Friday, March 19, 2004

What's the Deal in Vana' Diel


"What's the Deal in Vana' Diel" 
Tryptifaeris invites you to share in his adventures through the MMORPG world of Final Fantasy XI's Vana Diel. Join me as I chronical my stories of triumph and failure as I journey across the vast lands of Vana Diel. Follow along and see what paths I choose to follow, will Tryptifaeris master the mystical powers of Summoning avatars such as Shiva, Ifrit and Diablos or follow the dark path of a Dark Knight? Will Tryptifaeris' name be inscribed in Bastokan legend as the greatest adventurer or fall into darkness like the the Shadow Lord?








Long, long ago, an ancient race, descended from the gods, flourished in

Vana'diel. They traveled through the sky, extracted gold from stones, and
gave
birth to grasslands across the world.
But one day, they decided to
build a
pathway to the divine entrance of paradise. Enraged by such a brazen
display of
insolence, the holy gatekeeper destroyed their path and cast
their homes to the
bottom of the sea.
Shortly thereafter, the goddess
Altana awakened and saw
the ruin that had once been Vana'diel. Saddened, She
wept five divine tears.
When the five tears fell upon the earth, they gave
life to the five races of
Vana'diel.
But the god Promathia saw this from
His place in the shadows.
Promathia saw fit to condemn Her work, cursing the
people with eternal conflict
amongst themselves. He created terrible beasts
and spread them across the world,
commanding them to fight the people of
Vana'diel and occupy their minds. Never
again would they think to open the
gate of the gods.The beastmen thrived in the
ensuing era of darkness. But
the demihuman Galka and Mithra, blessed with bodies
powerful enough to
resist the advances of the beastmen, grew in number as well.
They fought
tooth and nail to cast the hordes from their homelands in an age of
unending
battle and chaos.
The Tarutaru race grew weary of the never-ending
conflict, and wandered the world in search of peace. After discovering an
uncharted continent, they named the land Windurst and settled down to build
a
brighter future for their kin.
Several decades after the Tarutaru's
long
journey had come to an end, a young Tarutaru girl lost her way in one
of the
mysterious towers scattered across the outskirts of Windurst. It was
there that
the secrets of magic were revealed to her, and this knowledge
would spread to
her entire race. The Tarutaru worked as one to harness and
understand the
mysterious power that had been given to them. So began the
Great Age of
Magic.Empowered by their expanding magical abilities, the
Tarutaru united
themselves as the Federation of Windurst, and worked to
drive the hordes of
Yagudo beastmen from their lands. The Tarutaru
prospered, unified by their
knowledge of magic and the solidarity of a new
federation. It was a glorious age
for their people.
But revealed secrets
cannot be suppressed, and the
knowledge of magic slowly spread to all the
people of Vana'diel. Within a short
time, other races - and even beastmen -
began to employ magic techniques for
themselves.
Filled with regret, the
Tarutaru entered an era of isolation.
They closed their borders to all but
their longtime friends, the Mithra. And so,
a once-proud civilization became
more and more out of touch with the rest of the
world.The use of magic
brought both happiness and conflict to the other races of
Vana'diel. Perhaps
the most satisfied were the proud Elvaan, who made their home
in the Kingdom
of San d'Oria in the northern reaches of the old continent. With
the
Tarutaru monopoly on magic broken, the Elvaan were able to create powerful
orders of knights who feared no adversary.
Beastmen strongholds and
Tarutaru
villages alike fell before the power of the knights of San d'Oria.
Within a
short time, nearly the entire Quon continent had come under San
d'Orian
control.
But pride comes before the fall.The nation of Bastok,
founded by the
Hume and Galka races, lay on the southern edge of the Quon
continent. Fortified
by the growing economic and intelligence-gathering
abilities of the Hume race,
Bastokan forces crushed the elite San d'Orian
knights at the Second Battle of
Konschtat. Cutting-edge firearms technology
turned the tide of battle and
cemented victory for the people of Bastok.
This humiliating defeat sent the
Kingdom of San d'Oria into an age of
internal turmoil and civil war. Piece by
piece, territories that the Elvaan
had conquered slipped from their grasps.The
fall of the Kingdom of San
d'Oria ushered in an era of prosperity for the
Republic of Bastok.
Hume
tradesmen spread across Vana'diel in an
unprecedented era of economic
development. Bastok's fortunes grew as Humes sold
products forged from the
precious metals and rare ores extracted from their
mines. The trend only
accelerated with the appearance of the engineering genius
named Cid. Ever
practical, the Humes set about creating another nation-state:
the Grand
Duchy of Jeuno. Jeuno had long been a tiny fishing town on an isolated
island between the two continents. The construction of great bridges
transformed
the sleepy village into a teeming metropolis of trade and
industry.The one known
only as the Shadow Lord appeared without warning, and
his name remains
synonymous with terror to this day. Consumed by hatred of
all living things, he
enlisted the beastmen and employed them in
simultaneous attacks against the
nations of Vana'diel. So began the Crystal
War.
After years of peace and
prosperity, the nations fell one after
another, unable to halt the relentless
onslaught. The nightmare spread
across the lands of Vana'diel like
hellfire.
In response to the
seemingly unstoppable beastmen assault, Grand
Duke Kam'lanaut of Jeuno
convinced the people of San d'Oria, Windurst, and
Bastok to unite as the
Allied Forces of Altana - and defeat the beastmen once
and for all.
A
stalemate ensued for some time. Finally, at the legendary
Battle of Jeuno,
the Allied Forces of Altana were able to gain the upper hand.
They claimed
total victory over the beastmen at the merciless Battle of
Xarcabard.Finally, the heroes of the five races cornered the Shadow Lord in
his
stronghold of Castle Zvahl, where Volker, champion of Bastok, delivered
the
final coup de grace.
Thus the Crystal War drew to an end, with
victory marred
by the uncountable corpses scattered throughout the
devastated lands and cities
of Vana'diel.Although the war had ended, the
long-suffering nations of Vana'diel
pledged to maintain their alliance. Each
nation built a consulate in their
sister countries. The Duchy of Jeuno
unveiled enormous airships based on ancient
technology, bringing the nations
of Vana'diel closer together, and promising a
new era of peace and
prosperity.
Or so the nations of the world had hoped.In
reality, the
beastmen had regrouped and continued to construct strongholds
throughout the
world. Although they lacked the organization of previous eras,
they launched
a new campaign of looting, plundering, and terror against the
people of
Vana'diel.
Still, the three great nations continued to mistrust one
another. Rather than dispatching their own forces to deal with the beastmen
threat, they began to employ a new generation of independent youth to deal
with
the situation on an individual level.
These stalwart people are
called
adventurers. They are intrepid souls who follow their own beliefs,
moving freely
from city to city in spite of their own national
allegiances.Truly, it is the
dawn of a new era in Vana'diel history.