Since A Realm Reborn, an ongoing point of conflict is the presence of primals — unimaginably strong, magical beings worshiped by clans and subsequently brought to life, wreaking havoc by disrupting the aether of the land and forcing their followers into a thrall, that of which was often violent and fanatical. The Twelve were likened to such primals, and such was the popular hypothesis…up until now.

The story begins with Krile requesting the Warrior’s help at the Baldesion Arsenal after their foray into Alzadaal’s Legacy. Before divulging the details of the investigation, Krile dives into the history of the Students of Baldesion. Eureka enthusiasts may be familiar with the story of how the organization was founded by Krile’s grandfather, Galuf. Krile goes on to explain their mission — uncovering the mysteries of Hydaelyn through the study of Her gift, which is presumably the Echo. While that mission is more or less concluded, their scope has further broadened into searching for ways to counter threats — similar to the now defunct Scions of the Seventh Dawn — like the Warring Triad. Towards this end, she believes the Students should continue to venture into the unknown. This is when a request comes in from an old friend. 

This old friend is revealed to be a comrade of G’raha Tia’s, Rammbroes of the Sons of Saint Coinach. He had sent in a request to the Students of Baldesion, asking for help in investigating a phenomenon that occurred in Mor Dhona, the very city where the Crystal Tower quest line took place. In his missive, he explains that this phenomenon lay beyond the Sons’ expertise, which piqued her interest. However, Krile still has business to attend to in Sharlayan, so she sends the Warrior and G’raha in her stead to Revenant’s Toll. 

A touching reunion between friends is held, a lovely throwback to the level 50 Alliance storyline. Afterwards, Rammbroes explains why he asked for their help — not too long ago, an explorer came to the Sons of Saint Coinach and said he discovered the Phantom Realm, much to G’raha’s utter disbelief. The Warrior, on the other hand, was clueless. G’raha helpfully supplies the information that you lack as an adventurer who was too busy saving worlds to read books. 

Legends say that all across Eorzea, a place exists that appears at random. It can be seen from a distance, but it fades the closer one draws to it. It’s been recorded in stories for generations, but no one has ever been able to prove that it existed. Multiple explorers and scholars have attempted to write it off as simply a hoax, and yet more people show up to claim they’ve seen it. And so the search continues, up until Rammbroes receives news that it’s finally been found. 

The explorer who reported his findings is named Deryk, who was meant to come greet you alongside Rammbroes. However, the explorer is quite averse to being in the company of other people, resorting to the Warrior tracking him down at Silvertear Lake. In place of a person, they find a baby Opo opo instead and scrutinizes it long and hard, mistaking it for their wayward explorer. 

While the Warrior may have accomplished countless jaw-dropping feats such as saving multiple worlds and traveling to the edge of the universe and living to tell the tale, having common sense is not part of his resume, it seems.

G’raha, deftly predicting the Warrior’s simpleton ways, clears up the misunderstanding with the insight of a fanboy who truly knows the Warrior of Light inside and out. Approaching the Warrior along with him is Deryk, who admits to owning the Opo opo. He’d found the animal gravely injured on one of his journeys and patched him up. They have been inseparable ever since. 

With introductions out of the way, G’raha asks if they can be led to the hypothetical realm before they officially accept the commission. Without missing a beat, Deryk guides them to the lake, where he proceeds to walk on the water, much to the duo’s surprise. Deryk explains that the magick only spawned after the gate had manifested, leading them to believe that the realm was intended to be discovered. Convenient, isn’t it? Makes you wonder…

It’s no wonder that no one has ever stumbled upon the realm — who would even think to walk on water? Talk about hiding in plain sight!

Without further ado, the pair make way across the lake, eventually warping away, presumably into the unexplored realm. And thus it marks a new adventure — exactly what G’raha had always wanted! Good for you, catboy. 

Part II will arrive on August 2nd, where we’ll finally get to meet our elusive and long-awaited deities. Who are you most excited to meet?