The tale of thy kind is one of avarice, treachery and death─and thou wouldst speak to me of peace?
Hraesvelgr (フレースヴェルグ, Hurēsuverugu?) is a great wyrm in Final Fantasy XIV, one of the First Brood. He is one of the seven wyrms born of Midgardsormr. None can attest to sighting this terrible beast, nor can they deny his menacing presence. Legends say the great dragon nests high in the mountains of Dravania, but records of his existence have faded into memory.
Hraesvelgr is a large, slender white dragon with four legs and a pair of wings. His head extends from a crane-like neck, with four forward facing horns. He notably possesses feathers at the end of his wings and back of his head, a trait not present in his brood-siblings or father. The wing feathers are whitish-blue, while those on his head appear black-tipped.
When first seen, his left eye is missing, which is revealed to have been been given to Nidhogg. The eye is returned to him after Nidhogg's defeat, though he later gave it to the Warrior of Light.
While not as hostile as Nidhogg, the memory of Thordan's betrayal makes him very bitter and sullen to the mortal races. His bond with Saint Shiva is the only thing keep him from joining his brood-brother's quest for vengeance. He nevertheless retained a flicker of hope for reconciliation, which is why he helped Ysayle atone herself, and ultimately is persuaded to defend Ishgard.
According to legend, Hraesvelgr fell in love with an Elezen maiden named Shiva, but as her life is but a blink of an eye compared to the ageless dragons, she besought Hraesvelgr to devour her so her soul would be entwined with his for eternity. Though reluctant at first, Hraesvelgr honored Shiva's request and inspired an alliance between man and dragon that lasted for two hundred years. When King Thordan I and his followers broke that treaty by killing his sister Ratatoskr and robbing his brother Nidhogg of his eyes, Hraesvelgr relinquished one of his to Nidhogg as compensation.
Hraesvelgr is one of the few dragons not to participate in the Dragonsong War due to the calming influence of Shiva's soul. He lives as a recluse in the skies above Dravania with only his brood and the native moogles to keep him company. His brood, many remembering the peaceful days before the war, want nothing to do with the conflict and stay near Anyx Trine at the base of Sohm Al.
The adventurer, Ysayle, Alphinaud, and Estinien journey to the Churning Mists to find a way to halt Nidhogg's attack on Ishgard. Once they arrive at Zenith and call him using the moogles' summoning horn, Hraesvelgr rebuffs their pleas. Despite Ysayle's protests, he explains the "Shiva" she called was not his beloved, but a false imitation created from myth—something the "dark ones" tricked his kind into doing in the Third Astral Era with his brood-brother. Bahamut—to her dismay. He explains the truth of what happened a thousand years ago and why Nidhogg will never accept peace, detailing how thorough war of attrition is part of his brother's revenge.
With no other option left, Estinien and the adventurer enter the Aery and slay Nidhogg and realize his remaining eye was not his. Returning to Zenith, the adventurer returns the eye to Hresvelgr. When Ysayle calls him out on being an accessory to Nidhogg's thousand year wrath, Hresvelgr reminds her of what King Thordan's betrayal cost him, and reminds them his bond with Shiva is the only thing keeping him from seeking vengeance for Ratatoskr's death.
At some point Hresvelgr and Ysayle make peace, for they are later seen at Azys Lla when the Enterprise Excelsior is under attack by the Garlean dreadnaught Gration. Leaping from Hresvelgr's back, Ysayle transforms into her primal form to assault the Garlean vessel to buy the adventurer and others time.
Revenge of the HordeEdit
When Nidhogg, now possessing Estinien's body, prepares for his final assault against Ishgard, Aymeric journeys to Sohm Al alongside the Adventurer and Alphinaud, in order to attempt to persuade Hraesvelgr to assist them, despite his earlier refusal. Though he initially rebuffs them once more, he eventually relents upon further persuasion from his father, and puts forth a trial at Sohr Khai, the former abode of Ratatoskr. While Vidofnir and Verdrfolnir test Alphinaud and Aymeric, Hraesvelgr himself challenges the Adventurer in combat. Upon seeing their strength, he agrees to put his faith in mankind one last time and pledges an alliance with Ishgard to stop the final chorus.
When Nidhogg lays siege to the Steps of Faith, Hraesvelgr and the Warrior of Light arrives to challenge him. His attempts to persuade Nidhogg into letting go of his hatred are for naught, and the great wyrms duel in the skies. Though they seem evenly matched, Nidhogg eventually manages to overpower and wound Hraesvelgr. But Hraesvelgr gives the Adventurer one of his eyes, granting them the power to challenge and defeat Nidhogg.
Once Nidhogg's spirit is finally destroyed, Hraesvelgr returns to Sohm Al, accompanied by the Adventurer and Midgardsormr.
Hraesvelgr is voiced by Steven Hartley in all versions of the game.
Hræsvelgr (meaning "Corpse Swallower" in Old Norse, commonly anglicized as "Hraesvelgr") is a giant eagle in Norse mythology who causes strong winds from the flapping of his wings.
- Ironically, the eye upon which Hraesvelgr bestowed upon Nidhogg to have his war would be the same eye he would entrust to the Warrior of Light to provide them to power needed to lay the finishing blow.