The Collected Inscriptions of Gwynham Ironheart
The accurate and detailed maps left to Vana'diel by Gwynham Ironheart and his daughter Enid are the basis of the maps used today, but the inscriptions that chronicle their travels are of interest to many also. Chiseled onto stone monuments across the length and breadth of Vana'diel, the testaments are here presented in their entirety.
I've been a sailor for over forty years, yet I cannot grasp the concept of the world as a whole. Then again, those who live in cities know even less than I. They are content knowing only of the things around them. I cannot blame them for choosing to live this way, as curiosity is, more often than not, a dangerous trait. But I have sworn to use the rest of my life - a life I had once thought lost when I was ship wrecked - to indulge this insatiable curiosity of mine, and to uncover the truth of Vana'diel. I have decided to leave my first message here, on this hill over looking my homeland of Bastok. It is the first record of a journey that I hope will benefit all the peoples of Vana'diel.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 748 Crystal Era.
As I passed through this area, I heard Bastokers were building a monument honoring the pioneers who dug the Palborough Mines. Being the curious type, I went to visit the site. The site itself turned out to be an old cemetery, where the tombstones were so old, the names were worn away with age. It turned out that the graves were those of numerous Galka who died in an accident the day the Metalworks was completed, in a time when Bastok was still struggling to become a nation. I do not know if the Palborough Pioneers are the heroes people claim they are. I, for a fact, have no doubt the Galka who lie here gave their lives bravely to settle this arid, forsaken land. I decided to spend a night here, drinking to the unnamed heroes of a forgotten time.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 749 Crystal Era.
The wind that blows through this area is called "Odin's Wrath". Seeing its potential use, some ingenious Bastokers decided to build the windmills here, a long time ago. Flour mills, to be exact. In this desolate land where nothing more than popotoes can grow, the wheat brought in from San d'Oria, was a true lifesaver to Bastokers. San d'Oria, in turn, relied on their consumption of its surplus wheat, and also on the flour that came back from Bastok's mills. The mills became the symbols of their mutual dependence. Even in times of war between the two, this trade continued. Both armies' brass were infuriated, but none tried to disrupt it lest the bread disappeared from their own tables! Ah the irony! A toast, to the merchants!
--Gwynham Ironheart, 750 Crystal Era.
These woods of Ronfaure have long been hunting grounds of the Elvaan royalty, and as such are maintained well. I came here to see the bravery of the participants in the great autumn hunt, but sadly it was a somber ceremonial affair with little to see. I am certain that this stems from the choice of quarry: no longer do they hunt fowl or deer. Rather, giant sheep are released expressly for the hunt. As I write this, I pray that the gluttonous grazing of these voracious sheep does not destroy the delicate balance of life in these woods.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 751 Crystal Era.
As we pierced the gloom of Jugner Forest, my dear steed (and renowned gourmand) Morten pecked at the ground, unearthing a fine mushroom, and found that it was none other than a King Truffle, a prize ingredient I had thought to be only a legend. Relying on Morten's keen sense of smell, we searched the area, and found bushels of other mushrooms. A fine mushroom soup will grace our table tonight. To all travelers who wonder in the forest--should you find your supplies dwindling and your hunger growing, search for nature's bounty and be saved. Just take care your chocobo does not eat them first!
--Gwynham Ironheart, 755 Crystal Era.
Here where the warm Garuda winds blow, rolanberries are cultivated in great orchards. These berries are famous for their sharp, tingling tartness. And it's not just the Galka who appreciate a rolanberry pie to cleanse the palate after a meal. These humble berries warm the hearts of carnivorous beastmen, and guards have been posted against Goblin thieves and Yagudo raiders. The most valuable berries are stockpiled by insects, who use a special secretion to store them. This results in an exceptionally tart preserve, popular with connoisseurs. The village of Jeuno has benefited greatly from the harvests here, and the bounty of the sea. They seem well on their way to statehood.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 757 Crystal Era.
My sojourn into Vunkerl Inlet was naturally motivated by cartography rather than simple curiosity. But I must be honest. There was another desire that quickened my stride. The waters of this inlet are fed by both the warm currents of the Bastore Sea and the cold currents of the Sea of Shu'Meyo. Perhaps you now understand my excitement. To the best of my knowlege, Vunkerl Inlet is second-to-none as a fishing paradise. My mounting excitement was cruelly dashed by footfalls that echoed like peals of thunder. I ducked under cover in time to witness several Gigas pass right before my hiding spot. I guessed these to be brigands from the north, landed here to plunder and pillage. The Gigas wore a number of round shields hanging from their waists, of curiously small proportion to their size. My thoughts ran to the vikings rumored to inhabit the islands in the northern ocean. There would be no fishing for me here.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 758 Crystal Era.
I have come to a place with countless mounds of earth. According to legend, it was here that our ancestors, created by the Goddess, first descended to Vana'diel. Since time immemorial, elderly Elvaan have come here to await their final rest. Many pilgrims of other races, too, have ended their journeys here, wishing to be close the Nurturer. Of course, faith and discipline are virtues. But life is to be enjoyed, and the lives of others respected. Faith can wait until these two things are accomplished. I told this to a Galka friend, and he bellowed a hearty laugh. Yet I could see his point: those who only live a short while have no time for such thoughts. To think of these things and wonder is the duty of the living.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 759 Crystal Era.
It has been a full ten years since I last visited this land, yet I am shocked to see Orcish warriors roaming this far south. I saw many here in this forest, the very lap of the kingdom, but the proud Elvaan knights don't consider them a threat. Mark my words! Someday, hundreds--no--thousands of orcs will bring war upon this beautiful kingdom. I write this in hope that brave knights will prove me wrong.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 761 Crystal Era.
The view may be beautiful, but the broken grass at our feet is testimony to the inhospitality of this place. The shallows repel anchoring ships, with nothing for miles but sand. Indeed, the dunes are ill-fit for any purpose save sunbathing. One day I happened upon a young swimmer struggling for air. I swam out to save her, and as a gesture of thanks she led me to a fascinating place. To a small inlet she guided me, to show me dolphins, no doubt. None were there, but I noticed the bay was a natural harbor. I was a sailor in youth, so I knew this to be an important discovery! The harbor I named "Selbina". Upon seeing her own name inscribed on my map, the girl clapped her hands in joy.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 762 Crystal Era.
Having never planned on surveying the inland regions, I'd had not the slightest intention of setting foot in Grauberg. A sailor first and foremost, mountain climbing was most certainly not my strong suit. However, my journey relies on the financial support I receive from my homeland. I could not ignore the whims of my benefactors, no matter how foolish they seemed to me. If they wished to construct a base on this natural fortress, who was I to question? It was just as I was beginning to enjoy the surprisingly pleasant trail and serenity of my surroundings, when my legs were crushed under a sudden landslide. I was halfway up a mountain, far from any semblance of civilization. Even my optimistic spirit sensed the end was near. I lost consciousness from the pain, floating in oblivion for the goddess knows how long. I woke to the sound of tinkling laughter, and for the briefest of moments caught sight of tiny figures flitting through the air on insect wings. My shattered legs were completely healed. The report I sent advised against building a base in Grauberg.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 762 Crystal Era.
These marshlands belong to a savage race of beastmen called the Quadav. Many have ventured into these lands seeking fame and fortune, but were never seen again. But I have vowed to make a complete map of Vana'diel--the guilt I would feel for leaving these marshlands blank far outweighed the danger of entering them. During my survey I made the mistake of building a fire and was promptly captured by the Quadav. In their village I was dumbstruck to see that their buildings were made of wrought metal! As much as we use the Tarutaru magic of fire to light our smoking-pipes, the Quadav--a barbarous tribe by any account--had secretly harnessed much of Bastok's metalworking technology. When I told them of my quest, they were most eager to help, releasing me and even going as far as to give me a guided tour of their home!
--Gwynham Ironheart, 763 Crystal Era.
This plateau is a land of many features, but by far the most memorable is the Crag of Holla. I call it a structure, for I have no other word. It is surely not a rock born of nature, nor does it seem to be a hall built by the gods, as the priestly scholars say. Yet there are no seams in its bone-white surface, and it is faintly warm to the touch. But through a fortunate accident, I have found proof of its artificial origins. I shall head north to the land of Valdeaunia to verify my findings. I fear this may be the longest, most perilous journey of my life. I leave my daughter Enid to find her own path. May the gods watch over her in my stead.
--Gwynham Ironheart, 764 Crystal Era.
Gwynham Ironheart's perilous journey ended with his death in Valdeaunia, in 765. His grave remained there, but his legacy had spread throughout Vana'diel. His daughter Enid took up his task.
The Collected Inscriptions of Enid Ironheart
Enid considered her father's work. His map of Quon was all but complete, whatever forces had led to his demise were still in Valdeaunia, and the whole of Mindartia had not even been explored, let alone charted. She decided to concentrate her efforts on this southeastern continent.
Sauromugue Champaign Monument Inscription:
We live on 2 main continents: Quon Continent and the uncharted Mindartia Continent. Linking these 2 continents are the Straits of Jeuno, also the narrowest straits in Vana'diel. Beyond the straits lies Sauromugue, the Gateway to Mindartia. At the peak of the San d'Orian Empire, it once occupied this land with a castle built for the Royal Cavalry. But on one night, 3 Tarutaru mages infiltrated the castle, turning the chocobos wild, and defeated the Cavalry royally. And that was how San d'Oria lost its hold on this land. This is the well-known "Fall of Sauromugue" incident. However, the military schools in San d'Oria never included this in their history books. Since I'm here on these historically notorious grounds, I couldn't help but look around this blood-spilled lands. But what's past has passed... There's not much use harping on about the past, nothing will be accomplished. I personally hope to build good ties with the Tarutarus and Yagudos. Who knows, one day a bridge may be built to link the continents together in the future.
--Enid Ironheart, 770 Crystal Era.
Tahrongi Canyon Monument Inscription:
My survey has run into difficulty here in Tahrongi Canyon. I have to deal with irregular land, a harsh clime, monsters, and worst of all, fever. I thought myself prepared before I ventured into Mindartia, but that did not spare me the fever. Even white magic did nothing. With faltering steps, I sought shelter from the sun, but there was little shade in sight. Then, it appeared before me: the sun-bleached skeleton of an ancient wyrm. I approached, and found this cave. I soon discovered that the water from a nearby cactus helped to reduce my fever. As I recovered, I decided to name my saviors. In memory of my old friends, Gilbo, Madge, and Navil: victims of a heat wave that struck in the midst of a brotherly quarrel.
--Enid Ironheart, 774 Crystal Era.
East Sarutabaruta Monument Inscription:
It is clear from my research that, in addition to the endearing Tarutaru and the unsophisticated Mithra, a third race once lived here on the plains of Sarutabaruta. The ancient towers that the Tarutaru call the "Horutoto Ruins" look to have been made for people their size, but there are peculiar differences in design and style. Indeed, they closely resemble the "Tower Like a Hand" in a sketch my father Gwynham once sent me. Yet the tower he saw was in Valdeaunia in the north of Quon, a great distance from its counterparts here. Clearly, an advanced civilization once covered this world. I believe I can still hear its echoes in Vana'diel today, or perhaps it is just my imagination running wild.
--Enid Ironheart, 777 Crystal Era.
West Sarutabaruta Monument Inscription:
Now, five years after I first crossed the Jeuno Straits and begun my slow survey of Mindartia, I have arrived at the southernmost land; the plains of Sarutabaruta. The Tarutaru who live here are a kind and friendly people, it's hard to believe their ancestors plotted the conquest of the world during the age of great magic. They too, worship the Goddess Altana, yet they believe that she has a form here on Vana'diel called the Star Sibyl, who lives in a great tree. I met the Star Sibyl, and she took my hand and spoke to me of everything from the current state of our world to the unseeable future. It was a wonderful experience. The Tarutaru have agreed to give me a magical ship to speed the rest of my survey. I thank the Sibyl, and her kind people.
--Enid Ironheart, 778 Crystal Era.
Fort Karugo-Narugo Monument Inscription:
With an unfailingly cheerful Tarutaru friend as a guide, I came to tour Fort Karugo-Narugo, the centerpiece of Windurst's defenses. My invitation to the complex, indeed, the complete access I enjoyed as a San d'Orian, even considering the deep ties I had developed, had less to do with their trust in me, and more to do with their own confidence. "Fivespires," as the towers within the fortress were called, had been constructed and spaced in accordance with Minister Medada's precise arcane calculations. Such a configuration was said to withstand all manner of physical and magical assaults. I broached the seemingly foolish matter of a perfect configuration being vulnerable to the slightest imperfection, I was greeted with gales of laughter. How could such a perfect construction ever be marred?
--Enid Ironheart, 778 Crystal Era.
Meriphataud Mountains Monument Inscription:
Drogaroga's Spine: Tarutaru for "Spine of the heavenly dragon". It is made of that same mysterious white material as the holy crags. However, this is the first time I've seen it so exposed. A good portion of it is suspended in open space, no less. In San'd'oria, the papsque claims that they are monuments built by Altana in honor of the Elvaan. All believed him, but I feel that this cannot be true. This is merely conjecture, but I feel they resemble some kind of road or pipeline... But carrying what? If only I could show my father. The white crags, spines, points, and lines. What did my father discover at the end of his journey? I wish I knew.
--Enid Ironheart, 778 Crystal Era.
Buburimu Peninsula Monument Inscription:
Buburimu is famous for the miraculous rocks of Gibubu, meaning "lighthouse" in the Tarutaru tongue. True to their name, the spires help sailors and fishermen weather the storms. Like crooked towers they loom, each adorned with a great crystal that glimmers at night. I theorize that here, in the days of old, was ore of the highest purity, known in our legends as Orichalcum. I believe that ages brought decay to the surrounding bedrock, whilst the ore itself remained. The Tarutaru then wrought their magic upon them to make them shimmer everlastingly. Still, however, I yearn to know why the ore was here in the first place.
--Enid Ironheart, 778 Crystal Era.
Airships, which did not exist in the time of Gwynham and Enid, have been used to prove the accuracy of their maps. Adventurers use them to this day. Although many additions have been made, the most obvious being the mapping of Gwynham's bane, Valdeaunia, the maps remain little altered.