Atarefaunet (アタルフォーネ, Aturufone?) is a non-playable Elvaan thief in Final Fantasy XI. He led a notorious gang of brigands, referred to as either Atarefaunet's Band or the Scarlet Thunder of La Theine, in the years before the Crystal War. They terrorized merchants traveling through Quon and amassed considerable wealth.
Eventually Atarefaunet was brought to justice and executed, causing his group to disband. Rumors of the treasures he had collected persist, however, and many enterprising rogues still seek to claim these lost riches for themselves.
Atarefaunet was born to the noble Remevel family in the Marquisate of Tavnazia. His high status did not discourage him from pursuing a life of crime but his loyalty to the Marquis compelled him to conduct his business abroad. He and his gang focused their efforts in the eastern Zulkheim region, robbing unlucky wayfarers on the roads between the Kingdom of San d'Oria, the Republic of Bastok, and the Grand Duchy of Jeuno. Merchants were said to quake in fear at the mere mention of the band.
In the opening moments of the Crystal War San d'Oria was dealt a crippling blow by the unexpected advance of the Beastman Confederate. Unable to bear another assault, the Kingdom's army misdirected the Beastmen and lured them toward Tavnazia. This proved a most successful gambit, enabling San d'Oria to regain its footing and turning the war in favor of the Alliance of Altana. The Marquisate was overwhelmed by flames and death, however, and reinforcements from the Alliance were insufficient against the hordes of Orcs and Behemoths that marched against them.
This devastation on Tavnazian soil seized Atarefaunet's attention. During the chaos and confusion he was cornered by a pair of bounty hunters, Goldmane of Tavnazia and Ismenios Cutsilver of Bastok. Although the latter was killed in the confrontation, Goldmane successfully captured Atarefaunet and delivered him to San d'Orian custody for a princely reward. This brought an end to his band and its remaining members parted.
In a sense Atarefaunet was lucky to have been separated from his homeland. The Marquisate was obliterated overnight by an intense and luminous explosion. Nearly all of its citizens and most of the invading Beastmen were instantly lost. Atarefaunet still faced execution in San d'Oria but this was a small threat compared to the calamity he had inadvertently avoided.
During his stay in the Bostaunieux Oubliette a local landowner, Count Varonbiriaux M Teulomme, attempted to poison Atarefaunet to prevent him from revealing their past dealings. Though this treachery failed, it assisted Atarefaunet in faking his death and escaping from San d'Oria. With the Royal Knights convinced of his demise, he adopted a new name, Vauderame, and went looking for information about Tavnazia's fate. He soon found Rochefogne I Tavnazia, the successor to the Marquisate, suffering from memory loss in the wake of their nation's destruction. Atarefaunet spent the next two decades waiting for this valuable individual to remember enough to be useful.
Rochefogne comes to his senses twenty years after the Crystal War. He reveals that Tavnazia had not been destroyed by an Orcish secret weapon, as many speculated, but by Lightbringer, a powerful sword entrusted to the Marquisate. Unaware of the weapon's dangerous nature, Rochefogne had drawn it himself and annihilated his homeland. Having lost track of Lightbringer after wielding it, the heir devotes himself to recovering the sword and preventing its future use. Wishing to maintain his influence over Rochefogne, Atarefaunet accompanies him on this quest using his Vauderame persona.
The pair arrive in San d'Oria to gather information about Lightbringer. They search Orc settlements and break into Chateau d'Oraguille but discover very little. The endeavor yields nothing but trouble for Atarefaunet as the Temple Knights find the sword first and Rochefogne gets himself into considerable trouble the moment he's left alone. Eventually Lightbringer is safely interred in King Ranperre's Tomb and Atarefaunet is able to safely stash Rochefogne out of the public eye.
With the future Marquis secure, Atarefaunet moves to assemble his old accomplices. Working through the Tenshodo in Jeuno, he asks a variety of small-time thieves to deliver letters to former members of his gang. He claims that this is a means for the Tenshodo to keep an eye on the old brigands. His messengers succeed in locating everyone and each recipient replies by signing a single initial. This subtly confirms their identities while acknowledging Atarefaunet's order to meet.
A complication emerges when Nanaa Mihgo, the "Cat Burglar of Windurst", fails to accept his justification for the message delivery and hatches her own scheme to find the legendary treasure of Atarefaunet's Band. She manages to expose most of his accomplices and beats them to their rendezvous at Ordelle's Caves. The assembled gang finds her rummaging through their hidden supplies and some call for her to be killed. Atarefaunet chooses to incapacitate her and induce short-term memory loss, however, as he is wary of being tracked by other Mithra if he murders one of their kin. Impressed that a young thief could gain so much ground against his veteran rogues, he leaves a few baubles to placate her.
With his team rebuilt, redressed, and renamed "Vauderame's Knights", Atarefaunet is a step closer to his goal of restoring the Marquisate of Tavnazia. More support is required, however, and he reaches out to various parties in search of troops and financial backing. He learns that a wealthy family from the western continent of Ulbuka would devote massive resources to Tavnazia in return for artifacts and knowledge that had been stored in its cathedral before the war. He therefore takes it upon himself to investigate this cache of relics and determine the fate of Mildaurion C Giloumet, the cardinal that had been in charge of them.
"Vauderame" has no right to enter such a place, however, so Atarefaunet instead adopts the identity of Louverance N Mistalle, a former Royal Knight of San d'Oria. With the real Mistalle wandering the Northlands, Atarefaunet is free to create the impression that Louverance has rejoined the military as a Temple Knight. He may then carry out an investigation of the Tavnazian Cathedral while pretending to act on behalf of its San d'Orian counterpart.
This disguise serves Atarefaunet well. The reputation of a knight, even one from a family as troubled as Louverance's, eases his way through many interactions. He is able to borrow an airship from Cid to simplify the journey to Tavnazia and quickly gains the trust of Despachiaire, a prominent figure among the Marquisate's survivors. The cathedral's reliquary has already been picked through, however, and the cardinal is nowhere to be found.
Overhearing a conversation about Mildaurion between Despachiaire, Ulmia, and Prishe, Atarefaunet interrupts and reveals his interest in the missing clergywoman. Prishe strongly objects to the notion the cardinal ever did anything to justify a Temple Knight's pursuit. Pleased to have met someone with at least some knowledge of Mildaurion, Atarefaunet offers to take Prishe off of Despachiaire's hands. When he learns that she has other business with Tenzen at the Beaucedine Glacier he offers to give all her companions a ride on the airship instead. She would be then able to share information and still reach her destination in a timely manner. He therefore departs Tavnazia with Prishe, Tenzen, and Ulmia in tow.
Atarefaunet returns Cid's airship to Bastok and briefly converses with the engineer. Although Prishe and Tenzen's scheduled meeting with Jeunoan diplomat Nag'molada is of no particular relevance to Atarefaunet, he follows them to the Northlands out of curiosity. They descend into Pso'Xja and, to his surprise, discover a mothercrystal, one of five shards of the original stone whose shattering brought Vana'diel into being.
Having reached the crystal some time earlier, Nag'molada chides the party for its tardiness. He speaks at length about the history of the Kuluu, the Zilart, and the nature the Eye of Altana, an artifact he had appropriated from the Tavnazian Cathedral. When Selh'teus arrives Nag'molada signals an attack and Atarefaunet is drawn into a fight with Zilart agents. Selh'teus interacts with the mothercrystal and everyone is unexpectedly drawn into the Emptiness.
Atarefaunet becomes helplessly suspended in the darkness of Promyvion. An adventurer eventually sets him free and, still astounded by all that he has recently learned, the thief regroups with Tenzen and Ulmia. Together they explore deeper into the Emptiness. They encounter a vast chasm and consider retracing their steps to find another route. Nag'molada emerges and reveals that the Eye of Altana can convert the void into a bridge of sorts. The party therefore joins him in search of an exit.
What they find instead is Diabolos and an unconscious Prishe. The avatar indicates that the interaction between Selh'teus and the mothercrystals will soon spread the Emptiness throughout the world but that this outcome is not what the boy had intended. Selh'teus had come from Al'Taieu on a mission to protect it. This information surprises the group as Al'Taieu was supposed to have been destroyed ten thousand years earlier. Atarefaunet wonders if the Gates of Paradise might lie there and Diabolos laughingly dismisses this idea as the will of Promathia manifesting itself.
Prishe awakens and argues with Diabolos, bringing an end to the party's encounter with the avatar. They are teleported to various locations in the Northlands and return to civilization separately. Atarefaunet meets Tenzen and Ulmia at Cid's office and they consider various avenues of investigation. Desiring a peek at Al'Taieu, the source of the precious relics which he had been seeking, Atarefaunet volunteers to research the lost city. He therefore embarks for Tavnazia, where knowledge of the Celestial Capital had first been reintroduced to the public in modern times.
Meeting with Despachiaire, Atarefaunet learns that a strange painting had been delivered to the Marquisate twenty-five years earlier. Cardinal Mildaurion had identified it as a depiction of Al'Taieu when she joined the Tavnazian church. A party of Mithran Sin Hunters had later demanded that the image be relinquished to them but Mildaurion had somehow convinced them to leave the matter alone. Intrigued, Atarefaunet decides to study the Sin Hunters themselves.
Still maintaining his Louverance disguise, Atarefaunet arrives in Windurst and seeks the counsel of Perih Vashai, chieftainess of the Federation's Mithra tribe. Although she knows nothing of Al'Taieu, Perih explains that the painting had been stolen from the Temple of Uggalepih. When the trackers attempted to recover it Mildaurion impressed them with extensive knowledge of a Mithran legend. Their people were to awaken sleeping gods to heal the land when Emptiness threatened to consume it.
The Cardinal claimed to have made preparations to do this herself and The Sin Hunters were compelled not to interfere. Their desire to execute Mildaurion for the theft remains, however, and Perih warns that this sin does not die with the Cardinal herself. In her absence the trackers intend to punish her successor, Prishe, instead.
The chieftainess advises Atarefaunet to be cautious and the thief continues his journey. He does not accept Perih's stories at face value but is interested to note that the Sin Hunters had also failed to discover any trace of Mildaurion. As he begins to accept the idea that the Cardinal is permanently lost he is approached by Honoi-Gomoi, a wealthy Tarutaru that had done considerable business with his band in the past.
As a request from Atarefaunet's subordinates, the merchant provides him with a Mimeo Mirror, a device that can manifest a person's memories for all to see. It had previously belonged to Atarefaunet and been broken during his capture. Honoi-Gomoi had the relic repaired and also discovered the hideout of the bounty hunter that had damaged it. Grateful for this information, Atarefaunet proceeds to Purgonorgo Isle to confront his old enemy.
Unimpressed by the Orcish Warmachine and Mandragora puppets that Goldmane has assembled to defend himself, the thief soon faces his diminutive adversary. The Tarutaru threatens to send a letter to the Royal Knights informing them of Atarefaunet's survival but he is confident that his Louverance persona will rise above such petty accusations. Goldmane questions the impostor's motives and he states that his influence will be used to restore Tavnazia and see that justice is dealt to those that elected to sacrifice his people. The retired bounty hunter is surprised to learn that Tavnazian refugees exist and Atarefaunet mocks him for having cowered on his island without news of the wider world.
The true purpose for their meeting is to discuss a mission Goldmane had accepted from the Tavnazian Cathedral to find an entrance to Al'Taieu. Atarefaunet explains that the bounty hunter can keep either his silence or his life. The Tarutaru admits to having conducted the search but insists that he learned nothing except that the path to the Celestial Capital only opens at hundred-year intervals. As Atarefaunet gazes into the Mimeo Mirror for clues Goldmane flees across the island with surprising speed. Having seen an excavated statue of Promathia in the mirror, Atarefaunet decides that Goldmane's information is sufficient and leaves him alone.
Having previously heard that the statue bore traces of Gustaberg soil and known that Moblins first emerged a hundred years earlier, Atarefaunet guesses that a connection to Al'Taieu may be found in Movalpolos. Exploring the area he is surprised to see Selh'teus there as well. The Moblins are excited by the boy's presence and Atarefaunet wonders what their intentions are. A Galka named Jabbos sneaks up behind him and inquires about the situation as well. Jabbos had lived with the Moblins for a century in an effort to make peace between them and the surface-dwelling races. He requests that Atarefaunet leave the situation to him.
The situation worsens when the Chebukki Siblings arrive and charge the Moblins in an effort to capture Selh'teus. Atarefaunet joins the fray but they are all knocked out when Jabbos throws a bomb into their midst. The Moblins briefly imprison their guests but forget about them when Selh'teus wanders away. Jabbos uses the opportunity to release the Atarefaunet and the others in the hope that they will quickly depart. They still wish to pursue Selh'teus, however, and Jabbos suggests that they move to Bastok to share their information.
This results in the Moblins storming a Bastokan restaurant to drag Jabbos back to Movalpolos. Following them back underground, Atarefaunet attempts to convince the Galka to abandon his association with these Beastmen. Jabbos reveals that he is to fault for the Moblins' belief that they are children of Promathia, however, and that he must stay to correct his past mistake. Atarefaunet points out that Beastmen are born from the Twilight God and that they would have figured it out for themselves anyway. Jabbos replies that a Tavnazian priest had said otherwise, however, and the thief cannot believe that someone from the Cathedral would deny the teachings of Altana. Jabbos can only repeat what he experienced: a church official stated that Promathia was long dead when the Beastmen came into being and proceeded to remove the god's statue from Movalpolos. It had brought peace to the Moblins until they discovered a mothercrystal far below their city.
Before Atarefaunet can take advantage of this information the Moblins advance upon them. They overheard Jabbos and are angry that he had lied to them about their connection to Promathia. The Moblins unanimously sever their relationships with the Galka. Disheartened, Jabbos begins to wander aimlessly before Atarefaunet convinces him to join the struggle against the Emptiness. Together they return to Bastok and consult with Cid. Realizing that they have time to spare while the engineer remodels his airship for the next mission, they decide to pass the time by maintaining a vigil on Movalpolos. Their watch is soon interrupted by news that Prishe has arrived in Jeuno and been taken into custody by the local authorities.
Assembling at a tavern in Upper Jeuno, Atarefaunet and Prishe's other allies discuss the possibility that Prishe is the Keeper of the Apocalypse, a person destined to become Promathia and bring about the end of the world. Ulmia cannot accept that Prishe could do this in spite of the evidence gathered by Tenzen from Fenrir. Angry that everyone is willing to sacrifice Prishe to save themselves, Ulmia storms out of the bar. Atarefaunet meanwhile contemplates calling in some old acquaintances to help free Prishe from the Duchy.
A jailbreak ultimately proves unnecessary as Esha'ntarl, duke vicarious of Jeuno and true identity of Cardinal Mildaurion, has no intention of detaining or otherwise punishing Prishe. She meets with Prishe and Ulmia to explain that the former had been the Keeper of the Apocalypse but that a ceremony had transformed the Emptiness inside her to magicite. Eliminating a Keeper only causes the darkness to reincarnate in another form, however, and Esha'ntarl's ultimate goal is to resurrect Promathia and decisively defeat him as a god. Since she does not know the identity of the next Keeper, Esha'ntarl is instead forced to battle Bahamut to prevent him from eliminating the Keeper by destroying all life.
In spite of all this, Prishe still believes that she can become Promathia and be destroyed to save the world. She therefore orders Ulmia to discover the last verse of a song called the "Lay of the Immortals" so that it can be sung to transform her into the Twilight God. Having eavesdropped on this entire exchange, Atarefaunet offers to use the Mimeo Mirror to extract the required information from Mathilde, a woman in Selbina who knows the words but whose memory is notoriously poor. This succeeds but Ulmia cannot commit to using the completed song.
Atarefaunet and Ulmia return to Jeuno to rejoin Prishe but are unable to locate her. Concluding that she has sneaked onto one of the warships departing to challenge Bahamut, they meet Cid in Bastok and ride his airship to Tavnazia where the rest of their party awaits. Cid fits the craft with special components from Norg and permits Atarefaunet to pilot it into battle.
Receiving warning shots from the Jeunoan armada, Atarefaunet communicates their non-hostile intentions and is able to get his companions on board the Duchy's ships to look for Prishe. Eventually they find her battling Nag'molada and Ultima, his mechanical pet. By the time they destroy this device Esha'ntarl has arrived to deal with Nag'molada, who had recently been relieved of his position and banished from Jeuno. The disgraced diplomat calls Bahamut to the vessel and teleports away. This results in the Jeunoan ship being targeted by a megaflare and forces Tenzen to sacrifice his Phoenix Blade to save everyone.
Atarefaunet and the rest of Prishe's team regroup in Tavnazia and continue to Jeuno to discuss their next move with Esha'ntarl. Having verified that Prishe is not the Keeper of the Apocalypse and learned that her successor lies in Al'Taieu, they contemplate means to reach the lost city. Esha'ntarl mentions that troops are preparing to invade Movalpolos to control the subterranean route and Jabbos promptly leaves to warn his Moblin friends. Feeling sympathetic for the hundred years the Galka had spent working with the Beastmen, Atarefaunet chases after him.
Nag'molada reaches the Moblins first and violently passes through their ranks on his way to Al'Taieu. Atarefaunet pursues him but Nag'molada collapses a tunnel behind himself to prevent anyone from following. Jabbos is eager to have revenge but with the Moblins injured there is insufficient manpower to clear the path.
Prishe's team decides to consult Cid and the engineer reveals that a strange red light has been rising from the sea above where Al'Taieu is thought to rest. The party suspects that they can use this to travel to the city but Cid's airship is not ready to fly after the earlier incident with Bahamut. Ulmia suggests that this is an opportunity to prepare themselves physically and spiritually for the final battle with the Keeper of the Apocalypse. Atarefaunet opts to facilitate Cid's repairs by gathering lumber at Carpenter's Landing.
During this excursion Atarefaunet arranges for a group of Tonberries to ambush the real Louverance and secure his use of the identity. The Beastmen nearly cross paths with the knight, who has come to realize that his image and reputation have been stolen, but are unexpectedly dispatched by adventurers. Seeing that a trap had been set for him, Louverance declares that if someone would call himself a knight he should at least have a just cause to champion. Witnessing this, Atarefaunet muses that there is no higher cause than saving the world from destruction. He therefore returns to Bastok with his collected materials.
With the airship repaired and equipped with a convenient autopilot system, the party flies to the column of light projecting from the ocean and is transported to another mothercrystal, the final shard separated from the world with the Celestial Capital ten thousand years earlier. They meet Selh'teus and learn that he had drained the energy of the other four crystals in order to reignite the fifth and prevent the convergence of Al'Taieu and its Keeper of the Apocalypse with modern day Vana'diel. He could not transport this energy himself, however, so he stored it in an adventurer. Prishe will not allow this person to be killed to release the crystal light and complete the plan, however.
As they consider alternatives Nag'molada arrives and catapults Prishe out of the way with powerful magic. He knows that Al'Taieu lies behind the mothercrystal and that its power must be drained before he can enter. He therefore siphons away the crystal's light himself. All present are immediately drawn into the ruins of the Celestial Capital.
Separated from Prishe, Atarefaunet leads the rest of the party toward the Grand Palace of Hu'Xzoi but is unable to open its gate. He begins to worry that the Keeper of the Apocalypse will be too great a foe as he and his companions hear a strange voice in their heads. The Chebukki siblings subsequently determine the means by which the palace opens and everyone proceeds inside.
As they travel deeper into the castle the voice in their minds grows louder. Each is tempted by a different message. Atarefaunet is urged to lend his strength to the reconstruction of Al'Taieu, a broken land not unlike his beloved Tavnazia. Soon he and his companions are climbing over each other as they try to get closer to the voice's source. Tenzen decides to render them unconscious for their own good. Prishe rejoins her incapacitated friends and Selh'teus informs them that the voice they hear is the Emptiness inside them,the voice of Promathia himself.
With Atarefaunet and the others lying uselessly in the hall, Prishe and Selh'teus continue to face the Twilight God without them. They manage to defeat Promathia and eliminate the threat of apocalypse. Atarefaunet is able to pull himself together and reaches the battlefield in time to feel a tear of the Goddess Altana, who weeps for Promathia, falling upon him. The Chebukkis elect to warp everyone out of Al'Taieu, however, and Atarefaunet is sent home before he can say anything.
In light of his failure to assassinate the real Louverance and the knight's many opportunities to spread word of an impostor, Atarefaunet redresses himself as a priest named Meransarget. He uses this persona to pass Louverance a message challenging him to a duel in the Uleguerand Range as a knight of honor. The hot-headed Mistalle charges off to the Northlands immediately. Atarefaunet resumes his Louverance disguise, meets his counterpart on a snowy cliff, and allows himself to be defeated. Feigning death, he waits for Louverance to leave and returns to San d'Oria as Meransarget.
Although he failed to recover the artifacts desired by his western clients to secure their kingdom's support of Tavnazia, Atarefaunet has no further interest in Cardinal Mildaurion's relics now that he knows her true identity and the influence she wields. To an extent he is relieved to be free of his Louverance persona. Playing an impulsive would-be hero is much more stressful than pretending to be a peasant. In any case, with the Mimeo Mirror in his possession he has no need for an elaborate knightly presence. He can simply reveal the experiences of any noble with dark secrets and thereby force their compliance in his schemes.
With a renewed commitment to restoring the Marquisate and the forgotten name of the Remevel family, Atarefaunet rejoins his gang of brigands. When Prishe's group later reunites to prevent the formation of another Keeper of the Apocalypse, they are accompanied by Atarefaunet, donning his "Louverance" armor once again at Esha'ntarl's request.