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FFXIV Celebrates Its Birthday with New Side Stories to Sob Over

Tales from the Dawn opens with a look at those who walked before.

Final Fantasy XIV expands its massive lore library with another chapter in the saga, Tales from the Dawn. The latest FFXIV side story series was announced in celebration of the MMO’s ninth anniversary, and for anyone still in a puddle of tears over Endwalker, this first chapter aims where it hurts most.

Beware of spoilers ahead — we’re touching on FFXIV Version 6.0 and its side story content.

Before the Final Days ushered in Amaurot’s sundering, and before you were ever the Warrior of Light, there was Venat. In Tales from the Dawn‘s first story, A Friendship of Record, FFXIV offers another look at the star’s guardian before she sundered the world. It’s a bittersweet exploration into her love of all life, the obstacles she faced, and her friendship with The Watcher.

We won’t get too deep into the details, but players fascinated with the unsundered universe will delight. While the journey through Endwalker opened a window into the Ancients’ life before the Final Days, this focus on The Watcher and his reverence for Venat’s work and perspective provides a more meaningful characterization of the tragic soul on the Moon. I cried. (A lot).

To make the blow to your heart hurt more, read A Friendship of Record and then speak to The Watcher. He’ll mention his tea traditions with Venat.

The new FFXIV side story revisits the Watcher, who speaks fondly of Venat.
My brother in Hydaelyn, please stop. You’re making me ugly cry.

If you haven’t already, I must insist any FFXIV lore fiends read all of the Lodestone’s side story collections. Through these short tales, every expansion adds even more to the universe, and the MSQ occasionally references their details. It’s a pretty rewarding experience with those pieces click together.

For example, before Endwalker, Tales from the Shadows told us Hythlodaeus turned down the seat of Emet-Selch. Then, in Tales from the Dragonsong War, FFXIV shared how Aymeric saved Estinien a decade prior to Heavensward. And in Tales from the Calamity, Alphinaud and Alisaeie mourn their grandfather, Louisoix. Some of them make me a hysterical mess; others are pretty damn cute, like that time Tataru and Krile bothered the hell out of Estinien.

If you dig those, a reprint of The Chronicles of Light, a physical collection of these tales, is still up for pre-order through the Square Enix shop. The book includes additional chapters not shared in the Lodestone’s collection, plus illustrations specially crafted for their tangible publication. The exclusivity is frustrating, but there’s some pretty good context for characters like Zenos hidden away in the collection.

Anyway, between devastating FFXIV lore updates and this year’s Rising questline, I’ve spent the afternoon with a box of tissues. Considering the latest updates in Patch 6.2 and what we already know about our star’s First Brood, I reckon this game is preparing to crush me — yet again.

About the Author

Andrea Shearon

Andrea Shearon is Fanbyte's weekend news editor. She's got a soft spot for most RPGs, but FFXIV occupies a majority of her free time.