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The Annals of Orience (歴史ノ記録, Rekishi no Kiroku?, lit. Historical Records) is a section of the Rubicus that documents the history of Orience. It also doubles as an event viewer for all previously unlocked cutscenes.

Entries are divided into one of the following:

  • Annals (軍事, Gunji?): Text-based records of the history of Orience.
  • Missions (作戦, Sakusen?): Text-based records of missions.
  • Scenes (映像, Eizō?): Cutscenes that can be viewed at any time.
  • Special (特典, Tokuten?): Bonus cutscenes that can only be viewed from the Rubicus, and are not played during the regular storyline.

List of entries Edit

Note: Events in Final Fantasy Type-0 take place in the year 842 RG unless noted.

Event Date Category Unlocked
Federation and Republic

Beyond verifying the authenticity of chronicles that supposedly predate our current age, the studious historian is also tasked with salvaging what few facts lie amid a sea of subjective observations. It is for that reason that much of what precious little we know of the time two millennia before our own comes by way of a document with no storytelling aspirations whatsoever—an airship's logbook.

The registry tells us that the vessel was one amid a fleet of dozens, all in the service of what was known as the "federation." Many infer that its primary purpose was military, as the log contains several accounts of combat with some manner of "sky-soldiers" in purported allegiance to the "republic." The prevailing historical theory holds that these two composite states, federation and republic, partook in a battle of epic proportions, each seeking to claim dominion over Orience.

While science has found that the document's age exceeds two thousand years, the veracity of historians' inferences cannot be so easily ascertained. Nevertheless, that such a simple, ordinary log could draw so much scholarly attention sets one's mind to wonder what mundane, overlooked article might survive to tell posterity of our lives.

The Ultima War

It is a tale every child in Orience has been told at one time or another. In days of yore, when the peristylia had yet to grace our land and conquest was the only law, there stood four sovereign nations. Each took it upon itself to create the mightiest army the world had ever known, and when the time came, all four rode forth to wage the war to end all wars—the Ultima War. While the tale has seen its fair share of embellishments and alterations over time, one item that remains remarkably consistent is the name of the war, "Ultima." It is a curious thing, the importance children attach to names.

The Vermilion Dawn

The oldest exact verse of scripture in Akademeia is perhaps the most open to interpretation: "Unto Orience came the Crystal of the Vermilion Bird, to guide the children of Rubrum and bestow the great task upon them." The "great task" referred to herein is commonly understood to mean the creation of Agito, and it is to that end that Akademeia was established.

The grand halls we know now were initially naught but a single schoolhouse, a quiet sanctuary where a few cadets might bask in the light of the Crystal as they sought enlightenment. Yet as the teachings of the first chancellor spread, so did the size of that humble schoolhouse.

By the year 100, the use of magic had become so prevalent that Akademeia was now responsible for both research and enrichment. Attack spells, which fell monsters and destroy obstacles, as well as defense spells, which heal the wounded, would be analyzed and reformulated day and night. This could then be taught to individuals enrolled as Agito Cadets who sought to actualize their full magic potential, thereby forming the basis of the Akademeia we have come to know. How a simple, cryptic verse could alter the course of so many lives is indeed nothing short of remarkable.

Rise of the Black Tortoise

While geographic safety and security are no doubt vital to a society's survival, there is something to be said of civilizations that elect to live life on the edge. Take the city-state of Lorica, for example, located precariously around the ridge of an enormous sinkhole. Lorica rose to prominence on the strength of its trade, and its aggressive policy of economic diplomacy ultimately resulted in the prosperous Lorican Alliance.

Their pioneer spirit would come to profit them on another notable occasion, when an industrious young Lorican named Urshanabi discovered the Black Tortoise Crystal buried within the aforementioned sinkhole some twenty-eight years after advent of the Vermilion Bird Crystal. The boy became the Crystal's protector, turning l'Cie, and another peristylium dedicated to the cultivation of Agito arose shortly thereafter.

It is said that the warriors of Lorica, renowned for their might and temper, receive the blessings of the Crystal through the anointment of of Urshanabi. They stand as a testament to the bold spirit of their ancestors, who chose the hazard-laden path to fortune.

Establishment of the Dominion of Rubrum

The formation of the dominion is a unique example of the intellectual world influences the material one. While Rubrum, Togoreth, Iscah, and Eibon had shared borders, there were few military or economic pressures compelling the loosely affiliated states to unify. Rather, some six-score years after the peristylium had first taken root, its ideological principles brought these states together for the common good.

Despite Akademeia being the political heart of this alliance, little thought was spared to its defense. Such was the case when monsters suddenly came to lay siege to the peristylium, and aid from the satellite states was slow to rise; but by the grace of the l'Cie did Akademeia survive to see the dawn. The official establishment of Akademeia as the seat of power, and the concomitant military defenses, would come three years to the day after the harrowing night. So it came to pass that on Ventusmens XVII, 123 RG, the dominion was born.

The curious reader might inquire as to how the local region of "Rubrum" came to be synonymous with the dominion as a whole, yet it was merely a question of geography. All parties were in agreement that Akademeia, to whom all the former states paid fealty, rested well within Rubrum's territory, and so the appellation was unanimously adopted by all in the interests of political convenience. Such matters appear simpler for states sharing an ideological bond, as they often think alike.

Formation of the Lorican Alliance

It is said of warfare that good fortune is often preferable to great might, and the formal foundation of the Lorican Alliance eighteen years after the dominion's establishment demonstrates this point thoroughly.

While the advent of the peristylium may have assured that Lorica's neighbors would fall in line, a formidable challenge to the Lorican claim came from over the mountainside in Berith. The ensuing power struggle would engulf the entirety of the region, factions and coalitions of every stripe calculating risks and rewards before casting their lots.

The year 141, however, wrought calamitous devastation upon the lands and people of Berith. The once-presumptive conquerors now found their land forced, and declared open war against Lorica. Yet their desperate gambit would turn only to despair—no sooner had the call to arms been made than had the Lord of Berith been found dead. The Crystal-blessed knights laid the mountain low soon after, founding the Lorican Alliance under the fickle providence of fate.

Founding of the Militesi Empire

The cyclical moral imperative of the wild is frightful, yet undeniable—power begets avarice, which in turn begets power. Profess though we may to know our own nature, there is no telling what some will do if only given the opportunity. Such is the tale of Jörg Paradis—a lowly lord in Azurr who encountered the White Tiger l'Cie in 174, three years before he was to crown himself Emperor of Milites.

The rise of Paradis was owed to his study of crystal-driven technology, which led to the invention of firearms, weapons of a like heretofore undreamt in Orience. His subjugation of Azurr was swift and merciless, requiring less than a year to demolish decades of civilization. Out of the ashes rose Ingram in the north, the capital chosen to house the White Peristylium as Paradis made his formal declaration of empire. It was the subsequent conquest of Cetme, however, that caused the realm to take notice, as expansionist Milites ushered in a savage new epoch of fear and force in Orience. Humanity shall never be the same.

Formation of the Kingdom of Dracobaltia

Of the faculties nature has seen fit to bestow upon us, communication might be the most curious. While not essential to the survival of individuals, nothing compares in terms of assuring the prosperity of the species.

Contact with the Crystal and l'Cie of the Blue Dragon instilled the ability to command and commune with beasts in the otherwise unremarkable people of Rilochy, thenceforth known as the Dracobaltians. The implications of these abilities immediately apparent, the Dracobaltians quickly enshrined the Crystal and rebuilt their culture around it.

The monsters that plagued the people for so long were now their loyal servants, and by simultaneously removing a nemesis and adding beasts of burden, Dracobaltian civilization proceeded to advance by leaps and bounds. The temple became the heart of society, and the custom of rendering offerings to the Crystalkeeper had the effect of centralizing authority, so much so that by the year 197, the Crystalkeeper declared himself king, imposing formal rule over the surrounding towns and villages.

Institution of a Mechanized Imperial Army and the First Lorican-Militesi War

In war as in the wild, it is the ability to adapt that separates victor from victim.

The mass production of firearms more than sufficed for the subjugation of the outlands, but imperial expansion would necessitate new technologies. The nature of combat changed when the empire made inroads to Berith and inadvertently engaged the paladins of the Lorican Alliance. While Milites maintained an advantage at range, the knights could eventually come close in and ravage the army's ranks, making it nigh impossible to secure a defended position. The key for Milites would be to overwhelm Lorica at a distance.

In 214, four years prior to the breakout of hostilities, the empire drafted schematics for what was called the Crystal (or "C-") Engine—an independent motor capable of powering mobile artillery. It was indeed at this time that the first airships were conceived as well, demonstrating the ingenuity born of military necessity. This paradigm shift—the advent of mechanization in warfare—forever changed combat as we know it.

The machines were a fearsome sight, menacing suits of mechanical armor brandishing wide-mouthed cannons that tore the Lorican lines to shreds from afar. The empire would show the alliance no mercy, carving a path to the heart of the alliance before the l'Cie of the Black Tortoise interposed, swiftly stifling the imperial advance and bringing about an armistice as both sides paused to lick their wounds.

Dracobaltia: Formation of Monster Military Units

All things can be made to serve some military end, if one only possesses the will and the wit. For those born under the Blue Dragon, the martial application of their newfound powers were readily apparent.

The Dracobaltian host assembled under the banners of their tribes, each banner comprising dozens of men, each man commanding up to a hundred beast minions. As tribal divisions and the nature of beasts do not lend themselves to a rigid command system, tactical discretion was largely left to individuals. Yet despite this seeming lack of organization, the Dracobaltians all proved to be adept beastmasters, able to recognize the advantages the proper monster possessed against a suitable opponent. By maximizing the potential of their behemoths and adamantoises, the Dracobaltian forces flashed predatory teeth ample enough to keep potential invaders at bay.

Lorica: Development of Crystal-Powered Armaments

In order to defeat one's enemy, it is often necessary to become one's enemy.

Having stood helpless before the mechanized might of the empire, the resilient alliance redoubled its efforts to combat the Crystal-powered imperial juggernaut and fortify itself against invasion. Lorica's answer ultimately lay in its own Crystal, Lorican scholars having devised a means of imbuing arms and armor with its mystical energy.

The Arms of Agito, as they came to be known, were of unrivaled might—capable of not only resisting, but felling the formerly invincible imperial war machines. At last, the Black Tortoise had found its carapace, and could mount a defense befitting the warriors of lore.

The Crystal alone could hardly suffice to supply the needs of a nation, and it is here that Lorica learned from the efficiency of its Militesi rivals. Under the guidance of the l'Cie, the alliance was able to distill shards from the energy naturally emanating from the Crystal. Production for the Arms of Agito was soon powered by these shards, and before long the alliance host was clad in the superlative equipment, a sight no less imposing than the mechanized arsenal of the empire.

The Rubrumite-Dracobaltian War

Having expanded its sphere of influence from Rilochy to Roshana, the Kingdom of Dracobaltia met with Rubrum's forces at the border between Roshana and Eibon. Unconcerned with trifling matters such as diplomacy, the Dracobaltians launched straight to battle against the dominion without even considering negotiations.

The Dracobaltian troops and their monsters maintained an initial advantage, but due to their lack of organization, they were unable to do more than force a retreat. Thus, despite their many nominal victories, the Dracobaltian Army made few actual military gains.

The dominion, apprised by its enemy's lack of internal cooperation, implemented a divide-and-conquer strategy: split the Dracobaltian ranks, then surround and annihilate them. Having suffered massive casualties at the hands of the dominion, royal units fled the battlefield in droves. In the end, the legions succeeded in completely driving the Dracobaltian Army out of dominion territory.

The Dracobaltian Coup and the Sealing of Naraku

Having lost the war against Rubrum and desperate to become stronger, the citizens of Dracobaltia turned to their Blue Dragon Crystal, hoping it might bless them with an even greater power. In response to the people's cries, the Blue Dragon Crystal, wishing to strengthen its people, bestowed upon the Dracobaltians the ability to manipulate beings far more formidable than monsters: wyverns.

However, once granted the power to control dragons, the avaricious Dracobaltians desired even greater strength. In their hubris, they used this newfound gift to wage a war over the fate of all four Crystals. Moreover, despite the wyverns' impressive intelligence, they were viewed by their masters as nothing more than monsters, and it was not uncommon for the dragons to serve as dinner for Dracobaltians in times of food shortage.

This struggle between fellow children of the Blue Dragon initiated a drastic decline in the Crystal's power, and the balance between the four Crystals of Orience began to falter. In a miraculous turn of events, however, the Azure Dragon Crystal appeared in order to overthrow the Blue Dragon Crystal. The new Crystal wasted to time, immediately designating Azure Dragon l'Cie to create the Cursemire of Naraku and seal away the Dracobaltians for eternity. The Kingdom of Dracobaltia and its Blue Dragon Crystal vanished from the face of Orience.

Establishment of the Kingdom of Concordia

Realizing that the Dracobaltians failed to develop their Crystal-State because of their insatiable lust for power, the Azure Dragon Crystal first gave birth to l'Cie who would be able to establish a country. Under the guidance of these demigods, the kingdom of the Azure Dragon quickly took shape as a Crystal-State. Then, in the year 271, the l'Cie Cuprine authored the laws of the Azure Dragon and founded the matriarchal Kingdom of Concordia.

In order to defend the queen, Iunia subsequently formed a royal guard with the Five-Star Wardens at its head. Hespera then constructed towns and villages which later became the foundation of the present-day Concordia. As the last step in the establishment of the kingdom, the l'Cie Vesta erected a palace in the land of Mahamayuri and declared it the royal capital.

Establishment of Akademeia's Sorcery Division

The Vermilion Bird Crystal blessed the citizens of the dominion with the ability to use magic, but this gift was passed down by Agito Cadets and cadets-turned-instructors propagating the Will of the Crystal. The state played no part in managing the transmission of magic in the dominion.

Nevertheless, once the four Crystal-States had been established, the dominion government had no choice but to follow the example set by the other nations, promoting and overseeing the blessings of the Crystal. No longer living in constant fear of ferocious monsters, the denizens of Orience now faced a far more terrifying breed of foe: each other.

Fortunately, no other nation had threatened the dominion's borders since the expulsion of the Dracobaltians. However, news of the Lorican-Militesi War quickly reached Rubrum, and the dominion government thought it wise to strengthen its magic faculties so as to prepare itself against a potential assault. Thus, Akademeia founded the Sorcery Division.

This department was responsible for any and all magic matters. Up until that point, spells had been transmitted from citizen to citizen on an individual basis. Sorcery's first order of business was to classify these spells by type and unify the standards behind them, thus creating an environment in which anyone with magical ability could cast spells at will.

The establishment of the Sorcery Division and the systematization of spells also brought about great changes in the organization of the dominion military. Previously, the legionaries fought solely based on their individual magical prowess. Now that the military could form squads united around a single class of magic, the legions saw the rise of units defined by characteristic spells, such as Fire Squad or the Cure Squad.

The Second Lorican-Militesi War

After its defeat in the First Lorican-Militesi War, the Lorican Alliance chose to bide its time. Once enough knightly orders had been outfitted with Arms of Agito, Lorica declared war on Milites.

The two armies once again clashed in the sandy region of Berith, and the strength of Lorica's Crystal armaments was astonishing. The Black Paladins' swords cleaved straight through the empire's tanks, and their armor protected them from the cannon fire. Even the imperial dreadnoughts proved no match for the Black Paladins, whose Crystal-powered bows downed craft after craft. Overwhelmed and underprepared, the empire was set to flight. Alliance knights pursued the imperial troops into their homeland, but they did not anticipate their encounter with a White Tiger l'Cie. The Black Paladins brandished their blades valiantly, but they were overpowered and driven out of imperial lands.

Nevertheless, despite all precedent, the knights' Crystal-imbued Arms of Agito saved the alliance army from total destruction at the hands of the l'Cie. The battle was lost, but the knights managed to safely return to their homeland. Moreover, this incident imbued the alliance with hope: if they could produce even stronger armaments, defeating a l'Cie might not be outside the realm of possibility.

Milites: Invention of Magitek Armor

After suffering defeat at the hands of the Lorican Alliance in the Second Lorican-Militesi War, the Militesi Empire hastened its development of new weapons. Relying on the power of their Crystal, their aim was to invent more powerful and more advanced machinery.

Thanks to their C-Engine, the empire was already light-years ahead of the alliance in regard to Crystal energy extraction. By increasing the engine's efficiency and functionality, imperial researchers succeeded in crafting a weapon infinitely more powerful than their tanks and dreadnoughts: magitek armor. Equipped with legs, the magitek armor was vastly superior to the empire's tanks in reaction speed and maneuverability over irregular terrain. Moreover, with the MA's increased firepower, Milites was confident in its ability to resist the alliance's Black Paladins.

The development of advanced weaponry was made possible by fine-tuning the empire's energy supply system. The imperial government installed enormous, high-output C-Engines throughout the state to extract energy from the Crystal. Those engines then distributed the energy to smaller C-Engines, which then used that energy to generate power for the empire's various arms factories. As a result, energy from the Crystal flowed across the entire empire, and mass-production of a fleet of magitek armor was underway.

Concordia: Institution of Dragon Commands

Once Concordia had finished laying the foundation of their new kingdom, they set out to build up their military. The Azure Dragon Crystal possessed virtually the same abilities as that of the Blue Dragon, and Concordia, too, formed their armed forces around monsters and wyverns.

The notable difference between the armies of the two states was in their structure. The Dracobaltian Army had no clear chain of command, and each military unit was allowed to fight on its own judgment. By contrast, the Concordian Army assigned each unit to the command of the leaders of the Five-Star Royal Guard, each of whom answered directly to the queen. By establishing a clear chain of command, royal officials allowed the variegated squadrons, with their monsters and wyverns, to move as an army while functioning as individual units.

With their new chain of command, the royal army adopted the use of military ranks common in other nations. Officers were divided into marshal, general, brigadier, colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, captain, second lieutenant, and officer cadet. Soldiers were ranked as first class, second class, and third class. Wyverns comprised the core of the royal army, constituting over 90% of the entire Concordian forces. The army consisted of two types of units: dragon-led mixed commands of monsters and dracoknights, and elite dragon-only commands assigned solely to the Fire-Star Wardens for emergency use.

The Third Lorican-Militesi War

Having succeeded in mass-producing magitek armors, the Militesi Empire now sought an opportunity to test the power of it new mechs. Once again, the empire threw down the gauntlet—and the Lorican Alliance accepted the Militesi challenge. Believing their position advantageous, the Black Paladins took up their Arms of Agito once more and proceeded to the border. Thus began the Third Lorican-Militesi War.

The Black Paladins managed to hold their own against the MAs, but they were unable to demonstrate the crushing strength they had shown in the previous war. The alliance army, consisting of knightly orders of only a few dozen warriors each, was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the imperial army and its myriad battalions, regiments, and divisions. In the end, the Black Paladins were annihilated.

In wars past, the imperial army would have advanced on the Black Peristylium, where the Black Tortoise Crystal would have presumably fought back with l'Cie. However, seeing as the empire's objective was purely to test the abilities of its newly developed MAs, Imperial Central Command determined the empire possessed neither the strength nor sufficient reason to engage a Lorican l'Cie. As the alliance army took flight, the empire pulled back its troops, and the war came to a close.

The Rubrumite-Concordian War

Although the empire and alliance had been at war with one another nearly since the founding of their respective governments, the kingdom and dominion had enjoyed a relatively long period of peace. However, as Concordia solidified its military under the direction of the Five-Star Wardens, tensions between the two nations began steadily increasing. Concordia struck first, dispatching a small unit to assault a city in the Eibon Region to test the strength of their dragon commands. Rubrum initiated a counteroffensive, and a war was underway.

Rubrum used the battlefield's close proximity to its advantage, deploying troops from all over the dominion to the Eibon Region. At the time, the dominion's main force included mage regiments of 1,000 spellcasting soldiers each, and Rubrum deployed thirty-two of these units. The dominion legions dispatched a force of 40,000 troops in hopes of driving away the royal army. By contrast, the Concordian Army deployed four mixed commands, each containing approximately 100 wyverns. Including reserve soldiers and monsters, the kingdom possessed a fighting force of 30,000.

The dominion army suffered countless casualties in the face of the wyverns' awesome power and, even after calling for reinforcements, they barely managed to hold their ground. However, after more than a month of fighting, a succession dispute in Concordia erupted into civil war, and the kingdom's army withdrew, ending the war.

Rubrum: Implementation of Eidolons

After their embarrassing performance against the royal army's wyverns, the dominion legions began searching for something stronger than the magic they had relied upon until then. What they found were the Eidolons.

Sorcery designated the Eidolons as a type of weapon, but they were not created at Akademeia, and these beasts of war were not exactly magic. Each Eidolon possessed its own intellect and its own will. They appeared when summoned—not from anywhere in Orience, but from another realm—and after a set period of time, they vanished. Unlike spells developed in Sorcery, the Eidolons could only be deployed by forging a covenant via summoning portal—and in exchange for their services, the Eidolon demand the summoners' life energy.

It is said that the discovery and implementation of Eidolons can be attributed to the efforts of the Archsorceress at the time, but the psychomagical principles behind the Eidolons remain unclear to this day. Compared with Concordian wyverns, who similarly possess their own intellects but were most certainly born of the Crystal's power, there is still much yet to be understood in regard to the nature of the Eidolons.

According to legend, as if responding to the dominion's demand for more power, the first Eidolon summoned was even more formidable than a l'Cie. Rubrum deployed this Eidolon to Lorica, and after long and drawn-out battle, the Eidolon finally managed to topple the Black Tortoise l'Cie. However, this Eidolon required massive amounts of life energy, and the dominion foolishly sacrificed the lives of many innocent legionaries to this end.

Because of this incident, dominion officials sealed away this first mighty Eidolon as anathema, and Rubrum decided to forge covenants with more agreeable beasts of war. Many facets of the Eidolons remain unclear, but once a covenant has been forged, anyone can summon that beast of war through a portal. Thus, the Eidolons immediately secured a spot as the dominion's primary offensive tool, and in the year 339, Rubrum formed its first summoning regiment.

The Rubrumite-Militesi War

On the border between Milites and Rubrum, the Meroë Region west of Iscah was plagued with constant conflicts. In 343 RG, one of these border disputes sparked the first war between the two countries.

At the time, the dominion had stationed a mage regiment near the border, and the empire had deployed one of its MA-equipped armored divisions. The battle became a contest between magic and mechs, but the dominion's spells had little effect on the empire's magitek armor, and the imperial forces easily outnumbered the legions. Rubrum's front lines began to collapse, and the empire nearly routed the dominion out of Meroë.

It was then that the dominion's First Independent Summoning Regiment joined the fray. They summoned not one of the mighty anathemic Eidolons, but Ifrit, whom they used to drive back the imperial army and lead the dominion to victory. This success convinced Rubrum that the Eidolons were more powerful than magic, and Sorcery immediately set out to research methods to implement and effectively utilize Eidolon units.

Lorica: Creation of the King's Crystal Armaments

Not long after its war with Milites, Lorica came to a grave realization: its Crystal arms only put it on equal footing with the empire. Unless the alliance managed to gain the upper hand, it was only a matter of time until the empire inevitably seized Lorican territory and covered it with magitek factories. The king of the city-state of Lorica urged his brethren across the alliance to develop some armament that might allow them to compensate for their smaller numbers.

Given that most wars between Crystal-States typically ended due to the intervention of l'Cie, Lorican craftsmen sought to develop weapons capable of combating the demigods. Eventually, the alliance succeeded in creating two armaments capable of fully utilizing the Crystal's power: the King's Sword and the King's Armor.

Although their creators claimed the sword was capable of rending a l'Cie asunder and the armor able to withstand even the fiercest onslaught, they had yet to test either instrument against a l'Cie in combat, so their alleged abilities were little more than hopeful conjecture. Nevertheless, these arms were unquestionably superior to any the alliance had seen before, so the craftsmen immediately set out to mass-produce them.

However, creating these weapons consumed enormous amounts of energy. Sensing that the Black Tortoise Crystal's power had begun to weaken, the Lorican King halted production of these weapons. The Crystal regained its full power after a few months, but fearing that producing more arms like the King's Sword and Armor would cause further deterioration, the King forbade the creation of any more such equipment.

The Great Orience War

Steeled and strengthened through centuries of war, each Crystal-State had developed formidable fighting forces. This increased military might convinced each head-of-state the possibility of unifying Orience under one banner was more than just a dream, building momentum toward all-out war.

In addition to the arms race, the waning of the Crystals' power drove the four state leaders to expedite their war efforts. The Crystals were the source of all four nations' military strength: without them, the armies would be nonexistent. However, extracting energy from the Crystals exacerbated their deterioration, as demonstrated by the production of the King's Sword and Armor and the operation of multiple magitek armor factories in Lorica and Milites, respectively. Fearing the weakening of the Crystals to be permanent, each nation realized that now was the perfect opportunity to annihilate the others.

It began as a border dispute between the dominion and the empire. Concordia launched an assault on Rubrum's rear guard, to which the dominion responded by summoning the Verboten Eidolon Leviathan, escalating the war. While Milites focused on attacking the dominion, Lorica seized the opportunity to deploy troops to the empire. Thus, the curtain rose on the Great Orience War.

Having already successfully driven the dominion out of Meroë, the empire continued its advance into the Iscah Region. The alliance rallied its knights in hopes of seizing the Berith Region, but the king and the Black Paladins left Jubanla for Iscah in order to see how the King's Sword and Armor fared in combat. At the same time, the Vermilion Bird l'Cie Kiyosaki also headed to Iscah in order to repel the empire. There, Kiyosaki engaged the Lorican King, and it is said that the two warriors died impaled on each other's blades.

The empire lost more than half of its magitek armor fleet, collateral damage in the clash between king and l'Cie. With the alliance fast approaching from the north and the imperial fleet in shambles, Militesi territory was extremely vulnerable—but with the help of its l'Cie, the empire managed to escape its perilous plight.

The Great Orience War raged on, army clashing against army, l'Cie against l'Cie. However, as the struggle continued, each nation's Crystal began deteriorating even more rapidly than before. Each state expended an exorbitant amount of energy to replenish the weapons, armor , and magic it had lost. Moreover, each Crystal expended its own power to defend itself through the creation of l'Cie. Eventually, it became obvious to all that the power of all four Crystals was waning, so on Ventusmens IV in the year 359, the four nations of Orience ordered a ceasefire and began preparations for a peace treaty.

The Pax Codex and the Fabula Pact

The Berith Region transformed into a desert in the aftermath of the Great Orience War, and Innsmouth was completely submerged. Iscah was reduced to a pile of rubble in the clash between the Vermilion Bird l'Cie Kiyosaki and the Lorican King. The residents fortunate enough to escape had no choice but to erect a new city of Iscah near the ruins of its predecessor.

Then, two years after the cessation of hostilities, the heads-of-state finally drew up a proper peace treaty between the four nations. The treaty defined the four Crystal-States' borders as they were at the beginning of the armistice. The Innsmouth Region now belonged to Rubrum, and the Meroë Region, constant source of discord between the dominion and the empire, was split down the middle.

However, more important than the treaty was the establishment of the international Pax Codex. The Crystals' power had waned greatly as a result of the four Crystal-States' constant abuse during the Great War. Fear permeated the mind of each nation's leader—the fear that, were fighting to resume and continue for some time, the Crystals might waste away and disappear. Thus, the will for peace was strong.

The Pax Codex outlined regulations for declaring war and capitulation, as well as humanitarian issues such as treatment of POWs and civilians. However, the most crucial item addressed in the pact was the official prohibition of using l'Cie to encroach upon other nations. All parties present believed this agreement would prevent fighting between l'Cie and keep Orience safe from destruction.

Furthermore, in 448 RG, the Fabula Pact was drawn up between each of the four peristylia. Pressured by cries for peace, the heads of the peristylia forged this pact as a non-aggression pledge. The document itself was a non-governmental agreement, however, and its contents—aside from the pledge for non-aggression, remain unclear. Nevertheless, the signing of the Fabula Pact proves just how strongly the citizens of Orience opposed the mere thought of going to war again.

Establishment of Dominion Central Command

Before simmering crises began erupting into full-scale wars, a government must establish a department specializing in military affairs. However, the Chancellor of Akademeia's greatest obligation was the cultivation of Agito, and his responsibilities as headmaster took precedence over his duties as head-of-state. Thus, without a proper leader in position, the dominion's military organization was extremely fragile.

To alleviate this problem, the dominion formed a new division—Central Command—to take Akademeia's place in directing the army. All military responsibility shifted from the chancellor to this new department, headed by the newly appointed commandant. Not only did Central Command receive total command of the dominion legions, but it also assumed responsibility for all logistical issues as well, such as the mobilization of troops and the development of new armaments. By establishing Central Command, the Rubrum Army was able to deploy troops and engage enemies with more speed and efficiency. However, it also meant that Agito Cadets now existed separately from the legions and only joined the army for field training.

Establishment of the Armory Guilds

Peace descended upon Orience with the ratification of the Pax Codex, but the document was unable to assuage tensions between the four Crystal-States. Sensing this serenity might be short-lived, Central Command and the Akademeia administration worked together to establish the Armory Guild for the purpose of strengthening their military. As the name would imply, the guild existed to develop new equipment for the dominion legions, and its first objective was to craft Potions and other sanative supplies.

Later, in the year 533, part of the guild began working exclusively in developing accessories and other gear. The administration designed this branch as the Second Armory Guild in order to distinguish it from the guild responsible for crafting supplies. The Second Armory Guild's accessories amplified the user's magic faculties, and legions outfitted with the newly developed equipment saw a vast improvement in their firepower.

Some time later, Central Command pushed for the creation of a Third Armory Guild to design equipment for chocobos and a Fourth to develop dominion dreadnoughts. After war broke out in 842, a Fifth and Sixth Armory Guild emerged to create and manufacture weapons and gear for the legionaries and the cadets, respectively.

Establishment of the Chocobo Ranch

As part of the dominion legions' initiative to improve their armaments and overall preparedness, Central Command proposed the formation of Chocobo Squads in the year 689. Hoping to take advantage of these birds found all over Orience, scientists at Akademeia began investigating ways to raise and equip chocobos for use in battle.

Through various studies, researchers discovered chocobos to be extremely agile creatures. They concluded that, by equipping these birds for combat, they could dramatically improve their troops' mobility. Consequently, the chocobos were officially adopted into the military, and the Third Armory Guild was established to facilitate chocobo breeding.

The guild not only bred chocobos, but also raised them so as to cultivate their abilities. After war broke out, however, due to a lack of staff and an exceedingly high number of casualties in the field, the guild devolved into little more than a holding place for the chocobos. Furthermore, the official name—"the Third Armory Guild"—fell out of use, and virtually everyone around Akademeia refers to the facility as the chocobo ranch.

Marshal Cid Aulstyne Seizes Control of the Empire

After seizing the reins of military power, Imperial Marshal Cid Aulstyne began secretly plotting a coup d'état, which he eventually executed on Tempestamens XV, 832 RG. The Militesi Empire had already established more than enough self-sustaining bureaucratic facilities to mass-produce magitek armors, so the emperor had very little actual influence over the government or the military, and only and handful of soldiers were willing to fight for him.

The coup d'état ended without a single drop of blood spilled, and Cid Aulstyne became the new Milites head of state. He incarcerated the emperor, took control of the White Peristylium, and placed the White Tiger Crystal under his direct supervision. In taking possession of the Crystal, he also took control of the l'Cie who obeyed its Will. Thus, with the Crystal and its l'Cie under his thumb, Cid Aulstyne became the supreme ruler of the entire Militesi Empire.

Outbreak of Dominion-Empire Border Disputes

Once Marshal Cid Aulstyne seized the Militesi throne, the imperial army resumed its aggressive military activity, and frequent skirmishes began erupting between the empire and the dominion in cities and villages along the border. Such incidents occurred at least ten times per month, gradually intensifying until the imperial army ended up razing an entire dominion village.

Determined to retaliate, Dominion Central Command immediately deployed a special task force across the border to wreak revenge by assaulting an imperial city. All believed the dispute would continue escalating, but a White Tiger l'Cie appeared near the border—and, fearing another clash between l'Cie, the leaders of both armies quieted their troops, thus averting an even more serious crisis.

Imperial Invasion of Rubrum

Just before war broke out in Orience, the empire devised a three-part campaign to invade the dominion.

The first phase was Operation Solar Eclipse, in which Brigadier General Qator Bashtar would lead a blitzkrieg attack on the Vermilion Peristylium from the ocean. Accompanied by the provisional First Airmobile Force and a l'Cie-piloted magitek armor, the general's objective was to force Akademeia to surrender.

In the second phase, the empire's main force would invade Iscah, the town where the dominion's primary defenses were stationed. Milites anticipated a fierce struggle, but in an unfortunate coincidence, the troops received orders to report to the capital moments after the battle began. The dominion legionaries retreated, and imperial troops seized the dominion's western half while incurring only minimal casualties.

The third and final phase involved deploying a fleet of dreadnoughts to infiltrate the dominion's central and eastern regions. The empire had to transport personnel and MAs via airship, and the dominion easily surpassed them in terms of firepower. Here, too, Milites anticipated an unrelenting local resistance, but the Rubrum legionaries fled to their capital in hopes of defending her from capture, and the empire took over the central and eastern regions of the dominion unimpeded.

The Akademeia Liberation

With Akademeia on the brink of capitulation, Dominion Central Command ordered all units to report to the capital and provide backup immediately. Unfortunately, the commandant did not issue the orders until after the crystal jammer had completely paralyzed Akademeia. The fall of the capital nigh inevitable, each unit was left to decide for itself how to advance.

Thus, the legions were unable to mount proper retreats, and rather than march on Akademeia, they were instead pursued there by the imperial militia. By the time the dominion units reached their destination, every squad has lost the majority of their forces.

Nevertheless, the sporadic attacks on the empire's rear guard slowed the imperial militia's progress, and the administration rightfully attributed the successful rescue of Akademeia to the actions of these dominion units. However, the liberation came at a great price: because all legionaries rallied at the capital, the entire dominion was left defenseless. Rubrum lost all of its territory, and the dominion legions effectively went out of existence.

The Structure of Akademeia

Established to bring the legendary savior Agito into the world, Akademeia was organized into an educational facility for potential candidates known as Agito Cadets. The students were divided into thirteen core units, known as "classes," from the newly formed Class Zero on to Class Twelfth. In addition, Akademeia housed a reserve class of trainees, students who had not fulfilled the requirements to be promoted to cadet. The Sorcery, Scholastics, and Logistics Divisions, along with Administration and Armory, were formed to train, support, and educate the student body.

The dominion legions originally existed for the purpose of these fledgling cadets, but with Orience constantly at war, the military branch of Akademeia tended to have considerable influence in administrative matters. Mobilization, arms production and deployment of soldiers were crucial components of the country's infrastructure--and with all those aspects under his command, the commandant enjoyed more authority than the Chancellor of Akademeia in regard to national administration.

This political structure coincided with both the Akademeia administration's desire to devote themselves to cultivating Agito, and Central Command's wish to manage the military without interference. As long as the war did not escalate, the country ran smoothly. The war did escalate, however, and Akademeia was drawn into the fray. With the cadets now assigned to its charge, the military's authority increased even further, and the balance of power was reversed as Akademeia was slowly subsumed as a part of the dominion legions.

The Dominion Legions

At the onset of the war, Rubrum's military was divided into three: the Western Legion on the imperial border, the Central Legion defending the capital and its surroundings, and the Eastern Legion on the border with the kingdom.

Each legion possessed six to ten mage divisions and a few independent summoning regiments to support the spellcasters. One mage division consisted of three separate mage regiments, and each regiment was comprised of approximately 2,000 legionaries. Including support squads, a single division contained almost 10,000 soldiers.

Each independent summoning regiment commanded one or two Eidolons. Three regiments formed one summoning company, meaning a single company wielded between three to six Eidolons depending on class.

However, the legions suffered a crippling blow in the imperial invasion, and the dominion lost a majority of its territory, so the the three legions were effectively disbanded. Although the name "legion" remained intact, Rubrum waged war with Milites with a smaller army formed only of few divisions.

The Dominion Crimson Wings

Since the formation of the Armory Guild at Akademeia, the dominion legions made great strides in terms of enhancing their arms and equipment. As part of their research, the guildsmen embarked on the development of dreadnoughts.

The dominion legions saw all of Orience as a battlefield, and in order to compete, airships were indispensable. With the advent of the magikonverter—an engine capable of converting magic into energy to power machines, the dominion successfully crafted an air fleet, known as the Crimson Wings. Unlike the empire's dreadnoughts, however, these craft were designed primarily for transportation: they were smaller in size and carried fewer armaments.

The Kisaragi-class cruisers are the most common dreadnoughts in the dominion. Among other types of craft, the Crimson Wings also currently employs small Yukikaze-class scout ships, large Shikishima-class carries, and high-speed Shimakaze-class corvettes.

The stats of the Kisaragi-class cruisers are as follows:

Dimensions: 482 x 108 ft (147 x 33 m)
Tonnage: 6,260 t
Armament: Autocannon x 14
Max Speed: 238 mph (383 km/h)
Cruising Speed: 98 mph (158 km/h)

The Imperial Militia

At the start of the war, the imperial militia consisted of five armies, from the First to the Fifth. Each army consisted of four to eight corps comprised of four or so divisions apiece.

Magitek armor served as the main offensive force of the armored divisions, while the infantry divisions employed primarily foot soldiers. A single armored division included 300 MAs and 10,000 foot soldiers, whereas an infantry division was made up of about 100 MAs and 15,000 foot soldiers.

An additional artillery squad ad airship squad provided each of corps with a total of 60,000 troopers per pair, giving each army a combined total of 200,000 to 500,000 soldiers. Altogether, the imperial militia was a force of roughly 1,200,000. Of that number, Imperial Central Command deployed three armies' worth of soldiers (approximately 700,000 troopers) to demolish the dominion.

Imperial Dreadnoughts

The imperial military's dreadnoughts are officially designed as "airborne warships" and have been included as the empire's primary source of aerial firepower ever since the founding of the imperial air force. Unlike the dominion military, the empire utilizes its airships to provide air-to-ground offensive support as well as transport magitek armor and soldiers, so these craft are bigger and more heavily armed than the ones employed by the dominion.

The airborne warships used against Rubrum were Invincible-class, and their stats are as follows:

Dimensions: 839 x 95 ft (256 x 29 m)
Tonnage: 126,583 t
Max Speed: 158 mph (254 km/h)
Cruising Speed: 81 mph (130 km/h)
Armament:
- 280mm Mark.10 Twin Turret x 28
- 155mm Mark.03 Cannon x 48

The Royal Army

The Concordian Army is comprised of the queen's Five-Star Royal Guard and the regular dracoknight forces. Standard units are stationed at cities throughout the kingdom and charged with defending royal territory.

The Five-Star Royal Guard has existed since the kingdom's founding. The commanders, known as Wardens, receive their positions through heritage. These Wardens are administrative officials as well as military leaders, and they play a considerable role in all governmental affairs. Of the Five-Star divisions, the House of Akatoki boasts incredible military prowess, and—under its Warden Celestia—the Akatoki division handles all military operations in conflicts with other Crystal-States. Other Five-Star divisions include the Houses of Yuzuki and Yoiyami, and each branch of the Royal Guard plays a unique role in upholding the kingdom.

The regular forces are organized by region, and each varies in scope, but generally one command consists of roughly 100 wyverns, 2,000 monsters, and 4,000 dracoknights. The Concordian military includes approximately 100 of these commands, so with dracoknights alone, the army is 400,000 strong. Including dragons and monsters, the royal army's numbers grow to a staggering 600,000. However, these immense numbers also mean that mobilizing each command takes a considerable amount of time. Only a few units were mobile at the war's outset, so aside from the battle-ready Five-Star Royal Guard, Concordia began with just over ten mixed commands—a paltry 60,000 soldiers.

The Alliance Military

Each city-state in the Lorican Alliance organized a troop of mounted paladins, and these individual orders converged to create the alliance army.

The numbers of each knightly order varied greatly depending on the size of their respective cities. Small villages would provide as few as fifty paladins, whereas Lorica—the largest of the city-states—boasted a total of 20,000 knights. More than 100 of these organizations existed throughout the alliance, and the entire army totaled 300,000 warriors.

Unfortunately, however, none of these knights shall ever again gallantly gallop across the fiel of battle, as the empire's Ultima Bomb completely decimated the country of Lorica and all of her people.

The Cadets' First Deployment

Having lost the majority of its army in the imperial invasion, the dominion hurried to rebuild its military, but the empire was unrelenting. Uncertain of the outcome but left with no other choice, Dominion Central Command devised a strategy to employ the newly conscripted cadets in the liberation of McTighe, a town on the outskirts of Akademeia.

It was an ambitious undertaking, with three objectives: secure base for offensive operations, test the cadets' skills in the field, and gauge the empire's reaction. Thankfully, the operation was an astounding success, assuaging all the dominion's fears. This victory proved the cadets could, indeed, provide invaluable military support.

Cadets on the Battlefield

Although the Agito Cadets were not officially affiliated with Rubrum's military, they were required to participate in routine combat training to hone their abilities. Several cadets also gained real in-the-field experience through participation in remote, small-scale operations.

Now, however, for the first time in Akademeia's history, the cadets were to officially join the ranks of the dominion legions, and the commandant was at a loss regarding how to best utilize his new assets. Dominion Central Command ultimately decided that, due to the cadets' limited numbers, each unit would consist of ten to twenty cadets attached to an infantry regiment. Each team would receive an additional support unit, thus forming an independent composite brigade.

Unfortunately, Central Command had yet to establish a chain of command, and legion officials were baffled when it came to directing these small-yet-powerful squads. Eventually, the administration assigned Akademeia instructors as the cadets' commanding officers, and the cadets would report to their respective COs to receive mission orders.

The military came to think of the cadet units as powerful, highly mobile squads capable of routing any army and toppling even the most formidable foes—a view which remains prevalent to this day. The system of cadet-CO communication also lasted throughout the war, and it became common practice for cadets to receive all orders from their commanding officers.

Operation Reconquista

Once they had finally regrouped, the dominion legions established a base of operations at the newly liberated town of McTighe, and initiated a large-scale offensive to reclaim the Rubrum Region by deploying the recently conscripted Agito Cadets. Both the dominion and the empire unleashed a constant stream of reinforcements, turning Rubrum's Operation Reconquista into quite the contest of military might. Thanks to the participation of the cadets, however, the legions freed one town after another, and the dominion eventually succeeded in driving the empire entirely out of the area surrounding Akademeia.

The Capture of Togoreth Stronghold

After driving the imperial army out of the area around Akademeia, the dominion legions aimed to reclaim more of their lost territory. Their sights on the eponymous stronghold of the Togoreth Region, Dominion Central Command initiated Operation Mythril Axe. Predicting the dominion would attempt to seize the stronghold, the empire established a line of defense to intercept the invasion. Nevertheless, Rubrum's momentum gave them the advantage, and they gradually pushed Milites back until the focus of battle shifted to retaking the fortress itself.

Togoreth Stronghold originally belonged to the dominion, but imperial engineers completely rewired its defense system, preventing the dominion legions from entering the facility. Determined to reclaim the stronghold at all costs, the commandant dispatched the dominion's remaining reserve units—including a cadet task force—to Togoreth, and the legions succeeded in taking back the base.

Mere moments after the stronghold fell, however, the White Tiger l'Cie Nimbus arrived at Togoreth. The Vermilion Bird l'Cie Lord Zhuyu intercepted Nimbus and a frenzied duel broke out, effectively ending the battle between the conventional forces just as the dominion gained the upper hand. The clash between the two l'Cie obliterated everything in the surrounding area, including the stronghold itself. Although the demigods' intervention brought the battle to an abrupt halt, the dominion still seized control of North Togoreth, and—seeing as the imperial army had incurred greater casualties—victory went to the dominion.

The Empire's New Magitek Armors

At the onset of war, the empire's main strength was its fleet of Warrior MAs. Although these mechs could easily handle regular dominion legionaries, the only hope they had of defeating the cadets was to outnumber them. Moreover, victory against the dominion's Eidolons was simply not possible, so MA pilots had no choice but to flee until the summoning had expired. Hoping to remedy their pernicious predicament, imperial scientists devised the heavily armored Colossus and the airborne Helldiver MA models, which in turn helped spur the development of other models which would aid the anti-dominion offensive.

One of these was the Dáinsleif, deployed in the invasion of Akademeia. This MA was equipped with a crystal jammer, a device that nullifies the power of enemy Crystals, allowing the empire to effectively paralyze all troops in Orience reliant upon their Crystal for strength. At the time of the invasion, however, the crystal jammer used was nothing more than a prototype. Furthermore, only a l'Cie could operate the jammer-mounted Dáinsleif, and it would require a considerable amount of time and further testing before the machine could be put into practical use.

The other new model was the prototype Gabriel, equipped with a magic shield capable of neutralizing the dominion's spells and piloted by Brigadier General Qator Bashtar at the Battle of Togoreth. Unlike the crystal jammer, this magic shield function was simple enough for mortals to control. Unfortunately, the Gabriel was also very unstable and prone to overheating, and it would be some time until this mech was truly ready for battle.

Both of these MAs were designed to disable the dominion's spells and Eidolons, as the empire was keenly aware of the fact that heavy-plated armor and high mobility alone would not be enough to counter the magic of the Vermilion Bird Crystal.

Operation Breakthrough

Before the Battle at Togoreth began, Dominion Central Command decided to initiate a rescue mission in order to save the civilians imprisoned inside the stronghold. A cadet commando team would infiltrate the fortress and extricate the prisoners before any fighting broke out. The rescue squad encountered and successfully eliminated imperial forces en route to the stronghold—and although the infiltration proceeded as planned, the overarching mission of rescuing the captive citizens ended in failure.

The Keziah Diversion

After the battle for the Togoreth Stronghold, both the dominion and the empire were tying to recover from the grave losses they incurred as a result of the clash between their l'Cie. Neither army was able to mobilize for quite some time but because the dominion lost fewer personnel, the legions resumed military activity sooner than the imperial forces.

Rubrum's new objective was the town of Keziah. Given the base's remote location, Central Command postulated Milites would be unable to easily dispatch reinforcements to assist the small squad charged with defending the town. In their eyes, capturing the city should be a cinch.

The commandant devised a strategy by which a cadet task force would divert the empire's primary defenses away from the base, creating an opening for the dominion legions to infiltrate and capture the town. However, the cadets went above and beyond the call of duty: not only did they diver the imperial troops, but they even went so far as to completely annihilate the imperial forces stationed at Keziah. The operation was a brilliant success.

United Front

The dominion legions reclaimed Togoreth, then continued their advance northward in an attempt to recover North Togoreth as well. However, the empire still occupied the Iscah Region due west of Togoreth, and the dominion could not afford to send its main forces north.

By some fortuitous coincidence, however, the royal army proposed a joint offensive against the strategically located North Togoreth town of Mi-Go. Central Command was tempted by the offer, but the commandant was extremely reluctant to reveal the dominion's strategies to the kingdom—allies though they may have been.

After much deliberation, Rubrum decided to accept the proposition, but forbade all legionaries and cadets participating in the mission from using magic or performing special squad maneuvers. In spite of these harshly limiting conditions, a cadet task force set out for its destination, and the operation to take Mi-Go was underway. As anticipated, without access to their repertoire of spells, the dominion legions could not exercise the extent of their abilities. Nevertheless, thanks to the assistance of its Concordian allies, Rubrum crushed the Militesi forces and reclaimed Mi-Go.

The Infiltration of Iscah

After careful consideration, Dominion Central Command produced a promising strategy: establish a base of operations at Iscah and use it as a foothold for reclaiming the region. The dominion chose Iscah not only because it occupied a key location, but because of the aqueducts beneath the town. According to the commandant, a special task force could infiltrate the waterways and detonate Magicite to destroy the subterranean dynamos. From there, the legions could swoop in and overtake the town while the imperial troops scrambled to get the power back on.

However, the legions were not properly trained nor equipped to carry out such a highly specialized mission. Thus, Central Command deployed a group of cadets to invade the underground aqueducts of Iscah. The entire operation went exactly according to plan: the cadets infiltrated the waterways without incident, placed and detonated the Magicite, and created the diversion necessary for the legions to move in and capture the town.

Milites Seizes the Black Tortoise Crystal

The imperial army dispatched several units to the rubble-laden ruins of what was once the capital of the Lorican Alliance before the Ultima Bomb. Their objective was to locate the Black Peristylium and seize the Black Tortoise Crystal housed therein.

Believing the entire population of Lorica annihilated, Imperial Central Command initially anticipated a bloodless occupation. The empire was met with an unpleasant surprise, however, when a small group of blast survivors greeted the imperial troops who stormed the underground chambers. Although the paladins put forth a valiant effort, outnumbered and overwhelmed, they ultimately fell to the imperial forces. Once they had executed the remaining survivors, the imperial units retrieved the Crystal and transported it back to Milites.

A Lorican warrior present for these final days recorded his view of the alliance's resistance in a memoir, which states:

Pyr. XXIV
The empire has attacked. We are outnumbered ten to one. The outlook is bleak.

Pyr. XVI
Our leader, Sir Ishme, has fallen in battle. His was an honorable death—impaled while driving his blade into one of the empire's magitek armors. The empire has come within half a mile of our Crystal. We must not allow them to advance any further.

Pyr. XVII
Seven-tenths of our order have been destroyed. My comrades—Pileser, Azarah, Akkad, Ilushuma, Suhlamu—all of them charged the imperial forces but never returned.

Pyr. XVIII
There is no turning back. Tomorrow will be our last stand. Glory be unto the Black Tortoise!

Expelling the Empire

The dominion army deployed newly mobilized troops to its recently acquired base at Iscah. The legions grew more formidable with every passing day.

Meanwhile, having lost its occupation headquarters in Rubrum, the imperial army feared it might be driven out of the dominion. Militesi officials in the region sent a request for reinforcements to imperial headquarters in Ingram, and the empire, too, gradually began to gather strength.

The empire managed to land the first strike against the legions at Iscah, but imperial forces failed to capture the base they so coveted. Instead, after a long and arduous battle, the empire met with a Vermilion counteroffensive, and Limbo Stronghold fell to the dominion. Imperial troops mounted a retreat from the Iscah Region, and Rubrum claimed victory.

The Clash in the Caverns

After losing the Iscah Region, imperial officials disbanded the army that had suffered such heavy losses against the dominion and reorganized their forces at Renown Base in Meroë. Their strategy was to combine the troops who retreated with reinforcements from the capital in order to oppose the dominion legions.

Meanwhile, the imperial army managed to obtain a briefcase containing classified dominion military information during their occupation of Rubrum, and that case was now en route to Milites. However, the dominion legions discovered the team responsible for transporting the case and immediately gave chase. A pursuit and subsequent battle ensued, and the legionaries chased the imperial squad deep into the Rokol Caverns. Utterly frustrated, the commandant ordered a cadet task force to storm the caverns and reobtain all the stolen documents. The cadets completed their mission and prevented the classified information from falling into imperial hands.

Operation MA Demolition

It became clear that the empire's new magitek armor would revolutionize the way the Crystal-States went to war. Hoping to prevent Milites from gaining the upper hand, Dominion Central Command devised a plan to dispatch a cadet task force to enemy territory and have it destroy the facility responsible for producing the new MA model.

With a little assistance from Dominion Intel, the cadets safely infiltrated the imperial capital, destroyed the prototype MA, and accomplished their mission. Their celebration was short-lived, however: only moments after completing the operation the cadets were met with a ferocious White Tiger l'Cie who nearly obliterated them. Fortunately, Concordia's Queen Andoria invoked the Pax Codex, forcing an armistice and allowing the cadets to escape death by the skin of their teeth.

A Fog-Laden Foray

The dominion was prepared to carry out a mission to infiltrate and destroy the factory responsible for producing a dangerous new magitek armor prototype. Moments before the operation went underway, however, Dominion Intel received word that imperial scientists were conducting research and developing new MA parts at Frosti Base. Hence, to prevent the completion of the new MA, Central Command ordered a cadet task force to destroy the base and put a stop to the entire production.

Fortunately, a thick fog enveloped the facility, and the cadets were thus able to slip inside the base practically undetected. The cadets succeeded in demolishing the factory, accomplishing their mission and dealing a devastating blow to the development of the empire's new MA.

The Empire's Ultima Bomb Project

The imperial army had been concocting a weapon of mass destruction for some time, and scientists had completed development on the Ultima Bomb by the time war broke out. The blast was powerful enough to completely erase Lorica from the face of Orience, but this unbelievable efficacy meant controlling the blast was extremely difficult. During the initial testing, it was necessary for the machine-manipulating Qun'mi to take part in the experiments. However, as development progressed, researchers succeeded in producing more compact Ultima Bombs that did not necessitate the assistance of a l'Cie.

These advances, in turn, led to the development of a new magitek armor code-named "Brionac." Designed to load and launch up to eight Ultima Bombs, Brionac could transport the charges into enemy Crystal-States and unleash utter destruction. However, production of the Ultima Bombs demanded massive amounts of energy from the Crystal, and the operation was not sustainable so long as the empire drew power from the White Tiger Crystal alone.

Escaping the Imperial Capital

The leaders of Orience's four Crystal-States convened at the imperial capital of Ingram for armistice talks, but all discussions of peace came to an abrupt close when Queen Andoria of Concordia was suddenly assassinated.

Troubled by this news, the Consortium of Eight determined the ceasefire was effectively over, and that war against the empire would resume immediately. Without a moment to lose, the chancellor and his entourage began their retreat to the dominion.

Unfortunately, dominion officials were unable to make contact with all units stationed in imperial territory, and some legionaries only discovered the ceasefire had ended after the empire initiated their assault anew. Those units that managed to survive still suffered severe casualties as they fought their way through enemy lines and staggered back to Akademeia.

The Empire's Enhanced Soldier Project

The imperial army had been conducting research on the creation of superhuman warriors by outfitting them with special mechanisms that would directly affect their bodies and enhance their performance.

The most common of these experiments was the supersoldier. Supersoldiers wore unique gear equipped with a system for automatically administering a physical enhancement drug, providing the troopers with greater strength and quicker reflexes than the average soldier.

At the forefront of this method were the "test soldiers," more commonly referred to as the "freaks." Scientists pushed the limits of technology, maximizing the warriors' offensive and defensive prowess.

Mission Under Ceasefire

During the armistice, several imperial troopers stationed in the Nesher Divide fell victim to a series of vicious monster assaults. As it were, a group of cadets were on standby in the imperial capital during the peace talks. Eager to capitalize on this opportunity, the commandant dispatched said cadets to Mt. Nesher on the pretext of assisting the imperial units.

The commandant's true motive, however, was to investigate imperial territory and evaluate the empire's war potential. Dominion Central Command's ostensible objective of aiding the imperial units was merely an ancillary concern. With the extermination of the marauding monsters, the dominion publicly declared the mission a success—and behind closed doors, the commandant rejoiced in gleaning the intel he so desperately sought.

Covering the Cadets

With the armistice no more than a fleeting dream, fighting immediately resumed on the front. Anticipating a joint offensive by Milites and Concordia, Rubrum decided to preemptively stabilize its borders, and began by marching on the Meroë Region.

As with previous operations, a cadet task force would secure a base of operations, and then the legions would step in to occupy the region. Central Command designated the eponymous capital of the Meroë Region as its target and set the operation in motion. The liberation campaign went off without a hitch, and the dominion military began deploying troops to its new base at Meroë.

The Reclamation of Eibon

Since the onset of war, the Eibon Region east of Akademeia remained under imperial occupation. Fearing that Milites rendezvous at Eibon with its new Concordian allies, Dominion Central Command initiated Operation Sanssouci, a campaign to annihilate the imperial army and fortify its eastern border before the royal army could make its move.

However, the dominion had already deployed the majority of its forces to the western front. Central Command thus decided to compensate for the imbalance by dispatching cadet squads to both fronts, and the campaign was underway. With such a small main force, Rubrum began at a military disadvantage. However, thanks to the cadets, the legions succeeded in capturing Eibon, and the campaign ended in victory for the dominion. Now that Rubrum had reclaimed most of its territory, only one city still suffered under the imperial yoke: Meroë.

A Charge on the Border

Meroë was precariously positioned on Rubrum's border with Milites. Now that it had successfully established a base in the region, the dominion hoped to reclaim all the land extending to what had been its western border at the onset of war: the east bank of Big Bridge. Central Command mobilized the legions accordingly and set the campaign in motion.

The goal of the operation was to seize Renown Hill, which overlooked the entire western border. However, the empire had already established a stronghold at Renown, and so the dominion had no choice but to eliminate every imperial base along the east bank in order to secure the hill.

Surprisingly, the empire put up very little resistance to the dominion offensive. The imperial army was already rallying its forces along the border in preparation for a simultaneous strike with Concordia, and any troops left on the east bank were nothing more than roadblocks meant to slow Rubrum's advance. Although the legions incurred some casualties, the dominion succeeded in seizing Renown Hill. After toppling one imperial base after another, Rubrum managed to restore its borders to their original state.

The Battle on the Beach

Driven from the dominion, the imperial forces rallied in their homeland and, along with the royal army, began formulating a renewed offensive. Hoping to buy time to regroup, Milites initiated Operation Typhoon, surprise amphibious assault targeting the Sothoth Coast on the far side of Rubrum.

When Dominion Central Command heard the empire had landed, they decided to deploy a small elite task force to destroy the beachhead and halt the operation before the imperial troops could move inland. Like clockwork, the cadet task force assigned to the job arrived at Sothoth and demolished the beachhead before the empire could advance, and the empire's campaign ended in failure.

Colonel Faith's Revolt

The dominion succeeded in liberating Eibon, but it failed to take out the empire's top gun: Colonel Faith. After a violent confrontation at Eibon, Faith escaped his pursuers and took refuge in the surrounding woods until the dominion legions withdrew. He promptly leapt to his feet as soon as the coast was clear and initiated an uprising. Faith seized the town of Toguagh, where he and his men began preparations for their retreat to Milites.

Dismayed to hear the recently recovered Toguagh had once again fallen into the empire's clutches, the commandant quickly considered plans to destroy the legions and prevent Faith's repatriation. However, after some consideration, he determined that the main army, currently stationed along the imperial border, would not make it back in time to halt the colonel's retreat. Thus, he chose to dispatch a battle-ready cadet task force. Faced with fierce opposition from the imperial forces, the cadets succeeded in freeing Toguagh, but Faith once again eluded his would-be captors, and the mission ended in failure.

The First Battle of Judecca

Taking a clear stand against Rubrum, Concordia worked in consort with its new Militesi allies, mobilizing its troops to attack from the east while Milites struck from the west. However, the queen's assassination had left the kingdom in disarray, and the mobilization effort was not proceeding as planned. Thus, they devised a new strategy in which the battle-ready Five-Star Royal Guard would invade the dominion by air. The other units would trek to the border while they organized their ranks, then cross over into dominion territory once the Royal Guard had made their move.

In order to hold off the numerically superior empire, the dominion kept its legions positioned on the western front, and instead sent fleets of cadets via dreadnought to intercept the kingdom's assault. Rubrum met Concordia in the skies above the Strait of Judecca separating the two countries, and the battle commenced. At first, the Azure Dragon l'Cie Soryu overwhelmed the dominion forces with its powerful breath attack, sending Central Command into a panic. The Vermilion Bird l'Cie Lord Zhuyu also joined the fray, but he had his hands full dealing with Soryu and was thus unable to provide any extra support.

The fierce fighting continued atop the sea of clouds, now a shimmering world of ice thanks to Soryu's chilling breath. Rubrum's Eidolons easily overwhelmed Concordia's wyverns, even forcing the Azure Dragon l'Cie Celestia to retreat. The Royal Guard incurred enormous casualties, losing more than 1,000 of its precious dragons. Without its wyverns, the kingdom would never be able to conduct an invasion of this scope again.

The Concordian Coup and the Militesi-Concordian Alliance

While the rest of the nation mourned the loss of Queen Andoria, the new King of Concordia wasted no time forging an alliance with the Militesi Empire. The ascendant king's reign stood on a fragile political foundation, so he hoped the empire's aid would help him maintain his authority.

Consequently, Rubrum now found itself at an overwhelming disadvantage. Having entrusted the eastern front to the royal army and dispatched its entire force to the imperial front out west, the dominion legions had no choice but to split their troops and deploy several units to deal with their newfound royal enemies in the east. In order to capitalize on this situation, the Militesi-Concordian alliance mounted a simultaneous assault against Rubrum.

The dominion countered the offensive with its l'Cie. On the imperial front, Lady Caetuna summoned the Verboten Eidolon Alexander. Although Rubrum lost the greater half of its legionaries, Milites lost all strongholds and 90% of its units stationed along the border, and the dominion emerged victorious. Lord Zhuyu joined the fray on the kingdom front where he engaged the Azure Dragon l'Cie Soryu, staving off its deadly breath attack and protecting the dominion forces. Thanks to Lord Zhuyu's efforts—as well as the royal army's insufficient preparations, victory once again belonged to Rubrum.

Concordia was unable to mobilize enough dracoknights in the short time from the king's coronation to the assault on Rubrum, and although it managed to organize a fleet of wyverns for immediate deployment, Kingdom Central Command could not muster up enough monsters to provide backup for the dragon units. The attack force had high mobility and firepower but low endurance. In an attempt to supplement the dwindling royal forces, the King of Concordia went so far as to break the seal on the Cursemire of Naraku and unleash the Dracobaltians on the dominion. Unfortunately, however, this scheme had virtually no effect on the outcome of the battle.

Operation Vulturnus

Hearing of the great casualties incurred by the Five-Star Royal Guard, Concordia's land units abandoned their invasion of the dominion, and hurriedly revised their long-term strategy. Hoping to take advantage of the kingdom's loss of momentum, dominion legionaries deployed to the eastern front initiated Operation Vulturnus, a land-based offensive aiming to break through the royal defenses and cross into Concordia. A special unit would provide backup by assaulting Kingdom Central Command and keeping the royal army occupied while the dominion legions crossed the border.

The operation was essentially a guaranteed success for the dominion, but with the kingdom still reeling from its recent defeat, the offensive went even better than anticipated. Not only did the dominion successfully attack Kingdom Central Command, but the elite squad assigned to the task managed to eliminate the royal commandant as well. Bereft of an important link in its chain of command, Concordia pulled back, giving up all resistance along the border. Thus, the dominion breached the border without suffering more than a handful of casualties.

The Clash on Big Bridge

As Milites prepared to invade Rubrum in consort with its new Concordian allies, the dominion legions initiated their plan to summon their Verboten Eidolon to intercept the imperial assault. In order to secure enough time to complete the summoning, Central Command deployed nearly 300,000 legionaries to the imperial border—approximately 80% of the entire dominion army.

However, with the inclusion of their newly formed 106th and 107th Companies, the imperial forces nearly doubled the dominion legions in size. They easily breached several sections of the dominion's front line, and before long, the entire front was on the verge of collapse.

In a show of military mastery, the commandant devised a new strategy: covertly deploy troops behind the empire's forces to disrupt their rear guard and slow the imperial advance. He assigned a cadet task force to the job and sent it on its way. The cadets arrived to face the enemy's rear guard, destroying the empire's jammer-mounted MAs along the way.

The cadet task force incurred grave losses of its own, but its mission was a success. Lady Caetuna summoned the Verboten Eidolon Alexander, whose devastating power completely obliterated the imperial stronghold and all personnel contained therein, including the 106th and 107th companies. Militesi casualties were staggering, mounting as high as 180,000. Their MAs utterly hopeless against the dominion's Eidolons, the empire was devastated, and morale plummeted throughout the imperial ranks.

The Last Line of Defense

Now that the imperial army had broken through the dominion's front lines, the site of the Verboten Eidolon summoning was in grave peril. In hopes of halting the empire from advancing any further, Central Command deployed reinforcements to the dominion's last line of defense.

Unfortunately, these "reinforcements" were a haphazard hodgepodge of whatever forces remained: cadets on standby, surviving legionaries who had retreated from the front lines, and summoners left powerless by the empire's crystal jammer. Central Command dispatched this confused assemblage to defend the site and ensure the success of the grand summoning at all costs.

With no semblance of order, the piecemeal unit suffered immense losses at the hands of the empire not long after joining the fray. Nevertheless, thanks largely in part to the units sent to break through the empire's rear guard, the legions succeeded in halting the empire's advance and leading the dominion to victory.

The Retreat from Roshana

After their victory in the Battle of Judecca and their subsequent success in breaching the Vermeil-Azure Cloister, the dominion legions maintained their momentum and surged into Concordia. However, the kingdom's ground forces were more than prepared to handle the oncoming assault. Once the Rubrum Army had reached the provincial capital of Roshana, the dracoknights launched a full-scale counteroffensive. Their already-disorganized ranks now in complete disarray, the dominion legions found themselves on the brink of annihilation.

Dominion Central Command had clearly underestimated the opposition, and their hubris proved their undoing. Now, with no legionaries left in reserve, the commandant was left with no choice but to order a retreat from Roshana. The legions began to evacuate under the protection of a cadet task force. Thanks to the cadets' valiant effort, the dominion forces managed to escape unharmed, but the front line had fallen back to the Concordian border. All of Rubrum's progress was undone in a single day.

Operation Sticky Fingers

With the aid of the dominion legions, Lady Caetuna was able to summon the Verboten Eidolon which subsequently annihilated all imperial units stationed at Rubrum's western border. Having lost the majority of its troops, Milites installed garrison forces at base cities throughout the empire and ordered the rest of their army to regroup at Ingram.

One of these base cities was Cetme. The town put up a desperate-yet-futile struggle to fend off the dominion assault. During this struggle, however, Dominion Central Command discovered an imperial officer in possession of highly classified documents. The commandant assigned a cadet task force to pursue the officer and retrieve the files in question. The cadets succeeded in their mission and managed to obtain valuable information regarding magitek armor research and development.

Imperial Magitek Engineering

The Dáinsleif's crystal jammer was a prototype operable only by a l'Cie. After considerable research, however, imperial scientists developed jammer anyone could control, and they mounted the first unit on the Balmung MA. As a test, Milites stationed the Balmung near a stronghold on the empire-dominion border, and the new device proved a terrific success, greatly inhibiting the dominion advance at the Battle of Big Bridge.

The basic principle behind these jammers is the use of energy extracted from the Crystal. Devices known as C-Engines use this energy and generate waves to neutralize the signal of their target Crystal, thereby nullifying the target's effects. In essence, the two Crystals in question vie for supremacy over one another.

However, so long as the device relies upon energy drawn from the White Tiger Crystal, it can only continue causing interference for a limited amount of time. Some speculated this need for extra power sources to be the motive behind the empire's attempt to seize all four Crystals of Orience. Intel regarding the development of a new jammer-equipped MA capable of harnessing the energy of any Crystal lent credence to this theory. This information greatly dismayed Central Command, fearing now that the empire might be able to launch a full-scale assault using the power of three Crystals.

Secret Agents Zero

The dominion suddenly lost contact with the recon team charged with surveilling the empire on the snow-swept slopes of Mt. Klimov. Suspecting that the empire was up to something, Dominion Intel requested the commandant send a unit to investigate. Thus, Central Command deployed a cadet task force to the mountain to inspect the area for any suspicious imperial activity. There, the cadets discovered the empire had dug out an excavation site—which they proceeded to destroy, along with the imperial troops guarding the facility.

Operation Dragon Slayer

Although they were forced to retreat from Roshana in spite of their superior strength, the dominion legions refused to give in. Initiating Operation Dragon Slayer, Rubrum's army regrouped on the kingdom-dominion border and mounter another assault. The dominion maintained the advantage in terms of sheer firepower, but the royal forces were prepared to intercept. Eager to eliminate the invaders once and for all, the kingdom deployed its dragon squadrons to meet the dominion assault. The legions struggled against the kingdom's wyverns, but they ultimately succeeded in pushing back the dragons with magic and military might, and the dominion successfully absorbed Roshana into its territory.

Thwarting the Royal Ambush

Left with no other options after losing Province of Roshana, the royal army had to come up with a bold new strategy. After some deliberation, the kingdom decided to dispatch a special squad to invade dominion territory by sea and attack from behind in a surprise amphibious assault. The unit arrived on the unmanned Mi-Go Coast, and they landed without shedding a single drop of blood.

Given that the amphibious squad had not yet rallied its forces, Dominion Central Command determined it would be unnecessary to deploy its entire army to deal with the incident. Thus, they left their main forces on the front lines and instead ordered a special cadet task force to exterminate the invading dracoknights. The cadets made quick work of the invaders, blowing the kingdom's brilliant ploy out of the water.

Wyverns in the Woods

Although Rubrum had successfully overtaken the Province of Roshana, remnants of the royal army still remained active, lurking in the surrounding jungles. These wyvern-centric units hid among the overgrown foliage and ambushed unsuspecting legionaries from behind, inflicting massive casualties on the dominion army. Tearing out what little hair he had left in frustration, the commandant deployed a cadet task force to infiltrate the Concordian jungles and eliminate the devious dragon squads. The cadets had little trouble navigating the woods of Roshana, and they successfully exterminated the remaining royal forces.

The Kingdom's Final Hours

With all of Roshana Province under its control, Rubrum officially launched a campaign to conquer the entire Kingdom of Concordia. Operation Endgame was an ambitious undertaking: invade Rilochy, crush any remaining dracoknights, then continue onward and march directly on the royal capital of Mahamayuri. Realizing this would likely be its last stand, the royal army moved all its units from the capital to Rilochy and prepared to intercept its foe with all its strength.

While both sides were evenly matched first, the tide of battle gradually shifted in the favor of the more powerful Rubrum Army. Rilochy fell, and the dominion legions immediately began their march on Mahamayuri. The kingdom deployed dragons to defend the capital, but the wyverns posed little threat to the dominion forces. Unable to continue their counteroffensive, the kingdom forces accepted defeat, and the war between Rubrum and Concordia came to a close.

The Climatic Clash at Azurr

Having forced the Kingdom of Concordia into an anticlimactic surrender, Rubrum was free to shirt its strategy and deploy its entire military force to Milites. Although superior to the imperial forces in terms of raw strength, the dominion army faced a stark numerical disadvantage. By dispatching their entire fleet and remobilizing troops stationed at the imperial capital, the Militesi Army mustered 800,000 men and women to obliterate Rubrum's 600,000.

Now that the dominion was devoid of reserve forces, all the empire needed to do was crush the legions at Azurr and force a retreat in order to turn the tide of the war. Unfortunately, however, the imperial troops were powerless against the dominion's Eidolons they met on the front lines. The empire's resistance ended in vain.

Operation Homecoming

Now in control of the Cetme District, the dominion army set out to occupy all imperial bases on the southern front. As the first step in the campaign, Central Command ordered an assault on Bazz in West Nesher. However, Bazz was home to a detainment camp filled with dominion prisoners-of-war. One false move on the part of the legions, and they could end up inadvertently injuring or even killing their own countrymen.

Thus, the commandant devised a new strategy: deploy a cadet task force to extricate the POWs, then seize control of Bazz. In an excellent show of teamwork, the cadets quickly liberated the captive legionaries and, without missing a beat, the dominion army succeeded in capturing the base shortly afterward. Rubrum now had complete dominance over all of West Nesher.

Protecting the Defector

An imperial officer sent a transmission to the dominion expressing his desire to defect. Militesi units were hot on his tail as he fled through West Nesher, and he reached out to Rubrum for asylum. The dominion determined it might be able to glean invaluable information about the imperial army, so Central Command immediately dispatched a cadet task force to rescue the defecting official. Hoping to truly capitalize on this incident, Intel deliberately spread word of the imperial defector throughout Orience—with the implication that even the empire had begun to acknowledge defeat.

The Amiter Resistance

Its capital city captured by the dominion, the Kingdom of Concordia had no choice but to concede defeat. One faction of the royal army, however, refused to surrender. Dracoknights rallied to the town of Amiter in the Dragon Sanctuary, vowing never to kneel before the Vermilion Bird.

Seeing as the empire had not yet capitulated, Dominion Central Command feared that anti-dominion sentiment might spread to neighboring cities and negatively affect its campaign. Thus, they dispatched a cadet task force to Amiter. The cadets stormed the town, squashing the resistance movement and securing the town in a single day.

The Excavated Airship

Prototype Assault Ship: Setzer

Dimensions: 721 x 122 ft (220 x 37 m)
Tonnage: 11,734 t
1 Max Speed: 543 mph (874 km/h)
Cruising Speed: 320 mph (515 km/h)
Armament:
- Magitek Cannon x 1
- Triple Magitek Missile Launcher x 4

In a remote area of the empire known as the Veill Desolands, there lies a cave. The Silent Key houses the ruins of an ancient civilization discovered many years ago by imperial forces. Deep within those ruins slept an enormous dreadnought from eons past. The empire was aware of the airship's existance, but all attempts to activate the craft proved fruitless.

The dominion has also acquired intel regarding the ancient aircraft, and once they were able to invade imperial territory, Akademeia dispatched a cadet revon team to the Silent Key. What was initially intended as nothing more than a scientific investigation, however, proved much more successful than anticipated. Not only did the cadets locate the aircraft in question, but the dreadnought reacted to dominion magic, and the cadets piloted the craft all the way back to Rubrum.

A ship log turned up during the subsequent investigation, and further analysis of the craft led to some incredible discoveries. The captain's name was Setzer, and the craft was built some 1,000 years ago—that is, before the erection of the Vermilion Peristylium. The teknology used in the ship's creation resembled nothing found in present-day Orience. However, given that the cadets were able to reactivate the craft using magic, researchers at Akademeia determined that the power control unit was designed using some form of Rubrum teknology. They concluded some other individual—presumably a dominion citizen—must have rebuilt or altered portions of the main control deck.

With ten times the output of a standard dominion dreadnought, the airship immediatly became the most powerful craft to soar the Rubrum skies. However, because the airship was acquired irrespective of the dominion military, the dreadnought fell into the possession of Akademeia. The administration christened the ship "Setzer" in honor of its former captain and lent the aircraft to the cadets who discovered it.

Dominating the Dragon's Nest

As part of their continuing efforts to disarm Concordia, Rubrum decided to eliminate the kingdom's greatest source of military power: their wyverns. Dominion Central Command dispatched several units to the Dragon's Nest, but the legions met with a fierce counteroffensive from the local forces.

Begrudgingly acknowledging the legions stood no chance against the wyverns, the commandant deployed a cadet task force to suppress the resistance movement and secure the Dragon's Nest. The formidable royal army put up an admirable fight, but they were no match for Class Zero, and the Dragon's Nest fell to the dominion. Unable to breed wyverns to strengthen their forces, Concordia had lost all hope of recovery.

The Dominion Legions in the Twilight of War

The dominion legions were comprised of seven armies, each divided into three corps, which in turn contained three divisions each. As the war entered its final stages, the dominion legions strove to expand their forces by mobilizing soldiers from their newly liberated cities.

The independent summoning regiments dealt crippling blows to the royal and imperial armies at the battles of Judecca and Big Bridge respectively, but by their very nature, the regiments themselves also suffered great casualties. Those losses notwithstanding, new summoning units began forming one after another. By the Battle of Azurr, the dominion boasted an impressive twenty-eight summoning regiments. Thanks to Central Command's mobilization program, the entire dominion army swelled to an impressive sixty-eight divisions—a force of 700,000 men and women.

The Agito Cadets, however, did not fare so well. Inherently fewer than the legionaries, the cadets' numbers dropped off drastically as a result of frequent assignment to military hotspots. The personnel from all thirteen classes totaled 1,417 cadets at the time of their initial conscription. By the time the dominion waged an assault on Azurr, however, the cadets' numbers plummeted to a mere 361.

Although all thirteen classes remained intact, each unit had no more than twenty cadets to its name. The dominion attempted to supplement those losses by deploying trainees in the cadets' stead, but the loss of personnel was too severe to recoup.

Colonel Faith's Last Stand

While the imperial capital was dangling by a thread, the forces of the empire's southern front were holding on as strong as ever. Leading the resistance was Colonel Faith—who, having lost at Eibon and retreated to his homeland, continued to oppose the dominion legions from Gewehr Base in East Nesher.

With the imperial capital finally within their grasp, Dominion Central Command refused to risk any sort of upset and thus dispatched a cadet task force to suppress the resistance. The cadets struggled against Faith's Blackburn MA, but they eventually won out against the colonel. Faith fell in battle, and so, too, did the stronghold. Now, the capital city of Ingram remained as the only imperial territory outside of dominion control.

Capturing the Imperial Capital

Having lost the greater half of its military in the battle of Azurr, the imperial army sought to defend the capital by mobilizing its reserves, but its numbers were too small to stave off the invading dominion legions. Rubrum's army easily overtook the Militesi camps surrounding Ingram and continued its advance with the tide of battle in its favor.

Once inside the capital city, however, the dominion legions were faced with a fierce imperial resistance. Casualties increased rapidly, and the dominion advance halted just outside imperial headquarters, every unit having suffered crippling losses. Unlike its opponents, though, the dominion still had a formidable reserve force waiting in the wings. Dominion Central Command began deploying reinforcements by the squad, completely overwhelming the empire. Imperial HQ fell to the dominion legions, and the Militesi Empire had no choice but to surrender.

Machina's Struggle

Having turned the tables on the once-omnipotent Militesi Empire, the dominion legions easily overpowered the imperial forces with their overwhelming numbers. The dominion army was on the verge of seizing the imperial capital of Ingram when it encountered the last remaining White Tiger l'Cie, Incognitus. Unable to withstand his incredible power, the legions and cadets fell like flies. Not even their Eidolons could hold back the oncoming l'Cie, and Incognitus made quick work of Rubrum's beasts of war.

The White Tiger l'Cie was last seen heading toward imperial headquarters. Dominion Central Command has received no reported sightings of Incognitus in the field since then.

Invasion of the Rursus

Although the dominion succeeded in overthrowing the empire and gaining hegemony over all of Orience, its glory proved short-lived. Bleak darkness enveloped the world, and warriors of shadow crept forth across the land, annihilating all the dominion legions in their way until only Akademeia remained.

With its chain of command shattered and the entire school in disarray, all seemed lost for Akademeia. However, a group of twelve cadets refused to surrender. Joining forces with one of the kingdom's powerful wyverns, the cadet task force stormed Pandæmonium off to the southwest, slayed the army of soul-reaving Rursus, and heroically restored peace to Orience.