The World of Vana’diel
The history of this virtual world is unbelievably deep. Told mostly by some missions and quests, the history of how the present time came to be could take up a whole post in itself. Seriously.
In order to make a long story short though, the main thing to get is that thousands of years ago, a power hungry race of ancients put a plan into motion that nearly destroyed the world. After that time, each of the five playable races began to form into the three nations seen in the game. Each of these nations enjoyed a time of in which their own nation was the strongest in all of Vana’diel. They soon took to fighting against each other, as well as the various Beastmen races that had constantly tormented them. Eventually though everything came to a breaking point and the three nations were forced to band together.
The Crystal War
That event was the Crystal War and takes place 20 years prior to the time of the game (and is explored in the expansion pack Wings of the Goddess). Out of seemingly nowhere, the Beastmen were finally united as one and began to attack as a single force against the three nations. The entity that unified them was known as the Shadow Lord who seemingly came out of nowhere (although his origins do end up being revealed).
It was at this time that the newly formed Duchy of Jueno helped to ally the three once warring nations into a single allied force. Despite much of the destruction the war had caused, the allied nations were finally able to push back against the Beastmen, and eventually a small force was able to finally destroy the Shadow Lord and end the Crystal War for good.
Present Time – The Age of Adventurers
At the war’s conclusion, the three nations continued their peace, with Jueno serving as a central hub and mediator between them all. Consulates were built in every nation and airships were built to connect the nations and Jueno like never before. Despite holding to a peace, the nations still did not trust each other, with the past bad blood still very much present between the three. The Beastmen, although now no longer unified by the Shadow Lord, still posed a very serious threat. With the armies of all three nations decimated from the war, a solution needed to be found.
This solution was found in the new and younger generation, one the player is a part of. The nations began to commission and employ adventurers. Despite their national allegiances, these adventurers had no issues traveling between the three nations or taking up odd jobs across the world. These adventurers also weren’t afraid to face the Beastmen head on as well, making them the perfect solution for keeping them at bay as well.
Every player is one of these many adventurers, and throughout their time in the world each eventually uncovers the secrets behind each nation, the true history of the world of Vana’diel, and many, many other storylines lie in wait. An unlike many other MMORPGs, the depth and span of the story of Vana’diel is separates Final Fantasy XI from other games in this genre.
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