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They do all treat you like a dumb weapon though, something your shadow points out following the climactic confrontation of the Dark Knight 50 quest

We aren't the real protagonist of FFXIV

1. Alphinaud isn't really a prick IMO. He's hungry for glory and proud, but he has the best intentions at heart (though you know what they say about good intentions). While he does kind of force his way into the narrative, it's after the Garlean raid and most of the Scions are being held captive or at a loss as to what to do - and Alphinaud steps up to the plate to pull everyone together and keep the mission alive. The problem is that, aside from his pride, he never really steps down; after Minfilia and co. are rescued he continues to play the diplomat, to the point he is almost the de facto leader of the Scions with his Crystal Braves. Well, pride before the fall...

 

2. Correct; most of the Scions are Sharlayan. This goes back to 1.x, where Minfilia led the Path of the Twelve and Louisoix the Circle of Knowing; the former was mostly native Eorzeans, while the latter was a group of Sharlayan mavericks who came to Eorzea to try and prepare people for the Calamity. In the aftermath of the Calamity and Louisoix's "death," the two groups merged into the Scions of the Seventh Dawn we know today. Given there were far fewer prominent NPCs that were members of the Path of the Twelve, well... it's not surprising most of the Scions hail from Sharlayan.

 

They do all treat you like a dumb weapon though, something your shadow points out following the climactic confrontation of the Dark Knight 50 quest. (Well, more like everyone treats you like that, but...) Lots of characters point this out; while he might be a total dirtbag, Ilberd is correct when he says that others are just using you as a tool. That hits a bit close to home, especially if you've done the Dark Knight 50 quest.

 

3. Yeah, they include you in the discussion, but I figured they were letting you back out if you so chose. They don't want you to feel obligated, I don't think, though we of course are because we're that kind of hero. And, of course, being the singular most skilled combatant we are going to be doing the lion's share of the fighting. If we do nothing we will indirectly be responsible for the razing of Ishgard; if we help out, we're just someone's tool to be used and disposed of when we're no longer convenient to use. Ah, the dilemma of playing the hero...

 

4. Yeah, I totes wanted a Crystal Braves uniform too. Those things must be super-expensive or cost a lot to dry clean, or something.

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: we aren't the real protagonist of FFXIV. That role shifts around and is carried by various people. We're just muscle, a tool to make sure things others want to happen comes to pass. We're not really an outsider to the Scions, at least not after the conclusion of 2.0 but we are not part of the inner circle beyond our use as an unstoppable force to point at threats.

 

... man, playing Dark Knight really makes you see the ugly truths you'd rather avert your eyes from.

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