The flames of war surge as Solheim fends off the Pyreburner’s fire. The gods' pleas for peace fall on deaf ears, and the battle rages on.
Great War of Old (神々の「魔大戦」, Kamigami no 'ma taisen'?, lit. War of the Gods), also known as the Astral War, was a war two thousand years ago in the Final Fantasy XV Universe that led to the collapse of the ancient civilization of Solheim. Not much is known about the war at current times.
Long ago, the traitorous Ifrit waged war against the rest of the Hexatheon. Many moons passed as the embittered battle raged on, culminating in a clash between Bahamut and Ifrit in which the latter was laid asunder atop the Rock of Ravatogh. Taelpar Crag, the grand gorge dividing Duscae and Cleigne, exemplifies the severity of the War of the Astrals while also symbolizing the rift that separated the Six.
Solheim was a nation that prospered during the time Eos was stable under the watchful eyes of the Six, the Astrals. The war was started by the Astral of fire, Ifrit, who ruled over Solheim but was betrayed by his once-loyal subjects. Ifrit sought to destroy Solheim as punishment for their betrayal, but as the Six are sworn to protect Eos from all harm, even from each other, the other five turned on Ifrit. In the German localization, Ifrit is said to have wanted to destroy Eos itself along with humanity.
Solheim fell after a mysterious parasite massacred its populace. Taelpar Crag in the current Cleigne region was created as a result of the Astral War. Ifrit was killed and his body was laid upon the Rock of Ravatogh. The other Astrals—bar Bahamut—fell into slumber, as the world was left in ruin. Ifrit was eventually resurrected by the Starscourge. When Noctis Lucis Caelum meets Shiva, she tells him about the Astral War:
- The Six have safeguarded this star since time immemorial—each of a different mind, but united by this common purpose.
- The gods' protection extends to all creatures here below—even to the mortals created in their image. They are feeble creatures leading fragile lives and clinging to foolish fancies. The Frostbearer scorns these visions of "hope" which melt like snow in the sun's light.
- Yet the Pyreburner admires their strength of will. For their reverence, he grants unto them his flame, and the world of man flourishes. His benevolence warms the frozen heart of the Frostbearer. The mortals have earned her respect; he, her love and admiration.
- It is not long, however, before some among those men ascend to new heights of hubris. The people of Solheim spurn the gods who blessed them—the gods they once worshipped. The ungrateful mortals incur the wrath of the Pyreburner. He seeks to raze the very civilization his flames once helped build.
- But the Six are sworn to defend this star and all of her inhabitants from harm—and, at times, from one another. The flames of war surge as Solheim fends off the Pyreburner's fire. The gods' pleas for peace fall on deaf ears and the battle rages on.
- When the smoke clears, the world of man is in ruins, their star left scarred for time eternal. Wearied from war, the Six seek solace in slumber.
When Ardyn Izunia ushers Ifrit upon Noctis in Insomnia two thousand years after the war, the latter summons Shiva, the Astral of ice, who says: "Pyreburner. That heart of flame was turned to ash once. A dead flame must burn no more. Taste again the chill wind of death."
Two thousand years ago is the time when Astrals forged covenants with a man who would become the king of Lucis, but their revelations are said to have left devastation in their wake. This seems to coincide with the Great War of Old, as the king is said to have fought darkness alongside the Astrals at this time, and "the plague" is said to have subsided by his hand. The Astrals chose two mortal bloodlines to gift special powers to fight the darkness. Afterward there was a long period of stability and peace, during which four new nations sprung up, yet the plague would later be re-introduced to the world when the Niflheim Empire began experimenting with daemons.
- ↑ Shiva: Dieser Verrat brach Ifrit das Herz und entfachte seinen Zorn. Blind vor Wut wollte er diese Welt mitsamt der Menschheit einäschern. Und so… blieb dieser Göttin keine Wahl. Sie musste gegen Ifrit Kämpfen, um Eos zu schützen.
- ↑ Final Fantasy XV Scenario Ultimania Translation Project — History of Eos (Accessed: February 10, 2018) at Medium