Despite all the DDoS attacks making it very painful to play Final Fantasy XIV this last week and my crappy healing, I managed to get Astrologian to 60 this weekend. This is all thanks to my friends who have patiently grouped with me in the Duty Roulettes even with all these troubles.
Between those I also took the time to do the Job quests. Not only because it unlocked some new skills but because they somehow managed to make their story even more interesting.
So let's take some time to talk about it.
WARNING: Spoilers about the level 50-60 quests for Astrologian
While the level 30-50 quests were to establish the Astrologian lore while going through some antics with our companions, the level 50-60 seems to be more about fleshing out our NPC friends.
It starts right from where the last 50 quest ended. Leveva had still some questions about the whole ordeal she went through, namely how the Ishgardian chief astrologian was able to get into contact with Sharlayan assassins. The group decides to split up to ask some questions. Except for Jannequiard who went to talk with the Holy See about doing a symposium about Sharlayan astrology.
interrogation testimony comes from Forlemort himself. Surprisingly he was quite forthright with the information, saying, or rather gloating, how it was never his scheme in the first place. Back when Mace's ship was diverted to Thanalan a group of Sharlayans contacted Forlemort to help them out. Apparently they weren't counting that Mace would ever make to Ishgard but since that happened they need some local person to discreetly help the Sharlayan assassins out. Since the Forlemort didn't like the idea of Mace's arrival either he was more than happy to be part of this conspiracy.
There is another NPC we can talk to but they pretty much just confirm Forlemort story by saying he was always been visited by some mysterious foreigners.
As we go to relay this information to Leveva we find out she had almost been kidnapped again. But this time she managed to free herself long before we even arrived at the scene.
Upon hearing about our discoveries the young woman isn't all that surprised. She did mention previously that there are people in the Old World (how Sharlay is often referred to in these quests) who want to hoard all their knowledge. And we might just have attracted their ire. Ops!
Leveva also admits to not have been completely honest about her motivations for coming to Eorzea. There was another reason for for this journey of hers and it is related to her father. He came to Ishgard years ago, with the dream of rekindling the Holy See interest in Sharlayan astrology, thinking it would be of great help to the local people. He was never able to realize that dream though or to go back to home.
This all happened when Leveva was just a newborn baby too. Even though the young woman never knew her father she still followed on his footsteps, despite the objections from her mother. Now she is in Eorzea trying to realize something that once was just her father's dream but now became her own as well. And she isn't afraid to fight for it!
Jannequiard chooses that moment to show up too. Apparently the proposal for a symposium was accepted with Leveva being the guest of honor.
We also get to speak with Jannequiard alone a bit later. He reveals that he is the second son of a count with his father only really caring about his older brother. Not even the rest of his family expected anything from Jannequiard. It was because of that he went to study Sharlayan astrology in the first place, hoping this would allow him to build his mark on Ishgard's history. Once he realized nobody cared though he stopped trying. But thanks to us and Leveva he realized there is more to life than what kind of mold people try to fit us into.
A few days later, or rather a few levels later, the first symposium starts. The only problem is it is in the middle of nowhere and nobody attends it. Well, nobody but a grumpy old man who decides, in a typical old man way, to tell us to give up on this before we get killed like an astrologian who died years ago.
Leveva being the intelligent woman she is easily figures who the old man is talking about, making her sad. It is still not enough to stop her resolve though.
In case anyone is wondering, yes there was almost an attempt of kidnapping Leveva again. It just didn't go through because we overheard some men disguised as guards complaining about the symposium being empty and so their plan to use a crowd to make their attempt would be impossible.
Anyway, back at Ishgard, Jannequiard confesses to us that he knew the astrologian the old man was talking about. Turns out it was a guy named Rufin who Jannequiard befriended back when he was still studying astrology in Sharlay.
When Jannequiard's studies ended, Rufin followed him back with the dream to rekindle the interest in Sharlayan astrology. Unfortunately it was at a time where Ishgard was even more xenophobic than it is during the events of Heavensward. One evening Jannequiard just found his friend bleeding at his bureau. But even at the moment of his death Rufin made Jannequiard to promise to not let his dream die.
days levels later it is time for another symposium. This time it is even more out of the way than the previous one, being in a camp where some lesser nobles and soldiers gather for dragon hunting.
Leveva decides to turn this situation to her advantage though. If trying to talk won't take us anywhere then healing people might just do it. That is what set to do next by healing some of the local knights. There is some confusion as they can't understand how astrologians can heal but they are mostly grateful.
Then one of the knights stabs Leveva! Turns out it wasn't a knight at all but was that elezen lady with the face tattoo that has been harassing our group since the first quest!
She identifies herself as Celie. According to her Leveva never got permission from the Forum, which I assume rules Sharlay, to come to Ishgard and share the knowledge of their form of astrology. Celie's job was to take Leveva back and this was just her last warning.
Celie also reveals to Jenniquiard that the astrologian who was killed 20 years ago was Leveva's father which we already pretty much knew already.
Thankfully the young woman's wounds weren't lethal. With some healing from us and Jannequiard she is back to her feet. Leveva then proceeds to explain why all the secrecy: apparently the Forum never intended to authorize this journey in the first place, just making excuses to discourage it. Mace however saw in the stars that he had to come to Eorzea and he wasn't going to ignore it, even if it meant defying his government. After he went back home, Leveva kept quiet about it all because she didn't want to let politics interfere with their dream of spreading Sharlayan astrology.
As the conversation progresses Jannequiard reveals that he knew Leveva's father, how they were friends and how he witnessed his last moments. He even had Rufin's diary which Jannequiard gives to the young woman.
This whole event just serves to strengthen Leveva's resolve. Now more than ever she wants to show people the benefits of Sharlayan astrology!
Our next stop is on Tailfeather, a place where chocobo hunters gather. Since it is away from Ishgard and they aren't contributing to the war against the dragons, the Holy See pretty much abandoned them. That makes the locals more than grateful when we show up with our healing magics to help.
After a job well done we go on a stroll through the forest with Leveva and Quimperain. The young woman tells us that she has been reading her father's diary. Apparently he was a really nice guy, a hardworker who not only wanted to help others but believed knowledge should be shared to all.
Rufin wasn't a fool though. He knew there were people who opposed his ideologies. There were even people in the Forum that considered him a threat. His last entries were about how he feared for his life, that there was one person in particular that was probably working to see him dead.
As Leveva is about to reveal this person's name, Celie appears again. The elezen woman pretends to give one last chance for surrendering but since it is obvious not going to happen she just orders her man to kill us all.
The fight isn't too hard but in the middle of it the Tailfeather Hunters show up to help us. Not only this makes the fight even easier but it is also nice to feel like our efforts haven't been in vain, in a story sense.
Jannequiard as always appears too late just to point the obvious: how tales of our help to the locals will spread very far. Leveva however isn't as enthused. She points out that Sharlay still has ears in Eorzea and they certainly won't stand for this. Most likely they will try to make formal extradition petition and since the Holy See doesn't like this whole business much in the first place it is unlikely they will deny it.
Of course the young woman isn't going to stop just because of that. It is just to point out how Sharlay is a very different place than the one where Jannequiard spent years studying astrology.
On the next quest Jannequiard informs us that the Holy See isn't happy with our popularity so they are trying to twist things in their favor. It just so happens there is a situation that could work for that: there is a part of their territory infested with monsters they want to get back. Jannequiard's father offered some knights to clear it of the threat and we are to be there in official capacity.
It is a pretty good situation for Ishgard's government. If the we succeed the region is so remote nobody will care. If we fail they can just blame it on us. Leveva obviously doesn't care about any of this political machination. She just want to help people.
That is about what we are off to do. By the time we get to healing the last knight he informs us about hearing a woman scream nearby because apparently we suddenly became deaf and can't hear ourselves.
If you guessed that said woman is Leveva you are right. But it is not only her, Jannequiard is also there as both are attacked by some monsters. Of course it is up to us to save them.
Once we dispatch them a cutscene plays showing Rufin's diary on the ground. A man suddenly comes into view and picks up the diary. This guy is Sevestre. He was the one who hired Celie to kidnap Leveva. That and he also trash talks pretty much everybody in Eorzea.
It is also the first opponent so far that the young woman doesn't seem to believe can be beaten as she tell us and Jannequiard to run away.
Sevestre however isn't interested in fighting. He just informs that Mace is locked away in a really bad place, makes some threats to Leveva's mother and demands that the young woman surrender herself. Then he disappears.
Once he is gone Leveva goes into exposition mode explaining that Sevestre is the leader of some extreme conservatives, called the Blibiothecs. They believe that Sharlay should not involve itself in the events of other nations and instead just observe and analyze it. They are pretty much responsible for Sharlay abandoning Eorzea and closing its doors to everyone.
Leveva is also pretty sure he is the man who got Rufin killed due to reading some damning evidence on her father's diary. Oh, and Janequiard never knew about that because he never read the diary, thinking it wasn't his place to do so.
Back in Isghard, the group tries to decide what to do next. For the first time Leveva admits defeat. Not only Sevestre has the upper hand on this situation but all the readings indicate Doom (tm). She however tries to persuade us to not get involved anymore since Sevestre has only political power over Leveva.
Of course we won't accept it that. Nor will Jannequiard. In fact, for the first time he offers a good idea. He wonders if it isn't possible that Severest hadn't read the part of the diary that incriminates him we could try taking it before Leveva boarded the airship that will take her home.
It isn't a bad idea but Leveva shots it down immediately knowing that Sevestre has certainly read that document by now and destroyed it. But she comes up with the idea of pretending there is another incriminating document which could just work. Of course it also means Sevestre might want to take it by force too.
Before we confront our villain though there is a pretty touching scene in the Dravanian Hinterlands where Jannequiard reminisces about the past and Leveva wonders if her father predicted that one day his daughter would be here trying to complete his dream.
With the group spirits lifted again, we go on to face Sevestre. Turns out Leveva was right: he already read the incriminating passage and decided to just kill us all so there is no loose ends.
For all his braggings and warnings from Leveva, Sevestre turns out to be a wimp. Seriously, compared to the fights in other questlines this guy is a pushover.
At the end he even begs for us to not kill him. Leveva being the smart woman she is, says that was never her intention to begin with but she demands the return of Rufin's diary and the immediate release of her grandfather. Sevestre will also go back to Sharlay to report that she disappeared and is presumed dead. If those conditions aren't met than the Forum will hear about his crimes.
Sevestre reluctantly agrees, leaving with some vague threats that the Forum will eventually send more assassins. Because you know, he is not a sore loser or anything.
Back in Ishgard we get to know the newest member of the Athenaum: Lord Rufin. No, it is not a case of someone coming back from the dead or anything. It is just Leveva with her hair cut short and under a new identity. The cover story is that Leveva is dead while Rufin was never murdered at all. He just went on a long journey and is finally back to Ishgard to teach the wonders of Sharlayan astrology.
With that the level 50-60 questlines for Astrologian ends! I know the way I described things may look like it was boring but it was actually pretty good. The dialogue was once again top-notch and I will admit to have some warm fuzzy feelings by the end of it. To me this is no small praise as I am pretty cynical nowadays so having a story that genuinely touches me isn't something easy.
Also, Leveva definitely earned her place as one of my favorite characters on this game. Like I said previously, she is very intelligent, resourceful and courageous. So it is really hard to not like her. 🙂
I am curious how the next questline will be. I already did the first one and if it is any indication it will have a pretty different tone from the ones that came before it. It should be interesting at least!