Lore Crafting: What’s In An Ascian Name?

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Those of you who read the site are more than likely already familiar with our Lore Train column. The Lore Train pieces consist of factual information which has been confirmed by Fernehalwes either directly with us, or via posts on the official forums. However, there are also many other puzzles in Eorzea to which we lack all of the pieces. This new Lore Crafting column will delve into topics about which people raise an eyebrow when first noticed, in an attempt to make some sense of them, while not consisting of 100% proven information. These are theories, comparisons, and ideas – and at the very least they’re very interesting to look into and geek out about!

To start us off this week we take a look into the Ascians as we discover some interesting ties back to previous Final Fantasy titles.

Special thanks to Filanthil on Reddit who brought this to the community’s attention!

Reader Beware – some main scenario and Summoner related spoilers await you!

When players first start their adventure in A Realm Reborn, they’re treated to a cutscene in which they do battle against Lahabrea – an Ascian who is also a key figure in the current storyline.

He appears, has some weird glowing mask that pops up over his face.

lahabreamask

See that symbol? or glyph? or whatever you want to call it?

This isn’t the first time that Final Fantasy fans have seen this. In fact, it’s also not the first time we’ve heard the name Lahabrea!

In the lore of Ivalice, the world featured in numerous Final Fantasy titles including Tactics and XII, the summons are known as Espers. Another name that has been used for the Espers is “Scions”. And no, this does not mean, as far as we know at this point, that there’s a connection between the Ivalice Scions and the Eorzean Scions of the Seventh Dawn.

In Ivalice, there are a total of twenty-four Scions – eleven Scions of Darkness, eleven Scions of Light, and two Scions who stand apart (above?) from the rest – Ultima and Zodiark. In the last cut scene of the main story line in FFXIV:ARR we learn that the Ascians worship Zodiark. So right away we have a direct and unambiguous connection between Ivalice and Eorzea. Could the Utima Weapon (which was given to the empire by the Ascians) relate to Ultima the Scion as well? Possibly. Another option is that in the world of FFXIV, the “Ultima” in this case could be replaced with Hydaelyn, but more on that later.

Next up, during this final scene, the names of three other Ascians are revealed: Pashtarot, Igeyorhm and Nabriales. So now we have 4 named Ascians – all of which are Scions from Ivalice.

Now, with having Scions of both light and darkness, naturally there are opposing elements so to speak. For each Scion of Light we have an opposing Scion of Darkness.

Scion of Light  Scion of Darkness
Lahabrea Mateus
Pashtarot Zeromus
Igeyorhm Shemhazai
Nabriales Cúchulainn

So, if the lore of Hydaelyn followed that of Ivalice, this would mean that the Ascians are Scions of Light (which might imply they’re “good guys”). However, that doesn’t seem very likely since the Ascians appear to be far from good at this point in time.

Now lets go back to Lahabrea – remember his glowing mask or glyph… thing? Ready to have your mind blown? In Ivalice, that glyph belongs not to Lahabrea, but rather to Mateus. If you take Mateus’ glyph from Final Fantasy XII and flip it, you’ll notice a spot in there that looks like the image that appears over Lahabrea’s face. Additionally, this same image can also be seen in Mateus’ spear.

mateusglyph

Now, remember early on in our adventures there is a quest that pits us against a Masked Mage and his summoned gargoyle? The name of the mage (or mages) is never revealed, but in all of these missions (one per city-state) a (different) glyph is featured. This glyph doesn’t match any known Esper as closely as Lahabrea’s matches Mateus’ but there’s a tiny similarity that we can pick out.

zodiarkglyph

Who does the the glyph in the above image belongs to? Zodiark – the very same god that the Ascians worship. It’s a very, very minor similarity, especially considering the amount of detail we have for Lahabrea’s glyph however, this also allows us to make some speculation! We can assume that if you were to actually have killed an Ascian that is directly tied into the storyline/Scion theory, it would have been a bigger deal right? Was the Masked Mage not really defeated? Could it be possible that the Masked Mages we encounter are just simply Zodiark followers? They’re nameless – so clearly unimportant as far as the big picture goes, and they have no individual glyph which could support the idea that they’re merely low-ranked members of the Ascian group.

EDIT: This is an image of Zodiark. It looks pretty similar to the glyph being used in FFXIV no?

1000px-Zodiarkspecial thanks to Shizaveki Kunisaki of Gungnir for pointing this out!

So where does that leave us? Well we know that the Ascians have some sort of connection to the Scions/Espers – they share names, use the same glyph imagery and have ties to Zodiark.

However, Zodiark isn’t around right now, although it appears that it’s the goal of the Ascians to bring Zodiark into existence. During your confrontation with Lahabrea in The Praetorium, he says:

Yet to pave the way for the Master’s return, a chaotic confluence of untold proportions must needs be brought about. And that will necessitate the presence of the Primals.

What type of “chaotic confluence” could involve the Primals and the Ascians and more importantly Hydaelyn and Zodiark? Only time will tell.

beliasegi

The quest line for Summoner, however, lays the groundwork for an interesting mechanic that might play a role. In this quest line the Summoner, Tristan calls forth a Belias-egi (Belias being another Esper from Ivalice). At a point during the fight, Tristan absorbs the egi and becomes more powerful – a technique that was taught to him by… the Ascians.

So, crafting these together… could it be that the reason we see Lahabrea with a Mateus glyph is because at one point the Ascian Lahabrea absorbed Mateus (or a Mateus-egi)? Could the Ascians use Primals for a similar type of absorption? Could Zodiark be a manifestation of the Primals and Elder Primals?

It’s no secret that prior to the events leading up to the Calamity, that when a Primal died, the energy used to summon it would return to the planet. Once Dalamud came to be in range of the planet, instead of the Aether returning to Hydaelyn, it was absorbed by Dalamud. But Dalamud is now gone, or rather it’s scattered in tiny bits across Eorzea and to our knowledge, its Aether absorbing days are over. So now Aether would be returning to the planet, now which could explain how Hydaelyn came to be embodied in the Mother Crystal.

At the end of the story, we see what appears to be Hydaelyn embodied as the Mother Crystal, but something is different, it looks darker, more evil.

darkhydaelyn

Could it be that Bahamuts stirring has sucked Aether out of the planet? It sounds like the Ascians could be planning to summon even more Primals in the realm in the attempt to void the Mother Crystal of her Aether and thus, break her. With Hydaelyn “dead” and unable to absorb the Aetheric Energy, could the summoned Primals be used to provide a massive amount of Aetheric Energy to another cause such as summoning Zodiark?

We’ll be seeing more Primals appear in the coming patches, which Yoshida said would be related to the story line so chances are we’ll get more information about this within the next few patches!


That’s it for Lore Crafting! Speculate in the comments below! Maybe you saw something we didn’t, maybe you have other ideas that are just as crazy as ours! Lets get a dialogue going and geek out together :)

  • Brian

    Mind = Blown. I love the story, and look forward when we can talk about it on the podcast. :)

  • Sakasa

    Impressive on both parts, one that the community put this together. And the other that the story/lore staff went so deep with the connections to other final fantasy elements.

  • Urthdigger

    Personally, I took the dark crystal to be another similar being to Hydaelyn, not a dead Hydaelyn. Perhaps that was Zodiark?

    • rofldrg

      This could also be the case as the mass influx of Primal summoning hasn’t occurred yet.

    • Rosalyn Sable

      I was also under the impression that the crystal was another being similar to Hydaelyn, possibly Zodiark itself. The other thing to note is that the ring of smaller crystals around the large one rotate in the opposite direction as the ones around the Mother Crystal.

  • WarlockWarlord

    To me Ascians are like the guys in “Jhon Carter from Mars” unseen, behind the scenes planting seeds of war , but they don’t only provoke war …they have an ultimate goal too :o

  • Catapult

    I suspect that “summoning” Zodiark may be the wrong way of describing it. Lahabrea sounds like he’s trying to pull a Barthandelus.

  • cebren.girinis

    So, I read this article, and then ran Praetorium through the Roulette… does anyone else see Zodiark’s sign in this image?

    http://imgur.com/fsdFFm5

    • cebren.girinis

      Also found these @ Sanctum of the Twelve.

  • Umo Heima

    Awesome. I bet lore & history writers understimate fans’ knowledge/skills.