Don't sound pretty, but it's within the ragin' flames of conflict that courage and valor find their true worth.
Larzos (ラーゾス, Rāzosu?) is a non-playable Galka character in Final Fantasy XI. He resembles a Fomor and serves as a Spitewarden of Lady Lilith. Though ostensibly villainous and hostile toward the Alliance of Altana, he admires courage in his enemies and is an admittedly incurable romantic. He wields a distinctive staff affixed with a spiked cylinder that gives it the appearance of an elongated morning star. He often rests this weapon across his right shoulder.
Larzos was a member of the Republican Army of Bastok's Third Division during the Crystal War. His unit rallied in Xarcabard with other Alliance forces in a final push to defeat the Shadow Lord. They stormed his stronghold, Castle Zvahl, but the strength of the beastmen proved insurmountable. The Shadow Lord himself rampaged through their ranks and the operation was forced into retreat.
This failure was the beginning of the end for the Alliance. Its nations were soon reduced to rubble and the armies of the Shadow Lord spread from the Middle Lands to all the continents of Vana'diel. The dark age that followed left survivors of the Enlightened Races in squalor and despair. Larzos was among those that refused to abandon hope, however. They quietly gathered strength and waited for an opportunity to overthrow their beastman oppressors.
Lady Lilith emerged as the leader of this simmering resistance. Eager to face the Shadow Lord on even terms, she and her followers forged a pact with Odin, the Dark Divinity. Larzos joined her as a Spitewarden, the highest rank among her subordinates, and captained the Bismuth Musketeers, a unit evocative of the Iron, Gold, and Mythril Musketeers that once guarded Bastok. Buoyed by demonic servants and possessing unholy powers, Lilith's army renewed the campaign against the Shadow Lord. Though the world suffered and burned around them, Larzos and his allies were resolute in their opposition to the Beastman Confederate.
As the battle between Lady Lilith and the Shadow Lord continues without end, it becomes apparent that the Dawn Goddess Altana, saddened by the course of history, has dispatched nine creatures called Cait Sith to awaken Atomos and craft a new fate for Vana'diel. Unwilling to be annihilated by the erasure of their past, Lilith and her Spitewardens navigate the Cavernous Maws unleashed by Atomos to preserve their timeline.
Having returned to the era of the Crystal War, Larzos is assigned to work with Cait Sith Ceithir, a traitor among Altana's minions that assists the Spitewardens in unraveling the schemes of his kin. He meets with Ceithir in the Beaucedine Glacier to discuss the whereabouts of Lady Lilith's mother, whom the Spitewardens have been instructed to capture. The feline instead offers a warning about the tenacity of Cait Sith Naoi, who spearheads the agenda of the Dawn Goddess.
Larzos scarcely dismisses this concern before a nearby ruckus alerts them to the presence of Naoi herself. The eavesdropper is accompanied by two dancers, Lilisette and Portia, who match the description of Lilith's mother. As the Caits trade insults, Larzos wonders which woman he was meant to take into custody. He decides to simplify matters by calling on demons to dispose of Naoi and the adventuring soldier that accompanies her.
When these minions are themselves dispatched, Larzos introduces himself and compliments Naoi's companions. Admiring their guts, he supposes that they can all get along in spite of their opposing roles. An avalanche is then employed to incapacitate Altana's servants while an Ahriman gathers both dancers for delivery to Lady Lilith.
Returning to Lilith's makeshift throne in the Walk of Echoes, Larzos learns that Portia had been his intended target. He observes as his leader speaks to the woman that would become her mother and begins to manipulate her into joining their cause. Portia does not assent immediately, however. To pass the time, Larzos drags his prisoners to a cavern beneath Beaucedine so that they may act as bait for Cait Sith Naoi.
This ploy works particularly well until Ceithir, facing the wrath of the surviving Caits, summons Atomos to swallow them and inadvertently sends Portia into its maw. Larzos is able to recover her from the Walk of Echoes but Lilith, furious that her mother might have been digested, destroys Ceithir as punishment. Much to the dismay of the Dawn Goddess's lackeys, Portia subsequently chooses to travel with the Spitewardens. Larzos helps her onto Lady Lilith's transport and they depart together.
Larzos later accompanies Lady Lilith to a meeting with the Shadow Lord. Though tensions are high, the Spitewardens would enjoy nothing more than killing the Confederate mastermind, they reach an agreement to support the demon's battle against the Alliance of Altana and thereby ensure a future for both of their factions. Lilith's team is permitted to use Castle Zvahl for its own purposes in exchange.
The Spitewardens carefully monitor the Alliance as it prepares for "Operation Snowstorm", a plan conceived by Sir Ragelise B Baloumat to vanquish the Shadow Lord. They use Portia, Ragelise's beloved, to bait the knight away from his post and into Castle Zvahl. Though he succeeds in rescuing her, the cost to his allies is great. The operation fails to scratch the Confederate leadership, all of Ragelise's soldiers are slaughtered by the Shadow Lord, and other high-ranking officials decide to eject him from military service. Larzos watches from afar as Atomos devours the futures of fallen Alliance heroes.
The Spitewardens and Lady Lilith patiently wait for the fruit of their efforts to be delivered to Castle Zvahl. Portia and Ragelise, having nowhere else to go, soon arrive in search of the dark power that slumbers beneath Xarcabard. Lilith welcomes the couple, her future parents, and they prepare to call upon Odin to forge a new pact. This family reunion is rudely interrupted by Lilisette, her adventuring companion, and Cait Sith, the merged entity created by Naoi and her siblings. Intending to eliminate Lilith's timeline, these minions of Altana argue on behalf of their saccharine and illusory future.
All debate ends as a summoning circle forms beneath Ragelise and Portia. Odin explodes through the ground nearby and turns to address them. Ragelise explains his circumstances to the Dark Divinity and asks for power to equal the Shadow Lord's. Odin grants his favor to the mortals by means of an intense and shadowy whirlwind. As the energy fades, Larzos kneels before Ragelise and apologizes for any discourtesies that occurred as the Spitewardens ushered him to this end.
Lady Lilith, bursting with pride for her parents, resumes their reunion. Two of the Spitewardens, Haudrale and Aquila, drag the intruders into the throne room before they can become a greater nuisance. They are undone by the strength of Lilisette and her ally, however, and fade into nothingness as their enemies return to the scene of the summoning.
Odin, pleased by the rage in his new knight, departs through the ground to places unknown. Lilisette calls to Portia and Ragelise, referring to them as "Mother" and "Father", but their allegiance to Lady Lilith is complete. Noting the loss of two subordinates, Lilith calls for her final Spitewarden, the original future's version of Lilisette's companion, to join Larzos in defense of her parents. Unable to bear the sight of her friend and family turned against her, Lilisette dissipates into glowing memories and is absorbed by Atomos.
Cait Sith and its remaining pawn flee as Lilith and the Spitewardens revel in their victory. The Lady takes to the field with Larzos and Ragelise, who is freshly redressed to fit his new company. They appear before the Alliance troops that remain in Xarcabard and urge the assembled rabble to join Lilith's cause. She points to her father as proof of the reward that awaits a worthy recruit. She also senses the presence of Cait Sith, however, and orders Larzos to corner and defeat the feline immediately.
Anticipating that Cait Sith will attempt to commune with Atomos, Larzos journeys to the Walk of Echoes. He finds Altana's servants there and wastes no time before attacking them. Cait sends her companion away to collect Lilisette's scattered memories while she generates a shield to block the Spitewarden's assault. The feline later escapes as well.
Larzos decides to wait inside the Walk of Echoes for their next move. Cait Sith and her partner, the so-called Champion of the Dawn, eventually come in search of a fight as he expected. Accompanied by Ragelise and Portia, Larzos criticizes Altana's effort to destroy his world for the sake of a false utopia. They prepare for battle and call Lilith's final warden, the champion's otherworldly counterpart, to their side. Altana's minions also draw reinforcements, however, and a party of adventurers faces Larzos. Describing these arrivals as Spitewardens of the Goddess, he concludes that the blood of scoundrels will be spilled regardless of the battle's outcome.
Ultimately Altana's party prevails. The final Spitewarden evaporates while Ragelise and Portia fall unconscious. Nearing his end, Larzos admires the power of the Goddess and reaffirms his respect for Cait Sith's companion. Valuing the lives of Lilith's parents above his own, he picks them up and promises to carry them to safety as his final act. Bidding farewell, he teleports from the Walk of Echoes with the couple in tow.
Arriving in the Kingdom of San d'Oria, Larzos sets his passengers to rest beside a fireplace. He expresses his affection for Ragelise, who had been an exemplary soldier in both timelines, and leaves a note instructing him to thank Lilisette and her friend. Hoping that the knight will live on regardless of the future that follows, Larzos dissolves into the void.
Larzos was a member of the Third Division of Bastok's Republican Army during the Crystal War. He traveled to Xarcabard as part of Sir Ragelise B Baloumat's "Operation Snowstorm", a plan that would see the Shadow Lord defeated and bring an end to the war. On the way to the rally point he was distracted by a shimmering object in the snow: a linkpearl secretly cast into his path by the time-traveling Lady Lilith.
Thinking that the pearl had been dropped by a beastman, Larzos delivered it to Ragelise so that the commander might eavesdrop on the enemy's communication. Instead Ragelise heard the voice of Portia, his beloved, from a cell within Castle Zvahl. He therefore abandoned his post to search for her as Larzos regretted having found the item.
Under the cover of a diversionary attack, Larzos infiltrated Zvahl with his unit and battled through its defenders. During the brawl a dark cloud appeared over the castle. All present were awestruck by the phenomenon and the brilliant orange star that emerged in its center. When it dissipated Larzos beheld his enemies crumpled at his feet. He attempted to consult Ragelise about the event but failed to receive a reply. With much more war to be fought, the Alliance soldiers ignored the incident and continued their missions.
In the wake of Operation Snowstorm, which cost many lives for little gain, the Allied forces were recalled to the Grand Duchy of Jeuno. Ragelise faced condemnation for abandoning his post, though Larzos attempted to take blame for distracting him with the linkpearl. The knight claimed that the power available to mortals would be insufficient against the Shadow Lord and begged for an opportunity to redeem himself by harnessing new energies. Those assembled did not care for his rambling, however, and he was ejected from the Alliance.
Afterward Larzos returned to Xarcabard with the remaining troops. They were conducting combat operations when Lady Lilith and two of her followers unexpectedly confronted them. Lilith proclaimed herself the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces and promised immortality to those that rallied to her. She reminded the Alliance of Ragelise's parting words, that mortals could not overcome the Shadow Lord, and revealed that he had joined her and gained new powers himself. Larzos could not believe that Ragelise would fall to darkness but Lilith's party vanished before confirmation could be made.
Some time later, Ragelise and Portia were found unconscious in San d'Oria with no memory of recent events. Influential members of the Alliance called for Ragelise to be reinstated and he resumed his position in the Royal Knights. Soon after, he and Portia were married in Jeuno. Larzos was among the soldiers invited to the ceremony.
Eventually the Shadow Lord was vanquished through the bold efforts of Volker, Zeid, and a small party of allied heroes. With the loss of his demonic minions, the Beastman Confederate folded and the war came to a close. Larzos met Ragelise in the peaceful years that followed and the veterans sat down for drinks. The Galka was surprised to hear his counterpart mumbling about having kept his pride by spurning darkness. Larzos was later saddened by the news that Ragelise had died as a result of a wound he received during the conflict.
Over the years Larzos would make many visits to Ragelise's resting place in Batallia Downs. In present day Vana'diel his reputation for attending the grave reaches as far as Monarlais Halver M Borel of San d'Oria. When a wayfaring dancer called Lilisette and her adventuring companion ask Halver about the war, he points them to Larzos as a person of interest.
Larzos therefore finds Lilisette and her friend waiting for him when he next brings flowers to Ragelise's headstone. He immediately recognizes her as Ragelise's daughter, though he had never made her acquaintance. The retired soldier introduces himself and explains that he fought beside her father at Xarcabard. Having lost count of the times Ragelise had saved his life, he offers to assist Lilisette with anything she needs.
Asked about the campaign in the Northlands, he explains "Operation Snowstorm". Though he paints a relatively favorable picture of what had been a costly endeavor, he admits that no one from Ragelise's unit survived the encounter. Even so, he lavishes praise on Lilisette's father and recounts how he lamented the knight's death. Pressed for details, he recalls the strange cloud that had appeared over Castle Zvahl and his meeting with Ragelise after the war. Larzos then excuses himself and encourages Lilisette to call on him if she ever needs help.
On a later visit to the grave, Larzos meets the adventurer that had accompanied Lilisette previously. He no longer remembers the dancer, however, as she had been consumed by Atomos and removed from history. Her companion attempts to explain the situation, revealing everything about the ability to time travel by means of Cavernous Maws, but it is too complicated for Larzos to comprehend. He understands that someone important has gone missing, however, and encourages the traveler to do everything possible to get her back.
Larzos is shocked as one of Lilisette's memories suddenly drifts past Ragelise's grave. He sees her speaking to her parents about the struggle against Lady Lilith and her friendship with the adventurer. At first baffled, he begins to accept what Lilisette's friend had told him. Not wishing to keep the wayfarer from rescuing the dancer, he leaves with a promise to support the duo from afar.
Larzos appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game.