The Creation Myth
Many eons ago, there was a sentient jewel, a living stone by which all life was created, banished the darkness, and spawned forth Gods of infinite power.
Their prized creation was the world of Vana'diel, their celestial playground. Here the gods played, until eventually they fell into slumber. It was during this time that the children of the gods began to create their own civilization. They traveled through the sky, extracted gold from stones, and gave birth to grasslands across the world. These were the Ancients. But, one day, the Ancients seeking to join their god parents decided to gain entrance into paradise. Enraged by such a brazen display of insolence, the holy gatekeeper destroyed their path and cast their homes to the bottom of the sea. Shortly thereafter, the goddess Altana awakened and saw the ruin that had once been Vana'diel. Seeing this, she felt an emotion which gods seldom feel: sadness. She wept for the tiny world and her tears cleared away the damage done, but that was not all. Five divine tears fell to the new soil. Each of these five tears gave birth to a new race of people; Hume, Elvaan, Tarutaru, Mithra, and Galka. Together, they are referred to as the enlightened races. Altana's sorrow left and she once again departed, leaving the world to grow in peace and harmony.
There was another god, awakened and watching, from his place in the shadows. Promathia, God of Twilight, angered by what he had seen saw fit to condemn her work. Bringing out each of the five races' darkest attributes - the Elvaan's arrogance, the Hume's apathy, the envy of the Mithra, the cowardice of the Taru, and the Galka's rage, and cursed them to constant internal conflict. Finally, to ensure that people would never again think to open the door to the gods, he created races of his own. These dark races, the beastmen, were charged with fighting the people of Vana'diel and occupying their minds.
The real history is quite different from the story passed down through the generations. It is not known exactly when, but some time after the creation of Vana'diel and before the rise of the five races, there existed two peoples. The first were a group of powerful beings of infinite wisdom and might. These people were called the Zilart. Ruling the land from their city in the far north ocean, the celestial capital of Al'Taieu, the Zilart held the world in the palm of their hand. They were born with supernatural abilities and great skill in magic as well as telepathy. This telepathy, or the "Whisper of Soul" as it had become known, connected all the Zilart with each other and together they accomplished amazing things. Those women of most significant skill were trained to be part of the Dawn Maidens. This group was considered to be directly in service of the Goddess Altana, whom the Zilart revered above all. Led by the gatekeeper, the most religious and powerful of all Zilart, legend told it was she that held the keys to paradise.Eventually, some children of the Zilart were born without this power of telepathy. Seen as freaks they were cast out from the city and forced into the wilds. Here these people, the Kuluu as they would be known, founded their own form of magic from the Avatars of the world. Befriending and controlling the forces of nature, the Kuluu built massive cities on the north lands and Sarutabaruta in their honor. The Zilart, seeing the Kuluu's own nation growing took it upon themselves to conquer the Kuluu and subjugate them. The Zilart King at the time decided that total control was needed, and the creation of amulets for the Kuluu was implemented. These amulets were given to the Kuluu to wear, and sent the mental transmissions of Kuluu to the "Eye of Altana", which the King could use to read the thoughts of the Kuluu. Finally to secure his control he closed the gateway to the capital, allowing it to be opened only once every 100 years. This way only a select few could enter and exit when they were needed.
The Zilart, like all with power, sought more of it. Under the rule of the twin Zilart princes Eald'Narche and Kam'lanaut, the Zilart began a mad crusade to not only achieve paradise but enter it. The Zilart began construction of a final monument to their greatness, the floating city of Tu'Lia. The palace of Fei'Yin was created for the two brothers as a control station for their massive project. Then across the world, massive pillars were constructed, connected by gigantic conduits. These would later be known to present day people as the four crags and Drogaroga's Spine. Next, a power core created on Qufim Island was built. This would power the city's magical ability to float in the clouds. Finally, the gateway to the gods was created, Ro'Maeve, which would be a doorway to the city. Meanwhile, under the supervision of the King, the Capital City began construction of a portal which could be used to enter Paradise. Using the power of the gatekeeper and the dawnmaidens as their key, the Zilart believed paradise was finally at hand.
Eventually, the Zilart would find the power they sought could not be controlled and the world would pay the price. When the gateway was opened the Terrestrial Avatars awoke under the leadership of the Wyrmking Bahamut. A massive battle in the sky took place. Unbeknownst to Bahamut or the Zilart, the Kuluu had been secretly working with the Dawn Maidens. Deep within the Temple of Uggalepih the two groups met to form a plan to strike back at the Zilart. Apparently, over time the Kuluu had developed modes of communication where the Zilart could not read their thoughts, and with this could contact the Dawn Maidens and work in private. Under the leadership of the gatekeeper Yve'noile and the Kuluu leader Grav'iton, the two forces formed a plan to assault Fei'Yin and overloaded the control center. The result was a massive explosion in which the planet was almost destroyed. The backup of the power flowed through the conduits and sent shock waves the entire world over. The fallout was terrible. The Northlands, once a lush green forest, were now a barren wasteland and the northern crag was destroyed. The battle over, there was still one final problem. The Wyrmking was still at large and those who survived feared his wrath. It was at this time that a young boy made a deal with the Avatar, one that would change the fate of mankind forever. Soon after, Bahamut disappeared.
In the aftermath of the destruction, those Kuluu who were not killed were slowly warped over time into the race we now know as the Tonberry. The Dawn Maidens, all killed in the blast, were blessed with a ghost-like afterlife to protect and watch over their gatekeeper and possible future reincarnations. As for the Zilart, most, like the Kuluu, had died in the disaster. The capital thought destroyed was soon forgotten, left only to distant memory and song.
The Age of Beasts
The magic explosion from the blast which warped the Kuluu into the Tonberry also changed other creatures slowly into the races which we know today. These races, whose creation is attributed to Promathia, thrived in the era of darkness after the destruction of the Zilart's kingdom. The three largest hordes were the Orcs, Yagudo, and Quadav.
The Orcs were the most battle hungry of the three with a lust for blood. Their homeland were the dark forests of the Northern Quon continent. Here they developed the first standing beastmen army.
The next were the Yagudo, a bird-like race which prided itself on its religious connection to the gods. Though they were religious in nature, it was obvious this state of mind had driven them to fanaticism.
The last were the Quadav, the turtle creatures. Seeking those things precious, they grew to become miners and made their home in the swamps of Southern Quon.
There were more beastmen which grew in other parts of the world as well. The far north islands were home to a giant race of beasts called Gigas. Another of the smaller races were the Imps. While not dangerous, they were sneaky and troublesome. They are cowards however, and seldom venture from their homeland to the east. The last smaller race was the Sahagins. These fish men lived in the caves and waters off the coast of the south eastern islands. Together all these "monsters" grew in size and number and soon controlled the mass of the known lands of today.
There was another race as well, the strange s. Unlike other beastmen, Goblins have no capital or homeland. Their flexible, nomadic lifestyle and adaptability to the surrounding environment have given them the ability to live almost anywhere on Vana'diel and coexist with other beastmen as well as the enlightened races. Compared to other beastmen, Goblins have developed superior techniques in trades such as smithing and healing. Nowadays they are also considered the most religious of the beastmen. Their cousins the Moblins who live deep within the earth have specifically devoted themselves to worshiping a sleeping deity buried beneath the ground. With this religion, the Goblins and Moblins stay away from the affairs of the other beastmen. It has been said, though, that the only real threat of the Goblins are their high prices.
Over time, three new races began to fight back against the mindless hordes. The first were the mighty Galka. Blessed with powerful bodies and brute strength the Galka were the first new race to create a civilization on Vana'diel. Centered in the Kuzotz island region, the Galka created a massive city spanning the entire island. Having, they believed, effectively defeated all their enemies there.
Deep below their kingdom, though, was another beastman army. The Anticans, a race of ant-like people who had thrived beneath the soil to south of Kuzotz began expanding their efforts to the surface. Outnumbering the Galka, the battle soon turned against the Galka who, with their dwindling numbers, were forced to flee through the ancient tunnels near their capital in hopes of discovering a new world on the other side in which the Anticans could not follow. Though defeated, the Galka did not easily forget, and deep inside them boiled an unstoppable rage and thirst for revenge. Their civilization was in ruins and their enormous cities soon fell to the mighty Anticans and shifting sands of the Kuzotz.
The second race were the Mithra. These cunning, quick-witted creatures were the stealthy warriors of the time. Due to the lack of male Mithra, the men stayed home to raise children while the women formed the political and warrior classes. Making their home on the islands of the south, the Mithra built and maintained a small society on the island chains. Though active in the battles with the beastmen on their islands, they did not actively seek them out. Protecting their borders was enough for them, and apparently enough for the beastmen, as over time the attacks decreased. It appeared that, while not at peace, the beastmen had an understanding with the Mithra.
The last were the tiny Tarutaru. These little creatures, while not very strong, were highly intelligent. Originally grouped in small clans, which fought endlessly amongst themselves, they soon found a new common enemy in the beastmen. Though they battled valiantly, the Taru peoples were terrified of the massive horde of beastmen. Weary of the never-ending conflict, and declining in number, the Taru wandered the world in search of peace.
After discovering uncharted lands far to the south of their original homes, they settled down to build a brighter future for their kin, naming the land Windurst. Several decades after the Tarutaru's long journey had come to an end, a young Taru girl exploring the mysterious towers scattered across the outskirts of Windurst lost her way. It was during the time that she came in contact with the last of the Kuluu race. She was led to what we today call "The Full Moon Fountain" and the power of magic was bestowed upon her and her people. It was at this time she was given the magical "Book of the Gods" and had a vision of the future. She saw the life of the Taru for hundreds of years into the future. This girl would become the first Star Sybil.
Together with her people, she worked to harness and understand the mysterious power that had been given to them.
The Age of Magic
Empowered by their expanding knowledge and magical abilities the Taru people united themselves under the Star Sybil, as the Federation of Windurst. At the same time the beastmen of this continent, the Yagudo, united to take back the lands which they had claimed for themselves. Working together and uniting the last of the clans, the Taru drove the Yagudo hordes from their lands. After this victory, the Tarutaru lived in peace and harmony for a time. Their race prospered, unified in their knowledge of magic and the solidarity of a new and powerful federation.
During this time, a group of Mithra in discontent with their life of solitude on Elshimo Island and hearing tales of strange magical beings from the elder Mithra scouts decided to venture out into the ocean to see for themselves. The chieftainess, angered by the disregard for tradition, condemned these actions. Those who left in search of this knowledge were not permitted to return. This did not stop the adventure-seeking youth, though, who set off on their journey. Eventually arriving at Windurst, the Mithra, in awe of the Taru were welcomed with open arms. Their strength and tactical skill would prove useful to the weaker Taru. It was a dually beneficial arrangement. The Mithra would be allowed to live in Windurst with Taru protection and magics, and in return they would serve as the foot soldiers of the Taru military. Together, they carved and built the town of Mhaura into the cliffs overlooking the sea. It was a reminder to the Mithra that their home was not so far away after all. Mhaura, though always a small town in nature, would become a special place in the hearts of Mithra in Windurst. It was a glorious age for both their peoples.
But time would tell a different tale. While the Taru bathed in their knowledge of magic, the other races of the world began to gain knowledge of this power, even the beastmen. Within a short time, magic techniques were employed by others. The powerful magic now in the hands of the reckless and bloodthirsty beastmen was too much for the Taru. Filled with regret, the Tarutaru entered a long era of isolationism. They closed their borders off to all but their friends, the Mithra. And so, the once-proud civilization became more and more out of touch with the rest of the world.
The Age of Power
The use of magic would bring both happiness and conflict to the other races of Vana'diel. It was during this time that the insignificant tribe of creatures called Elvaan would rise to power. With the power of magic and the warrior spirit deep within them, the Elvaan would grow to become the most powerful empire of the time. Making their home in deep forests of the oldest known continent, the Kingdom of San d'Oria was formed. With the Tarutaru monopoly on magic broken, the Elvaan were able to create powerful orders of knights who, with an unbreakable code of chivalry, feared no adversary. Their lack of fear stemmed from their deep religious beliefs in Altana and her guidance. While a King was chosen to rule, the Papsque - the religious leader - was given great authority.
One by one the beastmen strongholds of the old continent fell. Tarutaru villages and towns were crushed by the might of the San d'Orian army. Within a short time, nearly the entire Quon continent had come under San d'Orian control. It was at this time that one of the vassals of the ruling d'Oraguille family discovered small peninsula at the western most edge of Quon. From here the knights of San d'Oria could head south and sweep around the Taru defenses, remaining beastmen, and secure their domination of Vana'diel. Alphollon Tavnazia, the royal vassal, was bestowed title to the land and given the task of constructing a massive fortified city as the front lines of the San d'Orian push south. Over time these lands were known as the Marquisate of Tavnazia and became a second Elvaan kingdom, under rule of the first. From here the battles which conquered the lands of Sauromugue Champaign were planned.
With all of San d'Oria's attention to the Tarus and the beastmen of the eastern continent, the southern portion of Quon remained unconquered and uncared for. The inhabitants, the last of the five races, the Humes, were deemed too weak to worry about and ignored by the San d'Oria army. During this time a small tribe of the Humes encountered the remnants of the Galkans who had settled in the new lands of southern Quon, after escaping their capital's destruction long ago. It was here that the two races united. The Galkas with their physical strength, and the Humes with their ingenuity and search for knowledge. Together the two races formed a powerful alliance under the flag of Bastok. Fortified by the region's rich natural resources and the intelligence-gathering abilities of the Hume race, the nation of Bastok soon turned its eyes to the north and the Empire of San d'Oria.
Before the San d'Orians could mass a force to deal with the new kingdom to the south, the attacks began. Bastok using its newly created army made quick work of the outlying San d'Orian southern defenses. Meanwhile, the Tarus and beastmen to the east launched assault upon assault on the empire's eastern border. Finally, a massive attack on the defenses at Sauromugue by the Taru broke through the lines of knights. Every last Elvaan fought bravely, every last Elvaan was killed. In the south, the Bastokers turned their attention to the key grounds of the Konschtat Highlands. If they could control these lands, Bastok would be safe from counterattack. In a battle of epic nature, the San d'Orian knights and Bastokan army battled in the windy meadows of the highlands. The battle lasted for days, but San d'Oria made one last push under the leadership of their first female warrior, Lady Eldie Mantiant. Bastok was forced from the Highlands, but at a horrible price. The legions of San d'Oria had been all but wiped out.
The Elvaan to the east, now faced with the oncoming attack of the Taru, had no choice but to surrender and withdraw to the south. Also, the growing presence of Bastok grew heavy on Tavnazia, which surrendered in order to keep their lands and secure a peace. This was not the final nail in the coffin, however. The Bastokan chemists and iron workers, in a rush to supply their troops, discovered a new powerful cutting-edge technology, firearms. With these the Bastokan army marched to the Highlands for what would be known as the Second Battle of Konschtat. Here the newly formed Bastok Musketeers met the most elite of the San d'Orian Knights, but it was no battle at all...it was a massacre. The knights were riddled and mutilated by the Musketeer's gunfire. Both people saw the effectiveness of these weapons and stood in shock. The San d'Orians pulled their forces back to the borders of their capital, the outlying towns, forts, and legions open to destruction by the now free to roam beastmen. The Bastokers, shocked by their own power, stopped their assault on San d'Oria at the highlands, holding the high ground to prevent any future counterattack. None would come.
The Elvaan could do nothing, furious with Bastok for the deemed "unchivalrous" victory and without their former power the kingdom fell into ruin. At the time of the collapse two brothers ruled the throne. The first, and oldest King Raigegue was a militaristic man who saw his friends and family die at the hands of Bastok. Gathering the last of the elite troops, he formed the Royal Knights, in hopes of a counterattack. His younger brother, Prince Fellenant, was a more religious and peaceful man. Around him gathered a loyal group of friends, who would be known as the Temple Knights. Prince Fellenant, against his brother's wishes arranged for a meeting between the Bastok leaders and his Temple Knights. There he would offer a final peace in exchange for help dethroning his brother. His proof of peace, the mysterious and powerful magic scepter known as the "Scepter Royaulais". This was bestowed to each king upon his coronation by the papsque. Meanwhile, catching wind of his brother's plan, King Raigegue sent his best and most anti-Bastok knight, Vijortal Caphieux. He and a few other royal knights would join the prince's party saying they wished for peace, and then assassinate him.
It was then, camping in what is now called Ordelle's Cave, that the plot was to take place. But, by some strange twist of fate, Vijortal turned against the assassins and stopped the attempt. Though he saved the prince's life, he was mortally wounded. The prince continued on to Bastok and there the Temple Knights and Bastokans agreed to usurp the throne from King Raigegue. Gathering forces he took San d'Oria and crowned himself king, but just before a counter-offensive by Raigegue. It is said that Fellenant had a great vision granted to him by the Scepter Royaulais, and decided not to fight. Though it is unknown what was seen, he stepped down and surrendered to his brother. Since it was deemed long ago that royal blood could not be spilled, Fellenant was placed in the dungeons underneath San d'Oria. With the help of his Temple Knights, he soon escaped through underground tunnels into Jugner Forest. It was from here, in the deep woods of Davoi , that he waged a war against his brother. This was the start of the great civil war.
Lasting for countless generations, the war between the two sides of San d'Oria raged through their lands. Finally, the leader of the Temple Knights, Ranperre, led a final assault on the capital. Carrying a mystical sword he found deep within the caverns of Davoi and surrounded by his vanguard of Dragoons (which would later grant him the name - The Dragon King) he led his troops into battle. His sword, the Lightbringer, struck fear into the hearts of both his troops and his enemies. Before the battle could begin, the Royal Knights surrendered for fear of the sword. Without having even unsheathed it, Ranperre had united San d'Oria at last. From his throne he decided the power held by the Lightbringer was too much for one man, and it was sent forth from San d'Oria to Tavnazia as not only a sign of trust and peace, but to be locked away deep within the halls below the city. There it would be protected by the royal family for all time. San d'Oria had come full circle, once a great empire, now a small fledgling kingdom again.
The Age of Technology
The fall of San d'Oria ushered in an era of prosperity for Bastok, who upon its growth declared itself a republic for the people. Hume tradesmen spread across Vana'diel in an unprecedented era of economic development and trade. Establishing trade routes with not only Windurst, but their former enemy of San d'Oria. During this time the Bastokers decided to expand their industry from mining into fishing. Two towns were started, the beach town of Selbina to the south, and Jeuno to the north.
While Selbina brought forth more profit, the town of Jeuno was founded at the intersection of the major kingdoms. It was decided at this time of peace to hold the first Conquest Evaluation Assembly in Jeuno. Attended by each nations top advisers, the Assembly was to outline the boundaries of each kingdom. Eventually, the assembly, seeing their armies lacking battles and fearing they would turn weak, or worse, against the current leader, set up a system of tournaments called Conflict. Each nation's greatest warriors would face off with each other for bragging rights and control of territory outside the bounds of the three nations' control of the previous year. This did nothing but create unnecessary anger amongst the three kingdoms and soon was stopped by the assembly.
Back in Bastok the fortunes of the Humes grew quickly, while the Galka, the laborers, received very little. This was the start of the animosity between the two races. The jealousy and anger, while only subtle for the time being, would eventually take control of the country. But, these thoughts were only in the backs of minds, as the technological developments proceeded rapidly. This was accelerated with the appearance of the engineering genius named Cid. Through his inventions, the mining of Bastok's lands gathered more precious metals and rare ores then ever seen before. The Republic of Bastok had taken its place as the 3rd great nation of Vana'diel.
The Mission North
It was during this time that the Humes, in their adventurous nature, decided to explore the lands to the far north. Long forbidden, they were now the stuff of imagination and legend. Two Hume officers, the elite Iron Musketeer warrior Ulrich and the monk Cornelia were given the task of leading the team. Under suggestion of Cornelia , her friend and Talekeeper of the Galka, Raogrimm, was allowed to accompany them. Raogrimm, as talekeeper, carried the memories of all past Galka within him. This made him a sort of "leader" of the Galka. He was also a member of the Mythril Musketeers, but in name only, as he detested the treatment of the beastmen by the Humes in the squad.
With the help of his friend and aide War Cloud, he was charged with a task of great importance amongst their people. This fact did not bother Cornelia though. She had known him for some time, and it seemed to many that their association was more than friendship. Ulrich noticed this too, having feelings for Cornelia, and did not like it one bit.
To travel to the Northlands, the expedition would have to cross San d'Orian lands. Though they would allow it, the San d'Orians requested one of their best knights, Francmage , come along. Though deemed as an "escort through the lands", he was more of a spy to make sure the Bastokers weren't up to something else.
Seeing this, the Tarus demanded two of their top officials go as well. With the Humes' approval, Iru-Kuiru the Taru and Rabntah the Mithra were sent. These six adventurers set off from San d'Oria through the mountains to the north. It was here things turned horribly wrong.
Ulrich, after spending so much time with Raogrimm and Cornelia, became jealous of their relationship. Angered that a Hume woman would love a Galka over him, he found his own solution. Suggesting the party split in two, Raogrimm and he would search one way, the remaining four would go the other. Taking Raogrimm down deep into the chasms of the Northlands, Ulrich, plotting the Galka's death, did not notice Cornelia had decided to follow.
It was in the deepest chasm that Ulrich launched his attack, hitting Raogrimm when he least expected. Knocked to his feet and winded, Raogrimm could to nothing as Ulrich pulled back his sword for the final thrust...
It was then Cornelia jumped in front of Raogrimm, Ulrich's blade thrusting into her stomach.
No bodies were ever found and the remaining members decided to return home before anyone else died. It was then that the strange murders began. One by one, each of the four remaining members were horrifically murdered.
Meanwhile in Windurst, despite being an isolationist nation, their country continued to grow. The Mithra developed their own population and chieftainess within the capital, and a new Star Sybil was appointed. Also mastering magic to a science, the Taru people had grown and prospered. Five ministries of magic were created to govern the magical powers of the Tarutaru, each with their own specific function. The Optistery was the magical library of Windurst, holding the tomes of ancient lore and magical power. The Aurastery, or the schools, were the learning grounds of young Taru who would someday be the future leaders of Windurst. The Rhinostery was the ministry which experimented with the world around them. This ministry was the group that created the plants that light up at night. The fourth was the Orastery, the Taru mage training grounds which developed the ranks of the black, white, and red mages. The last ministry was the most recent and at the time, the most groundbreaking. The Maunstery, was responsible for the construction of Cardians. Under the supervision of the Taru Zonpa-Zippa, the Cardians were created from dolls imbued with life by the star fruit collected from the gigantic star tree of Windurst Walls. These cardians were to be the new infantry and grunts of the Windurst army and do the daily work too hard for the Taru and Mithra. The problems would begin here.
The cardians were created with an absolute duty to their master, in this case, Zippa. Zonpa-Zippa could not of course control them all as the ranks grew, so he created four "Ace" Cardians to rule over them with the basic logic of black and white, a wrong and a right. The Aces would only report to him, and he would only have to deal with those four to control an army. Zonpa-Zippa was received as the hero of the Tarutaru.
This would have worked perfectly for the Taru people, if not for the discovery by the ambitious Optistery minster Karaha-Baruha. Working in the Optistery libraries, Baruha discovered the ancient secrets hidden away by the first Taru settlers deep within Horutoro Ruins. Working without the authority of the Star Sybil, he came to Zonpa-Zippa and asked for his help, to grant him the use of super strong cardians to search the ruins with him. Zonpa accepted and gave him control of the four ace cardians. With them in his power, Baruha had them secretly build a new cardian, Joker.
Using magics locked away within the libraries he bound his life-force to Joker and then proclaimed Joker the new master of the Aces.
While keeping up appearances in town, Baruha had the five cardians search within the ruins near town. It was then that the canals deep within the ruins were uncovered. Old sewers from the time of the Kuluu connected through all the towers, and even the Heaven's Tower of Windurst itself. Also, he had discovered a mysterious fountain deep within the canal. In its dark reflection were the moon and the stars. It became apparent to him that he had stumbled upon the lost Full Moon Fountain of lore, which had given the first Star Sybil her great vision. Returning to Windurst, he approached the Star Sybil in private, telling her of the fountain.
With this new knowledge, the Star Sybil returned to the fountain by herself. It was here that she had a vision which she did not expect. Deep within the fountain the visage of a great beast appeared. His name was Fenrir, the great beast of legend which gave the first Sybil her reading. The vision of Fenrir showed the future of Windurst, in ruin. The world of peace had been destroyed and the world was now covered in emptiness. Shocked at this vision, she fled from the fountain. Unbeknownst to the two, Baruha had been watching. Taking the knowledge gained, he built a study deep within the canals, which would be known as the Animastery. Here, he discovered through ancient texts that it might be possible to change the will of the beast, and in fact change the fate of Windurst. Approaching the Star Sybil with this information, the two devised a plan. They would return to the fountain and Fenrir and ask how to change fate, if they couldn't do so, then Baruha would attempt to manipulate the beast. But, the Star Sybil was unaware how far his lust for power had gone.
Having bound himself to Joker through the forbidden magics, the sanity and mind of Baruha began to slip. He had decided not to just manipulate Fenrir, but to control him entirely. Arriving to ask for council from Fenrir, the two were turned away with news that fate cannot be changed. It was then the Star Sybil granted Baruha the chance he had been waiting for.
Rumblings to the North
During the times before the Crystal War the tensions between the kingdoms of the five races had reached a boiling point. There were no longer new lands to claim, and the three Kingdoms began to look at each others' lands. This posturing for power amongst each other had drawn the attention of the world around them to their own petty differences. It was at this time that the world began to change.
In the frozen northlands, a new strange breed of beastmen had begun making a home. These winged beastmen possessed a high level of intelligence and dark armor which protected heavily against most magics. Known as the Kindred, they would eventually develop the reputation and nickname of "Demon".
Gathered under a dark master they sent emissaries south to the other beastmen. Without question, the beastmen races of the Orcs, Quadav, and Yagudo submitted to this new power. Under the demon's instruction great armies of each race were constructed. Using weapons and tactics never seen before by beastmen, raids on the three Kingdoms of Vana'diel escalated. The most devastating such raid took place on the island of Qufim, near the town of Jeuno. Though the Humes there fought valiantly, the beastmen had a trump card - the massive Gigas warriors of the islands to the North. Recently recruited to the army, these monsters shook the ground with every step of their might and the Hume forces crumbled as the rocks around them.
In the North, the beastmen raided small encampments, as supplies were needed. A black citadel was to be built to the new Lord of the Beastmen... The Shadow Lord.
The Legend of the Crystal Warriors
The legend begins as so.
The Beginning of everything was with the stone.
A long long ago, this beautiful living stone,
With its shining of seven colors banished the darkness,
Filled the world with life,
And gave birth to powerful gods.
Happiness and light blessed ages continued,
And soon the gods have gone to their sleep.
The name of this world is Vana'diel.
Sometime after, a great tribulation
Was about to fill this blessed land of Vana'diel.
The ancient seal, after resisting dark power for thousands of years,
Was broken and awakening the ending nightmare.
Innocent blood will flow through the great land.
The world will be enveloped by fear, sadness, and disparity.
However, this does not mean there is no hope...
There exists one star, shining brightly
Even through the nights of the harshest storms.
There exists a powerful song,
Not being vanished by the howls of any beasts.
Filled with wisdom, courage, and determination...
Now, awaken from the dark slumber.
Stand now, the legendary heroes.
The crystal warriors!
The Rise of Jeuno
Just before the outbreak of the Crystal War, there appeared a strange new leader of military brilliance and unnatural intelligence in Jeuno. As the city slowly grew from a tiny fishing town, the new leader presented a plan to the Bastok government to form a new nation-state: The Grand Duchy of Jeuno. The president, seeing this as a good chance to "neglect" his responsibilities there and focus on the increasing number of beastmen, accepted. It was during this time that in a feat only matched by Cid's engineering skills, the small town of Jeuno became a teeming metropolis of trade and industry. Construction of great bridges connecting the three nations was started and soon Jeuno took Bastok's place as the most powerful of the nations.
Though having no real army, the Archduke's guards were recruited from the best warriors around the world and trained in tactics never seen before. Inspiring awe and a feeling of protection over the visitors to the town, the guards were the finest example of the new age. With this in mind people began settling in Jeuno and the town grew, not outwards, but up. Soon the Duchy of Jeuno was seen as a spectacle and attracted even more visitors. The people of Jeuno and indeed the world had only one person to thank, the Archduke, Kam'lanaut.
The Crystal War
No one knew where he came from and what brought his terrible wrath upon the nations of Vana'diel, but everyone feared him. From his obsidian throne in Xarcabard he launched a simultaneous attack on the great nations of Vana'diel. Each nation was caught off guard by not only the precise timing, but the massive amount of beastmen in the Shadow Lord's armies. So began the Crystal War.
In Bastok the Quadav had tunneled through the mines to the north and began launching attacks in the heart of Bastok-controlled territory. Also, from the south, the Anticans, who had pledged allegiance to the Shadow Lord as well, began to march through the ancient tunnels the Galka had used long ago to come to the main continents. The Bastokers, cut off from the rest of the war, had to devise a way to defeat both enemies. They agreed it would be best to close off the mines and seal them in any way possible. If they could, it would stop the Antican push to the mainland, and force the Quadav to back through the mines and launch an attack on the heavily fortified highlands. Though it would succeed, countless Galka and Humes would give their lives in the process.
In Windurst, the Yagudo massed themselves in their new nest in the mountains to the north. Their war parties had taken control of any path to help. With the greatest magic users in the land cut off from battle, the other nations knew they had to clear the Yagudo from their path or the chances of victory would be slim. 500 of the greatest San d'Orian knights offered to venture though the dangerous beastmen forces and into Sauromugue Campaign. There they began the secret creation of an underground tunnel to traffic Taru through and bring them up and around the Yagudo army. It was here at Garliage Citadel, the temple from the times when San d'Oria controlled the region, that the greatest knights of the time would fall. Orcs from the north, having tracked the knights, alerted the Yagudo. Waiting until the moment the tunnels deep within the citadel were near complete, the Yagudo attacked in the thousands. The knights, trapped deep underground, were no match and killed before they could react. The Taru were now on their own.
The battle came to Windurst shortly thereafter. The Shadow Lord, seeing an opportunity to crush the powerful mages of Windurst, massed 30,000 of his best troops. Protecting Windurst was less than 1000 - including cardians. Pushing through the outer defenses of Sarutabaruta, the beastmen marched on Odin's Gate. The Taru unleashed their magics upon the monsters, but they rushed forth ignoring the countless spells raining down upon them. Just as it looked like the town would be taken, there appeared a great light to the east. As the light dimmed and the attention of the combatants turned to it, the visage of a small Taru and a giant beast could be seen. It was Karaha-Baruha, and next to him his summoned beast, Fenrir. Jumping towards the hordes of the Shadow Lord's elite, Fenrir ripped through them. With each swing the great beast knocked dozens of beastmen to the ground. The hordes fled from the battlefield, the great beast striking them down as they ran. And suddenly, just as quickly as the two appeared, Baruha and Fenrir vanished ... forever.
At San d'Oria the situation was not as good. To their south, the birthplace of the Dragon King. now home to a monastery, had been taken over by Orcs as their stronghold. With the mass of the San d'Orian army on the front lines there, the orcs sneaking around from the west was unnoticed. In the mountains around the city, the Orcs constructed a great fortress to launch an assault directly on the capital. The Royal family, knowing the town's remaining garrison could not defend against a direct assault, did the unthinkable. A Royal Knight was sent into the fort with "secret documents" to be captured. Amongst these papers was information regarding a weapon of such strength that armies would bow to its will - Lightbringer. San d'Oria had essentially betrayed their longtime friends, the Tavnazians, and the Orcs, thirsting for limitless power on the battlefield, turned their attentions to the other city.
The Orcs, sending every last beastman not needed elsewhere, launched the largest attack of the war. With over 100,000 beastmen, the forces of Tavnazia would stand no chance. Though the massing numbers alerted the other nations, few reserves could be sent to help protect the city.
As night fell, the Orcs launched their offensive, crashing through the walls of Tavnazia with their great war beasts and assault platforms. The forces of Tavnazia were outnumbered, every Taru, Mithra, Hume, and Galka fell alongside the Elvaan. The citizens of the town tried to flee the battleground, but as day broke the tunnels under the city were filled with beastmen and most who attempted escape only found death.
What happened next haunts the thoughts of all those who lived through the Crystal War. In an explosion that shook the entire world, the great peninsula broke off from the mainland, its only connection sunk beneath the sea. The city in ruins and all citizens thought dead, any attempt to launch a rescue was abandoned, as the trek there would be near impossible now. Though the cause was unknown, many speculate it was an Orc secret weapon which went off by mistake. It was at Tavnazia that the forces of light suffered their greatest defeat. But, it was what many consider the turning point of the war.
Though Tavnazia had been destroyed, so had the majority of the beastman army, driving the hordes of Orcs, Yagado, and Quadav into hiding. Also, the defeat had united the races of light like never before. Seeing this, the Shadow Lord tried to enlist the help of the Sahagin and Tonberry, but few agreed to help him. It was at this time Archduke Kam'lanaut of Jeuno rallied the remaining troops and united them as one force in his city for a march north to defeat the Shadow Lord once and for all. The Shadow Lord, not wanting to give them the chance to gather, launched an attack on Jeuno with his Gigas warriors from Qufim. Though larger and stronger, the Gigas forces were pushed back by the sheer will of the allied forces. The few remaining Gigas retreated into Delkfutt's Tower. Kam'lanaut's forces did not follow.
After this victory, the allied forces began to prepare for the final battle which they knew would cost many lives. To give them the upper hand, under the direction of Kam'lanaut, the great engineer Cid began construction of a secret weapon. This weapon was a boat which flew through the air. Based on an old set of blueprints, the airships of today are fitted with crystal-powered engines that were introduced by the Archduke. With lift provided by unique revolving wings and propulsion supplied by the crystal engine, airships are capable of nearly vertical takeoffs and landings from their waterfront ports. Holding dozens of cannons, the "Airship", as it was called, was the perfect siege weapon.
Finally, a ship was constructed, named "First Ship", but the construction of it was taking far too long and the forces of light could not hold on much longer. Shortly after its maiden voyage, the decision was made to attack Xarcabard without their new weapon.
The remaining soldiers of the allied forces marched to Xarcabard, where the Demons, the most elite of the Shadow Lord forces, made their final stand. Led by the Bastok champion (and nephew of Ulrich), Volker, the allies charged the Castle Zvahl. The Demon's power was unmatchable by any man; the allies were unable to break through their powerful armor. Volker, gathering the heroes of all five races, broke through the front lines. Battling his way into the castle, Volker climbed to the tallest tower, where the Shadow Lord waited. The heroes overpowered the Shadow Lord, defeating him and banishing his darkness from the world. The demons below on the battlefield vanished.
Thus the Crystal War drew to an end, with victory marred by the uncountable corpses scattered throughout the devastated lands and cities of Vana'diel. The world was changed forever.
The Age of Adventurers
Although the war had ended, the long-suffering nations of Vana'diel pledged to maintain their alliance. Each nation built a consulate in their sister countries. The Duchy of Jeuno refitted the airships of war for travel, opening the air travel agency between itself and Bastok. Upon witnessing the successful operation of the Bastokan airship service, the previously skeptical nations of San d'Oria and Windurst raced to refit their own ports for airship use. These developments led to the birth of a new large-scale, high-speed transportation service for each country. Also, consulates were placed by each nation in the others and communication between the kingdoms was at an all time high. It was a time for the nations of Vana'diel to be brought closer together, and a promising new era of peace and prosperity was at hand.
Or so the nations of the world had hoped.
In reality, the beastmen who were not at Xarcabard had regrouped and continued in the construction of their strongholds. The Orcs' control of Davoi and Ghelsba remained solid and previous homes of the Yagudo and Quadav were untouched. Although they no longer communicated amongst each other, they still continued looting, plundering and terrorizing the people of Vana'diel. But nothing was done...
Still, the three great nations continued to mistrust one another. Keeping their few soldiers left from the war in their capitals, they sought new ways to counter the beastmen. It was at this time they began employing a new generation of independent youth to deal with the situation on an individual level. They were intrepid souls who followed their own beliefs, moving freely from city to city in spite of their own national allegiances. Three great heroes arose during this time.
The first was a Galka named Zeid, who was born War Cloud, friend of the now dead talekeeper Raogrimm. Angered by his friend's death, Zeid bowed to the will of the dark spirits of Vana'diel and became a Dark Knight. Though from Bastok, he held no allegiance and no honor to anyone but himself.
The next was the leader of Tenshodo, a smuggling group located deep within the back alleys of Jeuno, Aldo. Born in Tavnazia, he barely escaped the country's demise as a child (he was the little boy in the intro movie), but grew to be a courageous man. Coming to prominence in the Crystal War as a source of smuggling war materials from the far east, Aldo and the Tenshodo played an important role in the "underground" operations of the city. His sister, Verena, though not as important a figure, would play a role in this tale to come. Given a strange gift to communicate with animals and beastmen, she befriended the local Goblin population living in Jeuno, though it would not last, as the adventurers this age was so aptly named after would mistakenly kill her best friend, a goblin named Fickblix. Though saddened, Verena still held a hope that someday things would change, and beastmen and the five races would live peacefully.
The last was the daughter of the leader of the pirates of Norg, Lion. After the war, the high seas were free to those who would control them. Members of Tenshodo, under the leadership of Gilgamesh, a pirate and former Tavnazian, set up a base deep within the coast of Elshimo.
Appearances can be deceiving, however, as Aldo and Gilgamesh used their far reaching operatives to gain knowledge on all the kingdoms. Lion was their scout, sent to check to see if rumors found were true. Zeid, Aldo, and Lion - these three heroes would be charged with a great task, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance.