The kingdom of Norvrandt has been conquered.
Their physical forms have been distorted and corrupted by an excessive quantity of power that they use to satisfy their ravenous appetites.
Spoilers for Final Fantasy XIV and its Shadowbringers addition may be found below, so read at your own risk.
By the time we reach Shadowbringers, we’ve heard incessantly about the fantastic quality of the illumination there.
After all, being the Warrior of Light is vital to who we are.
On the other hand, Shadowbringers flips that on its head.
The conclusion that can be drawn is that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
Night never falls in Norvrandt, and its people are constantly harassed by mighty entities of light.
The Sin-Eaters have fascinating appearances that blend angelic and demonic themes.
They are primarily white in hue and are a radical departure from the dark and twisted creatures we have fought up to this point.
Despite their divine look, these creatures are purely carnivorous and driven by instinct rather than any higher purpose.
In Shadowbringers, our mission is to destroy the strongest Sin-Eaters.
These are the Lightwardens; they serve as the final bosses of dungeons and the sole objective of trials.
To re-establish order in Norvrandt, you must eliminate all Lightwardens and plunge the world back into darkness.
That’s life; it’s just another day, right?
This new perspective on the conflict between good and evil is a welcome change from the way the story of XIV has previously been told.
Both of these primary factors can be disastrous if the scales are ever tipped too far in either direction.
Truth be told, being the Warrior of Darkness isn’t all that different from what we’ve always done.
Still helping those in need and continuing to cause the Ascians pain.
Though, I did go ahead and give my protagonist a do that reflected his gloomy disposition.
Where Do Sin Eaters Come From?
Comparable to the voidsent, the Sin Eaters are essentially XIV’s enormous bestiary of villains.
The Sin Eaters have been corrupted by the light, much as the voidsent were deformed by darkness.
Without getting into the specifics, let’s just say there was a large fight and, as typical in XIV, someone transformed into a superhumanly powerful being and then behaved very foolishly.
They extinguished the darkness and poured light into the globe, bathing Norvrandt in its glory.
Even when Minfilia intervened (she’s so energized these days that she no longer gives us every single mission in the MSQ), the harm had already been done.
The Sin Eaters are the mindless, instinct-driven descendants of those who perished in the Flood of Light.
They consume the aether, the magical energy that runs through everything in XIV, and transmute their victims into additional Sin Eaters.
They are essentially zombies made of magical light.
When we first arrive in Norvrandt, the Sin Eaters have already established complete dominance over several territories and are steadily increasing their numbers.
Planet Earth is on the verge of a catastrophic breakdown.
And if we don’t eliminate all the Lightwardens, it’ll go completely insane.
What Are Lightwardens & Why Are We Hunting Them?
Lightwardens are the biggest, toughest Sin Eaters.
Other Sin Eaters are drawn to their power, resulting in great fortresses of light.
In order to stand a chance of restoring the equilibrium, the Lightwardens had to depart.
There is a catch, however.
Lightwardens have an infinite life span and cannot be killed.
Upon passing away, their essence is simply transferred to the nearest living thing, transforming it into a new Lightwarden.
So, let us step in here.
As the Warrior of Light, granted by Hydaelyn, we may safely hold the Lightwardens’ energy upon killing them, keeping them from coming back and scattering the Sin Eater forces.
You’ll fight most of the Lightwardens in dungeons and trials.
The fights are about as intense as one might anticipate – I was still a pretty novice player when I got to Shadowbringers, and in my experience, the difficulty rose up quite a little.
Indeed, this is to be expected in light of the times.
All you have to do is get ready to put in some serious effort in your pursuit of their defeat.
By taking down every Lightwarden and draining their energy, the Sin Eaters will no longer gather in concentrated numbers.
When Norvrandt finally starts to push back, the broken realm will find its equilibrium again.
As for how well it works out – you’ll have to see for yourself.