsa into conflict with the Kobolds they share Vylbrand with and needed to seize land from to support their new agricultural economy.
In Coerthas, an eternal winter has set in, causing conditions to worsen for the men on the front lines of the Dragonsong War. The Dravanian Horde defeated the Ishgardian forces at the Stone Vigil and Steel Vigil, and the Dusk Vigil fell to wights or the undead soon after. Meanwhile, in the Black Shroud, infighting in the Sylph tribe led to members opposed to the summoning of Ramuh to flee to the village of Little Solace, on the border of Gridania's territory, causing tension between the two nations.
The Emperor has abandoned the XIVth Imperial Legion, having given up hope on Eorzean conquest. Van Baelsar set to rebuild Castrum Novum into a new fortress, Castrum Centri, and another, Castrum Meridianum, a few leagues to its south. Meanwhile, members of the XIVth Legion constructed Castrum Marinum, Castrum Occidens, and Castrum Oriens in strategic locations across Eorzea. In particular, Centri was built over the site of the ruins of the Ultima Weapon, a vastly powerful primal-slaying bioweapon, while Castrum Occidens was built over the entrance to the Binding Coil, from which the Legion hopes to extract the ancient Allagan starship known as the Ragnarok.
The Circle of Knowing, shattered by the scattering of the Warriors of Light and death of Louisoix, began rebuilding as the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, with Minfilia Warde, a wielder of the Echo, as its new leader. The Scions plan to defeat the primals and bring about the Seventh Astral Era, delivering Eorzea from its time of darkness.
With every faction fending for itself and facing infighting for control of Carteneau ruins, the Eorzean Alliance weakens, enabling the XIVth Legion's next move.
Return of the primals
The Ascians secretly use the uncertainty (and possibly loose aether) of the Seventh Umbral Era to further their goals of bringing about another Rejoining. They need to bring about more conflict between the Warriors of Light and the primals, and manipulate the Amal'jaa into summoning Ifrit again. Though the warriors slay Ifrit, the Ascians attempt (and fail) to bring about the summoning of Rhalgr in Little Ala Mhigo, as well as enable the Kobolds and the Ixal to summon Titan and Garuda, respectively. The warriors defeat Titan in his abode, the Navel.
As a result of the primal summonings, the XIVth Legion decides that the time is right to unleash the Ultima Weapon, which slays Garuda at the height of her power in the Howling Eye, and demand the Alliance surrender. The Legion attacks the Scions' base at the Waking Sands in Western Thanalan, killing most of the order, capturing Minfilia, and leaving the Warriors and Alphinaud Leveilleur to attempt a regroup. The remnants attack Castrum Centri, rescuing their allies, but it is too late, for the Scion Thancred Waters has become possessed by Lahabrea, a rogue Ascian who is using the XIVth Legion as a puppet to accelerate the Rejoining. The war between the Alliance and the Empire has become a proxy for the battle between Light (represented by the Scions) and Darkness (represented by the Ascians).
Spurred on by the Scions, the Alliance votes to once again go to war against the Empire, and begins preparing for a large-scale campaign to destroy the Ultima Weapon. The operation, known as Archon in honor of Louisoix, requires the Order of the Twin Adder and the Maelstrom to cripple the imperial hosts outside Castrum Meridianum, while the Immortal Flames launch a frontal assault on the castrum to draw out the XIVth Legion's defenses. After assassinating Rhitatyn sas Arvina and Livia sas Junius, the Warriors board the airship Enterprise to break into the Praetorium, an imperial laboratory at Meridianum where the Ultima Weapon is stored. Van Baelsar and Lahabrea are defeated due to the Mothercrystal's intervention, and the Alliance declares victory over the XIVth Legion and the beginning of the Seventh Astral Era. Unbeknownst to the Alliance, Gaius survived the Praetorium's destruction to eliminate the Ascians that manipulated him and lives on under the alias "Shadowhunter".
The war winds down
Just moments after Kan-E-Senna and Merlwyb declare peace in Eorzea, the roar of a primal sounds from across the horizon, a chilling reminder of the wars to come. The Empire regroups and continues its plot to exterminate the primals. The Ascians also further their own goals, and various subjugated territories rise up in rebellion against Garlemald.
Imperial civil war
During the XIVth Legion's attempted conquest of Eorzea, the Ascian Emet-Selch, the true identity of the first Emperor Solus zos Galvus, decides to make his exit by allowing his mortal body to die, knowing that Garlemald will fall into chaos. His death as well as Gaius's presumed death breaks down the Garlean civil order early in the Seventh Astral Era. A civil war between Varis yae Galvus, Solus's grandson, and Varis's uncle (Solus's son), tears Garlemald apart. Varis emerges victorious, taking the name Emperor Varis zos Galvus, but Garlemald is unable to further its foreign conquests, and so Eorzea is temporarily safe from the threat of invasion.
The territory of Doma, under the young Lord Hien, revolts against Garlemald during the succession crisis, but is promptly burned to the ground. Hien goes into hiding with the Mol tribe. Refugees from the Doman revolt, led by Yugiri Mistwalker, arrive at Vesper Bay in Thanalan, some of whom join the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. Most take sanctum in Mor Dhona; disputes over how to deal with the influx of refugees contributes to the destabilization of Ul'dah.
Continued primal summonings
In response to Ultima Weapon's destruction, many beast tribes summon their primals. Along with Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda, Good King Moggle Mog XII is summoned, and then Leviathan and Ramuh. Though the Warriors of Light defeat these deities, every summoning consumes aether and furthers the Asians' cause and ruins the relations between the Alliance and the beast tribes. In particular, the Sahagin summon Leviathan to reclaim territory lost to Limsa Lominsa, and bring about a tsunami that nearly annihilates the city-state.
A Sharlayan Scion, Moenbryda Wilfsunnwyn, hypothesizes that a "blade of light" can destroy an Ascian's soul, which will otherwise resurrect indefinitely. The Warrior of Light uses a blade forged of aether taken from Moenbryda's soul to kill the Ascian Nabriales, though this also kills Moenbryda; Nabriales's fall marks the beginning of the overtaking of Light over Darkness.
Death of Bahamut
While investigating the Binding Coil of Bahamut, the Warrior of Light and Alisaie Leveilleur discover that Bahamut is reawakening, and that a host of Meracydian dragons, along with Phoenix and the resurrected Nael deus Darnus, serve as his puppets. After traveling thousands of yalms into the earth, Alisaie's party defeats Phoenix and learns the truth of the Battle of Carteneau. They are warped into the Burning Heart of Bahamut, where they defeat the Dreadwyrm. According to the description of The Final Coil of Bahamut - Turn 4, Bahamut's death is the true end of the Seventh Umbral Era; it is also the end of the last relic of the VIIth Legion's attempted destruction of Eorzea.
The Ul'dahn Revolution
In the Alliance's early days, a Garlean spy, Eline Roaille, infiltrated the Immortal Flames, where she served as one of the most trusted advisors of Flame General Raubahn Aldynn and Sultana Nanamo Ul Namo. Since then, Roaille has lived a double life as the Grand Flame Marshal and as the Ivy until the Immortal Flames and the Scions arrest and imprison her. The damage has been done: the Immortal Flames' credibility is tarnished, allowing Raubahn's political enemies to begin moving against the monarchy.
The Monetarists, the majority party on the Syndicate in Ul'dah, grow in power due to cracking down on internal conflict caused by concern over the Doman refugees. They seek control of Omega, an Allagan superweapon that surpasses even the Ultima Weapon, which had been discovered in the ruins of Carteneau. Alphinaud, now the de facto leader of the Scions, unwittingly facilitates the Monetarists' rise by organizing an Alliance-wide Grand Company called the Crystal Braves. The Monetarists buy off the Braves who launch a coup and assassination attempt of Nanamo, who was planning to dissolve the Syndicate and monarchy to cripple the Monetarists. Though the Sultana survives and the Scions later rescue Raubahn, the Scions are scattered and Minfilia is killed, and the Royalists are beaten.
Though the insurgency does not bring down Ul'dah's governmental structures, the Scions' remnants flee to Ishgard, opening a new theater of conflict in the war against Garlemald and the primals.
Dragonsong War spillover
Around the same time as the Monetarist coup in Ul'dah, Ysayle Dangoulain, an Ishgardian heretic better known by her alias, Lady Iceheart, summons Shiva into her own body. She believes herself to be the second coming of the historical Shiva, lover to Hraesvelgr, and hopes to end the Dragonsong War. Though the Warriors of Light defeat Shiva, Ysayle survives and destroys the defenses on the Steps of Faith, allowing the Dravanians to attack Ishgard. Because Ishgard serves as a buffer state between the Alliance and the Empire, the Alliance is forced to intervene to drive back the Dravanian Horde.
Like most other conflicts the Scions involve themselves in, the Dragonsong War becomes intertwined with the Garlean war. The VIth Legion attempts to seize the Warring Triad, imprisoned eikons that could be used as models for the imprisonment of primals in the future. After confronting the Vanu Vanu and their primal, Bismarck, in the Sea of Clouds, the VIth Legion arrives at the home of the Warring Triad: Azys Lla.
Atop Azys Lla, the VIth Legion encounters the Scions, two Ascians, and the Heavens' Ward, all seeking to use the Allagan technology there for their own ends. The Warriors of Light emerge victorious over all other parties, but VIth Legatus Regula van Hydrus escapes. Van Hydrus is also present at the Scions' victory over the eikon Sephirot. Later, the Scions attempt to assassinate van Hydrus to cripple the VIth Legion, but the Legatus again flees. Shortly after, the Scions defeat another eikon, Sophia. The VIth Legion and the Scions later join forces to defeat the final member of the Warring Triad, Zurvan, and van Hydrus is killed in the battle.
With the permanent death of Nidhogg atop the Steps of Faith and the destruction of the Heavens' Ward at Azys Lla, the thousand-year war in Ishgard is brought to a close with Aymeric de Borel and his allies victorious. They move to establish a republic and formally join the Eorzean Alliance.
Concurrently to the VIth Legion's campaign in Abalathia's Spine, the Gnath summon Ravana at Thok ast Thok, hoping to use him in their own war against the Horde. As part of the Ishgardians' negotiations with the Dravanians of Anyx Trine, the Warrior of Light and Shiva are dispatched to slay Ravana. The Empire also sends troops to police the Keeper of the Lake, though it is unclear to what end, and the Warriors of Light defeat them shortly before Midgardsormr awakens.
With the Warring Triad destroyed, the VIth Legion has failed to provide the Empire with the desired anti-primal technology. Though the Empire had thus thrown away three Legions in their attempts to contain the primal threat, the war is far from over: seeing Garlemald's weakness, anti-Garlean factions posit that their time had come.
Campaign for the Gyr Abanian Fringes
Ilberd Feare, an extremist of the Ala Mhigan Resistance calling himself the Griffin, operating out of the Ala Mhigan refugee camp at Little Ala Mhigo in Southern Thanalan, begins plotting a revolution in Ala Mhigo to overthrow the Empire once and for all. The Ascian Elidibus, also know as "the Emissary", provides the Griffin with preternatural aid, including the Eyes of Nidhogg.
Ilberd manipulates Ala Mhigan sympathizers within the Grand Companies to assault Baelsar's Wall, arranging for their massacre at the hands of the Empire to provoke an all-out war between Eorzea and Garlemald. Ilberd's assault fails and the Scions attempt to infiltrate the Wall to assassinate him. Ilberd sacrifices his life to summon a primal that surpasses even Bahamut: Shinryu. Louisoix's pupil, Papalymo Totolymo, attempts to recreate the spell that Louisoix used to contain Bahamut, but this only temporarily restrains the primal, and costs Papalymo his life. The Scions awaken Omega to down Shinryu; while the two duel in the skies over Gyr Abania, Raubahn Aldynn leads the Alliance forces to storm the Wall, seizing control of Castrum Oriens and the Gyr Abanian border, but committing Eorzea to open war against the Empire once more.
As the Scions prepare for negotiations with the Ala Mhigan Resistance cell at Rhalgr's Reach, Marshal Pipin Tarupin leads an Alliance host into the Fringes with the intention of attacking Castellum Velodyna. Though they push to the Velodyna River, forcing Grynewaht pyr Arvina and his men to retreat, XIIth Legatus Zenos yae Galvus (the crown prince of Garlemald) retaliates by attacking the Reach, defeating the Warriors of Light and causing massive casualties. He makes no effort to hold the Reach, and the Resistance and Scions evacuate their wounded to Castrum Oriens. Realizing that a war against the Empire is hopeless, the Alliance retreats to Castrum Oriens.
Fall of the Ruby Sea
The Garlean Empire has taken control of the Ruby Sea, allying with the Kojin of the Red to limit the Confederacy's influence, the previously dominant political and naval power. Around the same time as the sack of the Reach, the Confederate situation becomes untenable, with both morale and supplies running low.
With the war in Eorzea at a standstill, the Scions are sent to the East to liberate Doma to destabilize the Empire. While attempting to cross the Ruby Sea, the Scion party witnesses Imperial atrocities committed in East Othard, bordering Confederate territory. Allying with the Confederacy and the Kojin of the Blue at Sui-no-Sato, the Scions send a party to attack the Blessed Treasury, the vault of Kojin religious relics, prompting the Red Kojin to abandon their posts and devote all military strength to defeating the Scions. Though the kami Susano is summoned as a primal, he is slain and the Scions escape. Meanwhile, the Confederacy attacks the Garlean naval forces, which are forced to retreat to Yanxia.
Though the fall of the Ruby Sea is a minor battle, it marks a turning point in the war: not only does it mean that Eorzean forces are active in the East, thus turning the conflict into a war on two fronts, it marks the first time that the Garleans are on the defensive, losing territory rather than gaining it.
Liberation of Yanxia
Having cleared a path through the Ruby Sea, the Scions turn their attention to Yanxia. After a rendezvous with Yugiri Mistwalker, who had sought out Lord Hien in the Azim Steppe, they find that the Doman populace has been utterly crushed in the last revolt, and are unwilling to wage war against the Empire. A stealth mission rescues the prisoners held at Castrum Fluminis, restoring Doman morale.
After a failed assassination at Yukuza Manor against Zenos, the Scions escape to the Steppe where they meet with Hien and the Mol and compete in the Nadaam for control of the Steppe. As the Mol emerge victorious, Grynewaht leads a host to the Steppe to assassinate the Warriors of Light and Hien, but is repelled.
Now with the full force of the Xaela, the Blue Kojin, the Confederacy, and the Scions at their command, the Doman Liberation Front commences their plan: bombing the foundation of Doma Castle, flooding it and forcing the garrison to retreat into the upper floors where infantry led by the Warriors of Light and Gosetsu Daito will surround and eliminate them, while the Xaela's aerial forces engage the magitek patrols hovering over the castle. The plan works, and the Warriors of Light slay Grynewaht, who has been transformed into a cyborg as punishment for his defeat at the Nadaam. Though Gosetsu and Imperial Viceroy Yotsuyu goe Brutus go missing, the battle is a success and the Garlean army abandons Yanxia.
Intending to precipitate a global revolution, Hien sends couriers throughout the Empire with propaganda glorifying Doma's liberation. He orders the Doman Enclave rebuilt, the capital city destroyed in the previous two Doman wars, and sends a host to aid in Ala Mhigo's liberation. Doma begins negotiating an exchange of prisoners with Ambassador Plenipotentiary Asahi sas Brutus and Maxima quo Priscus.
Operation Rhalgr's Beacon
Coinciding with the fall of Yanxia, Flame General Raubahn moves once again against Velodyna, calling his plan "Rhalgr's Beacon". The Alliance host attacks the Fringes, but this is just a feint; a smaller unit under Lyse Hext takes Castellum Velodyna and raises the Ala Mhigan flag, causing mass panic in the Garlean force, which routs and is driven back to Mount Yorn. Ala Ghiri surrenders without a fight, and the Ananta in the region also surrender after the Warriors of Light slay their primal, Lakshmi.
The Alliance host lays siege to Specula Imperiatoris atop Mount Yorn. Resistance general Conrand Kemp leads the final assault; unwilling to fight their countrymen, the Ala Mhigans in the garrison surrender. The Garleans retaliate by firing on the Specula, slaughtering Alliance and Imperial forces alike, and killing Kemp. Despite heavy losses, the Eorzeans occupy Mount Yorn. After the battle, the Scions send a small unit to infiltrate Castrum Abania, the stronghold defending the road to Ala Mhigo, which is able to sabotage their magitek cannons. This allows the Alliance to assault the Castrum, which falls to the rebels.
The rebels regroup at Loch Seld, and the Scions again infiltrate enemy lines, defeating Fordola rem Lupis while the Alliance bombs the gates of Ala Mhigo and the Xaela attack from the skies. Upon learning that Doma has fallen, the Farae Domitae switch sides, throwing open the doors for the Resistance. After heavy urban combat, the city falls. Though Zenos seizes control of Shinryu, the Warriors of Light strike him down; Zenos appears to have committed suicide after the battle.
With the liberation of Gyr Abania, Ala Mhigo is declared a republic and joins the Alliance. Though the Ananta again attempt to summon Lakshmi—this time in a governing council meeting—the Warriors of Light again slay her and Fordola is released from prison long enough to use Resonance to prevent any temperings.
Ascian control of Garlemald
Elidibus recovered Zenos's corpse to use it as a puppet after the battle of Ala Mhigo. The Ascian Emet-Selch, the true identity of the thought-deceased Emperor Solus zos Galvus, has come out of a self-described retirement to aid Elidibus, manipulating Varis from behind the Garlean throne.
Peace talks in Doma
Under "Zenos's" orders, Ambassador Plenipotentiary Asahi sas Brutus is tasked with restoring Garlean morale by reminding them of the primal threat while also destroying any hope of peace with Doma. Under the auspices of coming to arrange a peaceful end to hostilities, Asahi negotiates a prisoner exchange with Lord Hien. He then manipulates Yotsuyu into summoning the primal Tsukuyomi into herself during the prisoner exchange. Because Hien had correctly guessed that the prisoner exchange was a trap, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, Confederacy, and Doman Liberation Front are able to act and prevent prisoner casualties. Asahi and Yotsuyu are killed in the fighting, and the exchange goes through as intended. One of Asahi's terms for peace was Doma's disavowal of any primal activity, and with word of a Doman citizen summoning a primal during the exchange inevitably making its way back to the Empire, any formal peace talks with the Empire are now impossible.
While Asahi plotted against the peace talks, the soldiers under his command were unaware of his plans and had genuinely sought an end to hostilities. During the conflict, the Warrior of Light had a vision of Asahi's past, revealing that Zenos was still alive. With the suspicion that this "Zenos" was, in fact, an Ascian, an alliance is proposed between Asahi's second-in-command, Maxima quo Priscus, who led the anti-war Populares faction, and the Scions. Under the hope that the Emperor is unaware of, or an unwilling participant in, the Ascians' machinations, the Populares would escort Alphinaud to Garlemald to speak with the Emperor in person. As the Populares return to Garlemald with Alphinaud in tow, A Garlean host downs their ship over the Burn. A mercenary group led by a man who identified himself only as "Shadowhunter" rescues them, the group also mobilizing against the Ascians they, too, believed to be pulling the strings in Garlemald.
The surviving Populares find asylum and sanctuary in Ala Mhigo as Alphinaud continues on with Shadowhunter to investigate the Empire's plans and the Ascians' involvement. Alphinaud and the Shadowhunter discover that the Empire has restarted the Black Rose program and has already deployed it to wipe out at least one Populares camp.
Battles of the Ghimlyt Dark
Emperor Varis mobilizes Garlemald to reconquer Ala Mhigo. To focus their efforts on a single front, Doma, with the aid of the Azim Steppe and Garlond Ironworks, erects an energy barrier called Seiryu's Wall across the Burn to prevent an Imperial assault to the east, allowing the Doman alliance to commit all its troops to the western front. As work on Seiryu's Wall was completed, the Shadowhunter reveals his true identity to the Alliance representatives present: he is a surviving Gaius Baelsar. He returns Alphinaud to the Alliance and gifts the intelligence he had on the Ascians' involvement in Garlemald and the Black Rose program.
With this new information regarding the Ascians and in an attempt to forgo hostilities, the Eorzean Alliance proposes a parley with Emperor Varis, hoping to find some common ground against the Ascians. Negotiations fail when Varis reveals his plans for the Rejoining and that his goals align with those of the Ascians. Imperial troops meet the Alliance at the bottleneck known as the Ghimlyt Dark, where they are forced to retreat. They lead another assault under Elidibus (still posing as Zenos) with the intention of assassinating the Warrior of Light, but the mission fails due Estinien Wyrmblood's intervention.
The Warrior of Light and the Scions are forced to travel to the First where they learn from the Crystal Exarch that in the near future the Empire would deploy the Black Rose on the Ala Mhigan front concurrently with a flood of light aether consuming the First. Due to the Black Rose's close aetherial alignment with light, the weapon's effects would be magnified by the flood, triggering the Eighth Umbral Calamity. To prevent this from occurring, the Scions remain on the First to stop the Flood. Emet-Selch, the mastermind behind the First's fall, travels to the First as well to try to keep his plan on track, but the Warrior of Light slays him in the conflict.
Death of the Emperor
While Varis continues to conspire with Elidibus, the true Zenos returns, banishing Elidibus to reclaim his own body and assassinating the Emperor to prevent him from deploying the Black Rose. With both the Emperor and Emet-Selch dead, and Zenos having no interest in the throne, the Empire falls into chaos and civil war as various figures take command of the Imperial Legions to assume the throne by force.
Meanwhile in Dalmasca, Noah van Gabranth, Legatus of the IVth Imperial Legion, puts into motion his own plans to seize control the territories his Legion has conquered over the years and make a new nation, independent from the Empire. He envisions it a land of equals, where race, gender social status or origins are meaningless. After Varis was murdered, Noah and his legion were ordered to return to the imperial capital to help quell the increasing unrest, but the Legatus openly refused, making his intentions public, marking him an enemy of the Empire. With no Emperor and the civil war ravaging the Empire, no one could stop Noah and his Legion.
At a later time following the Scions' victory in the First over Elidibus and return to the Source, a cousin of Zenos's, Lord Nerva yae Galvus of the IIIrd Legion, announces his claim to the imperial throne, receiving substantial financial backing from House Brutus. Nerva faces strong opposition from others with similar claims furthering the Garlean civil war.
Allied liberation of Werlyt
Despite the Empire's internal conflict, fighting continues on the Ala Mhigan front, but without the Black Rose or the Warrior of Light, becomes a stalemate. The reformed VIIth Imperial Legion resurfaces at the helm of a new Ultima Weapon project, based out of the imperial territory of Werlyt. Their first deployment, the Ruby Weapon, is sent to Cinder Drift on the Ala Mhigan front, where it threatens to break the stalemate. Though the Ruby Weapon contains an Oversoul based on Nael van Darnus, the returning Warrior of Light destroys it. The VIIth Legion is now nominally led by the former wards of Gaius Baelsar, but the true leader is be Valens van Varro.
Baelsar and the Warrior of Light, along with Cid Garlond, combat other Weapons to halt the VIIth Legion's plans, destroying the Sapphire Weapon at the coastal Werlyt city of Terncliff, liberating it in the process, and the Emerald Weapon at Castrum Marinum, though both at the cost of one the children Gaius once raised. Allie, the youngest of the children, was intentionally left behind to ensure Gaius and the Warrior would keep her safe from Valens. Though Valens is furious at the loss of all three weapons, he preps Alfonse, the eldest and last of Gaius's wards, as the pilot for his "masterpiece", the Diamond Weapon.
Ultimately, however, the Diamond Weapon goes berserk after Allie escapes Terncliff to save her brother by stealing the Weapon, not knowing that Alfonse was made into the Diamond Weapon's core. The rampaging weapon devastates the VIIth Legion, giving the Werlyt rebels an opportunity to route the garleans and liberate the capital. The Warrior and Gaius battle with the Diamond Weapon in the G-Savior armor, managing to damage it but save Allie. With Allie safe, Gaius finally confronts Valens van Varro where he ultimately defeats the cruel Legatus but Valens is killed by Alfonse, who regains what little will he has left in the Diamond Weapon's core. Gaius fulfills Alfonse's last wish by ending his existence as the Diamond Weapon's core and gives the memory core to Allie. With the VIIth Legion devastated and fleeing, Werlyt is finally free from imperial oppression.
War against the Telophoroi
Zenos forms an alliance with the Ascian Fandaniel and his faction, the Telophoroi, who seek to destroy the world for currently unclear reasons, but were unable to act until the death of Elidibus. They enslave members of the beast tribes and dragons of Meracydia inside enormous towers, forcing them to summon twisted "Lunar" versions of their primals. The Telophoroi then unleash Lunar Bahamut to attack Ala Mhigo, but retreat when the Warrior of Light arrives.
Alliance with the kobolds
Concurrently to the war in Werlyt, the Scions develop a cure for tempering. Using this cure, they, along with Merlwyb Bloefhiswyn, plan to end the war against the beast tribes. They first end the war between Limsa Lominsa and the kobolds, ending the tempering of the kobolds and preparing to make reparations for the crimes committed by Limsa Lominsa against the kobolds.
Battle of Paglth'an
The Telophoroi temper thousands of Garlean soldiers to the Empire itself -- rather than a Primal -- and use the fact that the Meracydian dragons are tempered to Bahamut to force them to follow Lunar Bahamut into battle to sack the Amalj'aa capital of Paglth'an.
The Alliance deploy Fordola Lupis and Arenvald Lentinus to investigate the Telophoroi's tower in Paglth'an, where enslaved Amalj'aa are being forced to summon Lunar Ifrit. Meanwhile, the Scions and Estinien Wyrmblood free Tiamat from her tempering to Bahamut and her shackles, so that she can mercy-kill her children, the Meracydians. The Alliance, the Amalj'aa, and Tiamat launch a joint defense on Paglth'an. The Warriors of Light slay Lunar Bahamut, but Arenvald is badly injured by Lunar Ifrit, and he and Fordola are forced to flee from the tower before freeing the Amalj'aa trapped inside.
The battle of Paglth'an and the cure for tempering effectively end the war between the Amalj'aa and Ul'dah, who are now united against the common enemy of the Telophoroi.