Excerpt from ‘The history of Vylbrand, from Nym to Limsa Lominsa’ by Archon Niniri Niri.
The Pharos was originally erected as a lighthouse to guide the ships sailing near Aleport safely, constructed by Naldiq and Vymelli’s, the blacksmith/armorers guilds of Limsa Lominsa. The lighthouse was a true masterpiece, built in order to channel immense amounts of aether from the land into the tower and to its zenith, where it would be focused into a beam of light. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of aether channeled through the tower proved to be a mistake when the Seventh Umbral Calamity hit. A number of fireballs struck the Pharos, rupturing the aether-lines and overloading the crystals that lit the tower, unleashing a massive tide of aether that crystallized, destroying the facility and all those within. The tower continued to serve as a lighthouse due to the surplus of aether crystals growing on its exterior, but after concerns were raised over the structural integrity of the lighthouse the Limsan authorities sent craftsmen to finally repair the tower. These individuals soon found the task more than their equal however, as fierce mutated wildlife and a rare siren drove them from the site.
Pharos is another word for a lighthouse, while Sirius is the brightest star in Earth’s sky. Thus, the Pharos Sirius can be taken to mean the brightest lighthouse.
The team entered the Pharos via a small network of subterranean water channels via a large grated door. The tunnels were robust, surviving the Calamity with very little damage, while crystal clear water ran through the channels in order to avoid it overly pressuring the foundations of the tower by pushing it, though they likely served an additional role for drainage.
The Aether Pump
Cooled by groundwater, this massive aether pump was responsible for drawing aether from the land and sea and directing it upwards towards the upper reaches of the tower.
The Second Spire
Moving up to the ground floor of the tower, dank subterranean tunnels gave way to brightly lit stone corridors. Large mechanical doors once separated the spires of the tower from their connecting corridors, perhaps as an effort at defense should the Sahagin attack. The pillars and buttresses of the spires were evidently once painted in charming blues, though they have now faded, and the ceiling of the room was littered with over-aspected crystals which seeped through the stone.
The Third and Fourth Spires
Deeper within the lighthouse, the crystal overgrowth grew more overt, with veritable boulders of over-aspected crystal falling from the ceiling and littering the floor. These later rooms seem to have been used at least in part for storage.
The Second Floor
The central area of the tower on the first and second floors allowed a view of the aether pump’s higher reaches, a vast apparatus that cast a soft blue light around it. A number of sun mirrors lined the stairway, perhaps intended to channel small portions of the Pharos’ larger aether stores to act as interior lighting. Of course, no additional lighting was required by the time the team explored the tower, with the crystalline corruption more than accounting for enough light.
The Third Floor
Nowhere were the scars of the Calamity upon the tower more apparent than on the third floor, where massive gaps in the stone opened to the bracing air of Vylbrand’s coast.
The Fuel Chamber
The aether gathered by the subterranean pump was channeled up towards the fuel chamber, where it was gathered in four large storage devices at the corners of the room as well as an imbedded storage area in the floor. The room had become a nest for cloudkin over the years.
The Fourth Floor
It was plain to see that the Fourth Floor of the Pharos was the epicenter of the crystalline explosion within the tower. A colossal, spiking branch of crystal dominated the floor, and the pipes of the tower were ruptured throughout the area, spewing clouds of sickly-looking toxic haze.
The Aether Compressor
The aether was driven from the Fuel Chamber to the Compressor where it was, well, compressed. This likely prepared it for manifesting into a hyper-concentrated crystal able to light the coastline.
The Beacon Chamber
The very peak of the tower, this chamber was the site from which the Pharos’ light shone across Vylbrand’s coastline. A series of mirror-like devices framed the room, likely the method by which the crystal’s light was concentrated.