Last week I finally got Astrologian to 70.
It was a bit painful though because of the disconnects I kept getting due to the stupid DDoSes. I even almost gave up at it at a some points because of that. Fortunately my friends were very patient and if it wasn't for them I'd certainly would have given up! Big thanks to them! 😀
Oh, this post also turned bigger and more screenshot than the others. Sorry about that. ^_^;
And now for the usual report about the storyline...
WARNING: SPOILERS ahead of the level 60-70 story for Astrologians
Once again it starts with a visit to Jannequiard at the Athenaum. Seems like things changed for the better since the events of Heavensward. The new administration is more receptive to the idea of Sharlayan astrology and even let them have symposiums inside Ishgard itself instead of some place in the middle of nowhere.
It also seems that Leveva had a reading in the morning before our arrival. It said something about "acquaintances new and old", something about destruction and other things that seems too muddied for me to figure out. I only play an astrologian in a game after all.
Jannequiard also informs us that the young woman wants to me us at the Observatorium in Dragon's Head.
Upon arriving there Leveva greets us commenting on how many years it has been. Side note but I find it interesting they pointed this out considering how muddled time can be in MMOs. I mean, yes, if I did the previous questline back when Heavensward was still new it would make a lot of sense. But I literally only finished the previous questline a few minutes before starting this one so that is how much time went by for me between them!
The conversation is shortly interrupted when a traveler appears in town, wounded. Leveva of course doesn't think twice before going to heal the man. The traveler's name is Kyokuho. He is a traveler from Hingashi (that would Final Fantasy XIV version of the Far East). Kyokuho ends up very impressed and upon hearing that Leveva is an Astrologian begs to learn more about the profession. His reason is that he was hoping they could each learn from each other's fields
Apparently he is a Geomancer which seems to be pretty much like an Astrologian but instead of reading fates from the stars they do it the elements.
Another side note: I wonder if Geomancer could be a new job in a future expansion. Maybe a new healer one?
The young woman starts to refuse as she has lots of work to do but Jannequiard, who had just appeared moments before, wonders if Kyokuho might not be the new acquaintance the cards told about. Leveva reluctantly agrees that he might be right.
Since she is too busy though it is up to us to accompany the Hingan to open the first Heaven's Gate. So off it is to South Gridania to do so.
The first Heaven's Gate is the same one as it was for us, the Bole. One interesting thing about this part is that we get a dialogue choice about teaching about the origins of the constellation or explaining about it's effects. I am pretty sure it won't make any difference which choice is made here besides some minor dialogue changes but I like this kind of thing.
Kyokuho denotes how weird it is for us Eorzeans to think that something that the power of something that obviously comes from the earth can actually come from tiny light points in the night sky. I guess this will be one of those "cultural shocks" kind of quest lines.
Back in the Athernaum, Leveva is pretty happy with our report. She seems t start to be interested in Geology too even though she doesn't personally believe on it. As she put it "The teachings of geomancy may be grounded in faerie tales and falseshoods, but my grandfather told me every lie is born of the truth."
Also from this point on she takes over Kyokuho's training since her work is done.
On the next quest, it seems the Hingan training has been going pretty well as he opened the next four heaven's gate. I admit I was a bit impressed by how fast he got it. On the other hand he didn't have to save the world and rescue Leveva from would-be kidnappers while learning Astrology, so I say our achievements in the area are more impressive. :p
Anyway, Kyokuho is ready to attune himself to the final Heaven's gate. Since the young lady is too busy to accompany him again she asks us to do it.
There is only one tiny problem. The Hingan isn't anywhere in sight. Just then Jannequiard chooses to helpfully inform us that Kyokuho decided to leave by the side entrance in a hurry. He also thinks it has something to do with a letter he just had given to our far east guest.
Leveva isn't all too happy about it but she figures out that the letter probably told Kyokuho to believe he doesn't have much time left therefore he probably went to the location of the last Heaven's Gate, complete his training and then travel back to Kugane.
Guess who she sends to check on that? :p
Upon arriving in the Central Highlands it isn't too hard to find Kyokuho as he is just being attacked by a dragon. After dispatching the beast, the Hingan is thankful for our timely intervention and explains that, yes, Leveva was about right in her assumptions. Kyokuho was just ashamed to face the people who showed him such kindness so he thought about leaving in secret. Since we were there anyway he asks us for one last lesson for old times' sake.
As the conversation progress, Kyokuho tells us that Leveva have found a lot of common points between Geomancy and Astrology, to the point where she theorizes that they are basically the same thing but just using a different source of power.
It seems also that the Hingan grew a lot of respect for Leveva as well as fondness for Eorzea. But depart he must so he bids his farewell to us.
Leveva isn't all surprised when we report these news. She did read it in the cards of that very morning. That and she asked Jannequiard what was written in the letter. The young woman also admits to have grown a certain respect for Kyokuho despite all their disagreements.
The only one who seems to be sad about this is Jannequiard because, as he puts it, "he certainly did liven the place up." Which makes me wonder how dull things might be in the Athernaum when we are not around...
During out next visit it seems that Leveva is preoccupied with something. Chatting up with the lady she tells us that since Kyokuho left she has been worried if she didn't misread something about that reading involving him. After all, the friends old and new part fit but there hasn't been any disasters. Or much sharing of knowledge (to us anyway).
With our help she comes to the obvious conclusion, that this affair didn't end yet. Her other dilemma was that she wanted to check on it herself but since there is yet another upcoming symposium she cannot. Once again, she just realizes the obvious (and at least admits that she could have done so sooner) that we could just go to check on our Hingan friend.
At this point I was almost missing the time when there was a kidnap attempt to Leveva every time. At least then I didn't feel like I was her errand boy. Isn't that what Jannequiard is for? On the other hand sending Jannequiard on a mission that might involve peril is probably not the best ideas.
Digressions aside our next stop is Kugane to find Kyokuho. We only have to ask a few people before finding a possible location for the Hingan. There were some jersk who badmouthed him though. I just mention them because they will appear later on in the quest line. :p
Once we find Kyokuho he is pretty happy to see us but not so much when we explain the reason of our visit. Turns out, Leveva didn't misread the part about disaster after all.
The problem began decades ago when the local government decided to open its docks to foreign trade. To deal with all the new influx of people they decided to cut a section of the shoreline forest.
Doing so though angered an ancient creature that has been guarding the location, a golden fox called Kinko.
The fox fought back but in the end the humans killed the beast and a new port was built.
The fox spirit remained around creating all kinds of curses until the government sought help of the most powerful geomancer of the time, a man called Kazan. He also happened to be Kyokuho's great-grandfather.
Kazan used his powers to erect an invisible barrier not only to protect the city but also to make it prosper.
Everyone was happy, Kazan was hailed as a hero and geomancy became super popular. So much that in a short time there was a sudden appearance of "geomancers" on the streets offering their services.
Fast forward to nowadays the barrier is weakening without anyone having any clue on how to restore it. Kazan died with that knowledge.
Kyokuho tried to unite all the geomancers of Kugane to restore the barrier and save the city. Since they are all pretty much charlatans though they didn't heed to his call, instead calling him a liar, a farse.
It was while looking on a bridge, trying to figure out what to do, that the young man found an answer while watching the sun set. It was on the West.
He traveled to Eorzea with the hopes of finding something, anything, that could help him save Kugane. Kyokuho thought Astrology could be the answer but before he could be sure he was summoned back to his home.
He asks us for advice and again we have a few choices on how to answer him. There is even a jerk option where we say "Solve your own problems". I wonder if that would have failed the quest. XD
Anyway, we reach the conclusion that astrology is the solution. They complement Geomancy. This is when we find Kyokuho never learned how to harness the power of Astrology. Which makes me wonder why the hell was he even opening the Heaven's Gate for then? Because when I did I was getting new spells! Well, maybe some were taught after the opening of them...
*clears throat* Back to the story, Kyokuho may not know how to use Astrologian spells but we do. We can help him mend the barrier.
The barrier has been anchored to four shrines located in the north, south, east and west ends of the city. Our task is to visit each of them to apply our Astrologian magic goodness. As we do so, the barrier is mended but some angry spirits also start to appear trying to stop our work. They aren't too hard though and are easily dispatched.
Once we are finished with the last shrine, Kyokuho's master shows up. His name is Murakumo. The old man also happens to have been Kazan's second disciple and the one who taught Kyokuho.
He is also a party pooper that tells us that all we did was mend the weakened bonds of the barrier, we didn't fix the inherent flaw on it. So unless we are to stay there for the rest of our lives we need to find a more permanent solution.
At least he admits that he sucks at Geomancy since Kazan never trusted him with the knowledge about the barrier. Well, ok it wasn't with those exact words but it is pretty much the gist of it.
Kyokuho is still pretty happy about our success though and bounces off to try finding a solution now that we have more time. Meanwhile Murakumo says something cryptic about how his pupil hasn't seem that the solution was right in front of his eyes and that was us. That eventually we might realize it too.
Murakumo if you know something why can't you just say it plainly? Sheesh!
During our next meeting with Kyokuho he tells us that after reading his great-grandfather notes for the 37th time it didn't reveal anything new. To the surprise of no one but you got admire his persistence, I guess.
He did find out the location of where Kazan trained when he was young. It is on a location in Yanxia. The plan is to go there, see if we can find some clue about the bonds of the barrier and come back. Assuming it hasn't been burned down by the empire of course.
We start off in Namai. Kyokuho arrived first and took the liberty of asking the locals for some information. Apparently there is a temple not far from there that was used by robed seers until the Garlean Empire came and banned all forms of religion. It is still in good shape too!
The locals even avoid the place fearing it to be haunted by the spirits the geomancers used to commute with. So it is unlikely it was raided by thieves too.
On the temple, Kyokuho finds a door with a geomantic field protecting it. If that isn't a big sign that says "The information you are looking for is here" then I don't know what is.
It even has a trap, which means a monster shows up for us to fight because, you know, it is a video-game and every quest needs to have something for us to fight. /sigh
At least it is just some monster that can be dispatched without too much trouble.
With the monster gone Kyokuho can get inside the temple to find some very well preserved notes. He isn't able to read the calligraphy so it is decided to take them back to Kugane so Murakumo can decipher them.
Back in the city they news are grim: they were able to read the notes without any problem, even found out how the bonds were created. What they didn't expect was that to make the bonds eternal it required blood. Not just any small amount of blood either, it required the sacrifice of someone so their aether would be stuck for all eternity in the barrier protecting the city.
Obviously Kyokuho can't accept such methods and Murakumo finally realizes why he was never taught the secret of the barrier. Both men are feeling pretty bad about the whole situation, as if they failed in their duty.
On the last quest we find the young Hingan preocuppied because Murakumon went to do the rounds on the shrines but was taking too long to come back.
If you guessed that the old man got wounded by angry spirits then you got it right as that is how we found him. He explains that the bonds were almost undone and he tried his best. Unfortunately Kinko is already through and our only solution is to do the blood ritual.
Kyokuho again is completely against the idea. Murakumo insists saying that he will sacrifice himself, he is volunteering himself so that wouldn't be morally wrong. In fact, it would be an honor as he could spend the rest of eternity protecting the city.
Even then the young Hingan won't hear anything of this. He turns to us to settle the discussion. Once again I find the dialogue choices amusing. One is to say that we use Astrology. The other is to sacrifice Murakumo. I know the second choice won't make any difference but these kind of evil choices really make me wonder how the characters would react. I am boring though so I picked the first one. :p
Picking the first option makes us propose to stop focusing on the bonds and go after the fox itself.
This is the point where Leveva of all people choose to show up. She even steals our chance to explain the plan!
But before that she explains that she had just arrived in Kugane that morning. Apparently the symposium was such a success that Ishgard's government realized the usefulness of Sharlayan astrology when applied to the rebuilding of their city. They even decided that several new courses on it will be taught on their academy during the next term.
Now that Leveva fulfilled that dream she is finally able to pursue whatever is her fancy and she decided it will be to learn more about geomancy.
As for the plan to deal with Kinko is that instead of trying to stop her we'll quell her wrath thus making the barrier unnecessary.
We'll do that by using the healing powers of the Diurnal Sect to soothe Kinko. Which means we'll need to hurt Kinko first to heal her... Yeah, this plan doesn't make any sense to me either. But hey, the stars predicted it will work! And I have no other choice but go with it so that is what we'll do...
The heroes wait until night for Kinko to appear. The fox doesn't come alone though, bringing other angry spirits to terrorize the population. We have to go fighting them, saving some poor people, all while making our way to the target.
The fight against Kinko isn't all that hard. Kyokuho pretty much takes on the task of fighting the beast while Leveva provides support. During the fight some energy balls appear that represent Kinko's anguish and wrath. We have to heal those while fighting some adds to beat the encounter.
Once the fox is calmed down, Kyokuho lays some new bonds which banishes the fox. Wait. I thought we were doing this so we didn't need a barrier anymore? I just don't know what is going on in this quest anymore!
Anyway, remember those geomancer jerks I mentioned before? Yeah, they were some of the people we had to rescue while Kinko was rampaging. They show up, apologize for not believing in Kyokuho. Their leader however plays the Tsundere role and declares that the young Hingan will be his rival.
This prompts Kyokuho to decide that instead of going back to Ishgard to finish his astrology studies he will instead follow on Leveva's footsteps and work towards educating the people of Kugane about real geomancy.
Despite the weird logic at the end of the questline there I quite liked this one. At first I was a bit apprehensive since I felt that Leveva's arc ended during the level 50-60 questline and I didn't know what to expect of this one. But Kyokuho turned out to be a pretty fun character to hang around with even if he wasn't the brightest one around. XD
Also, no brutal battles on this one which is always a plus for me!
I am also still wondering if Geomancy will be a new Job in whatever the next expansion will be. It just seems like the seeds for it has been planted during this story line.
Whatever comes though I am just happy to be done with Astrologian for now. I think the next one I will be leveling will be Machinist.