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○ Edition #19 - Llymlaen, 28th Sun ○

○ Editor-In-Chief: Deidra Rose ○

Father Lacordaire Calls for Restoration of the Holy See through Bloodshed

By Talman Chryses

At a gathering of militant traditionalists at Whitebrim this week, Father Isarn Lacordaire delivered a sermon calling for a holy crusade against secularization and modernity in Ishgard and for the restoration of the Holy See to its former power through violence. Though the crowd was not very large, Lacordaire's powerful rhetoric elicited fervent responses from his supporters, praising Halone's name and decrying their enemies. Lacordaire only spoke about general objectives for his movement, without identifying any particular plan of action or naming any individual enemies of orthodoxy and "True Church". However, he did speak in vague terms of the expansion of the True Church, the creation of new chapels across Eorzea and of a hallowed conquest.

The sermon also contained a great deal of invective against "godless blasphemers", referring to Ishgard's secularists and reformers, accusing them of trampling on orthodoxy and the Fury's word, replacing it with the word of man. Against these unnamed representatives of change, Lacordaire declared war, saying "if those who spit upon Her wish for holy war, then we shalt bring it to them!" Whatever form this holy war is meant to take, Lacordaire claimed it was a crusade personally sanctioned by the Fury, and said that "if we must then we shalt storm the Vault itself to bring Her word back to our kin!" Furthermore, he warned that "the threat of schism draws closer with each day."

In preparation for the coming conflict, Lacordaire anointed each supporter's chosen weapon and bestowed an individualized blessing. He advised his followers to be both brave and cautious in making their next move, which may indicate that he does not intend for anyone to act immediately. "Until that very day then we shalt lick our wounds, recollect our strength, and let Her word slither betwixt the alleys and corners that they have turned their backs to." Whether Lacordaire is really considering storming the Holy Vault is unclear, but he certainly encouraged his supporters to be willing to sacrifice anything, entreating

them to "bleed for the Goddess", petitioning Halone for her blessing as they "brave the onslaught of the unclean hordes", and reminding the crowd that "Her halls wait to receive all true champions that fall in battle".

At one point, Lacordaire made an appeal to members of Ishgard's lower classes who may have been faithful to the Holy See and the deposed Archbishop. "If they believe that us of low blood will be placated by petty gifts and offerings, they know not of our struggles! They know nothing of what we of the Brume have given so that She could rule over us!" He also referenced how he has been treated in Ishgard, saying that "the reformists will see to it that you are banished from The See, just as they attempted with me, but we do not have to play in their honorless games."

The press was also an object of Father Lacordaire's ire, referring to them as slanderers and "damned lying snakes". Though he did not explain exactly what trouble he'd had with the press, he accused them of being paid by the secularists and encouraged his supporters to "look upon them with as much disgust as you would look upon a sinner."

The Chronicle will be reaching out to Ishgardian authorities for comment in the coming week.

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Grindstone Report

By Talman Chryses, Pictures By Shio Maeda

Champion: Berrod Armstrong
Unarmed martial artist
"It's good to see that these fights are still going, and good to know that I can still beat my way to the top after all this time. I'd encourage anyone willing to test themselves to come have a try!"

Second Place: Reinhardt Pendragon
Dragoon

Highlights:
-This week's Grindstone was exceptionally well attended with 83 combatants. Having fought through so many rounds, Armstrong was battered, torn and covered in paint thanks to Uqeqe Uqe's paint arrows.
-In the final match against Pendragon, Armstrong demonstrated impressive speed and power, getting inside the dragoon's long reach and ending the fight with a kick powerful enough to dislocate Pendragon's shoulder.

Review: Stay Awhile and Listen

By Kai’to Kahjeia

"Stories of a hunt are some of the oldest types of tales that we have and with good reason; always entertaining." - Miah Gamduhla

Today this practice is still alive, well and being shared in what is normally the private tavern of the Wandering Tonberry Trading Company, located in Goblet ward eight, plot 12. Once a moon Flynt and Ritsu Knoltros, co-owners, open the doors of their free company lodge to the public. The members take on more reserved roles: hosts, wait-staff, bartender and chef, to bring the residents of the Goblet some of the freshest meals they have ever tasted with an assortment of signature beverages served by Kiba’a Jhaxe.

The tavern, located downstairs, is spacious and inviting, the bar well stocked and the Tonberry, the mascot of the venue, is ever present in the decor. It is under the watchful eye of Tonberry that both hunters and guests are invited to take up the limelight and share their stories. Be they fact or fiction, all stories are welcomed by the

crowd and prizes awarded to the best of their kind. Top story of the evening was a daring and thrilling take on the hunt for a beast that brazenly broke into and ate the contents of shipping crates as told by Mr. Knoltros himself. A story that should be heard directly from Mr. Knoltros, if at all possible.

For those who would believe that braggadocious stories ruled the night, you and many others in attendance at the time would find surprise in the form of a masked man who suddenly appeared on stage in a flash of light and explosion of flower petals to regale startled onlookers with what was perhaps a legend or myth brought to us from Othard. The story and evening concluded as the masked man proceeded to point out a young lady as the missing heroine and in another flash of light disappearing off the stage and reappearing next to her only to shout. “With me my Empress!” as he whisked her away up the stairs.

Fear not readers, Chidori Farcloud was not harmed or kidnapped but we are

still waiting to hear if the claims of the man were true. When asked if she enjoyed the event, she commented with the following statement.

“Oh very well! Masked man poofed right on stage and wove a tale of mystery and intrigue. Just like something out of a novel! Think it startled some of the staff. It made it very thrilling,” said Chidori Farcloud

Overall, the night was enjoyable, the food and drink was plentiful, and the staff attentive and polite. While this event is not yet a regular occurrence for the lodge, those in the know can find Wandering Tonberry open during the last week of each moon and, if asked, I’m sure some of the hunters or staff members will be more than willing to share a story with their guests. As Mr. Knoltros said, “The Wandering Tonberry is here to make it's way in the world, one mark at a time. Expect to hear about us more and more in the coming moons." This reporter will be keeping his ears open.

Tournament of the Fury Continues with Blade and Wand Contests

By Talman Chryses, Pictures By Shio Maeda

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The Grand Tournament of the Fury, which began last week at Camp Dragonhead in Coerthas, continued to draw crowds this week. Kiera Hawkeye and Tsuki Amaranth became the Champions of the Blade and Wand respectively, joining Champion of the Mark, Vilette Laurent. Crowds gathered from across Eorzea, braving the Coerthan cold to watch a series of intense battles filled with seldom seen feats of arms and spellcraft. As before, Ishgard's House DuFresne watched over the proceedings, the Ashen Clinic provided medical treatment and Hana O'hana, a flower shop operated by the Wandering Tonberry, sold pins at both events and also provided hot chocolate, which proved quite popular when it started to snow. Commentary was provided by Brave Horizon, Xanadu Mol and Kail Gerrad (along with insults to non-Ishgardians provided by Miss Mol).

• Tournament of the Blade •

Champion of the Blade: Kiera Hawkeye, representing Ala Mhigo

This event was very well attended, with dozens of competitors and a large audience. Divided into four brackets, distributed between Camp Dragonhead and the Gates of Judgement, contestants armed with melee weapons faced each other in one-on-one duels. Swords were the most popular weapon. Isende Raiseu of the Ashen Clinic cast a large protective spell on the contestants to minimize injuries and chirurgeons were on hand for any incidental wounds. Unlike the Grindstone, limited use of aether was permitted, allowing thrilling maneuvers such as dragoon jumps. Notable contestants included last year's Champion of the Blade Guillanaux Oirellain, and last week's Champion of the Mark, Vilette Laurent, who demonstrated the breadth of her skills by making it far into the semifinals, only to be defeated by the woman who would become champion.

In the finals, on one side there was the experienced fighter Kiera Hawkeye, representing Ala Mhigo, who had suffered elimination in the first round in last year's tournament. She was up against the younger Claire Nyhmidu, representing Ishgard and House DeBayle. Both combatants were well-armored and wielded sword and shield. They seemed evenly matched to begin with, but Hawkeye began to dominate the fight as it wore on. The Chronicle was able to speak with her once she claimed her victory and Bounty of the Blade (a portrait by Lord Evariste, a weapon forged in the likeness of those wielded by the Heavens' Ward, a Heroes' orchestrion roll, and 250,000 gil).

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TCC: So you went from being eliminated in one round to Champion of the Blade. How are you feeling?

Hawkeye: "Round one was last year. Coming from then to here, is, well, pretty fucking amazing. Hells, thought I was getting too old to win things like this but I guess I've been telling myself wrong!"

TCC: "I guess you have! Did you prepare long for this tournament? How have you honed your skills?"

Hawkeye: "Been honing my skills ever since I was a young lass. So about thirty years now. Guess you can be saying all my life."

Hawkeye had one further comment to make: "It's a great feeling, getting a win for the homeland like this. I'm hoping with this people start giving a shit about Gyr Abania, and retaking back part of Eorzea that was stolen from us all those years ago."

• Tournament of the Wand •

Champion of the Wand: Tsuki Amaranth, representing Gridania

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The Grand Tournament's magic contest was less well attended than the tournament of the Blade, though the quality of contestants was high and there were many other events competing for the public's attention. Contestants and audience alike were shielded against magical damage by the Ashen Clinic. The contestants included last year's champion Iieha Beautemps, who was surprisingly eliminated in the first round, and a Mystery Mage, who won her first fight, but then disappeared unnoticed in later rounds. A mystery indeed.

Before the final, the audience was treated to a musico-magical interlude from Sin'dell Shirazi of Palazzo Aldenard, whose voice and magical effects captivated the audience's attention while the contestants recovered their aether.

The final pitted Tsuki Amaranth of Gridania against Ajisai Itoh of Doma. Amaranth is a conjurer whose destructive use of summoned stone to attack her opponent's legs greatly exercised the commentators as they tried to come up with a name for the trademark spell. At press time "Hematite Hamstring" was the favored description. Itoh is an arcanist, who used her carbuncle as an effective teammate in earlier matches, though found it trapped in a prison of stone by Amaranth. A miscalculation late in the match almost saw Itoh win the tournament, as she attempted to use an ice spell against Itoh's fire. However, Amaranth made a comeback, sacrificing her rocky shield in a last ditch whirlwind of stone and aether. She was award the Bounty of the Wand (250,000 gil, a portrait by the honorable Lord Evariste, a lamp recovered from the Great Gubal Library, an Orchestrion, and a Revenge of the Horde music roll). After her victory, the Chronicle was able to speak with the exhausted Amaranth.

TCC: What an impressive achievement! How are you feeling, now that you Champion of the Wand for the next year?"

Amaranth: "I feel great. It's exhilarating getting to see such displays of magic and get to, you know. Let loose."

TCC: You've clearly honed your skills at conjury...some very impressive effects, multiple elements. Did you prepare much for the tournament?

Amaranth: "Yes, I recently won a friendly tournament at our bar, The Raven's Nest, and I've some skilled friends who helped me practice. Anaguma, Ketsuchi, Rose..."

Amaranth had this further comment: "I'd like to thank Ketsuchi for making me the better person I am today. And Rose for having confidence in me. … No-one is beyond redemption, everyone can be fixed."

--------------------

Finally, the Chronicle would like to print the following statement by Champion of the Mark, Vilette Laurent, that was omitted from last week's edition: "The world's unfair. Alone, the weak loses to the strong, bow to the rifle, sword to the spear. Train hard, but most importantly, train together. War's coming, and we best be unified."

Coverage of the final Tournament of the Lance will appear in next week's edition.

The March of Sands: A Rocky Relation

By Yachiyo Kaneuchi, Pictures By Deidra Rose

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On the fifth sun of this week, The Silver Lily amassed a large group that was gathered in the Gold Square of Ul’dah upon the 20th bell to show support for the Ala Mhigans who have found themselves usurped from their homeland and continually looked down upon by a number of people in the Eorzean Alliance. A short while after the opening ceremonies began, the mass of people began the walk towards their destination, Little Ala Mhigo, located in Southern Thanalan. The group found themselves at the gates of Little Ala Mhigo in a short amount of time.

Upon arrival, the group found themselves facing a smaller group of refugees from Little Ala Mhigo. “Do ye have more than words? Because me people don't need words. They need food, medicines, weapons,” one member of the group, later introducing herself as Avelyn Firestone, spoke to the crowd. “If ye have supplies for us Ala Mhigan, ye be welcome. If ye only want to look at us like wounded beasts, I request ye return from where ye came from. Me people don't like being ogled like swiving wounded beasts, ta be made fun of.”

While tensions rose, the crowd was eventually allowed inside and gathered around the center of the refugees’ home as one organizer for the event, Ashelia Riot, recalled her experiences of the plight of her people. She spoke, “That we have survived, even amid such adversity, is a testament to our strength and courage. To our promise /never/ to forsake another. That will be what we bring back to the highlands, whenever we return east.”

With the event at a close, the crowd quickly dispersed to engage in interaction with the refugees, sparring with one another and speaking amongst themselves. The Chronicle managed to secure an interview with the before mentioned Avelyn Firestone, one of the members of the small resistance group, The Mithril Blades, to discuss the march from a refugee’s view.

“A mockery upon my people...By not attending marches like these. I can guarantee you that my people feel as if they are the subjects in a show now. Exotic animals in a zoo. This won't do any good for the reputation between us Ala Mhigans and outsiders. But how one could help? Supplies for one. From medicines, to food, to weaponry. No, it won't suddenly make any Ala Mhigan like you, but they won't mind it. Perhaps in due time, if people are sincere in their actions, bridges may be mended though. But yes, supplies first and foremost. Aid in form of a blade will never be denied either. There have been some Ul'dahns who became sympathetic to our plight, and those have been welcomed as well.”

While the event was a success, it’s quite clear that some animosities are still present between the Ala Mhigans and the three city-states. Many leaders of various organizations have allegedly gathered to speak with the group barring entry to Little Ala Mhigo to improve relations, but we can only wait and see if such happens.

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Saika Temporarily Closed for Dramatic Renovations

By Maxe Sahashin

The popular Doman-styled restaurant in the Lavender Beds, Saika, is closed until the mid of next moon for renovations. Like much of Saika’s resources, the renovations have been paid for in large part by the company’s landlord, Raza, who has been a strong investor and patron for the restaurant.

Saika, which means both ‘Colorful Flower’ and ‘Confession’, has been explosively popular among Easterners and Eorzeans alike and has grown to be one of the best dining experiences around. Their smash success has prompted them to design a multifrequency linkpearl ordering system in the past, and now has them closing their doors for several weeks to redesign their restaurant literally from the ground up.

The head chef Oyun Ilydena and her partner in both business and romance, bartender Chanto Kahkol, invited the Crystal Chronicle to get a sneak peek of the remodel of their dining space and bar. The guiding ideal of the renovations, they explained, was what was wanted by their guests, and what was helpful to better serve them.

When a guest walks down to Saika’s dining area, the first thing to greet them is a stairwell lined with books about the Far East or stories from Hingashi and Doma in both Doman and Eorzean languages. These books are everywhere in Saika’s new layout, providing guests a valuable insight into the culture of the restaurant.

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The second thing that guests are likely to notice is a koi fish named Larry and her two children.

Where Saika once had a more generically Eorzean design to its restaurant with some touches of Doman aesthetic, the current design has turned the establishment into a little slice of Hingashi in the Shroud. The floors have been replaced with tatami and the tables with lower, traditionally Eastern, tables at which guests sit on the floor.

“Those who had their time here in the Saika Tea Room seemed to prefer the feel of that area more, so we decided to change it up down here. To bring our restaurant to a more traditional oriental approach rather than fancy with tables and plush couches,” said Ilydena.

Of course, some design decisions were made knowing that Eorzeans are not familiar with all the cultural facets of the East and might not find floor seating comfortable. The floor under tables in the dining area is padded extra and plush enough to sleep on. Raza, in fact, did sleep on it to test its comfort. Additionally, pillows are available to guests upon request, though likely more for sitting on than napping.

Screens also separate tables now, adding a level of privacy for groups at the popular date venue. Those screens can be removed to allow for much larger groups to dine together.

“Our original tables would only sit a maximum of six, and sometimes we'd have groups larger than that. Or we'd have a group come in and another notices their friends are already here, and they would not fit at the same table,” Ilydena said.

The bar, which once was part of the dining area, has moved upstairs. Kahkol noted that with an increase in lone attendees coming to Saika in recent weeks, expanding the bar area seemed a wise course of action. The bar, too, is lined with books from floor to ceiling, creating a very warm and inviting space.

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Additionally, the company is remodeling its Tea Room and an all-you-can-eat hotpot suite called Kazoku 001.

But physical remodels and an exciting visual redesign of their signature menu aren’t the only thing Saika has set their sights on as part of their plans for the near future.

“We are hearing a lot of movement on those wishing to help the Far East, and as most of us are from those lands we may open up there as well,” said Ilydena. “Not so much as on the fighting front if it comes to that, but to help those who may be heading that way giving them a place to rest easy.”

That isn’t to say Saika would be leaving the Shroud. They have every intention of keeping their business open in the Lavender Beds, even if they have to move to a smaller venue for budgetary reasons. Kahkol said that thought was given to how any refocus of their operations Eastward would affect guests and employees alike, and the long-term plans are developed with those concerns taken into account.

But in the nearer term, the remodels proceed on schedule.

"While as you can see the layout of the place and most fixtures are ready, we are still adjusting parts of the building as well as things like pipework,” Ilydena said. “We plan to reopen on the Fourteenth Sun of the Third Umbral Moon, so next moon on the fourteenth.”

Spellguard Report

By Talman Chryses

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Champions: Team Frosted Flames

Offense: Tarixxian Voren, thaumaturgy
"I have recently opened a lounge [The Seventh Hell Lounge] within the Goblet. Ward 12, Room 81 in the Sultana's Breath. Drinks will be had and such. Do stop in for a taste of my alcoholic creations. I recommend the Forbidden Fruit. … All patrons are welcome. There is a chance I will host an event in the future, such as perhaps an eve of poetry. We serve drinks such as teas and the like for those who do not indulge in alcohol."

Defense: Azrat Lariss, ice manipulation and golemcraft
About the Seventh Hell Lounge: "Tuesdays, after the 8th evening bell! And I recommend the Moogle!"

Second Place: The Elemental Soothers (impromptu team)

Offense: Ehfi Rhinsu, conjury
Defense: Josiah Covey, conjury

Highlights:
Spellguard regulars Tarixxian Voren and Azrat Lariss triumphed once again. Any team entering Spellguard will have to reckon with this pair's effective teamwork. Josiah Covey used his conjury to collect dirt and rocks around the head of his staff to create a makeshift warhammer. He then used this to slam the ground, raising a sizeable wall of dirt around his team's shield generator. This creative defensive technique did not succeed in the end, however, as the wall was penetrated by one of Voren's characteristic aetherial lances, targeted through an arcane circle for accuracy.

For more information about Spellguard, turn to this page.

A Lunar Look - Llymlaen

By Dae Fenris

“[...] and Llymlaen’s seas ever expanded, swallowing entire swathes of land before the gods even knew they were gone.”

As we reach the end of this lunar cycle, one strongly associated with the goddess Llymlaen, we have the opportunity to think about those little moments that get swept away in the turbulence of life. Those ephemeral occurrences can feel so dream-like when we take a moment from the everyday hustle and bustle to stop and think of them.

When I was younger I recall sitting in an orange tree somewhere in Cedarwood listening to the distant sounds of the ocean waves sloshing against the cliffside while I stared, eyes unfocused, into the opalescent sky. A series of high-pitched whistles brought me out of my trance; it was my brother searching for me. I whistled back letting him know my general location, and within moments he found me perched in the tree legs dangling just above the ground where the peels from a couple of the tree’s first season’s yield lay. With my brother being quite tall and orange trees being quite short it took just a small stretch for him to hand me a treasure he had found earlier in the day as we were traveling along the coast.

It was a particularly shiny gil piece, perhaps even freshly minted! These days gil passes through my hands so freely it’s difficult to take notice of any particular coin, but in that moment as I sat nestled among the fragrant fruit and the waxy leaves I very much took notice of this one. I leapt from my branch, my eyes locked onto the near-pristine coin, and took a few steps forward. Between my thumb and my index finger I pinched the edges of the coin and raised my outstretched hand into the sunset. My brother, standing just behind me, did as I did and closed one eye as he stared at the copper complexion of Nymeia embossed on the piece while I slowly adjusted my arm until the coin perfectly eclipsed the fiery sun. Just a moment later we were back to running through the trees and fields without a care in the world.

These moments can be found if you dive deep enough into your memories, seeking what the seas of life have drowned in their depths. They can seem so insignificant, but they’re so important to the grand tale of your own life. Think of those moments with family and friends, even those moments with strangers who you’ll never cross paths with again. Think of those moments where you were grounded in the natural world, or even those where you felt as if you were wandering into the unknown. But don’t think too long, lest you find yourself trapped in the whirpool of the past and unable to steer yourself forward in life!

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