There's a darkness within us all—nothing dangerous, mind. In fact, it's quite healthy.
Fray (フレイ, Furei?), is a Hyuran non-player character in the Level 30+ Dark Knight quests in Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. Fray is found unconscious in the Ishgardian slum known as the Brume, after following an Ishgardian's account of a recent trial that ended in a "demon's" demise.
Fray is covered head-to-toe in the black and gold Chivalric Armor of Fending, with only their eyes visible beyond the helmet's mask. Their skin is dark gray, and their eyes are white, although when speaking of the darkness their vocation controls, they will glow red. Fray starts with a Steel Claymore on their back, which they gift to the adventurer, before assisting them in combat with a black conjurer's staff and healing magic.
They'll either attack us or flee. I don't know about you, but I'm eager to find out which.
Fray seems calm, but angers quickly whenever temple knights are involved, and they are not above expressing frustration, regardless of who they might insult. Fray relishes in fighting, particularly the temple knights, and a mean streak can arise amid of battle.
Fray and his fellow student in the dark arts, Sidurgu, were in search of the meaning of "The Flame of the Abyss" mentioned by their master on his deathbed, when they interfered with the Ishgardian temple knights' pursuit of a young Elezen girl, Rielle. Fray was caught while the trio attempted to escape, and was forced into a trial by combat. Defeated, the temple knights forwent a proper burial and dumped his body in the Brume where the adventurer finds him.
The adventurer inspects Fray's body, finding a soul crystal that reacts to their touch, and blacks out. When the adventurer comes to, Fray stands before them alive and healthy. Fray introduces themselves and is pleased to know the adventurer heard a voice upon touching the soul crystal. Fray explains the "changes" the adventurer is experiencing, and they soon get the chance to put the knowledge to practice when they hear screams.
After bequeathing their greatsword to the adventurer, Fray leads them to the source of the screams where an old woman laments that temple knights have taken her granddaughter. Fray is angered, implying it is not the first time members of the Holy See have taken girls. Fray spells out what needs to be done, and the adventurer offers to get the granddaughter back.
Fray and the adventurer follow the knights to the Tribunal, and along the way they teach the adventurer how to harness the darkness within for more power. In defeating the knights, Fray hounds them, threatening to slay any who would dare stand against them. Upon helping the shaken granddaughter, the adventurer asks if she had called out their name. She denies, only her grandmother had called for help.
Returning to the Brume, Fray praises the adventurer's prowess in harnessing the flames of hatred within, but warns that the path of a dark knight is fraught with danger. Fray asks that the adventurer trusts in them.
The Voice in the AbyssEdit
Asking Fray of the origins of the voice they had heard, the adventurer learns it may be a beacon that guides the dark knight on their path. As one's prowess in the dark arts grows, so too will their ability to hear the voice. Fray suggests training, ordering the adventurer to the blazing sands of Southern Thanalan to slay a fearsome beast, so they might test their mettle and watch the adventurer thrive in the bloodshed. "To mete out justice, one must be strong" Fray teaches, and when the monsters are slain, they beseech the adventurer to concentrate with them and the adventurer blacks out again, hearing a voice speak just a little bit clearer.
When the adventurer comes to, they mention the voice again. Fray urges the adventurer to not be discouraged, and claims the voice might be someone they are destined to meet in the future.
When the adventurer next meets Fray they seem haggard, but waves away their condition to continue training.
To hear the voice with more clarity, Fray has the adventurer cross swords with a fearsome foe, to again embrace the fires of combat. Before the adventurer can make preparations, Isembard, and old friend whom they had saved from Ifrit, seeks their aid as Amalj'aa have kidnapped some residents of Camp Drybone. Fray is angry, spouting off that the victims should have armed themselves. Despite Fray's protest, the adventurer agrees to help, and Fray follows.
After slaying the encampment of Amalj'aa to rescue the kidnapped villagers, Fray tells the adventurer to not clean the blood from their gear for Isembard to see firsthand what they had accomplished. Isembard is relieved the villagers returned safely, but is disturbed by the sight of the bloodstains, which Fray finds amusing.
After communing with Fray more of the voice is heard, repeating "Serve...Save...Slave...Slay..." Fray says that sacrifice is to renounce that which binds you—and forsake all that does not. Fray suggests the adventurer gives up the path of the dark knight before it becomes too much of a burden.
Declaration of BloodEdit
Adamant to continue, the adventurer follows the strained Fray's advice and heads to the Moraby Drydocks to prepare for another round of eldritch communion. At the pier, Fray watches the waves, and speaks of a time she and her partner very nearly died at sea. She tried to convince her companion not to get on that boat (referencing the battle with Leviathan.) The reminiscing is cut short when the adventurer is recognized by one of Maelstrom's officers, who had helped in the battle against the primal Leviathan. The officer mentions a merchant in need, as Qiqirn have stolen crates of his goods. Annoyed people come to the adventurer for help with trivial tasks, Fray relents that at least the giant rats could be worthy opponents.
The two lay waste to the encampment of Qiqirn bandits, and afterward the adventurer glances at their bloodstained greatsword uncertain of how long they held it. The adventurer is struck by a headache and Fray is nowhere to be seen.
Returning to the Drydocks, Fray seems even more fatigued, but suggests they finish their task. The adventurer returns the merchant's crates, some of their contents broken, others covered in Qiqirn blood and entrails. The merchant asks for recompense but Fray demands respect for all they have done for the people of Eorzea, claiming they should have let all of Limsa Lominsa drown instead of bothering to fight the Lord of the Whorl. Fray storms off, and the merchant cowers, apologizing to the confused adventurer, while the Maelstrom officer tries to calm them down.
The adventurer speaks to Fray in a secluded area of the docks who proposes that the two of them leave Eorzea together and renounce everything to be free. After communing, Fray and the adventurer go their separate ways for a time.
In the Brume, Fray struggles to stand upright, but puts on a brave front. Fray tells the adventurer to meet them outside the gates of Ishgard when they are ready. Calling out for Fray in the snows of Coerthas, two knights ask the adventurer for help in quelling an uprising of giants at Daniffen Pass.
Upon felling the leader of the giants, the voice of the abyss pounds in the adventurer's head, drowning out the words of the knights who give their thanks. When the voice subsides, the knights send word from Lord Drillemont, who wishes to speak with the adventurer in Whitebrim Front regarding recent allegations against them.
Arriving at Whitebrim, the adventurer is surprised to see Fray standing over a group of injured knights. Fray explains the voice was them, or rather, the adventurer, crying out from the abyss, a fire of hatred to be embraced. The real Fray was dead when they first met, but touching the soul crystal gave form to the adventurer's desires for a teacher. Fray becomes a twin of the adventurer, garbed in the armor of the a dark knight, wielding their devilish greatsword.
Known as "Esteem," the inner darkness challenges the adventurer in combat to see who will win their shared future as a dark knight. Fray speaks of succumbing to the darkness, and how the adventurer needs to let go of everything they cared for to master the dark arts. Lord Drillemont and his soldiers cheer on the adventurer, assuring they have not changed, and will always be a hero Eorzea could respect.
With Esteem defeated, they and the adventurer commune one last time. Esteem is happy to stay inside the adventurer's heart, watching the darkness grow with each battle, waiting for a time they are needed again. Thereafter, House Durendaire knights explain that they will give Fray's body a proper burial.
"Fray" refers to when a fabric has become worn and unravels, seemingly a reference to how Fray's personality and demeanor becoming more and more unhinged over time.
A fray also refers to a fight, something the character finds delight in.
- Fray was the one to teach Rielle healing magic, as shown from Fray's use of conjury, and Sidurgu's mention to her of remembering Fray's teachings.
- Because of Fray's true nature as the player character's repressed darkness, Fray's gender in the quest journal changes to match that of the player character, being referred to as a man for male characters and as a woman for female characters. However, the original Fray was male, as mentioned by Sidurgu when he meets the adventurer after they subdue Esteem.