Today, the North American Community Team went live with another episode of Duty Commenced, bringing with them the latest hot scoops for lore!
This time, they discussed Aetherytes!
What is aether?
Aether is an invisible, intangible substance that exists all around us and flows through every living being, and is what sustains us. It is also used to weave magicks. Once the spirit departs the body due to death, our remains are reduced to aether and returned to the aetherial river known as the Lifestream, which flows throughout the land.
Return and Teleport
These are spells that allow the caster to reduce his physical form to aether without severing the connection between body and soul, so that he may traverse the Lifestream safely and travel to his desired destination
Compared to Teleport, Return is less taxing on our spiritual energies, as we are naturally drawn towards our “home point”- the aetheryte with which we have the strongest resonance. This spell can be cast quite quickly, making it ideal for emergencies
Teleport offers greater versatility, in that you can travel to any aetheryte with which you have previously attuned. However, it requires a great deal of spirit energy known as “anima” to safely guide one’s body and soul to the weaker aetherial beacon. It also requires extended concentration to cast and therefore cannot be used during battle.
What is an aetheryte?
These crystalline agglomerations of aether, which are a common sight throughout Eorzea, are vital to aetherial travel. They are said to be solid manifestations of the planet’s lifeblood, aether, which form at the intersections of aetherial currents. By touching an aetheryte, the aether which makes up our bodies resonates with that contained in the crystal. This is called “attunement.”
Normally, when one’s body is reduced to aether, it will naturally gravitate to the location with which it resonates the greatest: one’s home point. This is why upon losing consciousness in battle, many wake to find themselves back at an aetheryte. In other words, they act as lodestones, assuring that the body, in its aetherial form, is not lost to the pull of the greater flow.
Why are aetherytes generally found in populated areas?
Aetherytes cannot be constructed just anywhere; rather, they can only be constructed in locations rich with aether, such as the intersections of aetherial currents. Like an oasis in a desert, these locations are often teeming with life. Settlements are commonly established near them, and so it can be reasonably assumed that most villages and cities are ideal locations for aetherytes.
Why does it cost gil to use aetherytes?
During the Calamity, many of the existing aetheryte camps were destroyed. The city-states subsequently coordinated their efforts to reloacte and restore the aetherytes which had been damaged or lost. Much of the capital used to fund this venture was lent by certain men of business from Ul’dah. The gil you pay when either leaving from or arriving at an aetheryte goes to paying off that debt.
While it may appear as though this is automatically deducted from your savings, you are in fact paying this fee to nearby attendants. This scene is simply omitted for gameplay reasons.
Who constructed the aetherytes?
The aetherytes currently found in each of the city-states were reconstructed following the Calamity by Sharlayan engineers. These engineers were the only ones who possessed the skill and knowledge necessary to do so, and so they were richly compensated for their services.
These are not an original Sharlayan design, but the product of research into existing aetherytes constructed in ancient times by civilizations unknown.
These were constructed 1000-1500 years ago during the Sixth Astral Era.
These were constructed before the Sixth Astral Era, more than 1500 years ago. Many of these aetherytes were damaged or destroyed during the Calamity.
Beast tribes also have their own unique ways of using aetheryte, but these methods, too, were not invented by them. In most cases, they are reutilizing relics from ancient civilizations or making use of the crystals that formed naturally.
The Allagans possessed aetheryte technologies as well. However, it is unknown whether they developed their methods independently or if they expanded upon those of older civilizations.