Post #8 for Blaugust Reborn
Every time I do one of these ding posts for a Job in Final Fantasy XIV I like to do a little recap of the story. This is just in case I want to know what happened later on but can't for the life of me remember it.
Normally for any story in a MMORPG I'd just go with my memory. But I know my memory can't be trusted and Final Fantasy XIV has some pretty good stories. Therefore I decided to start recording them in these "Ding!" posts.
Well, I finally screwed up and didn't write it for the level 30 to 50 of Machinist as I usually do. Since I already finished the storyline up to level 60 my plan was to write all of it in one post. However just the level 30 to 50 already turned large enough that I will cover the 50 to 60 storyline in another one.
There won't be any screenshots this time since I did the bulk of this questline before I obsessively took screenshots and the few I have aren't really worth using. Sorry for the wall of text!
WARNING: Spoilers about the Machinist level 30 to 60 story in case that wasn't clear yet.
As usual with Heavensward Jobs, it all starts in Ishgard, more specifically at the Skysteel Manufactory. In there we meet a man called Stephanivien (this name will be a pain to type) whose prospectometer, whatever it is, seems to be rather fond of us.
He quickly assumes that due to our outfits and striking pose are an adventurer. He quickly goes on to introduce the Skysteel Manufactory, a place where their develop armaments to fight against the dragons. It is also a where people can apply to learn how to wield a firearm and learn the techniques of a Machinist!
Only after that he also remembers to introduce his name, Stephanivien de Haillenarte. It is not said in this dialogue but that last name means he is from one of the noble families and this is a point that will matter later in the story.
Also, Stephanivien is a big believer in a techology called Machinistry, something that mixes Cid's Magitek with traditional aetherology. It is also his belief that his inventions will completely change the face of warfare.
Well, at least he isn't lacking in confidence.
Usually this is where the Job mentor tells you to go kill something for the purposes of "training". In this case though the one who teaches markmanship isn't Stephanivien himself but someone else... who just isn't around.
The inventor at first thinks it is just a case of his instructor being a layabout again. Then Joye, a servant of house Haillenarte, shows up, saying that said instructor left a letter of resignation.
Stephanivien of course isn't happy about this. Apparently this instructor is vital for the current operations of the manufactory. He decides to bring back his former employee one way or another. Apparently not even knowing where this former employee went is a problem as Stephanivien's prospectometer just points in the general direction of La Noscea! Seriously, what is this thing and what it can't do?!?
Oh, and guess who will have to serve as a guide since they don't know pretty much nothing about the region? :p
At least Stephanivien mentions "Camp Overlook" to start our search otherwise this would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Well, more than it already is, that is.
He also mentions that Joye is an expert markswoman herself and we should pay attention to her techniques while we are travelling together.
After some inquiry at the camp we find the instructor, a roegadyn by the name Rostnsthal (another name that will be hard to type!). Stephanivien tries to plead him to return. To which the roegadyn replies by pointing his gun at the inventor and threatening to blow his head off if he steps any closer.
Under Stephanivien's orders Joye transforms, going from a shy, polite woman to a swearing, boisterous one who quickly shots the gun off Rostnsthal.
Apparently this shooting was all taught by the roegadyn. The swearing too.
To which Rostnsthal replies that she learned well... well enough to be the new instructor. Stephanivien agrees to an extend but fears that Joye has too many duties at the manor to be able to dedicate herself to both jobs.
There a bit more back and forth but they settle it when Rostnsthal concedes to give one lesson. If we show enough dedication during it he will be back to the Skysteel Manufactory.
Oh, and this is was all just to unlock the Job. I wanted to shorten it but since all these characters and interactions are necessary to understand a lot of what will come I had to write it in. :p
Our first lesson is a hunt. Joye will be our instructor for this one while Rostnsthal just hangs back, measuring our performance.
When I did this quest I was a bit apprehensive since a friend of mine commented that she had a lot of trouble with it.
Fortunately I didn't find it that bad. It is a bit of an annoying quest though. It is a big area, with just some very generic instructions to where to go and what to kill. So on top of trying to learn new mechanics I got a bit lost too. In the end I was able to complete the quest while the timer almost ended.
At the end of the quest Rostnsthal challenges us to a one-on-one fight just as part of his test. I don't remember it being a particularly hard fight. It is pretty much the first quest as a Machinist after all.
After being defeated Rostnsthal grudgingly accepts to come back. He also explains why he came to Limsa: apparently somebody paid him, a lot, to leave the Skysteel Manufactory. Rostnsthal doesn't know who the man was but he knows that whoever paid him won't be getting anything back as the roegadyn already spent everything on booze.
Stephanivien thinking that this could be used as excuse for the instructor to run again promises to pay the debt.
Just for the sake of space I will just skip the next few quests as they aren't all that important for the overall story. This is pretty big as it is and we just covered the first one!
There are a few details that appear during these quests that will matter though.
Stephanivien's father, Count Baurendoin de Hallinarte, doesn't like his work at the manufactory, thinking it beneath a noble.
The count also happens to be the chief of the place, albeit reluctantly so. Apparently, House Hallenart is one of the founding houses of Ishgard but due to circumstances they have lost a lot of its prestige. That is the only reason he resigned himself to continue on with the duty of running the manufactory.
He eventually does change his mind about the Machinists after seeing what they can do against dragons though.
There are also some attempts to sabotage the Skysteel Manufactory. They even try to slander Rostnsthal's reputation.
Except it isn't all lies. According to Rostnsthal, he was commodore of the Barracudas until he messed things up, got kicked out and one of the injured from back then won't even talk to him anymore.
Rostnsthal was also paid a lot of money to accept Stephanivien's offer to become his Master of Markmanship. He figured that whoever wanted to pay him that much money knew about his past and wanted to use it against the Skysteel Manufactory. But since Rostnsthal doesn't like being made a puppet for anyone he just took the money and run away. That is basically when we found him back in the first quest.
Lastly, a guy called Teldagrinche, of house Dzemael, shows up for some trash talking against Stephanivien. As a noble he thinks himself above commoners and therefore hates the idea of Machinists, who in this case are commoners using weapons.
He even challenges Stephanivien to put enter his machinists in the upcoming Knightly Tournament hosted by the Holy See. This tournament was something telegraphed earlier in the questline so it isn't all that big of a surprise.
To the surprise of everyone at the scene, Stephanivien bites the bait.
Count Baurendoin feels very gloom about this. But Stephanivien is not only confident in the chances of his machinists to win, he asks his father to yield control of the manufactory to him in case of victory. The count agrees.
As the day of tournament comes we find there has been another sabotage attempt at the Skysteel Manufactory. Even though we end up stopping some of them they still manage to do quite a lot of damage to the supplies of armament.
Stephanivien doesn't let this deter him though. He tells Joye and Rostnsthal to go ahead to the tournament and demonstrated some bravado to confuse our rivals.
Meanwhile he will repair as much as the weaponry as possible. It won't be of the highest quality but it will have to do in this situation. Plus the only ones who will know about this are our little group.
The tournament is being held at Camp Dragonhead, a keep in Coerthas Central Highlands. Before the event begins, Count Baurendoin tells us that there is a lot riding on this. All of Ishgard has their eyes on us and a poor performance means that the Holy See will cut their funds, meaning the future of the manufactory will be in jeopardy.
Stephanivien is still pretty confident though. While Rostnsthal decides to go watch the fight together with the rest of the public. He does give a bit of advice before going: make the most of the terrain.
In practical terms this means the game allow us to look around the arena before the battle begins, just to figure out our game plan.
The battle itself is between a combined forces of House Haillenarte and House Fortemps against House Dzemael and House Durendaire.
The tournament itself is pretty simple. Each side has a battle standard on their camps. Whoever destroys their opponents standard first wins. The standards also heals us so that is not something we have to worry about.
Before the fight starts in earnest Teldagrinche shows up to do some more trash talking. Honestly every time that guy opens his mouth I feel like punching him in the face.
I don't remember the fight being particularly hard. Probably because I already had some level 50 gear saved for this. So I just mowed down whoever was on my way, went to the opponents standard and destroyed it. Easy-peasy.
Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, yes, Stephanivien and Joye helps in the fight too. But like I said, I just did my thing and ignored what they were doing. :p
After that Teldagrinche admits defeat in a very passive-aggressive way. He still doesn't believe the machinist's weapons will do any well against any opponent who is actually out to kill them though.
At least Count Baurendoin is happy with the outcome. It seems their house hasn't won a tournament in a long time. He also is true to his word, giving full authority over the manufactory to Stephanivien.
Back in Ishgard, Stephanivien wants to commemorate their victory. As we gather the crew around, Joye isn't there. Apparently she suddenly got married. In Ishgard it is tradition for the unwed to serve the noble houses. When they marry they usually retire from such work.
This comes as surprise to everyone as none knew she was even engaged in the first place. Although it seems there were some familial circumstances that led to this.
If it all seems suspicious it because it is. Although I admit that at the time I was dumb and didn't think much of it. In hindsight i should have suspect some foul play here.
This news also is a big blow to Stephanivien's work as Joye was an essential part of it. He makes plans however to contact Joye's husband to see if he can convince to get both to work for him.
But we'll get around to this whole thing on the level next questline!