La Noscea. The windy meadows of Vylbrand. Arguably one of the most popular regions of 1.0 Eorzea, home to the most badass Roegadame in the realm and one of my favorite field tracks of 1.0, “On Windy Meadows”.
Not everything was what it seemed however, and today we’re about to venture into a dungeon that saw little to no exploration prior to this series. It’s so obscure, in fact, I couldn’t find any information about the NPC standing outside the entrance. Heck, I don’t even know if it had one! It was located just west of Camp Bloodshore. This was a location I only ever visited as part of Levequests, and these would only ever lead me towards the middle.
However, the entrance was there, to the far north. Hidden in plain sight. Its name is lost to us. A mystery that’s impossible to solve. For now, we’ll call it Bloodshore Hollow.
Let’s venture inside.
Like all 1.0 dungeons, with the exception of dungeons in the Black Shroud, the initial tunnel looks more or less the same, and seems to go on for quite a while. As previously mentioned this was because the map was actually stored within the overworld map, so to avoid having the dungeon clip through into the overworld, it had to be stored far below ground level. This resulted in these long boring corridors. And sure, they would have most likely contained mobs, making it less boring, but still. It’s an obvious loading tunnel.
After a rather long walk, I finally enter our first room. And boy oh boy what have we here.
Large pieces of what looks like coral sticks out of the walls. Which could indicate that this whole portion of the dungeon used to be under water. The corals are also covered in shells, which further confirms that at some point, these things were under water. In fact, the whole dungeon is covered in these shells, much like Shposhae and Cassiopeia Hollow, although it’s not known if those dungeons also used to be under water.
As I make my way through the coral-filled tunnels, I get a glimpse of what’s waiting at the end. Oh no. Is that…
A massive room. My thoughts immediately go to Mistbeard Cove and the massive room found therein, but this is different. So far we’ve yet to see a single man-made object. There are not docks, not pathways, no doors, no torches. This is clearly more like Cassiopeia Hollow than Mistbeard- or Umbra Cove. It even has the… coral? Things forming a path across the water! How the coral formed a path like this, we’ll never know.
Like so many times before, I’m left with a choice of left, right, or straight ahead, following the coral path. There are no flags, banners, or torches to guide my way this time, so I’m going to assume the coral path is the dungeon’s linear path. However, the path was pointless. It leads to a spot I could have just as easily gotten to had I just walked to the right.
I soon find a path half submerged in water, leading to an elevated pathway, similar to that of Mistbeard Cove. I cross it and end up here. The walls are filled with shells and coral. It actually looks pretty good for 1.0. So far I haven’t actually had a lot of path choices. This is the first one. Left or right. Left is furthest away, so I take the right opening. Another long tunnel with large coral branches above my head greets me as I enter.
The tunnel leads to yet another water room. Massive in size. There’s two possible exit routes. One to the far north, and one to the east of my position. I pick the northernmost path, and carry on. Another tunnel of coral. This leads to another large room with coral now growing out of the ground. This room feels unusually bright and open. And has a total of 3 paths. 2 of them lead to empty rooms, while the last one leads to ANOTHER water room. The rooms are starting to look the same, and I’m worried I might be going in circles. Not having torches or other human-made objects makes it hard to pinpoint where you’ve been or not. I stumble through ANOTHER water room followed by another series of tunnels, passages and rooms filled with coral of all shapes and sizes. Until I finally end up in the giant water room I came from. Right. Let’s pick the other path. That one was clearly going in circles… Right?
I make my way through, and boy, did this hallway just get wider? The rooms and tunnels seem to widen, as I make my way deeper and deeper into the dungeon. The coral now seems to have stuff hanging from them now. Slight variations I’ve not seen before here. We might be on to something here. It didn’t take long however, until I encountered another water room. I decided to always hug the wall and follow the path of the room, and stay consistent, to avoid walking in circles. How big is this dungeon??
Doubt sets in once again. Maybe this is all this dungeon is? Maybe the giant water room is all this dungeon has. It’s 1.0 after all… I’m about to give up when I suddenly see it. A DOOR.
The Hidden City
The first man-made object in this dungeon appears as I exit a tunnel and enter a room unlike anything I’ve seen so far. Two doors. And what’s that in the distance? A LIGHT! BARRELS! I walk towards the light. The path splits in two. The barrel and light area is a dead end, but the other path reveals more doors. I’m both happy and excited, but it also makes me realize just how massive this dungeon. It’s crazy! I’ve been in here for more than an hour, and I’m just now seeing this? This is crazy. Surely, there can’t be more in here, right? This is it. Doors and some lanterns.
As quickly as they appeared, they seemed to disappear the further in I went. I eventually ended up in what seemed like a normal tunnel. I was about to just walk through it, not really paying any attention to my surroundings when suddenly, in the corner of my eye, I spot THIS.
That’s. That’s the shape of a door?! This is unlike any door we’ve encountered so far in this series. But we already know this door, don’t we. It’s the same door found in Sastasha. Further confirming Sastasha as the Frankenstein’s Monster Dungeon of XIV. Let’s take a look at what it hides. I take a deep breath. So far doors like these have provided us with nothing but disappointingly empty rooms. Could this be it. Could this finally give us that one wow moment.
It reveals a passage and not an empty room, but when I turn around… it looks like a wooden door?! However it’s not like the other La Noscean doors we’ve encountered. This one is more ornate… It’s also incredibly well lit, with not one, not two, but SIX lanterns placed relatively close to each other. This door is important.
I follow the path. And while I think about how disappointing that door was, I round the corner. And…
An enormous room, with wooden towers connected with wooden hanging bridges meet me. Step aside Mistbeard’s Cove. This room is by far the largest room I’ve ever seen. This looks like some kind of underground city! Some of the towers, mainly the ones built on land, are made of rock. Lights hanging down everywhere, illuminating the giant dark room. The way these structures are built is eerily similar to how Limsa Lominsa was constructed back in the day… Is this tied to that somehow? Did a faction of the Galadion’s crew break off and construct their own city here? There are no Lominsan banners down here, nor are there any Beastmen banners. I’m so intrigued.
However I quickly notice that this portion is highly unfinished. The towers have bridges that don’t lead anywhere, and there’s even a bridge support beam that has no bridge connected to it. Some of the towers also have empty bridge supports, and there is no way to reach the towers from the ground. It looks like the game’s direction changed in the middle of this dungeons creation!
And then I notice. The Door. This massive door, unlike any door seen so far, beckons to me. It looks like the entrance to the town hall or something.
And remember what I said about no banners? Take a look at this. Banners. Unique ones at that.
Is this the banner of the nation below the ground? The Lominsan offshoot? Is this perhaps a nation formed by Mistbeard himself?
Sadly, the façade of whatever we’re looking at is clearly unfinished. Two of the windows are not aligned correctly. Regardless, it’s an impressive sight. What awaits us behind this door?
I was not ready for this.
I’m literally screaming as I realize that this is supposed to be a fully fledged BUILDING! And again. The banner! This could be massive. What if this was supposed to be an underground city-state!? What in the seven hells have I stumbled into?!
My joy, however, is short lived. As I make my way towards the banner, I realize that this portion was never finished. The windows on the outside kinda alluded to it as well. I’m heartbroken. But still, this is exciting! This is a storyline we’ll probably never see in the game’s current form. I’m shook guys, I’m shook.
I don’t think this was ever meant to serve as a real city-state. That would be ridiculous, due to it’s placement. However, it is likely this was meant to be part of Limsa Lominsa’s storyline in some way. This could have been a failed city-state, or simply an underground settlement, not recognizing Limsa Lominsa as the central authority, hence why they use their own banners. Also, remember – this settlement was hidden behind a stone door! These guys did not want to be found!
Whatever it was meant to be, it’s all lost to time. All we now know is that there was a settlement below Bloodshore. Built by what could be Lominsan settlers, judging by the building designs. Whoever they were, they were most likely hostile, seeing as it was placed in a dungeon. Whatever was meant to take place in that building was most likely the climax of the dungeon. Maybe that’s where the last boss spawned and exited? Or was the building meant to be finished on the inside? Maybe this was a safe haven in the dungeon? Let me know what you think in the comment section!
This is probably the biggest discovery we’ve made so far in this series. What do you think this dungeon was all about? What is the significance of the banners? Who built this? And why is hidden so far into the dungeon? I’ll be reading your theories in the comments. Let’s figure this out together! Thank you so much for watching this episode of Secrets of a Realm. I’ll be back next month with another episode. Until then, may you ever walk in the light of the crystal!