Hydaelyn-85, as numbered by the Sentinels, is not terribly different from most other versions of Hydaelyn. It has its own versions of the Source and Shards, its own versions of the Ascians we all know and love who want to rejoin them all back together, and its own Warriors of Light who fight for the salvation of everyone they can. The major world powers are identical to most other versions of the Hydaelyn universer, and no major events have played out differently to chart the star’s history in a different direction.
In fact, if you compared it to Hydaelyn-83, the home of Franks, Rheika, Dahkar, and Fearless, you might even notice a couple of familiar faces.
Today we’re gonna look at the Warriors of Light of this universe, first seen in my FFXIV Write 2021 Day 26 story.
Unlike her -83 counterpart, this version of Rheika lost her entire family in the Seventh Umbral Calamity. Lost and helpless, she found herself kidnapped by a gang of slavers looking to profit in the wake of the disaster. When the slavers loaded her on their ship bound for La Noscea, however, they found themselves boarded by a small craft crewed by the Upright Thieves, who punished them as dictated by the Code. Rheika, having nowhere else to go, begged their leader to take her on, and Jacke agreed, She’s counted herself among their number ever since.
The salty air has made her dark purple hair a much lighter shade, and her life’s circumstances have made her much harder than her counterpart, quicker to suggest a violent course of action, more reluctant to let people get close to her lest she get hurt again. Ultimately though she just wants to be loved, and once she does decide you can be trusted enough, she is the loyalest friend you’ll ever meet.
Rheika has had a very different upbringing than her “main” universe counterpart, and I wanted that to reflect a bit in her personality. She’s not this universe’s team leader, she’s not really much for leadership at all. She definitely shares a love of travel and a boundless capacity for love, even if it is tempered by her much harsher life. Her deep desire for love but reluctance to trust has actually influenced her sexuality into being demiromantic (from aromantic), and she will eventually find it in the arms of Moenbryda (who survives her encounter with Nabriales in this universe) and Urianger
Rheika will eventually take up the path of Ninja later, and in her travels she’ll also become aware of the Crimson Duelists. Her third job, however, will be Dancer. But how and when will she find this new path? We shall see…
Veilette de Liis
The de Liis family were once a minor noble House of Ishgard, known more for their mercantile deeds than having a great number of knights in their service. Their trade kept commerce in the Holy See strong, and it earned them no small amount of coin. Unfortunately, it didn’t earn them enough influence to escape the ire of House de Dzemael, who engineered a plot that saw the de Liis accused of Heresy. Unable to properly defend themselves, the de Liis had only two options: flee their home or be executed by the Inquisition. They chose the former, leaving behind nearly all of their possessions in the dead of night. They vowed to rebuild and prosper even further than they had in their home.
The family ended up in Ul’dah and set to the task of rebuilding their merchant empire…and they succeeded, becoming so wealthy that their current patriarch, Drauchat de Liis, now holds a seat on the Syndicate. His eldest daughter, Elveone, is every bit the shrewd businessman her father is, and is fully expected to take his place when he decides to retire.
His youngest daughter, Veilette, has different ambitions. She is a seeker of justice, wanting to right the wrongs of the world, beginning with aiding the plight of Ul’dah’s downtrodden and ending with returning to Ishgard, exposing the lies spoken about her family, and restoring their honor. She is stubborn and a fighter, and has trained at the Pugilist’s guild, earning her a small amount of fame as a local adventuring hero.
She’d also really like to know whatever became of her childhood best friend, one whom she’d started to develop something of a crush on before her family’s exile, that lanky son of the de Borels, Aymeric.
Veilette shares the name of another Duskwright Elezen I’ve written about before, as well as a love of punching things, but that’s where the similarities end. This Veilette comes from Ishgard, and if you couldn’t tell, will be the eventual love of her childhood best friend. I can’t wait to one day write his reaction to seeing that the leader of these Warriors of Light he’s heard so much about is not only his long lost friend, but also far more gorgeous than he’s ever remembered. She does start off as a Monk, but will also become drawn to Conjury and the path of the White Mage early on in her career. And like Franks, It won’t be until much later that she also heeds the call of her third combat job, that of Paladin, but under much different circumstances.
Syhrwyda has a lot in common with her -83 counterpart. She looks like her, her parents were shitty to her for a lot of the same reasons, and she’s got just as big and loving of a heart. But while Fearless stowed away on a ship to Limsa, Syhrwyda’s journey to Eorzea started in Ul’dah. There she lived on the streets for months, begging for good, until she was taken in by a captain of the Immortal Flames, Dancing Wolf. Wolf promised she could stay with him as long as she attended school and worked towards making something of herself. Finally having the caring father figure she’d always desired, Syhrwyda excelled academically and soon found herself with an acceptance letter to Ul’dah’s Thaumatugy Guild. The night before she left, she presented Wolf with a document that stated her surname had been legally changed to Saztiwilfwyn, or “daughter of Dancing Wolf”. He wept openly, and to this day is extremely proud to be the father of one of the Warriors of Light.
I love Fearless and I knew I wanted to have a version of her into this universe, and I knew I wanted to give her a much different story AFTER arriving in Eorzea, so I concocted a series of circumstances in which she chose to keep her Sea Wolf name, but also would replace her birth father’s name with that of someone who would actually look after her. Dancing Wolf, from the Summoner 60-70 quest chain, seemed like the perfect fit. This version of Fearless will excel as a Thaumaturge, like her main universe counterpart, but she’ll also be the one to pick up Dark Knight later in Ishgard, and will also become a Reaper later down the line. But what circumstances could lead her down this path, I wonder…
Brorthon kir Solidor
Brorthon is a native of Dalmasca, conscripted by the Garleans. During his initial service, he discovered he had something of a talent for Magitek, and his superiors quickly moved him to an Academy where he could develop the skill. Unfortunately for him, his achievements only increased from there, and he was soon labeled with words like “genius” and “prodigy”. His superiors subjected him to a magitek-induced brainwashing that removed much of the memory of his past, making him believe he’d always been the adopted son of the Solidor family, who lavished their adopted child with everything he might want, in order to increase their own prestige. He rose far in the Garlean military, eventually attaining the rank of Architectus Veteranus within the XIV Legion, entitling him to the kir rank. He would never have known any past other than a son of Garlemald, had he not encountered a Viera conscript named Rael Paharo, who insisted that he was not who he thought he was. Spending time with her slowly returned his memories to him, and the pair plotted to escape the Garlean military alongside a pair of prisoners named Radovan and Sophie.
Unfortunately, they were discovered, and Rael was gunned down during the attempt. Brorthon had no choice but to leave her behind, lest they all die. The trio made it to Gridania, where Radovan taught Brorthon the way of the Gunbreaker as thanks, and he began taking work as an adventurer…work that would eventually have him meet Yda and Papalymo in the forests.
I wanted the fourth member of this crew to be very tied to Garlemald, as I wanted to give him the three high-tech jobs, Gunbreaker, Machinist, and Sage. I ultimately settled on a conscript story, and to give them a stronger tie into the Ivalice alliance raids as well as the events in Bozja and Zadnor, I made him a Dalmascan. Bror (as his friends call him) is extremely traumatized by all of the hells he’s been through, and by the time he begins his adventuring career will have a rough time getting by, preferring to speak as little as possible and only offering objective factual information when he does. Friendship and camaraderie will help him get through some of this, but it may not fully heal until the events of Bozja….because his past will catch up with him there.