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[[{{SUBST:Leviathan, Guardian God of the Sea}}|   ]]
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Leviathan, Guardian God of the Sea
[[{{SUBST:Leviathan, Guardian God of the Sea}}|   ]]
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SE-Leviathan

In the Golden Age of the ancients, huge ships connected the countries of the world.

However, many vessels making their return trips on the Gugru Sea mysteriously began to disappear, shocking many people. Amongst seafarers, a rumor that the Great Sea Serpent Leviathan was warning them of the great disturbance they caused the sea became widespread. Thus, many turned away from riding these ships, and panic slowly crept into the hearts of many.

At the island kingdom that served as a waypoint between the two most popular ports lived many traders and merchants. Fearful that the flow of business would be severely interrupted, they sent out a great deal of mercenaries and pirates to attempt to suppress this mysterious threat. However, they often just circled around the shore, bringing back alligator skins and lying about how they defeated the dreaded Leviathan. Needless to say, the problem was not resolved.

After many an exasperating ordeal, the traders finally hired a man named Veydal, who was a former Admiral. Known rather infamously as the "One-eyed Demon", Veydal was a quite well known war hero; however, with the passing of time, he began to live as a rather hermitlike fisherman. While he initially showed no interest in taking up the desperate request of the merchants, Veydal's wife (to whom he had been married for many, many, years) encouraged him with just a few words, and in his remaining eye a glint of the adventurous spirit of his youth seemed to have returned.

"It's wonderful to still have something that only you can do, isn't it?" she said.

The news of the legendary Admiral's acceptance of the mission spread quickly, arousing the courage and vigor of a good number of sailors (many of whom had come to feel a sense of terror at any mention of the sea in the months).

It was not long before Veydal gathered a fleet of 5 of the city's finest ships and set off for departure. Boarding on the vessels were some of Veydal's former crew (who deeply admired him) and several young sailors who had heard word of the valorous deeds he performed in his prime. From within that crowd, Veydal picked the man whom he had raised from infancy as his First Mate, whom he believed to be of virtuous character.

Several days passed. Under Veydal's careful instruction, the fleet eventually began to veer off the standard trading route. Within only a few minutes, the ships encountered a shocking sight.

While it was thought that all the trading vessels had been sunk, what now filled the crew's eyes was a field of stranded boats--perfectly intact--floating on the ocean.

Upon close observation, giant roots could be seen ensnaring many of the ships' hulls. There was no doubt in Veydal's mind. Stingy merchants (knowingly risking the safety of their crews) must have given orders to veer off the trade route and to take a dangerous shortcut, hoping to cut travel time and labor costs. Veydal, who knew from past experience that this was the breeding season of the Sea Morbols, had suspected something like this since the journey's very start.

Unable to find any survivors, the party that had previously aimed to suppress Leviathan completely lost their goal. That night, while they were in the process of returning to their home port, a particular incident occurred. To the right of the fleet appeared several objects that resembled small islands, running in unison close to the surface of the water. One of the watchmen quickly shouted.

"It's Leviathan!"

With a mammoth body and scales that shone a mysterious, pale blue, the serpent surfaced.

While the ships' crews stood in a shaken daze, a voice issued an attack without delay.

The voice that had ordered the assault was not Veydal's, but instead, that of his First Mate. Envious of Veydal's distinguished military record, he too wished to leave his mark on history.
Veydal was too late to stop him, and a barrage of harpoons shot out towards Leviathan. Angered by this sneak attack, Leviathan lunged towards the sailors, initiating a struggle to the death.

Despite Veydal's detailed instructions, the galley of ships fell one by one to the Great Sea Serpent. When only one ship remained, he made his final instructions.

In those moments, Veydal ordered a charge towards Leviathan. Ramming Leviathan's unguarded throat with the ship's bow, the ship jostled violently. With a fury still very much aroused, Leviathan continued to batter the fleet relentlessly. Veydal, who was riding on the bow, then unsheathed his sword and jumped into the sky and landed on Leviathan's head. Having the full attention of the god, Veydal shouted

"Guardian God of the Great Sea! I apologize for the great offense that my crewmembers have committed. I beg of you, silence your anger and spare their lives. In their stead I offer you mine own."

Leviathan, while attempting to shake off Veydal, fell together with him into the depths of the sea.

After several days had passed, the severely damaged fleet returned to its island port. Veydal's First Mate, who was welcomed home as a hero, spread word that Veydal had run away in fear. Furthermore, he made Veydal's heroic deeds part of his own glory.

A lavish parade was held that night in his honor. Feasting and dancing till the twilight hours, the First Mate told the tale of his daring serpent slaying countless times.

The next morning, Leviathan's body washed up upon the island shore. Thrust in the center of its head was a simple sword, covered in blood. The fact that the blade was not the property of the First Mate was clear to anyone, however. From that very moment, many were left guessing as to the identity of its owner. Rumors and debate over the sword's true owner became widespread as the villagers began to talk amongst themselves day after day.

But one question remained in the hearts of the townsfolk: Why did the severely wounded Leviathan swim all the way to the shore?

The only ones who understood the whole truth were the General's wife and Veydal's long-time shipmates.

The Goddess, who had been watching the sea from afar since the dawn of time, called Veydal, the man who sacrificed his life for his comrades, and his worthy opponent Leviathan-- whose strong will to promote justice compelled him to restore Veydal's honor-- to the heavens, where they would assume positions as heroes forever after.

[[{{SUBST:Leviathan, Guardian God of the Sea}}|   ]]
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Taken from: Vana'diel Tribune Issue No. 12



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Notes

Note: Veydal is the brighest star in the Leviathan constellation in Vana'diel's sky. It is a dark blue-colored star.


Article in original Japnese

遠い昔のこと、巨大な帆船が国と国を結び、大いに栄えていた時代がありました。

しかしあるとき、ググリュー洋を往復していた帆船が、謎の失踪を遂げる事件が相次ぎ、人々を震撼させました。船乗りたちは「伝説の海蛇リヴァイアサンが、海を騒がしている人間を戒めているのだ」と噂し、乗船を恐れるようになりました。

ググリュー洋の中継基地として潤っていた島国の貿易商たちは、交易が途絶えるのを恐れ、傭兵や海賊を雇い何度も討伐隊を派遣しました。しかし、彼らは適当に近海をまわって帰ってきたり、ワニの皮を持ち帰って「倒した」などと偽ったり、いっこうに解決しませんでした。

貿易商たちが最後に頼みとしたのが、元海軍提督のヴェーダルでした。ヴェーダルは“隻眼の鬼神”と恐れられた歴戦の英雄でしたが、今ではすっかり老け込んで、釣りを楽しみに海辺で暮らす隠居の身でした。最初、彼は貿易商たちの依頼に気乗りしない風でしたが、ともに老いた妻の一言で、そのひとつしかない瞳に若き日の輝きを取り戻しました。

「貴方にしかできないことがまだあるなんて、素敵なことじゃないの」

“勇将、立つ”の報は、またたく間に広まり、怖気づいていた多くの船乗りを奮い立たせました。

やがて、ヴェーダルは5隻のガレー船からなる艦隊を編制し、出航しました。乗り組むのは、彼を慕い集ったかつての部下や若い船乗りです。その中から、ヴェーダルが副官に選んだのは、彼が現役時代に手塩にかけて育てた優秀な男でした。

やがて、数日が過ぎた頃、ヴェーダルの指示で転進し、通常航路から外れた海域に向かった艦隊は、そこで衝撃的なものと遭遇しました。

それは、沈没したと思われていた無数の帆船が、無傷で漂っている光景でした。よく見ると、どの帆船にも巨大なツタのような植物が、船体に絡みついています。貿易商たちが、安全を軽視して航路を短縮させた結果の惨状でした。この辺りでは、この季節に海洋性のモルボルの亜種が繁殖することを知っていたヴェーダルは、はじめから真相を見抜いていたのです。

生存者も発見できず、リヴァイアサン討伐という目的も失った艦隊が、舳先を母港に向けたその夜、事件は起こりました。船団の右舷方向に、並走する小島のようなものが無数に出現したのです。見張りのひとりが叫びました。

「リヴァイアサンだ!!」

何十ヤルムもある巨体、ほのかに蒼白く輝くウロコ、それは紛れもなく伝説の海蛇でした。動揺する船乗りたちに、すかさず攻撃指令が発せられました。

それはヴェーダルではなく、副官の声でした。ヴェーダルの武勲を妬むようになっていた彼は、この航海でなんとしても功績を残したかったのです。

ヴェーダルが制止しようとしたときには遅く、リヴァイアサンに無数の銛が撃ちこまれていました。不意の攻撃に怒った海蛇は艦隊に襲いかかり、死闘がはじまりました。

ヴェーダルの的確な指示にも関わらず、ガレー船は次々と海蛇に沈められていきました。そして、ついに洋上に残るのが旗艦ただ1隻となったとき、彼は最後の指示を出しました。

絶妙の一瞬に出されたそれは、突撃命令でした。虚をつかれたリヴァイアサンの喉元に、深々と突き刺さる船首の衝角。それでもなお、リヴァイアサンは暴れるのを止めません。船首に駆けたヴェーダルは、腰の剣を抜き放って巨大な頭に飛び移ると、リヴァイアサンに呼びかけました。

「大海の守護神よ。汝を侮辱した愚挙を詫び、我が老首を奉げる。怒りを静め、部下の命を助けたまえ」

リヴァイアサンは、ヴェーダルを振り落とそうともがきながら、ともに海の底に沈んでいきました。

それから幾日かが過ぎ、ボロボロになった旗艦がついに帰港しました。新たな英雄として迎えられた副官は、ヴェーダルが怖気づいて逃げたと吹聴し、手柄と名声を自分のものにしてしまいました。

巨大な海蛇の死体が砂浜に打ち上げられたのは、副官のために華やかな凱旋パレードが開かれた翌日のことでした。その眉間に突きたてられた質素な剣が副官のものでないことは誰の目にも明らかでしたので、さまざまな憶測が飛び交いました。

ですが、なぜ深手を負ったリヴァイアサンが、こんな遠方まで泳いできたのか?理解できたのは、勇将の老いた妻と数名の古い部下だけでした。

昔から海を見ていた女神は、命を賭して部下を救ったヴェーダルと、好敵手の汚名を晴らしたリヴァイアサンの勇気をたたえ、2人を天へと招き、その雄姿を空にとどめることにしました。


Credibility of the Avatar Legends

The stories told in the Vana'diel Tribune might not be actually true. There are some points in the main storyline of FFXI that contradict the facts said in these stories.

It is possible that these stories are actual legends that are spread around by the people of Vana'diel. This becomes even more likely considering that most of the time the Vana'diel Tribune is being told from the point of view of people actually in Vana'diel.

Legends of the Constellations
Chapters: The Ice Queen Shiva-A Tragedy of Treason | The Hermit Ramuh | The Legendary Giant Titan
Leviathan, Guardian God of the Sea | The Transformation of Ifrit | Garuda, The Queen of Birds-A Tale of Granted Wishes


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