So Patch 6.1 went live earlier this week for Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, and one of the things players are hyped about (I mean, besides the new Alliance Raid, gear, PVP improvements, and sooo much more) is the ability to finally purchase a home in the mmo's newest residential district: Empyreum. Located in the snowy region of Coerthas, Empyreum was built (literally, all the crafters and gatherers of the game came together in a unified endeavor) up out of the frigid ruins at the heart of Ishgard. Attempts to secure housing in the past, whether for Free Company or Individual use, have been more or less a nightmare. It's been hailed as Housing (Savage) or Housing (Extreme), put on the same level of difficulty as the game's most challenging instances. Square Enix has implemented a new lottery system, however, to wager more fairness and equality in securing housing, but players have mixed feelings about this new system, myself being one of them. The deadline for entries for the first lottery period ends tomorrow morning (4/16), and I am one of many trying to snag a large plot for my FC in Empyreum. I have wanted to move to Ishgard ever since the concept was released--it reminds me so much of Skyrim, and I want to live in Skyrim! The best I can do is scour the whole district for the plot with the least amount of entries and hope for the best. Anyways, I thought I would share what Chesme has been up to these days--She's been a busy gal. Wish us luck in the lotto!
Exhaling a puff of frigid Coerthan air, Chesme pulled her karakul wrap more tightly around her shoulders as she stepped lithely from the chocobo carriage. Shielding her eyes from blinding early morning sun, she turned and paid the coachman, ensuring to slip him an ample extra amount of gil for tip. She was eager to conclude her business in Ishgard and then survey the sprawling stone metropolis’ newest residential ward. The grand opening of the esteemed ward occurred a week prior, with much ceremony and celebration according to the news courier of Ul’dah.
She hastened to the Jeweled Crozier, tooled leather boots emitting a swift click, click, click against the cobbled walkway. She swept swiftly down a stone stairway, entering the craftsman quarters amid a flurry of aromas–strong Coerthan tea, cinnamon, charred cedar, polished leather…She inhaled the amalgam of wonderful scents, exhilarated by the encompassing presence of artisan craft. She raised her hand in greeting as she approached the stall of Madame Norlaise, esteemed Ishgardian armorer. Norlaise welcomed Chesme into her small workshop, inviting her to sit amid her steel tools. After procuring two mugs of steaming tea and exchanging pleasantries, the two began discussing artisan mentorship and the candidates qualified to work under Chesme’s tutelage.
Their business drew to a close a bell and a half later, and Chesme made her way to Empyreum. She chose to walk the distance rather than utilize the aether, ecstatic to see the sights of the ice-ensconced city that she was in love with. She had been chomping at the bit for nearly a week to witness the grandiose masonry of the new residential ward, and as she approached the district, she was far from disappointed. Her eyes traveled up to the tallest spire and down to the ward market that was not yet up and running. The ward was fairly quiet that morning as Chesme ambled slowly past the empty plots, small yards and large yards alike gaping and inviting, sun glinting against frosted grass and shrubbery. FOR SALE was posted on every bare plot, each residence’s placard stating the details of the auction slated to begin the following day.
Chesme patted her coin purse absently as her head swiveled back and forth, making note of various features: heated pool area and sauna constructed of polished granite; great stone fireplaces that crown the outdoor common areas; spectacular views of the city…She had decided before coming here that she wanted to relocate her Free Company house to Ishgard, and seeing Empyreum in person only solidified her determination to move to the city of perpetual winter. She had informed her members of her intention, and Mafia house shared her enthusiasm.
The scent of smoke assailed her nostrils as she explored the western zone of the ward, and she followed the trail to one of the plots available for sale. Two women, a Hyur and a Viera, were sitting on the bottom step of a large residence, bundled in furs and rubbing their hands together over a small fire smoldering in a metal bucket. Sleeping bags were rolled up next to them, and despite looking a tad weathered, they were talking to each other with intense animation.
Chesme lifted her hand in greeting as she approached them. “Hi there, folks! Lovely morning!”
“Indeed it is!” replied the Viera, flashing a wide smile, her ears flicking back ever so slightly to indicate defense.
“Shiva’s skivvies, it’s a bit too cold for my taste,” laughed the Hyur, huddling closer to the fire bucket. “I am still building up a tolerance, myself.”
Chesme laughed and asked, “Claimed a stake here at this large plot, yes?” She eyed the vast, empty yard and encircling stone fence.
The Viera piped up rather quickly, “Yes, we are going to try to snag this plot at auction tomorrow. We’ve camped here all week to, erm, dissuade any other interest in this one.” She smiled again, arching a chiseled auburn brow at Chesme.
“Oh, I see,” said Chesme. “I’m still browsing. Or, scouting I should rather say,” she laughed. She checked the residence’s placard and saw quite a few bids slated. Time to check elsewhere. “You lot take care, and I wish you the best of luck tomorrow.”
“Yes, we wish you luck as well. Hope you find a good plot!” They waved at Chesme as she turned to leave.
Chesme sauntered through the ward, in no particular hurry. She intended to stay in Ishgard overnight to catch the auction early in the morning. While she expected the typical scuffling over bids, she did not believe the auction would prove to be dire. Empyreum was expansive, with much room for growth and construction. She nearly skipped in anticipation, her excitement building. She would do everything in her power to secure a large plot for her Free Company, her competitive nature rising.
Ascending several stairways, she paused a moment to catch her breath. The cold air was biting but also refreshing as she filled her lungs with it. Spying a stone bench, she walked over to it and sat, looking out across the residential ward. The sight caught her by surprise. She must be at the highest peak in the city! The sun was approaching high noon, casting a golden glow on the city below. It was beautiful…
Spinning around on the bench, Chesme noticed that behind her was a large plot. She jumped up and walked briskly to the placard to check it and grinned when she saw that no bids were yet placed on this one.
“This one…” she whispered. “This is the one.”
Chesme entered her bid on the plot, good for a hefty multi-million gil deposit, and returned to the stone bench. Let the competition begin, she thought to herself. As she looked out across the ward, snowflakes began to fall, drifting lightly on the soft breeze. This felt like home.