Ah, Masayoshi Soken. When he’s not too busy being a fantastically entertaining man on Twitter, Final Fantasy XIV’s Sound Director is giving us tiny little hints about things we might see in the future.
Today’s hint is the possibility that we might be seeing the addition of not only the Coerthas Western Highlands (as already previewed in the Tour of the North) but also the Coerthas Eastern Lowlands and/or Highlands.
— ニー祖堅 (@SOKENsquareenix) April 30, 2015
In the image Soken tweeted out earlier today, you can see that he’s got his music editing program open and one of the element’s he’s got loaded into his track is “Coerthas_East_02_FullStr” This could be a pretty good indication that we haven’t seen (or even heard about) all of the new areas that will be arriving with Heavensward in June.
Now, what is in the Coerthas Eastern Lowlands/Highlands that we might be interested in seeing for Heavensward?
The Lowlands are connected by way of Griffin Crossing, which some of you might know as the “Big Bridge” from your encounter with Gilgamesh. The crossing was impassible at the time of the battle, but who’s to say that it hasn’t been completed since then, allowing passage to the Coerthas Eastern Lowlands? Other points of interest include the Weeping Vale and The Choke, which were host to a historic battle between Ishgardian and Dravanian land forces. A vanguard of knights lured the Dravanians north, a goal ultimately necessitating their sacrifice, their loss giving the Weeping Vale its name. Victorious, the Dravanian forces continued on, arriving at The Choke where the true Ishgardian force dealt them a crushing defeat.
Also of interest is the location from the 1.0 map named “Thordan’s March”. Who is Thordan, you ask? Why, the very man who set in motion the rise of Ishgard itself! It is said that the forebearers of the city-state lived in the southern plains, in modest circumstances, until the Fury herself, Halone, appeared before Thordan and bid he lead his people north to the Promised Land. Upon reaching this chasm, his group set about building a bridge, but was descended upon by the great wyrm, Nidhogg. The histories say that Thordan took up his spear, but was thrown into the chasm by one of his own men, seduced by the wyrm. His son, Haldrath, overcome with emotion at the loss of his father, took up Thordan’s fallen spear and lanced out Nidhogg’s eye and caused the wyrm to retreat. In time, this event would both make Haldrath the first Azure Dragoon, as well as set in motion the Dragonsong War. The events surrounding Thordan and his Twelve Knights (of the Something) are said to have a large part to play in Heavensward.
The Highlands also have a couple notable locations that make it a good fit for Heavensward. Most notable, perhaps, is Scarwing Fall, which Fernehalwes discussed during his Lore Panel at the Las Vegas Fan Fest. Scarwing was one of the heroes of Dravania, and when the Ishgardians were finally able to take him from the skies, he fell into one of these ravines. Because of their sheer depth, however, Scarwing’s death was never confirmed. Another landmark that might be used is Dawn Vigil. The Stone and Steel Vigils were prominent in Ishgard’s role in Version 2.0 and there’s little doubt that 3.0 will be any different. If the confirmed Western Highlands are indeed home to the Dusk Vigil, perhaps the team felt that it would be incomplete without its sister in the east, the Dawn.
One of the biggest questions among Version 1.0 veterans is whether or not the eastern side of Coerthas will be as snow covered as everything else we’ve seen after the Calamity. Hopefully, we’ll find out soon enough! Soken was quick to deny rumors that Samurai would appear in Heavensward after a folder bearing the name was seen at Fan Festival Las Vegas, but to those who noticed the Coerthas East logo, he only praised their attention to detail. Perhaps rumors of activity in the West Shroud, too, are not unfounded…