I am an emotional guy, you know. It is not hard to cry reading, watching, or playing a game with a passionate and charismatic story. But every now and then, I wonder if, during a scriptwriting brainstorming, people create characters already thinking in the endgame of how to make a player’s life miserable during gameplay. You will see what I mean soon enough.
The man of the hour is Haurchefant Greystone. The Knight of Ishgard is one of our Warrior of Light and Scions’ first contacts in the cold lands of Coerthas and remains a partner throughout the journey. He has shown us that all it takes is one person to extend his hand to make a difference.
This Haurchefant Guide aims to demonstrate how secondary characters can live on in our hearts as much as the main characters. I hope it also shows you how a smile better suits a hero.
- Full Name: Haurchefant Greystone.
- First Appearance: Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn.
- Race: Elezen.
- Gender: Male.
- Playable Character: No.
- Weapon: Dzemael Winglet, a Gladiator/Paladin sword, and the House Fortemps Kite Shield.
- Special Powers: Skilled in Knighthood and making hot chocolate.
- First Encountered: Haurchefantis introduced in the level 36 Main Quest Scenario “The Rose and the Unicorn.”
- Characteristics: The knight quickly became a fan favorite. Whether it was for his warm enthusiasm amidst the icy dispositions of the Ishgardians or for having an open mind to understanding that something was wrong with the Dragonsong War. Whatever the reason, Haurchefant has become one of Heavensward’s most important supporting cast.
Haurchefant Greystone, like many residents of Ishgard, is an Elezen. Tall and with pointed ears, he has silver hair and is always wearing a Vigil Resilience armor set, minus the helmet. He’s 28 years old.
For this article, I will focus on Haurchefant’s English portrayal. One topic in this article shows the differences between the English and Japanese versions.
Unlike his countrymen’s uptight and borderline xenophobic attitude, Haurchefant accepts help from adventurers with open arms and does not restrict smiles or compliments to our Warrior of Light. Perhaps given his background, he is always willing to provide opportunities before judging the individual.
Passionate about his ideals and a firm believer in the Warrior of Light’s ability to bring an enlightened future to Ishgard, Haurchefant goes the extra mile to help us, even against his fellow knights or family’s opinion.
Our knight of the House Fortemps does not use very unique attires, and it is easy to create a glamour. However, the icing on the cake is his shield, The House Fortemps Kite Shield, acquired after completing the Main Scenario Quest “As Goes Light, So Goes Darkness.”
Meanwhile, the Vigil Resilience set armor can be acquired in the Stone Vigil dungeon, befitting its name. The body Vigil Haubergeon drops from the second boss’ chest, Koschei. Vigil Vambraces, the hand equipment, is also a drop from Koschei (he drops two chests!).
Vigil Skirt, the legs, also drop from Koschei, meaning you need to be lucky to drop all items but still have to run the dungeon at least twice. The boot, Vigil Sollerets, drops from the last boss, Isgebind.
Every part of the set armor can also be obtainable from the three chests scattered throughout the dungeons. If you want to wear Haurchefant’s attire and feel like a knight of Coerthas, I suggest leveling a Job to 80 or 90 first and then joining the dungeon solo on an undersized to steamroll it and increase your odds of acquiring the equipment.
Is it just me, or my tunnel vision, but many predominantly elven civilizations are generally reserved, stoic, and slightly segregating? FFXI Kingdom of San D’oria is populated mainly by Elvaan. Whenever you enter their Royal Knight headquarters, you can’t help but feel diminished. Yes, they are fair and proud, but it can’t hurt to show some warmth or friendliness, right?
Ishgard is somewhat similar in this respect, especially with strangers. Or bastards. Haurchefant is the illegitimate son of Count Edmont of House Fortemps. Obviously, this did not endear him to the Fortemps countess, who despised him and ostracized the then-young Elezen. On one such occasion, when Haurchefant was forbidden to attend a party at House Fortemps, he met Francel de Haillenarte. In the game, Francel’s one of the sweetest side characters there, which breaks the pattern of the Ishgardians a bit.
Haurchefant and Francel became fast friends. One day, five years later, Francel was assaulted by three kidnappers. Haurchefant protected his friend only with a knife, and this heroic act earned him admission to the knighthood.
Traveling to Coerthas
When primal threats begin to plague Eorzea, it is up to us, holders of the Echo, Warrior of Light, and wielders of the keyboard and controller that will control our character to use all our skills to defeat these forsaken beasts.
Garuda, however, presents a stumbling block in the form of a whirlwind, which our group of Scions believes they will be able to overcome with the use of Cid and his lost airship. To help Cid recover the Enterprise, we begin a quest a la Sherlock. I admit it’s a boring questline, but it helps develop some characters that will follow us for the rest of the trajectory.
Our inquiries take us northwest into the icy mountains of Coerthas. There we are given a horrible welcome and cold shoulder. Remember what I said about elves/Elezens being stiff? However, fate has trouble in store for us, and since the Warrior of Light is always in the right place at the right time, we end up falling in their graces.
While we help the Coerthans and simultaneously search for more information related to the airship Enterprise, Lord Portelaine promises to give us letters of introduction to the High Houses if we help him recover wares stolen from the Observatorium. After retrieving the stolen parcels, the Ishgardian discovers a draconian rosary in a chest belonging to Lord Francel, Haurchefant’s childhood friend. Any draconian item indicates that the holder may be a heretic and an enemy of the Holy See.
France’s colleagues consider it unacceptable that he’s a heretic and ask us to inform him of the situation. Upon contacting Lord Francel, the man says this is just another of the numerous accusations against House Haillenarte. My sense of political intrigue tingles! Given this controversy, Francel can no longer help you but gives you a letter of introduction to someone who can: Haurchefant Greystone of House Fortemps.
Meeting The Man of the Hour
My first impression of Haurchefant was different from other Ishgardians and knights. He’s not shy to praise our vocation as an adventurer and warmly welcomes us. After reading the letter and learning that his friend is being wrongly accused, his countenance darkens, and the easy smile disappears.
Although he cannot readily help us find the Enterprise as he’s also dealing with some issues at Camp Dragonhead, he makes a point of asking around about the airship and tells us to enjoy our stay. It was the first time I felt a modicum of hospitability in a Coerthas location.
At some point, Haurchefant receives a message that Lord Francel is treading in dangerous places and asks us to check it out. Once there, we find Francel being attacked by a Dravanian minion. Upon returning and reporting the situation to Haurchefant, he thanked us and said he’d found a witness who saw the Enterprise. However, this witness is reluctant to share information with us, given our involvement with an alleged heretic, Lord Francel. Haurchefant suggests we first clear his friend’s name before getting this information.
Haurchefant suggests that the draconic rosary was placed to purposefully frame Lord Francel. With our sleuths skills, we need to find out if his assumptions are correct. Now, Warrior of Light and Haurchefant race against time to stop the trial and show the evidence that proves Francel’s innocence.
Francel is on the verge of being tried with no evidence, and it is up to us to face Ishgardian justice with iron and mighty. Even when Haurchefant reinforces his pleas on behalf of his friend, the inquisitor does not listen. However, one of the knights in our midst reveals to be a heretic, leaving the inquisitor with no option but to remove the charges against Francel.
The witness from before feels comfortable sharing the information with us now that she has realized that we are not heretics allied with the Dravanian – only because the game did not give the option; otherwise, I would associate myself with the dragons.
Analyzing the information, we identify the Enterprise near the Stone Vigil dungeon. Haurchefant writes a letter of introduction for Lord Drillemont to grant us access to the watchtower. He suggests that Francel also write one to reinforce the request. During the exchange, Francel tells us to be careful because he fears that whoever attacked House Haillenarte might also want to attack us in the future.
Keeping up with the Heretics
Many sidequests, adventures, destruction of a so-called Ultima Weapon, the rescue of our dear Thancred, and 12 levels later, we are back in Coerthas. When a shipment destined for our base in Revenant’s Toll is attacked by heretics near the border of Mor Dhona, it’s time to contact our northern best friend forever, Haurchefant.
Once there, the knight is unaware of what has happened, but we keep him up to speed. He shares new information about the heretics and their leader, Iceheart. The quest takes us to the heretics’ hiding place to perform swift justice. This draws Iceheart’s attention and his icy stare in our direction. We inform Haurchefant once again, and he promises to deliver new supplies.
My working experience has taught me that if you are dedicated and demonstrate service excellence, you will eventually attract the attention of higher-ups. And there you go. Alphinaud has received word that Ser Aymeric, Lord Commander of the Ishgardian Temple Knights, wants an audience with the Warrior of Light. The venue of choice for such a meeting is Camp Dragonhead.
Once there, Haurchefant greets us with his usual love and introduces Ser Aymeric. Although Ishgard has no intention of returning to the Eorzean Alliance, the lord commander requests help from the Scions to observe Midgardsormr, claiming that their astrologians have observed the dragon’s return. Aymeric promises to ensure the safety of the shipments from House Fortemps to Revenant’s Toll if we aid his plea.
But before investigating the prospect of the father of dragons awakening, Alphinaud checks on Haurchefant, seeking more information regarding Lady Iceheart and heretics. After examining the road where the caravan was attacked and finding a sole survivor, we learn that the heretics’ objective is to bring Shiva back.
Then, the game throws us at what most consider the draggiest part of FFXIV A Realm Reborn, which allegedly is the entire plot after patch 2.0. Square Enix did butcher some of them walking around, but it’s still the game’s weakest link. Us, Alphinaud, and a third party go gallivanting around Coerthas, searching for heretics, getting some praises from Ishgardians, and ultimately facing Shiva.
Seeking Asylum in House Fortemps
At the end of A Realm Reborn’s post-game, we see all our efforts with Haurchfant bearing fruit. After the attempt on the Sultana and the scheme of the Monetarists and Crystal Braves, Scions split up, and Warrior of Light and Alphinaud flee to Coerthas, sharing their tale with Haurchefant and finding a friendly shoulder and shelter until the dust settles.
Haurchefant reports that the Dragonsong War situation has escalated in our absence, and the Dravanian horde has reinforced its assault on Ishgard. This has made Ishgardians even more reluctant toward outsiders, and our heroes will have their asylum requests denied. But Haurchefant vouches for us because of our beautiful and long-lasting relationship cited in the previous quests. We are decorated as wards of House Fortemps, still against the wishes of the brothers and the father of our knight in question.
For a while, we must do what we do best:
- Help everyone who crosses our path to fall in their favor.
- Create a name for ourselves in the icy lands of Coerthas.
- Make ourselves known and grow into the hero we are destined to be.
You know, the usual MMORPG roadmap. The main difference is that FFXIV accomplishes this while carving out a spectacular world and setting the stage for an enthralling plot.
After helping the brothers of Haurchefant, they believe the latter’s claims about us being a hero and can’t resist our impeccable charm. Even more so if you have a tattooed face like me and cerulean heterochromia. However, all our snooping caught the attention of the Knights of the Heavens’ Ward. In a pitiful attempt to silence the Scions and discredit House Fortemps, they arrest Alphinaud and Tataru on the charge of heresy.
We manage to free our two friends by winning a trial by combat. Haurchefant is ecstatic about our victory and gives us a black Chocobo, previously known as our first flying mount. We then get word from our homeland and set up a plan to try to free Raubanh. Spoiler alert, we eventually succeed because we are awesome. As soon as we get back to Coerthas, Haurchefant informs us that the Dravanian horde is preparing for an invasion.
We engage in a tentative parley with Lady Iceheart to negotiate with the dragons. At the same time, Estinien stays on our tail, ready to stick his spear if things go sideways. On this journey, we get to communicate with the dragons and learn the truth about the Dragonsong War, which in my humble opinion, was the moment the key turned. I realized that FFXIV was not just an MMORPG but a thunderous universe with one of the best narratives ever created.
After learning that the war had escalated because of only a few participants, it still didn’t cease. Everyone involved recognizes Nidhogg must be defeated to end his unquenchable desire for revenge. With the help of Estinien, we, Warrior of Light, defeat Nidhogg. Upon returning to Ishgard, we see heretics attacking the city, and we reunite with Haurchefant. With Ysayle, Lady Iceheart, at our side, she bid the heretics to halt their attack, claiming the war has ended. Haurchefant pleads to the Temple Knights, who hold their weapons.
The One Where I Cried Endlessly
Oh, Square Enix. Why? Well, let’s continue.
The truth about the Dragonsong War is shared with House Fortemps and Ser Aymeric. Although they have difficulty swallowing the news, they accept it. Aymeric is resolved to confront his father, the archbishop Thordan VII. At the same time, Haurchefant, Estinien, Alphinaud, and Warrior of Light promise to help Lucia should this confrontation go bad.
Entering the Vault through the front door would be reckless, and we try to look for less conventional ways. On this journey, the Heavens’ Ward tries to disrupt us to the point where they arrest Ser Aymeric and take control of the Temple Knights. Haurchefant helps us face Ser Charibert and his soldiers, then enter the Vault and rescue Ser Aymeric.
As I navigated the dungeon of The Vault and stomped through the Heavens’ Ward one by one, I was unprepared for what was to come. We free Ser Aymeric and find Archbishop Thordan fleeing in an airship. Warrior of Light and Haurchefant give pursuit to the archbishop but are unaware of Ser Zephirin, anchored high above and preparing a spear throw at us.
Haurchefant notices the strike and jumps in front of us, shielding us from the spear of light. However, his shield does not withstand the impact and breaks, causing the man to be pierced by the spear. Haurchefant falls, spitting blood, but oddly happy to notice we cherished him. Here he utters one of the most iconic phrases in Final Fantasy: a smile better suits a hero. (He did say it before, but now it just hits harder).
I confess that the first time I saw this scene, I was more shocked than saddened. But after informing Haurchefant’s father of his death and seeing the man falling to his knees, I was heartbroken. Damn, how can someone feel so miserable but so satisfied simultaneously? That’s some sick storytelling.
Anyways, moving on. We continue on our adventure to end the exploits of Archbishop Thordan, we succeed. However, we discover that the thirsty soul of Nidhogg still hovers in the air and possesses Estinien. Now it remains for us to rescue our friend Azure Dragoon from the clutches of the elder wyrm.
After several bloody clashes and epic cutscenes, Warrior of Light and Alphinaud attempt to remove Nidhogg’s eyes from Estinien in a desperate attempt to save the man without damning his soul, even against the dragoon’s wishes. At this moment, the spirits of Ysayle and Haurchefant appear to help us. With their support, we remove Estinien’s eyes and cast them into the abyss, ending the Dragonsong War once and for all.
Our colleagues always remember Haurchefant and reference him in the following expansions. Nothing more than deserved; after all, he was the little flame that reached out to us and allowed the influence of the Warrior of Light to expand across Ishgard, warming everyone’s hearts.
Japanese Haurchefant Vs English Haurchefant
To be honest, I was not aware of this until I amplified my research on Haurchefant, but his personality changed drastically from the Japanese version to the English version. To the point that I even reconsidered whether I really cared for him.
In the English version, Haurchefant has some lowkey moments of admiration from Warrior of Light and some not-so-lowkey ones. However, considering that we are the champions of Eorzea and the entire world’s savior, it’s to be expected.
Please bring a glass of water because, in the Japanese version, Haurchefant is incredibly thirsty. Both in his words, body posture, and intonation. The numerous times he compliments our protagonist’s body and gives innuendos came as a surprise to me. I understand that the Japanese version of Haurchefant is more unique, and since I grew used to his English version, my perception changed. But I will share some examples from Zepla’s analysis in her video “You Won’t Believe How SPLENDID Haurchefant is in Japanese…”.
The first time you met Haurchefant, in English, he says:
“Ah, the unmistakable swagger of a well-trained adventurer. If you are come to pay your respects, be at ease, friend. I am not one to stand on formality. Truth be told, I would gladly welcome many and more brave souls like yourself. But enough chatterーpray tell me why you have come here.”
While in the Japanese version, things escalate fast.
“That attireーyou must be an adventurer. During your stay here, the skills and knowledge that you possess will surely…” nothing out of the ordinary. Until… “Yes, splendid… positively splendid! Haaah, how tempting… such a well-trained body! Beautiful [your race], state your business!”
And remember, that’s the first time he meets our Warrior of Light. Japanese Haurchefant is fixed on our protagonist’s body, pointing it out several times. Perhaps this helps to understand why he helped an outsider readily, while other Houses of Ishgard are so wary. I don’t know exactly why the English localization has changed Haurchefant’s essence so much – although it may be obvious to some – I confess that after meeting his eastern version, I prefer to stick with his personality in the English dialect.
Dragonsong War Ultimate feat. Haurchefant
Update 6.11 introduced Ultimate Dragonsong’s Reprise. It recounts the events of Heavensward and Dragonsong War while putting an 8-man party in a gauntlet facing all the antagonists that constructed the plot’s conflict.
In the first phase of the fight, Haurchefant appears to protect the party, re-enacting one of the saddest scenes in the game. He shields, once again, Ser Zephirin’s spear. As we have seen before, he’s pierced by it and dies.
However, at some point in Ultimate, there is a time rewind, and the group returns to the first phase. This time, when Haurchefant is protecting us, the party must use Tank’s Limit Break 3 to strengthen our fearless hero’s defense, healing him in the process. Then we must destroy the spear that afflicts him, saving Haurchefant and allowing the fight to reach the next phase.
Question: Is Haurchefant dead?
Answer: Why do you have to ask? Why touch an open wound? Yes. He’s dead in the game. Because in our hearts, he will live forever.
Question: Can you save Haurchefant?
Answer: In the Main Scenario, unfortunately, no. He dies on a cutscene, and his demise is necessary for the narrative when we’re removing Nidhoggs’ Eyes from Estinien. However, in the Ultimate Dragonsong’s Reprise, after time rewinds, you have to save Haurchefant to proceed with the fight. Otherwise, your party will wipe along with him.
Question: Who killed Haurchefant?
Answer: That bastard Ser Zephirin. While Warrior of Light and Haurchefant is chasing Thordan to stop him from fleeing on an airship, Ser Zephirin throws a spear of light aimed at the WoL. Haurchefant, however, jumps in and shields us from the piercing ray. However, his shield isn’t of a high level enough and breaks, allowing the spear to perforate his body.
Question: How to get Haurchefant emote?
Answer: Players can acquire Haurchefant’s emote, a motion where he opens his arms with a broad smile and closes his fists effusively. After completing the Main Scenario Quest, “Litany of Peace,” a sidequest, “The Paths We Walk,” will unlock at Fortemps Manor (X:6.0, Y:6.0). You will have to complete this 5-chain questline and be rewarded with the Haurchefant emote at the end of it.
Haurchefant is one of the best and most endearing NPCs in Final Fantasy XIV. He appeared in A Realm Reborn, helped us through several Heavensward moments, and was remembered in future instances.
Perhaps you didn’t know about his variations in other languages and were slightly shocked like me, but that shouldn’t tarnish the image you have of Haurchefant (unless it was already some bad one, for whatever reason.)
The vital thing to know is that Final Fantasy XIV has this stellar ability to provide us with new characters at every turn without falling into a wheel of tropes or uninteresting cliches. Let’s see which more side characters await us in the future of this astonishing MMORPG.