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In ages past, I oft journeyed the boundless aethyr to pay visit this emerald isle. And tonight, the light of the Einherjar hath guided me hither once again... that I might rejoice as our blades sing before the gates of Hell!
Einherjar is a massively multiplayer battlefield system in Final Fantasy XI. It is set in the Hazhalm Testing Grounds, an area once employed for the most profane alchemical experiments. One such operation inadvertently created a portal between Vana'diel and the ethereal domain of Odin, the Dark Divinity. Hazhalm was subsequently evacuated and magically sealed by the Empire of Aht Urhgan. Not all of the scientists involved were content to abandon the site, however, and one, an Elvaan named Kilusha, entices adventurers to break into the testing grounds in order to salvage her research.
As few as six or as many as thirty-six players may assemble to participate in Einherjar. Each applicant must be at least level 60 and have completed the first errand given by Naja Salaheem as an introduction to the Near East. Having purchased a special lamp from Kilusha for 180,000 gil, one may reserve an unoccupied portion of Hazhalm for half an hour and trade duplicate lamps to allies to enable their entry. With the lamp-purchaser leading the way, the party may delve into the testing grounds and face its sinister residents.
Once standing in Hazhalm, adventurers are not allowed to enter Einherjar again for three days. They must therefore be careful not to exit the area prematurely. Everyone will be automatically removed from Hazhalm if all party members have been knocked out for more than three minutes. Players are also barred from participating if battle begins before they have gone inside.
Like Dynamis, Einherjar was originally designed to entertain large groups of well-prepared level 75 players. With the higher level caps introduced since the June 2010 version update it has become increasingly easy to complete Einherjar with smaller parties. Teams of less than six people have only ten minutes before their reservation is canceled and they are ejected from Hazhalm, however.
The Hazhalm Testing Grounds are divided into three wings which are themselves partitioned into three large, creature-infested chambers. Nine rooms therefore exist for players to reserve and conquer. Only the first wing is initially available, however. Among the enemies in each chamber is a randomly-selected Guardian of Asgarth that serves as a boss. Having defeated these leaders and their subordinates, adventurers receive a feather corresponding to the current chamber. Holding all three feathers from the first wing allows a reservation to be placed in the second wing while holding the second wing's feathers allows reservations in the third. Participants other than the lamp purchaser may follow regardless of how many feathers they have collected.
Those who obtain all nine feathers may make a reservation for Valgrind, the location of Odin's personal chamber. Accompanied by players with at least one feather from each of the previous wings, the lamp purchaser may lead a charge against the Dark Divinity and his summoned servants. All party members lose all accumulated feathers upon setting foot in Odin's domain. Succeeding in this tenth chamber entitles players to reserve any of the previous wings without completing them in order.
|Hazhalm Testing Grounds|
|Wing I||Wing II||Wing III||Valgrind|
|Rossweisse's Chamber||Helmwige's Chamber||Ortlinde's Chamber||Odin's Chamber|
|Grimgerde's Chamber||Schwertleite's Chamber||Gerhilde's Chamber|
|Siegrune's Chamber||Waltraute's Chamber||Brunhilde's Chamber|
Having reserved a chamber, a party has thirty minutes to clear the area. There are no time extensions and any loot left undistributed when time expires is lost. Players therefore proceed briskly through the monstrous horde and powerful guardian that await them. All participants are rewarded with Therion Ichor, a substance much desired by the scientist Kilusha, proportional to the quantity of opponents that are defeated during the expedition. Defeating all enemies not only awards the chamber's feather but also amplifies the ichor received and creates a crate full of additional prizes at the center of the chamber. Much like Dynamis, participants are not required to be formally grouped as a party or alliance and everyone present inside Hazhalm may attempt to claim any loot that appears.
As adventurers work through a chamber a special Notorious Monster will spontaneously appear nearby. These creatures affect Einherjar in various ways if they are defeated and may make the battle more difficult if they are not engaged. Huginn, a bird, will leave a box of consumable items when killed. The defeat of another avian, Muninn, calms enemies while failing to destroy Saehrimnir, a tiger, makes foes more restless. Vanquishing Heithrun, a very rare sheep, will double the treasure received in the final chest.
Einherjar or einherjarium are those that have died in battle and are brought to Valhalla by valkyries. The einherjar prepare daily for the events of Ragnarök, when they will advance for an immense battle at the field of Vígríðr; the battle which the "ein" (here meaning single-time) refers to.