Far beneath the ground upon which mortals tread, steeped in darkness deep as starless night, ancient power lies dormant. Too hungry, too brutal, too monstrous─what cannot be controlled must be contained, here, in Pandæmonium. Dare you make the descent?Official site description
Pandæmonium was a facility far beneath Elpis that contained and researched monsters created through the ancients' creation magicks that were deemed too dangerous to be released into the world of Etheirys, but too valuable to outright destroy. Each region of Pandæmonium was overseen by a "keyward" who oversaw the maintenance of the seals and answered to the chief keyward, formerly Athena before her duties were taken over by her surviving husband, Lahabrea.
After the events in Elpis, an ancient in a white robe (denoting him as an advisor), looks down at the clouds beneath the facility, commenting that the "dread beast Pandæmonium" had awoken, and that the ancient was waiting for his prophesied "guiding star" to help deal with this menace.
Part 1: Asphodelos
Sometime after their triumphant return from Ultima Thule, the Warrior of Light encountered a Sharlayan researcher named Nemjiji waiting for them outside the Baldesion Annex. From her, they learned that a scientist named Claudien in Aporia was requesting them for a matter of utmost importance.
After making acquaintance, Claudien revealed that he was in charge of using the Aitiascope to research the aetherial sea. Before the Forum directed all efforts to be focused on the exodus, he and his team had discovered a unique crystal that appeared to have a greater aetheric density than any crystal known before, and Claudien hoped that the adventurer, having encountered many phenomena many would think impossible, would be able to shed light on its origins.
Upon seeing the crystal, the adventurer recognised it as the same type as the memory crystals the Ascians had used to awaken their sundered brethren and the Azem crystal they themselves owned, however, this particular crystal lacked any constellation denoting whom it belonged to. After explaining the use of such crystals to Claudien, they tried to attune to the memories within, only to hear a broken call for help to deal with "Pandæmonium".
After the adventurer explained what happened, Claudien deemed that more research into the crystal's mechanics could shed light on the situation, and both Nemjiji and fellow apprentice Ruissenaud looked into similar concepts such as soul crystals and lost fragments. Having heard the details of their journey to Elpis, Claudien asked the adventurer to take the crystal once more back in time to see if they could find a clue to whoever's memories are stored within.
The adventurer traveled to the Ocular on the First, and utilizing the crystal as a beacon journeyed to Elpis once more. The journey took an unexpected turn when they crashed into an ancient upon arrival. Introducing himself as "Themis", the young ancient asked if the adventurer was the "guiding star" his friend had told him would help with his task: to investigate Pandæmonium since it had lost all contact with the outside world for reasons unknown. Recognizing the name, the adventurer played along posing as Azem's familiar and agreed to help Themis, and together they made the journey to the facility.
Once there, they found the structure to be eerily quiet, with none of the warders in charge of keeping the concepts in check in sight. Themis detected that the binding seal on the facility was being eroded from within, and began casting a spell to counter it, a task that took much of his focus, and asked the adventurer to deal with any threats they may face in thier investigation. His only aid to them would be to create seven illusory familiars based on the adventurer's aetheric signature to help in combat.
They soon encountered the warder Erichthonios, who attacked them before snapping back to his senses and introducing himself while informing the duo that the beastly concepts within Asphodelos, the first circle of Pandæmonium, had broken free and were wreaking havoc within. Erichthonios had been separated from his fellow warders before being overcome with negative emotions, after which his memory was blank, revealing he had no recollection of the battle that just occured.
Themis revealed he was working for an organization under the control of the Convocation of Fourteen, and that he would be needing to make a report to them to determine a suitable course of action. Erichthonios pleaded with him to delay the report, as they would most likely give the facility up as a lost cause and simply collapse the space it existed within, killing both the trapped warders and the concepts. He instead wished to capture and contain the concepts as well as rescue his colleagues, however, his own spellcasting abilities to do as much were lacking. Themis agreed to help with containment, and the adventurer agreed to subdue the rampant concepts.
They first contained the Hippokampos, a water-based monstrosity. Erichthonios explained his reasons to save Pandæmonium for Athena, explaining that each circle of the facility was overseen by a keyward and described the current keyward of Asphodelos; Hesperos, a kind man he hoped had managed to place the other warders in safety. They continued with Erichthonios suggesting they needed to capture the phoinix, an immortal firebird prototype created by the Words of Lahabrea, and the most dangerous of the creations stored within Asphodelos. Upon discovering the creature, the halls of Asphodelos changed into a fiery arena that enhanced the beast's strength with the adventurer forced to confront it under these conditions. They overcame their foe, and the two ancients bound it. Themis deduced the culprit to be Hesperos, who made his presence known while acting scathing and arrogant with a maddened devotion to Lahabrea, bring particularly dismissive towards Erichthonios while revealing the latter as Lahabrea's son. Hesperos revealed he had merged his essence with one of the concepts of Asphodelos before attempting to kill the trio. Themis broke the binding spell, and teleported them out to the gates.
Erichthonios confirmed that he was Lahabrea's son, and Athena was his mother but had died in the course of her duties in Pandæmonium, and had Lahabrea taken over her role instead of mourning her loss with his son, something that Erichthonios remained bitter for. The ancient was shocked by Hesperos's change in behavior and his transformation into a hemitheos, and asked the adventurer and Themis to subdue him to get answers for their situation. After an intense battle, Hesperos was defeated, but killed himself rather than allow himself to be captured while denying the group any explanation. With his death, Themis sensed the situation was further amiss deeper within Pandæmonium, specifically within the Abyssos circle, and the group heard a loud roar before a seal barred their way.
Themis speculated that whatever force had corrupted Hesperos was also responsible for Erichthonius's erratic behavior when he was first encountered, and that this force had taken the other missing warders to turn them into hemitheoi as well. Before Themis could turn his attention to the seal and unbar it, he must first ensure that the rest of Asphodelos was stable by capturing the remaining concepts, as well as consider contacting the Convocation for Lahabrea's aid to Erichthonios's chagrin. With the phoinix captured, Themis believed this could be accomplished with just Erichthonios's help, and asked the adventurer to rest and report to whoever sent them.
The adventurer returned to the present and told their tale to Claudien, who had made little headway with the memory crystal research. Believing that since the present the adventurer had returned to had not changed, their intervention in the events was already a part of history, and that they should return to the investigation once Claudien and his team had made headway on their own tasks.
Part 2: Abyssos
- The Gates of Pandæmonium - The entrance to the facility.
- Asphodelos - The first layer of the facility and closest to the surface.
- The Stagnant Limbo - A sewer system in Asphodelos.
- The Fervid Limbo - An arena created by Hesperos to enhance the power of the Phoinix.
- The Sanguine Limbo - Hesperos's domain where he guards the entrance to Abyssos, the next circle of Pandæmonium.
- Abyssos - The second layer of the facility, located beneath Asphodelos.
- Asphodelos: The First Circle
- Asphodelos: The Second Circle
- Asphodelos: The Third Circle
- Asphodelos: The Fourth Circle
Pandæmonium comprises the Greek words pan, "all", and daimonion, "demon"; it can roughly be translated as "all demons". Pandæmonium is the castle of Lucifer and the capital of Hell in John Milton's Paradise Lost, and the word was invented by him. The word has also come to mean any wild disorder or chaos in English.
In Final Fantasy II, Pandaemonium is the palace of Hell that is resurrected by Emperor Mateus as the game's final dungeon. Lahabrea's name was taken from Final Fantasy XII, where Lahabrea, the Abyssal Celebrant was the scion counterpart to Mateus, the Corrupt.