Summary: Ul’dah is a plutocracy in the merest wrapping of a monarchy, and so it needs access not only to overland trade but also the eternally lucrative ocean trade routes. Western Thanalan is this access, positioned directly opposite Vylbrand and dotted with ports and thoroughfares aplenty. The landscape of the western coast is one of the most valuable and fertile in Thanalan, and thus is home to many, varied species as well as imported food crops, and threats such as the Garlean remnants in Cape Westwind. When one studies the sites of interest in Western Thanalan one thing becomes obvious; it is a landscape defined by the wealth disparity of Ul’dah. The wealthy merchants of the Syndicate move their trade interests from one port to another, devastating the lives of their previous workers and transforming previously minor settlements, while in other areas they literally pound the land flat with huge, impractical machines in order to create and idyllic escape from having to live in the same city as refugees.
FATEs, Quests and Leves
FATEs of Hammerlea: Those FATEs centered on Hammerlea often focus on preserving the quality of life and property value of the wealthy oligarchs who are set to move into the region. They include culling local cactuar populations to ensure their needles are not stepped on, driving Yarzon nests out of the region to prevent their frightful appearance from scaring off the would-be tenants and sourcing earth sprite cores to strengthen the rapidly-flattening earth. The racism strategically employed by the Syndicate to drive competition out of the city is put on display, as the goblins they labelled beast-folk and exiled from Ul’dah now work to sabotage the machinery used to prepare the land for their idyllic retreat. Meanwhile the Syndicate, via the Amajina & Sons Mineral Concern, hires adventurers to cull local coblyn populations that have been devouring the wealth of their mines. The Brass Blades of the Rose are the major NPCs both behind and in these FATEs.
FATEs of Horizon’s Edge: The FATEs of Horizon’s Edge are much less thematic than those of Hammerlea, focused primarily on the incursions of beasts throughout the land. These vary from over-breeding peistes to feral dog packs and annoyingly loud hammer beaks.
FATEs of the Footfalls: The FATEs of the Footfalls largely revolve around the vicious wildlife of the area, including orobon, ghosts, yarzon, jackals and the absurdly large crab which goes by the name of Bubbly Bernie, so named for his dangerously kinetic popping bubbles. Meanwhile an escaped hecatoncheires by the name of Briareos wails the fate of his people from the desert sands, his actions earning the ire of Ul’dah’s authorities. Briareos is named for Birareus, a hectaoncheires of Greek myth known for his skill at arms and position as guardian of tartarus.
Cape Westwind Quests: Swyrgeim, the colorful fashionista of Western Thanalan, is always eager to introduce new acquaintances to the wonders of dying clothing and glamouring items so long as they are willing to endure her eccentric personality and her demands for increasingly valuable forms of orange juice.
Hammerlea Quests: Hammerlea’s supposed destiny as an exclusive home for the oligarchs of Ul’dah is evident throughout the work available in the area, as many things revolve around these elites and their desires, as well as the trade they facilitate. Fafafono demands that
The East Aldenard Trading Company looks for help in their endless flow of goods throughout the area, while lesser traders hire adventurers to help them substitute cheaper ingredients in their goods to scam the wealthy of Ul’dah. This includes replacing Radz-at-Han tonic with simple cactuar blood. Worryingly, this blood is gained from cochineal cactuar, named for cochineal scale bugs that often infest real cactuses. Slightly more scrupulous traders look for assistance in keeping their draft-chocobos free of parasites.
The prejudices of those who have found success in Ul’dah are made clear by instances such as the EATC employee Oswell openly deriding his friend Kikipu’s decision to live in her home, the Silver Bazaar, while she holds true to the settlement, financial difficulties or not. Kikipu herself struggles with thugs hired by the oligarchs trying to damage the settlement so that the land can be given over to the noble estate development.
Horizon’s Edge Quests: The tasks that needed addressing in Horizon’s Edge are less profound or telling of wider social factors than some other regions of Western Thanalan. They largely involve minor tasks like burning the blood of wolves to ward other beastkin away from the Royal Allagan Sunway, as well as retrieving tools left behind when the Copperbell Mines were abandoned. The exception to this are the efforts of glory seeker Valiant Heart, who sought the lost treasure of Lalafuto III, a Sultan who disappeared long ago in the age of Belah’dia. Rumors imply that he either fled with his concubine to live a simple life or was slain by his wife, the future Sultana Memeto the Meek for his unfaithfulness. Eventually, via breaking a series of riddles and uncovering an extensive trail this treasure-hungry fellow and his companion discovered the true treasure of Lalafuto, a collection of love letters and poems written by the Sultan to his lover. Although Valiant Heart may have wished for gil, this author is extremely excited by the historical value of these records.
Nophica’s Wells Quests: Fufulupa the Unbending, unceasing paragon of good intentions, albeit sometimes slightly odd implementations, has a history of offering work to those in the areas around the Wells. Namely, he once asked an adventurer to place traps throughout the region to catch a thief, unfortunately not considering that placing them directly before the gate on a major road might end up harming a person or a draft-chocobo.
The Footfalls Quests: Much of the work in the Footfalls is humble in nature, focused on assisting the impoverished peoples Crescent Cove, and the less fortunate in Vesper Bay. Cleaning up detritus cast off by Limsan merchants with no care for the local populace, clearing out flotsam-filled nets for local fishermen, and helping sailors with no sea legs to find a new life in farming. The cartographer and explorer Nedrick Ironheart is always on lookout for hired hands to help in his exploration of Eorzea’s deepest darkest locations.
The Waking Sands Quests: Much of the work around the Waking Sands revolves around the heroism typical of the Scions found there, including helping the former Yellowjacket turned Scion Salfswys Helbloefwyn to rally former pirates to her cause that they might be put to use in combating kobold incursions, working with the Scion Wigstan to whip the U tribe of miqo’te up into combat against the Amalj’aa, and going ourselves to face Sahagin invaders at the request of the marauder Scion Radolf.
Levequests of Scorpion’s Crossing – Battlecraft
Employer – The Seventy-Seven Caravans: The Seventy-seven Caravans is a mercantile organization widespread across Eorzea, which largely deals with overland trade, and exists outside of the hegemony of the powerful East Aldenard Trading Company. They have a great deal of work for offer in this area, owing to their important role in overseeing the caravans passing from the ports inland. This can range from finding cargo lost in wildlife ambushes to finding exotic pets for Hannish plutocrats, ensuring caravan paths are clear of hazards both natural and man-made as well as sourcing alternative sources of usable ore to help complete with Limsan prospectors made rich off of their mountainous inland – namely by killing and then scavenging the corpses of coblyns.
Employer – The Sultansworn: The personal bodyguards of the Sultana need hired hands as well, diminished as they are by internal divides and the rising power of the Syndicate. Aublete Whiteblade, one of their number, has been known to source adventurers to work in the region via levemete. These include duties such as helping to clear the Sunway and relevant settlements ahead of royal visits – the Sultana is always eager to oversee the rebuilding of her subjects in her compassion, after all.
Employer – Frondale’s Phrontistery: The guildhall of the alchemists and its attendant business is never without the need for more brawny assistance. The medicinal alchemist Alewyn Alder, in his quest for a panacea, is often on the lookout for help in capturing frightfully venomous creatures that he might use their dire venoms as ingredients in his cures.
Employer – The Brass Blades: Private army of the Syndicate and famously corrupt guards and law enforcement officials of Thanalan, the Brass Blades are always on the look out for assistance. In this case, both the Brass Blades of the Rose – those entrusted specifically with Western Thanalan, and the Brass Blades of the Balsam, those who guard Ul’dah proper, seek assistance. Namely in defending against swelling cactuar population growth for the former, and uncovering stolen goods that fled the city for the latter.
Levequests of Horizon – Battlecraft
Employer – The Brass Blades: The Brass Blades have plenty of work in Horizon, as well. This includes such unprofessional acts as hiring adventurers to kill guillotine beaks and deliver their heads to them, so that they can have the Seventy-Seven Caravans deliver the heads to their own front door, in revenge for the trade organization stating that the blades had been negligent in killing the beasts previously. They also hold culls for peistes, perhaps because the brutish lizards have a particular taste for Lalafellin flesh, which this author finds particularly disconcerting.
Employer – The Sultansworn: The Sultansworn continues to hire adventurers on the behalf of the Sultana, including assisting in securing land to found farms aimed at feeding Ul’dah’s hungry. Truly, the charity of the Sultana is to be lauded.
Employer – The Arrzaneth Ossuary: The Order of Nald’Thal’s premier temple has many thaumaturges, and some such as the intrepid Yayake Yake take on experiments without due care. The excitable Lalafell’s latest creation, a clade of buzzards possessed by ghosts and voidsent have left to roam the wastes of Thanalan and pester its inhabitant. This does seem like it should be illegal…
Employer – The Seventy-Seven Caravans: As ever, the Caravans are never without need for able hands. In the area around Horizon they hire assistance in keeping the road clear of foul, noxious creatures rising in the stagnant waters around the Footfalls in the wake of the calamity, for the smells produced by them terrify their poor chocobos. They also have more mundane work, like slaying peistes in order to use their hides for, essentially, market research in Limsa Lominsa.
Employer – The Amajina & Sons Mineral Concern: The Concern has discovered some… mildly unethical, but very profitable methods of extracting metal from highly impure ore. This includes feeding a coblyn the ore, waiting for it to pass the impurities and then throwing the poor soulkin in a burning forge. They are, accordingly, eagerly seeking new coblyns captured by adventurers.
Independent Employers: Havak Alvak, an elderly Lalafellin reporter for the Mythril Eye and amateur historian often hires adventurers to assist in his explorations of the various archeological sites unearthed by the calamity and return relics to him. Though his spirit may be lauded, this does seem to amount to little more than looting.
Levequests of Scorpion’s Crossing – Tradecraft
Employer – The Seventy-Seven Caravans: Water is a dangerous material when contaminated, but an essential one either way. Thus the Seventy-Seven Caravans seek out the importation of antidotes for water poisoning. Meanwhile, the Caravans are responsible for supplying animal glue to the Blacksmith’s Guild but often require replacements as the hot Ul’dahn sun spoils the products often, as well as supplying the purest beeswax to the Order of Nald’thal. They also supply the order with hempen clothing for their initiates, a raiment apparently chosen to keep them humble and teach them the value of gil. The sun has other repercussions, and new travelers to the area require cowls to protect themselves from sunlight, a need the caravans are happy to address. They also require rubber to better insulate their heavier wares such as steel and timber, and gloves to protect their worker’s hands from the rough nature of porting goods.
The Caravans also do personal orders, such as securing walking sticks for personal friends of the brokers after said friend got injured loading supplies while drunk. They routinely supply the fighters of the coliseum with the weaponry they require for their duties, including the hora of pugilists, as well as supplying fashionable accessories such as bone armillae to the citizens of Ul’dah. The company also exports metallic goods to the mine-less nation of Gridania, including simple goods such as copper rings, and send Ul’dah’s famously fine tailored clothing to Limsan markets.
Employer – Ashgana Exports: A mercantile organization based in Ul’dah, Ashgana looks to import wands to (perhaps unethically) cast some magics over its customers in order to dissuade them from panic buying and unbalancing the economy. Amateur adventurers are always in need of new equipment, and the exporters are happy to supply them in exchange for the gil, namely producing tomes for arcanists, needles for adventurers looking to upkeep their gear, and even gear such as padded cloth actons to shield said adventurers. Apparently it is belief amongst the people of Thanalan and Gyr Abania that copper sweetens water, and thus Ashgana seeks copper rings to replicate an Ala Mhigan tradition of holding a copper ring in ones mouth while they drink to sweeten the taste.
Apparently the people of Ul’dah have taken up neither cutting nor washing their hair out of suspicion following the Calamity, a fact that risks an outbreak of lice. Accordingly the exporter has put out a call for cloth coifs in order to cover the heads of those so risking the infestation.
Levequests of Horizon – Tradecraft
Employer – The Seventy-Seven Caravans: The generosity of the Seventy-Seven is well known, as although they may be less fabulously wealthy than the East Aldenard Trading Company they make sure to give each and all of their porters potions in case they are injured on the road, thus they need to seek new potions to replenish their supplies. They also make sure their contractors are well cared for, such as replacing worn-out sewing goods for weavers who damaged them in service of the Caravans. The trading company does regular trade with Red Rooster Stead, the Limsan farm, and work to source growth formula to sell to the farms in order to help with their crop yields, as well as offering finer quality cotton gloves than the hempen ones they can access themselves.
The Brass Blades and their fellow militias are increasingly influential in Ul’dah, and the Caravans know well their need to keep them on-side. Accordingly they seek to purchase armor such as gorgets to send to the Brass Blades and butter them up, so to speak. The militias are not the only Ul’dahns who fight however, and apparently Ul’dahn traders settle issues with their fists so regularly that the Caravans have taken to keeping extra stocks of gloves, they get damaged so often.
Employer – Ashgana Exports: Ashgana look after their employees, famously seeking roof tiles to refurbish the house of a cloth-appraiser in their employ after her heart was broken by an unfaithful lover. Ever-anticipating future trends, the exporter has also predicted a trend of increasing work late at night to keep up with Ul’dah’s competitive economic landscape. Thus, they have asked for stock of spectacles to keep the city-state’s eyes sharp. They have their own foreign contracts, including selling woven farming hats to Gridania, who only offer barter when buying foreign goods but accept payment for their own goods when selling to other nations. A fact the Ashgana consider rather bemusing.
Levequests of Scorpion’s Crossing – Fieldcraft
Employer – Amajina & Sons Mineral Concern: After the calamities at Copperbell Mines the Mineral Concern has lost its greatest source of copper ore, necessitating assistance from other miners in making up the deficit by mining lower quality-surface deposits of copper. Apparently the Eighty Sins are being refurbished, both in order to facilitate better access and improve the area so that an oligarch can build themselves a villa in the shape of Eorzea nearby, needing miners to remove debris from the steps. This villa is apparently going to have cobbles of yellow copper (a form of copper ore tainted by iron and sulphur) to ensure its footpaths gleam in the sunlight and warm travelers feet with heat stored from the day at night, requiring skilled professionals to gather it.
Miners have long been a rough, raucous lot. The Mineral Concern deals with this often, but apparently an incident involving honey-covered rodents, bootlaces and pickaxes, possibly under the influence of drunken miners, has caused suspicion of haunting around a zinc vein, requiring other sources of workmen be found. The company has also been hired to clear derelict houses nearby the Gate of Sultana, rendered uninhabitable by the Calamity. They seek contractors to assist in this grim duty.
Independent Employers: When it comes to the corruption of Ul’dah reports can often seem exaggerated, with how extreme they sound to newcomers, but the example of an ‘anonymous’ petitioner asking for miners to gouge a section out of a slope nearby the Eighty Sins in order to cover for a mistake in paperwork filed by a clerk in which the ‘scarp’ was referred to as a ‘scar’, this apparently being easier than just fixing the mistake.
Marcette Manne, a naturalist, seeks assistance from miners in verifying if tales of coblyns hunting down seams ore are accurate, or merely folklore. The vagrant Pipikkuli, famed for his poverty, has discovered what he believes is a vein of valuable Nashachite, a valuable green gem named for its resemblance to a past Sultana’s eyes. Unfortunately, more informed people will likely inform you that the vein contains merely brown dirt.
Levequests of Horizon – Fieldcraft
Employer – The East Aldenard Trading Company: Even in Ul’dah, public opinion can stand as a threat to the extremely wealthy members of the Syndicate. Thus, the Trading Company cannot simply demolish valuable agricultural landmarks when they stand in the way of their attempts to found a new reservoir, and have to hire miners to safely deconstruct them so that they can be sold to museums to be reconstructed at a later date.
Employer – The Goldsmith’s Guild: When the peistes of Thanalan molt their discarded skins get caught in rocks, leaving hides that are as light and fine as silk fluttering in the wind, and apparently the Goldsmiths Guild wishes to hire miners to obtain these materials from their rocky prisons to use in their crafts.
Employer – Amajina & Sons Mineral Concern: True victims of the sunken cost fallacy, the Mineral Concern is seeking another way into the Copperbell Mines via the stone of Nophica’s Wells, and thus needs to ensure that the stone of the area is firm enough to not collapse as the tunnels are bored.
Independent Employers: The homeless local Pipikkuli, not to be disparaged by the loss of wealth resulting from his previous mineral concern proving fruitless, has attempted to find with fortune once more. He has chosen, with seemingly no evidence, to seek gold in the stones of Horizon’s Edge with the assistance of hired miners. There is near-certainly none there, of course, but he is certainly incorrigible.