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Meaningless? Men die that others may live. Those who survive are stronger for it. Not that you could ever understand. To have stood upon this great stage of fools...to have played my part to perfection... Oh, this...this moment...let it be enshrined in eternity. My heart...beating out of time... So clear, so vivid, so real... So real. Farewell, my first friend. My enemy.
~ Zenos to the Warrior of Light before slitting his own throat.

Zenos yae Galvus is the one of the main antagonists of Final Fantasy XIV.

Zenos is the main antagonist of the expansion Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, a major antagonist in Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers and will presumably be the main antagonist of the upcoming expansion Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker.

Zenos is the son of Emperor Varis, the Legatus of the XIIth Legion and the crown prince of the Garlean Empire. Zenos yae Galvus is possessed by a single passion, standing on the front lines, blade in hand and dancing with death. Zenos was trained by an imperial swordsman in the way of the blade. During Gaius van Baelsar's time as imperial viceroy of Ala Mhigo, Zenos oversaw the subjugation of Doma. Zenos became its regent after using his stratagems to corner the Doman Liberation Front while personally killing its strongest member, developing an interest in foreign blades.

He is voiced by Luke Allen-Gale in the English dub, and Kōsuke Toriumi in the Japanese dub.

Appearance

Zenos has white skin and very long blonde hair. His normal eyes are blue and he has a signature Garlean Third Eye on his forehead. Zenos' Armor is of a Purple Hue, being dark in color. The Armor is very bulky and serves to make an already large Garlean appear like a giant among his peers. The Armor has large shoulder pads and horns on the helmet similar to other Tribunus armor. Wrapped around in his waist and legs is a red, yellow, and blue sash as well as a chain belt with a blue Jewel. He hoists a weapon storage on his waist which contains many swords he had collected from his fallen enemies. His Katana is stained red.

In Shadowbringers, he gets a new outfit, appearing in much lighter armor or a dark red hue covering his chest and legs. His arms are covered by leather and cloth. He wears a white impearial coat on his back as if it were a cape, not using the sleves. He also has a new weapon, that being a rather large Scythe

Personality

Man should fight for the joy of it. To live, to eat, to breed -- lesser beasts snap and howl at one another for this. Only man has the wisdom -- and the clarity -- to embrace violence for its own sake.

Being a Garlean, Zenos is arrogant, savage, and over all ruthless. But unlike his constituents such as Gaius van Baelsar and Nael van Darnus, he doesn't have any noble motive behind his actions, nor does he care about ruling his empire. Zenos is in fact a deeply nihilistic and sadistic individual with no regard for life including his own. He views the world as not only being cruel and meaningless but also as a "hunt" with his enemies being his prey. He has personal hobby of collecting the weapons of the enemies he has slaughtered, and would sometimes spare his enemies for the chance of having a more thrilling battle.

However after his first defeat at the hands of the Warrior of Light, Zenos gains a greater sense of purpose. His motives change from simply causing chaos and misery for the sake of it, to hunting downing the Warrior of Light who he sees as his only true friend in his twisted vision. His Obsession towards fighting the Warrior of Light is so great that he not only killed his own father and plunged the Garlean Empire into a civil war, but is willing to plunge the world into a cataclysm so long as he's able to fight his adversary one last time.

Biography

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

Zenos is first seen in a cutscene showing The Palace of Ala Mhigo under imperial rule, moments after The Resistence's first victory over The Garleans. Upon hearing the news from the Centurion unfortunate enough to be the messenger, Zenos in a fit of rage cuts the man down and asks for proposals of what to do about the new uprising. One of his commanders, the only one of Ala Mhigan birth, Fordola, has a proposal. She is scolded by another Centurion out of prejudice, but Zenos hears her out, satisfied by her similar desire to hunt, especially intrigued that she would hunt her own kind.

Zenos, Fordola, and the Garleans lay seige on Rhalgr's Reach, the stronghold for the Resistence. They crush the resistence forces with nearly everything they have. Fordola massacres many soldiers, including one of the resistences finest, Meffird. This enrages Lyse who battles Fordola and outmatches her, only for Zenos to march up and challenge Lyse instead, who blocks her every move. Zenos was about to kill Lyse, but Ysh'tola blocks it with a magical shield, however it does not last and Zenos's blade cuts through Ysh'tola, delivering a critical wound. The Warrior of Light then shows up, catching Zenos's attention. He asks if the Warrior of Light will entertain him and proceeds to fight them. The Warrior of Light, for all their power and experience, was still outmatched by Zenos, barely being able to do a thing to him. Zenos easily defeats The Warrior of Light and had an oppurtunity to deliver a fatal blow, but didn't out of knowing that the Warrior of Light will grow stronger, all out of the desire for a truly thrilling battle.

With the resistence crushed, The Scions refocused their efforts on another territory under Zenos's Rule, Doma. Ruled by acting Viceroy Yotsuyu, who is very much like Zenos in wishing to cause ever-lasting suffering and pain, nihilistic and sadistic. At some point after Lord Hien returns to Doma, Zenos pays a visit of Doma to see how his other territory is fairing after rumors and skirmishes of a Doma uprising. He was only meant to check the defences, but Zenos gets more than he pays for when Yugiri and The Warrior of Light, feeling vengeful, make an attempt on his life. Yugiri tries first, but for all her expertise as a Ninja, Zenos detects and blocks her attack. She then proceeds to fight off the Body Guards while Zenos fights The Warrior of Light. The battle is more equal, with Zenos having to use his strongest attacks to defeat the Warrior of Light. But still, Zenos does prevail. He might have taken Yugiri's life to fuel The Warrior of Light's rage, but then farmers from Namai show up to stand up to the Garleans. The Garleans retreat, including Zenos. Before he leaves though, and while Yotsuyu and Grynewaht are bowing before him, he walks up and grabs Yotsuyu by the hair, and demands that she crush the resistence, lest he personally kills her and makes her suffer for failure. With that, he walks off and returns to Garlemald. From then on, Doma is liberated by The Warrior of Light and friends, while Yotsuyu becomes missing in action when the castle collapses.

Back in Ala Mhigo, Zenos waits for the Warrior of Light's returns as Garlemald and The Eorzea Alliance are in stalemate. However, during a transport of patience from Rhalgr's Reach to Castrum Oriens, Fordola ambushes Alliance Forces and takes the Scion Krile as a prisoner, news that is devastating to the Scions. She is presented before Zenos, who places her under the supervision of Aulus, a scientist who would perform experiments on Krile to understand the Echo.

Eventually the Alliance makes a move to capture Castellum Velodyna. They are met by Fordola's forces, but fail. Fordola is forced to answer to Zenos for her failure. Along the way she and her Skulls are ridiculed by Garleans for her failure, claiming it was her heritage that caused it, being out of inferiority of sympathy for her people. She was expected to be cut down on sight like the rest, but after reaffirming her resolve and rage, Zenos gave her one more chance, and bestowed upon her the fruits of their research, an artificially made Echo.

In The Peaks, The Alliance marched forward, attempting to take Specula Imperatoris approximately at the center of Gyr Abania. The Alliance figured that this was a strategic location since Garlemald would not use the canon at nearby Castrum Abania to fire on their own base. However, they underestimated the sadism of Zenos. Fordola marched into the canon room of Castrum Abania and ordered to fire the canon on Specula Imperatoris by orders of Lord Zenos, even though her own skulls were in there. Reluctantly, everyone complied, fearing of Zenos, and fired. The castrum was hit and many casualties were suffered by both sides, including Fordola's skulls, her best friends, and Commander Kemp of the Resistence. Thing were looking down for the Alliance after a terrible lost, but Estinean repaid Alphinaud's kindess and favors by damaging the canon and disabiling it, long enough for The Warrior of Light to infiltrate Castrum Abania, seize it, and disable the canon, not before a brief stint with Fordola, where she first used her new powers. Before leaving, Fordola warned the Scions that they were marching right into Zenos's hunt, that he had something very strong that no one could withstand. The Scions hypothesized if it was Omega.

In The Lochs, the most inner part of Gyr Abania, the Alliance was ready to lay seige on Ala Mhigo. Fordola was confrotned in the outer part of the city, The Ala Mhigan quarter and captured. Krile was also freed and the Scions discovered the origin of Fordola's mysterious powers, this artificial Echo.

The Alliance then made Seige on Ala Mhigo, with the help of Lord Hien of Doma, they were able to bust the door open and the battle began. The Warrior of Light fought Imperial after Imperial through the city until reaching the Palace Throne room and confronting Zenos. With three other adventurers and being stronger than ever, The Warrior of Light Defeated Zenos in a battle he finally determined worthy. Zenos congratulated the Warrior of Light but noted that it wasn't over. He then beckoned her come to the royal menagerie.

At the royal menagerie, Zenos revealed a captured and frozen Shinryu, the Dragon Primal unleashed by Ilberd. Zenos explained that with the power of the Echo, those with powerful spirits could take over such hosts, similar how the Ascians took over mortal hosts to usher their own ends. Zenos claims that Primals can be used to further one's own power, and proceeds to insert himself into the body of Shinryu, break free, and then fight the Warrior of Light. The battle is fierce, but in the end, the Warrior of Light breaks through and slays the once ungodly Dragon. Zenos emerges from the Dragon weakened, and claims that the Warrior of Light finally gave him a satisfying battle. He declares them his only friend in the world who he can find common cause with, seeing the Warrior of Light as a butcher who destroys everything in their path. Before anyone can take him prisoner though, he slits his throat with his Katana and dies.

Post-Stormblood and Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

In the ending cutscenes of Stormblood, Elidibus is seen talking to Emperor Varis and apologizes for his lost. He then takes off his mask, revealing his host to Varis, to which Varis is shocked and offeneded.

Garlemald hears rumors of Zenos's Death and becomes shocked, A Garlean soldier despairs at Zenos's death, but a Centurion claims that he had not died and that reports of his death were Eorzean savage deception. Later, Zenos is seen Alive and resting in his own chambers where he is checked on by an imperial doctor. When Asahi meets Lord Hien and the Scions for the Prisoner Exchange, The Warrior of Light gets a vision from that echo going back to that same time when Zenos was resting. The Warrior of Light witnesses Asahi personally giving his service and loyalty to Lord Zenos above all. Zenos then gives Asahi the task of acting as a peaceful ambassador, only to set up Doma for a unending war against Garlemald after setting up a rigged Summoning. Asahi agrees as it means revenge on Doma, and this plays out perfectly as Yotsuyu transforms herself into a Primal. After Yotsuyu is defeated and kills Asahi, Asahi's second in command, Maxima, recovers from the chaos and reaffirms the Populares Garlean factions wishes for Peace. However, he does confirm that Zenos is alive, much to the shock of the Scions. The Scions check his grave in Gyr Abania, only the find the casket is empty. The Scions conclude that Ascians must be at work

Shortly before Solus visits Emperor Varis, Zenos is seen talking to Varis is a much more aggresive and authoratative way, as if son has power over father. Once Emet-Selch comes in, he confirms that Elidibus has taken possession of Zenos's Body.

While all this is happening, Zenos has actually survived, but only in spirit. A consequence of his artifical Echo, Zenos has become immortal after ironically losing his purposes of living. He took possession of an Ala Mhigan soldier and slew a Ala Mhigan sergeant upon being confronted. He the lamented how he missed his friend and body, and declared his new purpose in having a battle for the ages against the Warrior of Light, spreading chaos in the midst of his hunt.

After the Battle of the Ghimlyt Dark, Elidibus in Zenos's Body led a force onto the Battlefield where he was met by Lord Hien and the Scions. He bested them all easily though, having the strength of Zenos's Body and, while Garleans themselves cannot manipulate aether and this use magic, Elidibus took advantages of his Ascian powers and was able to cast magic, becoming a force to be reckoned with. The Warrior of Light came and fought Elidibus. The Warrior of Light was winning, but suddenly they were called once again and nearly paid the ultimate price, but Ser Aymeric and the Ishgaridan Templer Knights came and rescued them.

Elidibus continued to take possession of Zenos's body, making sure the Empire remains stable. He was disappointed with Varis withdrawing due to the civil unrest caused by Rumors of Zenos being possessed.

As The fighting between Garlemald and Eorzea continued, Zenos jumped from body to body to progress his own ends. Estinean and Gauis's Shadowhunters were on a mission to destroy Black Rose, a deadly gaseous poison that Garlemald was going to use to wipe out Eorzea's forces, however they noted that someone had beat them too a specific factory. Zenos, in the body of an imperial centurion, expressed frustration at Garlemald resorting to cowardly weapons, and implied that he destroyed the store of Black Rose. He would continue to do this until he confronted Emperor Varis and Elidibius. Elidibus and Varis were shocked to learn that Varis had surived and attain immortality from a false echo. Zenos threatened to take his body from Elidibus, and this caused Elidibus to flee. Zenos took his own body and cornered the emperor. Lamenting his frustrations with Garlemalds "Petty Political Problems" and "Cowardly Weapons," he killed Varis on the spot, much to Gauis's anger. He then disappeared.

Zenos then watched his country burn in Civil War with an empty throne. He was approached by another Ascian who claimed to be a dog that would serve Zenos. Zenos, with his help, took control of Garlemald, a husk of it's former self and under complete despotism. He has a Dream of the Final Days, and after confiding it to his Ascian servant, the Ascian reveals that it is actually a memory of The Final Days. Later The Ascian reveals his name to be Fandaniel, a sundered Ascian who is just as nihilistic as Zenos and wants to burn the world for his amusement. He also reveals that he has take possession of Asahi. After gloating about his connections with his body, particuraly his endless supply of money to fuel their desires, Asahi promises Zenos that his plans will go into action soon, all in preperation to bring about The Final Days, so taht Zenos and the Warrior of Light grow stronger enough for a battle of untold proportions.

After a confrontation with the Scions, Fandaniel returns to Zenos to say his plan has been set in motion. His towers rose from the ground and many across Eorzea and Garlemald have been tempered to serve Garlemald. He also mentions how his Lunar Bahamut might have singed The Warrior of Light, putting Zenos in a rage and threatning to kill Fandaniel, who tries to calm Zenos down. Zenos then declares that he will need a new weapon in preperation for his confrontation with the Warrior of Light. When he picks his weapon, it is not revealed but Fandaniel is highly intrigued by the choice

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker

In the trailer for Endwalker it is revealed that Zenos's new weapon is a large Scythe.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Zenos suffers from Anhedonia, the inability to feel pleasure, except through combat.
  • He is the great-grandson of the main antagonist of Shadowbringers, Solus zos Galvus, better known as Emet-Selch.

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