- Venat FFXIV Guide – The Will of the Star - May 5, 2023
Before I even knew her name, Venat was one of Final Fantasy XIV‘s most important characters. From the earliest moments of the Main Scenario Quest to the conclusion of the latest Endwalker main story and beyond, Venat has been with me.
“May we ever walk in the light of the crystal” is a common blessing uttered in Eorzea. Those who say it seek to invoke the spirit of the Star, Hydaelyn, and hope that we can remain in Her grace. Little did I know how literally true that would be.
To that end, and in recognition of that long legacy, I’ve come up with this brief guide to Venat in FFXIV, her role in its story, and where we may yet see her again.
Note: This entire guide will contain major spoilers for large portions of Final Fantasy XIV‘s main scenario, up to and including the latest expansion, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker.
Stop reading now if you would like to experience the story without any spoilers.
Venat in Summary
- Full Name: Venat, though she’s been called Azem, the Lady of Light, and Hydaelyn
- First Appearance: Technically, the introductory sequence of Final Fantasy XIV, though more substantially in the events following the Shadowbringers expansion.
- Race: An Ancient, also known as an Amaurotine.
- Playable Character: No.
- Special Powers: Venat is a peerless fighter and highly skilled in all aspects of combat.
- First Encountered: Venat appears to you, the Warrior of Light, before you even know her name.
- Characteristics: Venat is the one who saved the star for those who would inherit it. Believing strongly in the sanctity of future possibility, she would rebel against her own people to secure it against their misguided actions.
Venat’s First Appearance
I first saw Venat and heard her name during the Shadowbringers expansion, following the conclusion of its Main Scenario Quest. Fresh from the defeat of Ascian mastermind Emet-Selch, I joined my Scion companions in attempting to uncover the last secrets of the Ancients. Also known as the Amaurotine, these Ancients inhabited the world of Hydaelyn before it was even known by that name. Masters of Creation Magic, the Ancients shaped the world eons before it was sundered by the events that birthed Zodiark, Hydaelyn, and the world as I know it.
It was in the depths of Noesis, the deepest chamber of the Anamnesis Anyder, that I caught my first glimpse of the Ancient known as “Venat”. Her role – or even her gender – was indeterminate, as her identity was hidden by the customary masks and robes the Amaurotines favored wearing. The Ancients felt it rude for adults to flaunt their individuality openly, and so favored robes that obscured all but the most basic details of identity.
Nevertheless, Venat made an impression, as she was the leader of a group of rebellious Ancients. She and her followers opposed the plans of the Convocation of Thirteen, led by Emet-Selch, Lahabrea, Fandaniel, and other members that later peoples would know as Ascians. The Convocation intended to use its Creation Magic in conjunction with a sacrifice of titanic proportions to summon the first and oldest Primal: Zodiark. Zodiark, they believed, would become “The Will of the Star”, taking control of their world and working to protect it against the unseen disasters of the Final Days. Following this, the Ancients, led by the Convocation, would sacrifice all the new life springing up on the planet’s surface to restore the world as they knew it, bringing back the souls of those brethren they had used as fuel for the summoning, at the cost of all the innocents that would be born in the wake of their civilization’s fall.
Even without a face, being nothing more than a name and a generic character model, I knew that Venat’s power and significance were clear. She would become the heart of the second Primal: Hydaelyn. Hydaelyn would serve as a shackle to Zodiark, preventing the Convocation from enacting further sacrifice. Our very presence in that place, to witness the moments before her transformation.
Learning of Venat’s place in the ancient history of Final Fantasy XIV‘s world was a grand twist in the narrative framework, one that lent complexity and texture to Emet-Selch’s revelations about the nature of the world of Final Fantasy XIV itself. And though I never heard her name before that moment, seeing Venat’s connections, seeing her connection at the very roots of the world I’d spent most of my time defending was a major shock.
Seeing Venat Herself, for the First Time
Returned to the world of the Source, the main scenario of Endwalker brought me to Old Sharlayan, the homeland of Alisaie and Alphinaud, to better understand its role in forestalling the Final Days: The very doom that claimed the Ancients and their society, that phenomenon which they summoned Zodiark to forestall. There she appeared to me, her face no longer hidden by the robes and masks of the Ancients. Her silver hair and motherly elegance belied the faintness of the vision, which only I could see.
The next time I saw Venat, I did so with the knowledge of her role as the core of Hydaelyn. Venat was, that moment on the deck of a ship, no longer just a name in ancient history, but The Will of the Star and the elder Primal that binds Zodiark.
But Venat – and Hydaelyn – had been slowly weakening. Her exhortation to “Hear, Feel, Think,” which once rang in my head at the height of my battles in FFXIV: A Realm Reborn was now little more than a whisper. Yet her dignity remained undiminished, and her mission unchanged. Even diminished, seeing Venat appear as a ghostly apparition of Hydaelyn was like seeing an old friend return after a long period of uncertainty – never mind that I had never met or seen her personally before this moment. Nevertheless, as her chosen champion, this sense of connection existed before it could become manifest.
Fast Friends With My Future Creator
Though Venat visited me on the trip to Old Sharlayan as an apparition, it wasn’t long before I met her again in the flesh, thanks to the machinations of the last Ascian, Elidibus. Thanks to his assistance in the Crystal Tower, I visited Etheirys, the World Unsundered. There, in a place called Elpis, I would meet Venat and learn the truth behind the Final Days.
Long before the world was ruled by Hydaelyn, the Ancients ruled Etheirys as its sole stewards. Their Creation Magic allowed them to make and unmake whole aspects of reality as they saw fit, and Elpis was where they tested their creations before bringing them to the world at large.
In Elpis I met and took the measure of Venat, as well as two other influential Amaurotines: Hythlodaeus, and no less than Emet-Selch in his prime, thousands of years before he would manifest as my greatest foe in Shadowbringers.
As it turns out, Venat herself was once a member of the Ancients’ ruling body. She was the previous holder of “Azem”, the fourteenth seat of the Convocation, and the position of “the Traveler.” In her time as Azem, she traveled the world, getting to know its people, and solving its problems. Her peerless combat skill allowed her to combat any menaces that threatened her brethren. In time, she came to relinquish her seat to a successor, one who would form a strong bond with Emet-Selch and Hythlodaeus. Unlike others of the Ancient civilization, though, Venat declined to return to the Aetherial Sea, opting to still travel the world as herself, outside the official capacity as Azem. This small act of resistance would herald greater deeds of what the Convocation would call heresy, but what others might see as heroism.
Not least because of the time-traveling predestination of it all, but my encounter with Venat showed me just how similar I was to my patron, who in some senses was a mother to me. Perhaps it’s something to do with all those connected with the seat of Azem, but Venat herself was an almost peerless master of combat.
Meeting Venat in Elpis during this portion of the Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker campaign felt like getting to know the person behind the lofty title. Seeing her before she would become the heart of Hydaelyn and the practical creator goddess of all of Eorzea (and beyond), helped to ground her actions and motivations. Furthermore, I appreciated the opportunity to tell her about my adventures personally. Learning more about Venat’s personality, her insatiable curiosity and wanderlust, and her dedication to serving those in need, cemented my feeling of worth as her champion.
Venat as a Companion: Fighting Alongside Her in the Ktisis Hyperboreia
My adventure with Venat in Elpis laid bare the truth behind the Final Days and cemented her future actions as the creator of the world as it is in Final Fantasy XIV‘s present. Alongside Emet-Selch and Hythlodaeus, we met and confronted Hermes, the administrator of Elpis and a candidate for the seat of Fandaniel, a recently-departed member of the Convocation.
It all went down in the Ktisis Hyperboreia: A dungeon that gave me the chance to not only fight alongside Venat, but with Emet-Selch and Hythlodaeus as party members. Using the “Duty Support” system first debuted in the Shadowbringers expansion (where it was called the “Trust” system), I experienced one of the most pivotal moments in the Final Fantasy XIV story alongside its most important characters.
With Venat as a party member, I personally experienced her mastery of the arts of war. As the former Azem, she was an all-rounder, able to fill any role as needed, be it as a Tank, DPS, or Healer.
As a Tank, Venat’s Job class was similar to that of a Paladin. She fought with a unique sword and shield, and used variants of well-known Paladin abilities, often renamed with the prefix “True” to emphasize their nature as the “original” versions of many familiar abilities. Unlike a “normal” Paladin, though, Venat’s unique battle stance grants her access to some unique abilities across her roles, like the ability to cast True Arise, a special spell to instantly raise Emet-Selch or Hythlodaeus should they fall in battle.
Her DPS Job class might seem unusual for a woman characterized as aggressive and almost reckless in her taste for danger. Her abilities and weapons match that of a Dancer, though her abilities swap the Dancer’s familiar “Dance Partner” system with a series of unique buffs to enhance the party’s damage. She also had a unique Limit Break attack, Thelema, that she used early and often. Her use of a ranged weapon and a more support-oriented DPS Job speaks to the complexity to be found in Venat’s character.
Her Healer Job class was similar to White Mage, and it was the role she took on my first time through the Ktisis Hyperboreia. There her ability to use True Stoneskin and other potent abilities kept the party safe and out of danger for much of the dungeon. Even when things truly got tough, such as in the final battle against Hermes, her unique “True Renew” ability was capable of immediately topping off the entire party’s health. A protector to the end, Venat’s prowess gave truth to her status as the former Azem.
Venat: The Hero Who Made the World
But even with the most powerful of the ancients at my side, what was fated to happen, happened, and the dissatisfaction of a man with the flaws of his society would reverberate for thousands of years hence.
Hermes’ distress at what he saw as the callousness of his people toward the creations they made and unmade led him to look outward for purpose in life. To that end, he created Meteion, a being capable of traversing space in search of other life on other planets. This desperate seeking would nearly prove to be all of creation’s undoing. Meteion’s expedition to discover the fate of other civilizations uncovered loneliness and despair so potent that she concluded that life itself had no purpose at all. In her shattered psyche, the best remedy to existence’s suffering was oblivion for all and sundry.
Our attempt to prevent Meteion from enacting her plan – the source of the Final Days – failed at the Ktisis Hyperboreia. To ensure my trip to the past wouldn’t upend Meteion’s apocalyptic intentions in the present, he attempted to wipe our memories with a device called Kairos. With Hythlodaeus and Emet-Selch’s help, I and Venat managed to escape, memories intact. We were the only ones left with knowledge of the Final Days’ ultimate cause.
That knowledge would prove a critical advantage in settling the matter of the Final Days for good. Armed with it, Venat and I were enabled to bring what powers and resources we had to bear against the crises in both the distant past and the uncertain present. The rest was told in the main story of Endwalker.
But Venat’s struggle remains in the foregone. Her faith in the potential of mankind to triumph against despair and put the lie to Meteion’s nihilism. Resolved to fight for the morrow, she worked independently of the Ancients’ leadership, eventually becoming an enemy to Emet-Selch and the Convocation. She opposed their intent to sacrifice the world’s future life to restore the Ancients to their throne, instead becoming the heart of Hydaelyn, a Primal meant to bind and contain Zodiark.
She did all this knowing that the path to averting the total doom of the Final Days lay far in the future, beyond the time of her people. It was a path wrought in suffering and death, as the sundered world Venat gave birth to as Hydaelyn was but a pale reflection of the flawed paradise of the Ancients. Doing so was a deliberate action, for the hope and light to be found in the darkness of despair would light the way beyond the nihilism of Meteion’s mandate.
And despite it all, Venat was not unshakeable in her faith. Even the sadness and fear of the implacable end led her to create the Lopporrits, constructing the Moon as a secret ark to carry mankind to safety, should their efforts fail.
Seeing Venat humanized in this way served as a powerful antidote to my vision of her as an all-knowing, all-powerful, distant goddess. The events of Endwalker and the details gained in its exploration of Venat’s past added valuable context for her mission and her actions.
One Last Test for Hydaelyn’s Champion
My last interaction with Venat in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker came in the form of the trial, The Mothercrystal. There Venat, as Hydaelyn, laid it plainly: To live is to suffer, and in suffering find purpose, hope, and strength. But before confronting that which would bring about an ultimate end, she tested us one last time, standing alongside my strongest and truest companions, the Scions.
I experienced Venat’s wrath and strength firsthand, and yet triumphed all the same. I proved myself to my “mother”, showing her my readiness to face the inevitable at the end of the universe. She blessed me a final time, bequeathing a reserve of aether needed to power our ship on its way to the farthest reaches of space, to silence the song of oblivion.
The Mothercrystal trial is the perfect capstone to the story of Venat, for it is in that duty that I confronted her in her power and glory as Hydaelyn, the Will of the Star and the architect of the present age. Though she would dissipate after her final defeat at my hands, she had secured her legacy: Me. Her sundering of the world that was led to the creation of mankind as it is: An imperfect existence, but one enabled by its flaws to endure suffering and grasp all the more dearly onto the bright and shining moments of joy.
Question: Will Venat ever return?
Answer: It’s hard to say. She mentions that not even her soul remains in the Aetherial Sea, though it’s possible that players’ access to the distant past may hint at her past self’s presence in future stories.
Question: What Job does Venat have?
Answer: Other than former holder of the seat of Azem, and her role as Hydaelyn, Venat was capable of taking on any of the three roles in combat during your time together in Elpis. She could heal the party using skills similar to those of a White Mage, tank damage like a Paladin, and even add ranged damage to the fray as a class similar to the Dancer. Her Job depends on what role you take in the party.
Question: Is Venat A Boss in FFXIV?
Answer: Yes, you can battle them as Hydaelin in the Mothercrystal Trial.
Your last interaction with Venat in Endwalker heralds the end of the Final Fantasy XIV story that has run for nearly a decade. But in her wake comes a new adventure, as the Warrior of Light, and by extension, the players of FFXIV, step beyond Venat’s shadow. An endless adventure of exploring the new is perhaps the most fitting legacy Venat could leave.