Welcome to another edition of Echoes of Eorzea, which this week will be looking back on the Valentione’s Day lore. In this article, I will be summarising the story, artwork, and rewards of the 2011 to 2014 events, and then follow up with the remaining years of 2015 to 2018 next week.
History of Valentione’s Day
Valentione’s Day was originally established to pay tribute to Countess Arabelle de Valentione of Ishgard—a remarkable woman who exhibited unparalleled courage in her quest for true love. In the present day, it has become an occasion for people to express feelings of love and gratitude to those most important in their lives. This is commonly done via the exchange of simple chocolate bon-bons crafted specially by the giver.
While in recent years there have been complaints that the true spirit of the day has been grossly perverted—now little more than a marketing ploy conjured up by the Culinarians’ Guild and the Company of Eorzean Kukuru Growers to increase sales of their products—this does not take away from the fact that countless people across the realm use this tradition to bring happiness to others. And isn’t that what the countess would have wanted?
In short: Countess Arabelle de Valentione of Ishgard was a noblewoman who gave up her place and position to go on an arduous journey in search of love and to spread love to all others. In the years after the countess’s passing, it became traditional for the Ishgardian people to emulate that same passion and bravery by bestowing a token of affection to the one they love. It is said that chocolate is a divine concoction made by the maiden servants of Menphina, goddess of love.
Lady Lisette is a direct descendant of Countess Arabelle de Valentione and continues her work to this day.
Valentione’s Day 2011
Compared to other Eorzean festivals, Valentione’s Day may seem fairly low key. The celebration is truly about the individual and their ability to muster the courage to conquer their own fears of rejection. For this celebration, the city-states are providing free portions of powdered sugar usually only reserved for the noble classes, and with which Valentione’s Day chocolates are created.
“Each year, there are those who feel inclined to bring attention to the fact that these bells closely resemble those used during other festivals, such as the recent starlight celebration. It is unfortunate that these people must concentrate on the negative when the true meaning behind Valentione’s Day is about expressing gratitude to a fellow friend or companion—something that should not require unnecessary displays of extravagance.”
Quest: Ring the Bells
Bells are located throughout various locations within the major cities of Eorzea. Upon ringing the bell, a Smilebringer NPC will appear and presents us with a pinch of Powdered Sugar.
Valentione’s Day 2012
Connecting all lands and peoples in her everlasting embrace, the sea bears to Limsa Lominsa the wisdom and voices of a thousand shores. In today’s edition, The Harbor Herald examines the forthcoming celebration of love and exposes some of the rumors surrounding a particularly special sweet.
“Those who have sojourned in Limsa Lominsa may have come to know one Dympna Tinstyll. An independent exporter of exotics, Dympna is also an avid enthusiast of the culinary arts, and it is for that reason that we are proud to present The Good Salt, a column in which Dympna can share her delectable knowledge with all of Eorzea. Today she writes about a very special chocolate treat said to have the power to make the feelings in our hearts known to those we love.
Arabelle de Valentione. The legendary Countess of Ishgard who risked all that she had and was in her quest to discover true love, and whose name is now immortalized in the Eorzean holiday of Valentione’s Day. Be my Valentione! Three simple words to communicate that most profound and heartfelt of sentiments—love me as I love you. Yet simplicity is no substitute for courage, and implicit in these words is the confessing of one’s deepest feelings, the laying bare of one’s very heart, and the unshakable fear of rejection. For the shy and timid among my audience, and for all whose faces are quick to take red, allow me to share news of a certain chocolate for which you will no doubt be pining.
Words may be wind, but wind reaches all, and the hushed winds that have reached the Herald tell us that the chocolates are now being prepared at the Bismarck. Some say that the gourmets there have learned something of the divine concoctions made by the maiden servants of Menphina, goddess of love. Still others claim that a rare and valuable spice extracted from Meracydian gold is used in the baking. All that can be said for sure is that a truly unique and amazing recipe has been devised. What is more, it seems the commissioning of the Bismarck to produce these treats came at the hands of none other than the Adventurers’ Guild. Most interesting indeed!
The restoration of the Grand Companies in each of the three nations has served to create rifts between adventurers. Could it be that rivalry and infighting may come to exact a toll on the solidarity and fraternity among them? It seems such misgivings are not altogether absent within the Adventurers’ Guild. It is a splendid thing indeed that the adventurers have come to take a sense of pride in the Grand Companies to which they pledge themselves, be they of the Storm, Serpent, or Flame. Amidst foreboding rumors of the coming of the Seventh Umbral Era, however, Twelve forbid that the needs of the realm’s citizenry go unattended due to bickering and bitterness between factions of adventurers.
Yet there is no malaise what cannot be set right by chocolate! Whether all we have heard is truth or lies, what cannot be denied is the movement that has begun—a movement meant to foster and promote love among adventurers, be it romantic or fraternal. And these chocolates are the key to its success! But do they truly possess the power to communicate one’s love to another as we have heard? Can Valentione’s Day fan the flames of love beyond the barriers put in place by the Grand Companies as the Adventurers’ Guild hopes?
Whatever fate the gods may have in store, one fact is clear—I simply have to try one of those chocolates!”
Dympna Tinstyll, Culinarian Columnist
Quest: Nothing Says Lovin’ like Consecrated Chocolate
For the 2012 Valentione’s day event, matchmaker NPC’s have appeared around the city-states. The player may request help obtaining a partner by speaking with one of the NPC representatives. There are three quests that a pair of players may take part in: Bond of Pure Love, Bond of Dear Love and Glory of Love. The paired players will visit the NPC together and be given a score based on specific requirements and on the final quest, the points are increased by consuming specific chocolates at this stage.
This quest will also reward the highest scoring players with new Lodestone character backgrounds.
Valentione’s Day 2013
During this time the game was unavailable due to the development of A Realm Reborn (ARR) in development.
Valentione’s Day 2014
The season of love is finally upon us—Valentione’s Day has made its return! Word has it that an Ishgardian noble accompanied by several retainers has arrived in Limsa to enliven this joyous occasion, and the Harbor Herald has wasted no time in investigating their plans to spread ardor throughout the realm.
Ardor and Affection
Countess Arabelle de Valentione─who has not heard a minstrel sing of this ethereal beauty? She who forsook a sheltered life at court to traverse vast and unforgiving environs in her lifelong quest for true love?
Eras have come and passed, yet still, today does her tale instill would-be lovers the realm over with the courage to lay bare their hearts before their beloved, accompanied more often than not by a gift of sweet confections. So was born the tradition of Valentione’s Day. In the trying years since the Calamity, however, merely ensuring survival and daily livelihood in the face of threats from the beastkin and Garlemald has proven a toilsome task for a great many Eorzeans, leaving precious little time for romantic pursuits.
And yet, who can deny that having a special someone in one’s thoughts might lend an even greater sense of purpose and resolve on the battlefield? Not this starry-eyed scribe, that much is certain.
And so it is with open arms and high hopes that we welcome the Lady Lisette de Valentione, direct descendant of the Countess Arabelle, to our fair Limsa, that her presence might serve to kindle flames of romance across the land, warming the hearts of all those who yearn for the sweet embrace of their one true love. – Yumah Molkot
Quest: The Puissance of Love
During the event, Ser Larsonient will be seeking passionate adventurers willing to lend their strength to House Valentione’s cause.
For the 2014 Valentione’s event we meet with Larsonient, a knight of House Valentione, who requests that we halt our adventures for a time in order to pursue the greater quest of love by seeking out Lisette de Valentione. Lisette is the descendant of Countess Arabelle de Valentione and seeks to share the joy of love with those less fortunate in that particular area (while adoring fans beg her for chocolate). Lisette imparts on you the blessings of her ancestors and sends you to seek out those with a heart in need and sends us to O’kalkaya.
O’kalkaya tells us that her captain has been behaving strangely lately and wishes us to investigate. It transpires that Captain Rhoswen of the Sirens has asked Lyngsath of the Bismark to ‘whip up something to make some sparks’. The assumption is that she is requesting fire-sand. However, a spy from the Krakens (who are enemies of the Sirens) hears the discussion and runs back to tell his captain everything. We hasten to follow and meet with Carvallain who informs us that Captain Rhoswen has requested a duel at the Anchor Yard and, as we are impartial to the situation, Carvallain requests that we ensure all matters are conducted fairly.
The captain of the Sirens does not show up at first but then arrives late and a lengthy bout of heated banter ensues. Then all of the sudden an aroma fills the air and Carvallain is certain that Rhoswen is trying to distract him with the smell of chocolate. Tempers flare and more heated words are exchanged before Captain Rhoswen exclaims that ‘she doesn’t know what she was thinking’ and returns to the Sirens.
It appears that what you witnessed was a confession of love gone horribly wrong. O’kalkaya is grateful to see you return, yet upon realizing the true intention of the challenge, she offers a small gift of chocolate to ensure our silence on the matter.
Following this, you are sent to aid Nemoh who has been patiently awaiting the return of her lost love Gwayne since the Calamity. A person matching Gwayne’s description has been spotted in Gridania but Nemoh is not brave enough to investigate and sends you in her stead. Although you encounter several lookalikes, none prove to be the lost love, though one of the men gives you information regarding the location of the real Gwayne at E-Tatt’s Spire. The true Gwayne claims to have lost his memory due to a battle wound and departs. Nemoh refuses to believe this sad truth and lashes out at her childhood friend Gylbart. She then entrusts you with a box of chocolates to help stir Gwayne’s memories of her. Gylbart has done investigations of his own and reveals to you that Gwayne is notorious for stealing the hearts of maidens in order to swindle goods and gold from them. To spare her from the cruel truth, Gylbart requests that we keep the chocolates and promises to stay by Nemoh’s side as a friend to watch over her.
Finally, we are sent to a maiden of Ul’dah, Yellow Moon, who wishes to return the affections of her many admirers, however, she does not possess nearly enough ingredients to make the chocolate she requires. We are sent out three times to procure ingredients for Yellow Moon from her admirers, returning each time with a strange assortment. She is confused by the array of ingredients donated, yet prepares the chocolate all the same. Coincidentally, many males have been stricken down by a vile poison. She thanks us and presents us with some chocolate of our own before we make a very swift exit (before we are potentially arrested).
Lisette commends your service on House Valentione’s behalf, her ancestral senses telling her that your deeds have provided no small degree of solace to those lost in love.
Thank you all for reading through this lore-based edition of EoE! As always, if you have any questions, advice or comments please don’t hesitate to get in contact either through here, Anook or Twitter.
Next week I will finish up the Valentione’s lore articles with a summary of the events of 2015 to 2018!Related: Echoes of Eorzea, Event (In Game), Final Fantasy XIV, Lore, MMORPG, Square Enix, Valentine's Day