This is the prequel to my story: Eyes Ever Heavensward and Hells Open, Heavens Weep. If you haven't read it yet, you might want to before reading this.
With the new revelations shown to us in patch 4.3 and having caught up to the current story, I decided to write here in my spare time. I will be using my own character, Claire Faye, in the story to stand in as the Warrior of Light, but feel free to think of your own characters. Here is a list of things that will be in this story:
Major Game Spoilers for Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, Heavenward and Stormblood.
Mostly Warrior of Light's POV, but several others will be shown from time to time.

Death, Violence, etc.
I do not own any copyright, am doing this purely for entertainment…
And if there are any special requests or suggestions that you would like to see happen here, please message me and let me know. Thank you all for taking the time to read this and please let me know what you think.

The beginning of the Azure Skies and Crimson Squall series!

Prologue: The Journey Begins

Hydaelyn—a vibrant planet blessed by the light of the Crystal. Amid azure seas, encompassing the westernmost of the Three Great Continents, there lies a realm embraced by gods and forged by heroes. Her name...Eorzea. Eorzean history charts the rise of a succession of great civilizations, each enjoying an age of peace ─ the Astral Eras. To date, all have proven ephemeral.

In the year 1572 of the Sixth and most recent Astral Era, the northern empire of Garlemald amassed a great army at the heart of Eorzea, seeking dominion over all. Rising in desperate resistance, the forces of the Eorzean Alliance met their would-be conquerors in the field. Yet even as the battle raged, the lesser moon, Dalamud, was plucked from the heavens through imperial machination. From its core emerged the elder primal Bahamut, who unleashed his fury upon the realm. The devastation brought Eorzea to its knees, and the era to its end.

Yet every end marks a new beginning.

'That dream again…?'

'Hear….'

Such a peaceful dream this was. Unlike anything she had ever experienced before. She was drifting through a space that was neither warm nor cold… glittering about her like she was adrift in a sea of light and darkness. She didn't remember how she came to be here or why… it was as if she had simply come into existence at that very moment.

She slowly drifted down, continuing to float through this space without a trace of fear, feeling so safe and loved at that moment that it was impossible to fear anything at that moment. That was when she heard that voice again.

'Hear…Feel…'

She wasn't sure where that voice was coming from—only that it seemed to be everywhere and nowhere at once. She could tell that it was a woman's voice that was echoing inside her very heart that spoke of pure love. Making her feel as though she was wrapped in the warmest of blankets and that no harm could ever come to her so long as she listened.

Her feet eventually touched down upon some manner of surface, though she couldn't see anything below her but empty space. Then, without warning, she saw a brilliant light shining directly ahead of her. It glittered, and she instinctively followed, wanting to know just what it was that it was trying to tell her.

Yet she hardly took more than a few steps when the glorious light drifted closer and a horrible sound that she could not describe seemed to be draw the light in. She stopped as darkness exploded out from in front of her. Within this darkness appeared a man, in a cloak of the blackest of night, and a mask that was as red as blood. He raised his head to look at her as she glared back.

'Hear…Feel…Think…'

The voice seemed to almost whisper to her as the ball of light floated past the cloaked man, heading straight towards her, glowing brighter as it drew closer and closer. When it reached her, the light was so luminous that she was almost blinded while she felt her strength grow. Her confidence rose so that any trace of dread left her… and her clothes… her clothes were replaced with flowing long robes, skirt, and leather boots that fit her so perfectly that it was as if they were made for her. She could feel a jeweled horn settled upon her brow as she held up her hand—feeling as if someone was taking her arm and showing her what she had to do. A grimoire appeared in her hands, forged from pure light as the man standing before her seemed to laugh and growl at her at the same time. She just held up her new weapon—banishing the darkness around her before the cloaked figure charged at her.

She held up her weapon, waiting for him and then… everything went white around her… and then dark.

But eventually, she heard a voice speaking through the dark.

"...Oi! Y'all right, lass?"

She screwed up her eyes, knowing that this voice was drawing her away somewhere. She didn't want to go. She wanted to return to this to peaceful oblivion. However, she suddenly became aware that the ground beneath her feet was moving and the sounds of waves reached her ears. Curious, she opened her eyes blurrily and was looking around, blinking wearily from the bright sunlight that was shining through the windows as she gazed up to look over at who woke her up.

She rubbed her eyes before she notice the middle-aged man, dressed all in red and with a short blonde beard was standing there, looking at her with concern.

"You were moanin' in your sleep an' sweatin' buckets besides. Rollin' of the ship got your stomach churnin', has it?" he asked her as she blinked, trying to remember what it was that she had been dreaming about.

She didn't answer him as she looked around again, feeling the images of the dream she had rushing away from her like the receding tides.

"Hmmm... Don't seem like seasickness, now that I look at you," said the man as he stood back, looking satisfied that she was alright, "It'll be the aether, then, I reckon."

That confused her and she tilted her head until he explained, "Some are more sensitive to the stuff than others, see, an' we ain't too far from Vylbrand now, which is chock-full of aetherytes. No need to fret, though. You'll soon get used to it."

That's right… she remembered now. She was onboard a ship bound for Eorzea. She supposed that she had grown tired from the long sea voyage that she dozed off in her seat… with the strangest dream she could remember ever having. Though as the minutes ticked by, the images and feelings that the dream brought her faded.

"I'm alright," she reassured him in a very soft voice and a faint smile. "Tis just a dream. But thank you for your concern."

Well, that was one good thing. But she had a strange feeling that it wasn't the aether that was making her feel so light-headed. Just then, the ship rocked suddenly, causing her new companion to stumble, almost falling over. He quickly regained his balance as he looked up to the deck above them and grumbled angrily, "Eurgh. Might as well have been bloomin' seasickness... Ship's leapin' around like a demented chocobo today."

"Are you alright?" she asked.

He grumbled angrily before looking back and asked, "I reckon I might head out on deck—get meself a breath of fresh air. Limsa Lominsa's still a fair way off, in case you were wonderin'. Seein' as you're awake an' all, how's about you keep me company till we get there?"

He then looked over his shoulder to a pair of Elezen youths, looking no older than fifteen or sixteen resting there. At a glance, the two of them could only be twins with how alike they were, from their rosy cheeks to their long ears and upturn noses, and even to their long snow-white hair tied back in similar fashion. The only difference between the two were the different colored ribbons that they used to tie their hair back and how one of them seemed to be wearing a bright shade of lipstick.

"Them young'uns don't much care for conversation, see," the man said to her as she gazed back up at him, "Anyroad, Brennan's the name, an' peddlin's me trade."

"I'll be happy to join you, Brennan," she answered him politely and she got up, feeling that she could use some fresh air after being stuck in this cabin since their brief stop in Sharlayan. The pair of them cross the cabin and Brennan bowed her out the door like a gentleman before she felt the salty spray of the Rhotano Sea upon her face.

"Ah, smell that salty sea breeze!" he sighed happily as he stretched out, and then turned his head to look her up and down.

"Now then, lass, judgin' by your unusual garments, I'd say you were one of them new adventurers. Am I warm?" he asked and she smiled.

Was it that obvious?

She supposed so when she looked down at herself. The strange clothes with the many buckles and belts, a tiny bag with only a few precious gil, and a weathered and battered grimoire sitting at her hip. She supposed that she stood out like a sore thumb to everyone else on board.

Seeing no point in lying, she nodded and Brennan grinned as he said loudly, "I knew it! Goin' wherever the wind blows, seekin' fortune an' glory—now that's what I call livin'! So long as you can avoid dyin', I mean," he then quickly added, "Ain't no secret that adventurin's a risky business—these days especially. What was it that first attracted you to it?"

"Ah…" she began before falling silent.

She wasn't entirely sure how to answer him. Her reasons were her own…

She knew that most would choose things like… to admass a fortune… to gain power… or win glory. She wasn't looking for any of those things. She supposed that the only way she could answer was that once she mustered up the courage to set out, she left her home behind and only took what she could carry… which wasn't much.

"Well, if you ain't inclined to tell, I ain't about to pry," Brennan said casually, misinterpreting her silence, "Might be as ol' Brennan's a chatterbox, but he sure as hells ain't no busybody. We all have a secret or three, don't we? Me? Dozens. An' I'd rather they stayed secret, too—which is why I don't go stickin' me nose where it ain't welcome."

She chuckled, liking this stranger more and more the more he talked.

"Just remember, though: there're more important things than fortune an' glory. Such as breathin'. Ain't no profit in bein' dead, an' that's a fact," he advised sagely. No sooner did she nod in agreement when some kind of warning bell began to sound, causing all the passengers around them to stop whatever they were doing and were looking around with frightened expressions.

That was when she saw something from the slight fog and she held up a hand in warning calling out, "Look out!"

Brennan looked behind him just as something fired upon the ship, shaking it and knocking the startled man on the deck. He let out a startled scream as he landed hard on his back and she covered her face, having gotten a face-full of stinging saltwater.

"Ships off the starboard bow! Pirate colors!" one of the shipmen cried out.

Brennan crawled to a part of the ship that had more cover and crouched down as the passengers fled below deck and the crew began to work the sails and rudder furiously, trying to catch the wind and escape.

She bent down to check on Brennan, glad to see that he looked unharmed, though shaken.

"Pirates? Bloody hells..." he cursed before a shipman spotted them.

"Have ye no sense!?" he barked at them, "Get below!"

The pair nodded, getting up and making their way back to the cabin to wait it out. They were the last two to make it to the cabin, surrounded by the rest of the passengers, nearly all of whom were scared and huddled together. Brennan still seemed a bit shook up, but had calmed down somewhat now that they were out of the open.

"What is the world comin' to...?" he growled out harshly, "Pirates firin' on a ship flyin' Lominsan colors! Bastards either have a boatload of balls, or bugger all for brains."

"Stay calm," she told him said evenly.

Not much point in getting upset now. There wasn't much they could do unless he wanted to swim over to those ships and start fighting.

Thankfully, no sooner had she tried to get him to relax when the captain of the ship come bursting into the room, a rather smug smile on his face as he called to them all, "Ye can rest easy, friends! We've made it out o' cannon range, an' no buccaneer's bark'll catch this flighty temptress once the wind's in her sails."

Sighs of relief rang out through the room, and shaky smiles were returning to everyone's faces at the thought of being safe. That was when Brennan turned back to her with a smile back on his face.

"That was too bleedin' close…" he said. "Glad one of us kept his head on his shoulders—I reckon I'd've lost mine, otherwise."

She smiled back. "I did nothing," she said modestly. "But I am glad that you are alright."

"If them pirates gave up the chase, we must be close to port," Brennan added in realization, leading her out, "Let's head up on deck an' have us a look, shall we?"

The two of them walked out to the front of the ship, overlooking the water, to where they could just see the faint outlines of land appearing on the horizon. Her nose was filled with the scent of salt and seaweed while the sun had come out from behind some clouds and warmed her face as she wondered more about what this city by the sea looked like.

"By the by, is this your first trip to Limsa Lominsa?" Brennan asked her suddenly and Claire nodded, growing more curious about their destination with every passing second.

"It is!?" Brennan asked delightfully, having to speak a little louder over the call of the gulls. "Well then, let this journeyed itinerant tell you the ins an' outs of your destination. Ahem!" He then cleared his throat and started to explain in a more professional manner, "Limsa Lominsa prides itself on bein' Eorzea's foremost naval power. Weren't too long ago that the place was ruled by pirates, but thanks to the current Admiral's civilizin' influence, the city-state could almost pass for a respectable nation. You'd never guess she was once a rum-swillin' buccaneer herself! Heh heh!"

Interesting. This Admiral would have to be tough if she was in charge of managing a nation of cutthroats and curs. She wondered if she would get the chance to meet her in person?

"'Course, most folk ain't so quick to change, an' with a town full of liberty-lovin' ruffians, you can imagine how many naysayers an' troublemakers she's got to deal with—like them pirates who took a fancy to us just now," Brennan warned, "An' if that weren't bad enough, I've heard the Sahagin are raidin' the coast just as bold as you please."

Perhaps he had seen the confusion in her face when he mentioned these 'Sahagin' and he explained, "Them're the sea-dwellin' beastmen the locals call "fishbacks," 'case you didn't know."

Fish-like beastmen? Now she was curious to know what kind of creatures they were?

"Ah, at long last. Land ho!" Brennan called out cheerfully as he waved, as if there was somebody waiting for him at shore, "Behold Limsa Lominsa, a nation blessed by the ocean's bounty an' beloved of Llymlaen, goddess of navigation."

She looked back quickly, eager to get a good look of things. Nestled high on the stony cliffs, like seagull nests, were a series of buildings carved into the stone, connected by wooden bridges and walkways that stretched between the cliffs like a series of spider webs. All along the paths she could see a mixture of people walking about, doing their shopping, stopping to chat with each other… and even some who seemed to be tipsy as they waved bottles around.

All in all, it looked very much like a place where you would expect pirates to live.

The ship pulled up towards the docks and they went below deck to go ashore, not saying much but fully eager to be back on dry land. When the doors opened up for them, she couldn't help but stare around with fascination; having never been to a place before in her life. Chuckling a little at the look of amazement on her face, Brennan appeared at her side.

"An' here's where we part ways, lass," he told her as the rest of the passengers disembarked around them. "I'm off to the markets to deliver me wares, then it's on to the highroad for me."

He shuffled around in one of the many pouches at his belt and pulled out a very simple, silver band and held it out to her. "Here, I want you to have this—by way of thanks for savin' me arse earlier."

This surprised her, for as far as she was aware, she didn't do anything worthy of a gift. But he looked so genuine in his expression that she couldn't help but hold out her hands and he dropped the gift into her palms.

"Thank you," she said, truly grateful. Normally, she would refuse such trinkets… but the truth was that she had hardly anything else with her. Nothing but the clothes on her back, a small money pouch that had a sad clink of a few gil… and she would be needing a new weapon soon.

She would hopefully find a way to repay him someday as Brennan shook her hand.

"Hey—you never did tell me your name, did you?" Brennan said suddenly, "Well, here's an idea... Become the sort of storied personage I can brag about havin' met, an' I'll consider us square."

She actually laughed a little at that and informed him, "Sounds fair. But to make sure that you know it's me, it's Claire. My name is Claire Faye."

Brennan smiled kindly at her and bowed a little before he turned and headed off onto the docks as the new Adventurer looked around at the city with bright interest, wondering just where she should begin with her new journey.

(Ok, bet you didn't see this thing coming at all. I had been thinking about doing this story for a long time, and never had time to sit down and do it. I know that 4.4 is coming out in about a week, but I just felt that I would have something to do when I finish writing those chapters out. Don't worry, I will still be writing Hells Open, and Heavens Weep. This doesn't change the story at all and I'll be changing back and forth between stories when I get bored. This is merely the very beginning of the story of Claire Faye's journey through Eorzea and will be heading up to just before the events of Heavensward. This will mostly be taking place from Claire's POV, but I will switch it out from time to time. I just felt that we know how Alphinaud came to care about the WOL, but how did she fall for someone like him? Sadly, this story will not be a romance, but there will be causal flirting here and there. Anyway, let me know what you think and if you think so far! And I can't wait to see what happens in this upcoming patch!)