For their role in the events at the Royal Palace of Rabanastre, Vaan, Balthier, and Fran are sent off to the Nalbina Dungeons, though still with the Dusk Shard in hand. While there, a group of three seeq picks a fight with them. In the commotion afterward, the trio takes the opportunity to escape and encounters disgraced Dalmascan Captain Basch fon Ronsenburg, locked in a torture cell as he was interrogated by Archadian Judge Magister Gabranth. Vaan, enraged by the loss of his brother Reks under Basch's command, grills him further, but backs down on Balthier's advice, lest they alert the guard. The four manage to find a way out via the Barheim Passage and into Dalmascan territory.
Meanwhile, Princess Ashe is captured by the Archadians and brought aboard the Dreadnought Leviathan as they attempt to extract the location of the Shard from her. Captain Vossler Azelas, working with Vaan's party, sets a plan in motion to break Ashe out, but the party sacrifices the Dusk Shard in the process.
Ashe seeks to restore her beloved realm, but no longer has tangible proof of her claim to the throne of Dalmasca. Yet she knows where other proof exists, and takes the party across the vast deserts of Ivalice in hopes of acquiring this proof—the Dawn Shard lying in the Tomb of Raithwall.
This event is a record of Ashe's journey.