It’s the dawn of a new year and I’m here with another lore based edition, this time looking over the Heavensturn event throughout the years. The Heavensturn quest lines aren’t something I usually pay a great deal of attention to, it’s more a case of clicking rather speedily through the quests and storing the rather odd looking helmet away in the armoire. Today, however, I’ll be exploring them in greater detail as many of the short stories have proved to be quite heartwarming. In this issue, I will be summarizing the events of 2011 to 2015, with part two arriving next week to cover the remaining years.
What is Heavensturn?
Heavensturn is the Final Fantasy XIV seasonal event for the New Year celebration. The focus is upon The Twelve as they discover which one of them will ascend, watch over and guide Eorzea for the coming year. Among the citizens, attentions are drawn to the creatures represented in the Far Eastern traditions where each year a beast takes the place of The Twelve.
Heavensturn is a celebration that marks the passing of the twelve moons in the night sky, and with them, the vigil of each of the Twelve over the realm. It is on this sacred day that one among the gods wins celestial favor, and whose aspect thus exerts the greatest influence over the fate of Eorzea throughout the coming year. Clergymen, soothsayers, shamans, and others versed in such matters foretell that with this turning, the time of Halone, the Fury, will come.
Yet despite this annual significance, a strange and powerful gift, newly come to Eorzea from a faraway land, has begun to divert the attention and admiration of people across the realm, both smallfolk and adventurer alike. Said to be a principal element in the celebration of Heavensturn in the Far East, it is a mighty helm masterfully spellforged in the likeness of a rabbit. Adorable to some, atrocious to others, and appealing to adventurers for its attractive attributes, this rare, leporine headpiece may prove attainable by those with festive proclivities.
Note: For the purposes of clarity I am listing the events under the year they apply to.
Disclaimer: The information regarding the 2011 and 2012 quests was a little more troublesome to source in detail, I have presented as much as I have been able to collect from the archived Lodestone.
Date: 31.12.2010 – 17.01.2011
2011 marks the very first Heavensturn event in Eorzea and the majority of the archived Lodestone article provides us with a brief history of the event (quoted above) along with an introduction of the very first Heavensturn seasonal event. A helmet, which has been forged into the likeness of a rabbit, is said to be the principal figure of this year’s celebration in the Far East.
“Articles and machines of war seen throughout the land with unprecedented frequency… Halone, the Fury, goddess of strife and struggle, poised to impose her will on the world of man. What fate lies in store for Eorzea in the coming year?”
During the 2011 Heavensturn event, players could participate in the ringing of bells throughout each of the major cities. In return, they were rewarded with the event items. Each city housed three locations where bells could be rung.
A festive item was only available once every 8 hours. The primary reward from this event was the Usagi Kabuto, yet other items could be synthesized from the event materials.
Date: 31.12.2011 – 16.01.2012
“With the kind aid of countless adventurers, preparations for the Winter’s Knell festival had been proceeding smoothly. Yet it appears fate had other ideas—an incident has occurred at the venue, on the very day the ritual was due to be held. The Raven was on location in Hyrstmill with eyes sharp and ears keen.”
During the 2012 Heavensturn festival, there was a little more light shone upon the alternative celebrations from the Far East where it is said that the dragon is the embodiment of Althyk who was to be the guiding presence for the year. This explains the large shipment of dragon wrought helms which arrived in Eorzea and are gifted to helpful adventurers lending aid to the Black Rabbit Traders during the Winter’s Knell festival.
Winter’s Knell is the Ala Mhigan festival of winter in the lands of Gyr Abania, which ushers in the blessing of ice and snow.
Quest: Gone with the Snow.
We are informed that a giant by the name of Father Drost, who has the task of ushering in winter, has gone missing. To make matters worse, the Ala Mhigans inform us that the Heart of Winter has also mysteriously vanished. An NPC by the name of Waldomar pleads for aid and directs you towards Hyrstmill to begin your search.
The quest objective takes the player to Hyrstmill where several glowing areas can be seen on the ground in various places. The player is required to collect all the fragments and continue out of the gate where they will be presented with a cutscene. Returning to Waldomar will complete the quest and the player will receive their reward.
Note: Waldomar also appears in the 2012 Starlight celebration quest ‘Winter Is Not Coming’.
In addition to this years event, there was an accompanying post with best wishes and a themed wallpaper from Naoki Yoshida.
At this stage, the game was undergoing extensive modifications to rebirth as A Realm Reborn.
Date: 31.12.2013 – 14.01.2014
“Heavensturn is here, and once again the Twelve gather to choose the ascendant among them for the coming year. On this the highest of high feast days, outlanders from the Far East descend on Eorzea with a curious mission. Let a little bird—size is relative—tell you all about it! Pick up a copy of The Raven, Gridania’s leading tabloid, today.”
Correspondent Olliver Goodfellow from The Raven reports that their inside sources believe this year’s chosen Heavensturn ascendant to be Nophica, the Matron. Olliver has a fond love for travel and tells us that in the Far East each Heavensturn they have a custom of naming a totem beast, this year they have chosen the horse. In Eorzea, horses are known to be “vicious as they are stupid”, and so the decision is put down to the outlander’s failings in logic and reason. Helms resembling the form of a horse head worn by these ‘charming barbarians’ begin to create amusement. The Fraternal Order of Chocowackers are unhappy about the unfolding of events and is said to be barring the helms from the Twelveswood for resembling ‘demon-steed’.
Starting Quest: A Horse for Heavensturn.
The player is sent to Nophica’s Altar to meet with Damaris (a lover of the festivities) who wishes to introduce us to a ‘madcap visitor’, Uma Bugyo.
Uma Bugyo is an envoy from the Far East and wishes to strengthen the bonds of friendship with Eorzeans. She claims Eorzeans know little of the horse, only because of its relation to the ‘horse-bird’, more commonly known as a Chocobo. It was her secret mission to bring horses to Eorzea and yet, is unable to present her noble steed if horses are banned from the Black Shroud. Uma asks us for assistance.
The player must wear the horse Kabuto and then provide aid in the three major cities.
Upon arriving in Limsa Lominsa, you meet with Red Uma Yoriki who is very enthusiastic about the culture in Eorzea but not the Chocobos. He implores you, as a nice strong horse representative, to go and help with the harvest at the Red Rooster Stead. The player must equip their Kabuto. Once there you meet with Red Uma Doshin who informs you that the harvest is still scattered and you must ‘hitch yourself to the wagon’, collect the harvest and hand the produce to the farmer. The farmer is impressed by your strength and asks you to carry the giant carrot as well. With the vegetables collected and safely on their way to Limsa Lominsa you are congratulated, and both Red Uma Doshin and Red Uma Yoriki are overjoyed that the citizens will know that indeed the horses are strong.
In Ul’dah you meet with Black Uma Yoriki who wishes to show the citizens just how fast the horses can be. The player must don the Uma Kabuto and run to the first marker at the Eighty Sins of Sasamo. Five markers are placed around the city and the player must race to each of them. The Black Uma Doshin praises your public display of speed and agility and gives you a carrot to show her appreciation. Black Uma Yoriki is so impressed by your efforts that she thrusts the Black Uma Kabuto into your hands.
Within the Black Shroud, the Golden Uma Yoriki seeks help in sharing the joy of horses. Attempts have been made to show the beauty of these beasts but they have been greeted with cold responses. Golden Uma Doshin at Bentbranch Meadows sees your Kabuto and exclaims of how foolish the townsfolk are as they will not listen to his plea. He has learned that the way to an Eorzean’s heart is through the Chocobo. The player is then required to try and impress the Chocobo’s by donning the Kabuto and posing for them within their stable. The Chocokeep catches you, telling you to stop ‘horsing’ around and that perhaps the horses don’t look so bad after all (especially in comparison to the Kabuto on your head!). Golden Uma Doshin considers this a victory and encourages you to rally the birds to show them that the horse is far superior. The Chocobo’s respond well and Golden Uma Doshin is brought to tears and rewards you with a carrot. Having captured the beauty of the horse you return to Golden Uma Yoriki to report your experience. She informs you that your inner horse must be a steed of beauty and offers you the Kabuto so you may hold this memory ever dear.
Uma Bugyo is eager to find out how you have progressed with your mission and you present the tokens of your success to her. Your next task is to find citizens of Gridania who support the introduction of horses to their lands and persuade The Fraternal Order of Chocowackers that this is a worthy plea. The Chief Chocowacker remains unconvinced. There is a confrontation between the Chief and Uma Bugyo which escalates into a war of words. However, a ‘mysterious stranger’ appears to divert attention. You meet one more time with Uma Bugyo in Gridania where she thanks you for your efforts and hopes for a day when horse and Chocobo may be a common sight in Eorzea.
Date: 31.12.2014 – 14.01.2015
As the deities of Eorzea convene to discuss matters of the divine, Far Eastern emissaries have arrived in their lands, heralding the advent of a different figurehead. Though they come bearing a martial message, it is only their curious ovine headwear and animal companion that has succeeded in garnering the townsfolk’s attention thus far.
Starting Quest: Lions for Lambs.
For the 2015 series of seasonal quests, we meet with the Merry Maid who directs us to Hitsuji Bugyo, who wishes to realize his dream to release an army of spell-slinging sheep, known as the Fleece Force, into Eorzea. His efforts have fallen on deaf ears but he hopes that you, the adventurer, may have more luck. The prototype sheep refuses to acknowledge your existence until won over by the special fodder, ordered from a trader in Hawkers’ Alley. It is down to you and your new Tender Lamb companion to spread the good word of the Fleece Force to the three nations of Eorzea. The Tender Lamb has an ability called ‘hypnoturgical blast’ which is designed to calm and induce sleep.
In Thanalan, the Black Hitsuji Yoriki is keen to present the Tender Lamb to the captain of the Brass Blades who is found drinking copiously at the Coffer & Coffin. The use of hypnoturgical blast to save him from the drink only doubles his thirst. The barkeep, Roger, has failed to deliver the last round and fears the wrath of the captain, imploring you to find a solution. The lamb spots the spectacles of the Captain’s wife at the end of the bar and you are urged to pass them to him and, on doing this, he bursts into tears. The true meaning of the excessive drinking was to mourn the recent loss of his wife and he wishes to numb the pain. The lamb uses his ability once more and the Captain rests peacefully and dreams of his wife, honoring his promise to welcome the new year alongside her.
In the Black Shroud, the Golden Hitsuji Yoriki informs you of a trader en-route to Gridania whose Chocobo has become mysteriously unwell. Eager to impress, you take the Tender Lamb with you to aid the trader. Just before the lamb uses its ability, it notices a tail feather a little way down the road. On further investigation, it is revealed this is the tail feather of the Chocobo’s former clutch-mate who was recently sold to a passing wealthy visitor. The Chocobo gains some rest after the use of the sheep’s hypnoturgical beam, and the trader vow’s to ease the bird’s heartache by following the route of the wealthy visitor rather than continuing on to Gridania.
The player must travel to Aleport in La Noscea where a baby has been crying for days to the dismay of its mother and local residents. Although the hypnoturgical blast from the lamb hit the mark, the baby continues to cry. The lamb draws your attention to the mother who is sick with worry. You take the hint and use the blast on the mother instead, which calms her tired and grief-stricken mind. The baby, sensing its mothers calm, ceases to cry.
As tokens of gratitude, you have been presented with a black, crimson and white Kabuto along the way. These tokens are presented to Hitsuji Bugyo and you earn his gratitude. The townsfolk of Limsa believe the lamb is simply too adorable to be on the battlefield, yet Hitsuji Bugyo believes this to be wrong and claims to make great efforts to prove this. In his attempt use the lambs blast to put the opposition to sleep, it backfires and causes the lambs near destruction. The ‘Merry Maid’ reveals herself to be Hitsuji Ometsuke and urges you to cheer for the lamb. Still having no effect you are encouraged to offer a heartfelt prayer. The lamb hears your prayer, makes a miraculous recovery and is entrusted to you. Hitsuji Bugyo shows utter regret and vowes to make up for all his wrongdoings.
Our journey through the Heavensturn festivities will continue in next week’s edition of Echoes of Eorzea.
I wish you the best for Heavensturn 2018 and wish you a very happy new year!
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Related: Column, Echoes of Eorzea, Event (In Game), Final Fantasy XIV, MMORPG, Square Enix