Why Am I?
by Meimi


Standard disclaimers apply.

SPOILER WARNING: Almost everything about Yunalesca, the nature of the Aeons and the Final Aeon, Sin, Yu Yevon and Auron. Basically, don't read until after you've finished the game if you don't want to be spoiled.


Another summoner approaches Mount Gagazet's peak. The spiral begins anew, for was it not summoners who called it forth so long ago? It is hard to remember now. Or perhaps, I simply wish to not remember it all. I have my duty, that is all that matters... has ever mattered. But this new summoner, this child, is the daughter of the previous summoner who braved the grave of Zanarkand to meet his fate. It is hard not to reminisce now, their bond reminds me of my own.

How long has it been since I was a wandering spirit given flesh again? How long has it been since I lost my heart to my duty, my pride, our pride? How long has it been since the living walked the streets of this city, carefree instead of searching for their journey's end? How long has it been since I saw you last, Zaon?

I can't remember. Time has passed me by. I am as I was. Or is that just a hopeful dream of a dead soul? How long has it been since I questioned myself? Have I ever questioned myself? I don't know.

The child, she is accompanied by many guardians. So many friends, how have so many survived the pilgrimage? I don't understand. The journey is meant to strengthen the summoner's abilities and further cement the bond between summoner and guardian. It is a necessary step for the Final Summoning. But so many have journeyed with her, how will she choose? How can she choose which beloved companion she loves enough to lose? But no, she will choose. She must choose. The choice is as it always has been, unavoidable.

She is much like I was, I am. She is obstinate and driven by her duty to both her people and her world. Her heart bleeds heavily with the grief of her people, the people who weigh her heavily with their needs and expectations. Oh yes, she is much like me.

I was, I am still, the daughter of Yu Yevon, he who ruled Zanarkand and was the first true High Summoner. I was talented, gifted with my father's power. I was beautiful, as befitted my station. I was brilliant, how could I not be? I was prideful, my father's servants saw to that. I was lonely, Zaon was my only true companion. I was completely head over heels for Zaon, the captain of the palace guards, in other words, a servant. My father was furious. I didn't care. My father had always ruled my life as he ruled Zanarkand. There were only two things I would not heed him upon: Zaon and my manner of dress.

My dressing habits had always been easy to get away with. What I wore certainly wasn't appropriate, but we summoners were allowed our eccentricities. Something of the sort was always expected of us. Summoners had to stand out, to show that we had power different from the rest of our human brethren. At least, that was what my father had always said, had in fact decreed even before my birth. I had always been told as a child to dress differently from everybody else because I had the talent for summoning. I excelled at this.

At the time Zaon entered into my life, I had been going around for some time in barely anything at all. I wore enough to hide my nudity in the most minimal sense and flaunted it all. I was perfectly beautiful and I made sure everyone could see that. My beauty was one of my great prides, one I maintain even into this late date. My father disapproved highly of it. Zaon never complained once.

Ah Zaon, he was the greatest happiness of my life and afterwards. He was one of the multitude of people escaping Bevelle's ever-widening military actions involving machina. He requested to join Zanarkand's defenders because he knew it was only a matter of time before Bevelle turned its attention to my city.

Zaon's request was not accepted immediately. We were not fools. He was screened most carefully, his background researched thoroughly and his allegiances studied fully. But, eventually, Zaon was allowed into our service. He rose through the ranks at an incredible pace. Eventually, he was granted the honor of being in the Palace guards, those assigned to the direct service of the summoners. It wasn't long before Zaon was the captain of our guards.

Zaon was a gorgeous man and brilliant beyond all expectations of a non-summoner. I adored him. My father couldn't stand my 'infatuation' with a simple servant. As the daughter of Zanarkand's ruler, and a summoner in my own right, I should have married another summoner as was fitting. I didn't care. Zaon was anything but simple; to me he was marvelous. He was loyal to Zanarkand and to me especially, not my father.

If only things could have remained as they were. That was not to be; war came as Bevelle finally turned its attention to the other superpower of the world, Zanarkand. They believed that we would be easy to conquer as our power was built upon the superstition of the summoners. Our power was derived directly from our mortality, our aeons were simply extensions of our souls. Surely something so weak and frail would fall easily to the cold iron of their machina. They were almost right.

We did fall. The death rate of our summoners was high. They called forth aeon after aeon to protect our city. They were our pride. But still, they died, and therein lay our problem. Bevelle could simply rebuild the machina it lost in battle. We could not bring back the dead... or could we?

For as long as I had been in the world, my father had been obsessed with the summoning, obsessed with finding a way to strengthen the very act beyond even the dreams of the mortal mind. However, summoners were limited in their mortality. Their aeons could not surpass their own strength of mind and body. My father had always believed there was a way to access the souls of others and draw upon their strength as well as our own. Shortly after my birth, he had almost succeeded. He had discovered the method of creating a fayth, although not how to access the soul within it.

A fayth is a stone statue of a living soul trapped between life and death, immortal. My mother was the first. She had believed completely in my father. Some had whispered that she was as obsessed with my father as he was with the summoning. She was the perfect candidate. Unfortunately, he had never quite discovered how to harness the power of my mother's frozen immortality at that point. That setback wasn't to last for long, especially with Bevelle's continued encroachment upon Zanarkand.

The summoners of Zanarkand were dying. Bevelle's machina were getting ever closer to Mount Gagazet. We were going to lose the war. We were losing it. Our people would either be slain or enslaved. Zaon would be killed outright as a traitor to Bevelle. As the daughter of Yu Yevon, if I were not slain in example, I would become a pretty pet for the rulers of Bevelle. It was a bitter pill that none of us could swallow. We were a proud people. Our power came from within ourselves. How could we reconcile ourselves with the simple fact that it wouldn't be enough to survive?

In that time of deep despair, my father descended to my mother's fayth and prayed to her in solitude. Two days and two nights passed before he emerged. Then, for us all and the world itself, everything changed.

My father called the people of Zanarkand out. He told them to gather at the great blitzball sphere, another pride our people would not abandon. There, as they watched in hushed awe, he showed them the power of my mother's fayth. She was beautiful, an aeon without peer. She was Ashura, the queen of all aeons. With a simple gesture, she gave peace to the souls of our people and renewed our dwindling hope.

Unfortunately, my father's discovery was too little, too late. It would take time we didn't have for him to master the control of Ashura. He said as much to our people, and hope died once more. However, my father had a solution. It was a frightening solution, but one that Zanarkand could not reject.

If we continued as we were, he explained, Zanarkand would die. There would be nothing left once Bevelle conquered us. Our way of life would die out in favor of the foreign way of machina. Our beliefs would become nothing more than a fading dream. But, if we all became fayth, we would become immortal and my father could summon forth another Zanarkand, one that could never be invaded. How could we resist such temptation? It was so easy to give up, so easy to accept that there was no other way.

Zanarkand had one more night and day left. We took advantage of this new freedom from worry and celebrated like never before. I spent my time alone with Zaon. He was my heart; I wanted to be with him.

The next night my father performed the ritual; however, it did not go as simply as planned. For every soul that changed into stone, two more changed into a multitude of glowing lights which fluttered around like flies. Zaon and I remained unchanged.

When we turned to my father for an explanation, he smiled at us mysteriously and summoned Ashura forth. Even though my father had given Zanarkland eternity, summoning was more important to him. He told me he would merge with Ashura and become a new, immortal being, free to summon aeons for eternity.

I couldn't hate him for this. He had saved some of the people of Zanarkand from complete destruction, which was what they would have wanted... wasn't it?

I didn't understand then why he had spared us. It would take time and my father's wrath upon the world for me to do so. My father had become a new being known as Sin. It only existed to destroy. Perhaps it was his way to punish the world for the fate of Zanarkand's summoners. I do not know. Nothing could stand up to Sin. The machina couldn't even harm it.

I was determined to find the reason he had left us both alive. I was also determined to keep the thing that he had become from destroying the world. Without people there would be no more summoners, no one to remember Zanarkand. Neither Zaon nor I could live with that. How was I to know that my actions would truly begin the spiral of death?

The people of Zanarkand had always been proud. We took pride in ourselves and each other. I was my father's pride. I had an important place in his plan. All I had to do was discover it. Zaon also had a part to play because of our bond.

I was not strong enough to defeat Sin on my own, but my father had shown me the way. All I had to do was create a fayth to give me the power I needed, a very special fayth.

Discovering the true power of the fayth was far from easy. It took me a year of trial and error in summoning aeons to discover their strengths and limitation. While the summoner did not have to know the fayth for their powers to join, the aeon created by this wasn't powerful enough to face Sin in battle. It would take something more. I had to know the person who would become the fayth. I had to know them very well. Only then would the aeon summoned be powerful enough to defeat my father. Now I knew why my father had spared Zaon.

Zaon was to become my fayth. Together we would have the power to defeat my father. I didn't want to do it, but I could find no other solution.

Zaon was more than willing to be the sacrifice as long as I survived, but I was reluctant. I could give hope to the world; in exchange all I had to do was seal his soul in stone. It was his wish. I granted it.

I performed the ritual, which was easier than I had thought it would be. Afterwards, I prayed to his fayth and his soul eagerly joined with me. Together we created an aeon that might even kill a god: Odin.

With Odin, I believed myself to be invincible. We met my father's sin in the seas off of Zanarkand. We fought a battle I can't even remember now. We won. Sin was destroyed by the power of Odin. Sin died, but that wasn't the end.

What was left of my father burst from the carcass of the old Sin and merged with Odin. He stole Zaon from me and I died. Apparently, such an aeon thrives off of the life of its summoner. The strength of our bond gave us great power; but it destroyed us as well. I died along with the old Sin, but that wasn't the end for me either. I awoke to death as an unsent.

How long has it been now? How long has my father made this world of Spira pay for ancient mistakes? How long has it been since the pilgrimages began?

They came to this grave known as Zanarkand to find a way to defeat Sin. I was waiting for them. I gave the world back the knowledge of summoning. I gave the worthy the honor of being fayth. I gave them a way to defeat Sin... for a time. They built a religion around the scant knowledge they gleaned of Zanarkand's fate. They called it Yevon. I've never known whether to be pleased or disgusted, but my opinion doesn't matter.

They are clever. I will give them that. After the creation of the Zanarkand fayth, the dead began to remain behind in Spira. Most became demons that terrorized the living. A scant handful became as I am. In their need for peace, the people of Spira discovered a way to send those who remained to the other world. It takes the will of a summoner to perform the sending, but they discovered it on their own. They did not need my help for that. Their cleverness will never free them from Sin, however. Sin and my father will never go away.

I remain to give hope to the people of Spira. I grant them fayth. I give them the comfort of the calm through their summoners and their loved ones. That is my purpose in the spiral of death. I give them the hope that allows them to continue.

But this child, she has sparked these memories within me by her presence. I must give her a powerful fayth in return for such an unwitting gift. But which one will she choose? I am curious now. It is an emotion I have not felt in ages.

She has so many companions. One is a Ronso from the mountain that protects my Zanarkand. He is small for his race, but obviously quite strong and devoted to his charge. From him, a vicious yet protective aeon would emerge. He would not be the easiest of aeons to wield.

Another is a blitzball player, one whose mind is steeped in the teaching of Yevon. He is disturbed by the truths he has discovered about Yevon during their journey. From him, a water aeon of strength and willfulness would emerge. He would certainly not be easy to command.

The black mage would perhaps create an easier fayth to join with. She is calm and collected, but darkness lingers in her soul. It is dwindling thanks to their journey, but it has not gone away entirely. Her aeon would be peerless in magic and yet easy to direct to her fate.

Or perhaps the Al Bhed would be an easier choice. Blood relations make for very strong connections. She may be steeped in the lore of forbidden machina, but her heart is set with the summoner's. She would become the fayth in hopes of finding a way to keep the summoner from dying. It would be hopeless, of course, but the aeon would be quick and strong in the desperation of its fayth.

The other youth is a boy drawn from the summoned Zanarkand. He is a dream and yet not, related to the Sin of this time. I do not know how well of a fayth he would make. I wish not to find out. The people of Zanarkand do not belong to the spiral. The sooner the Sin of this time is destroyed, the better the world will be for it.

The last companion... I know. He is dead. I gave him the peace of death and thus freedom of sorrow with my own hand. Why does he remain? Why is he changed? I don't understand.

He is dead, yet he is older. He is different. He has changed. The dead can not change. They are as they always shall be. How is it possible that he can be this way? Why did he not pass on into the other world? He had loved his companions, had wanted to be with them again. I granted him the opportunity to do so. Why did he not take it? It doesn't make sense.

I remain because I am duty-bound by my pride. I am as I always have been. I accepted this in ages past. He is not held to the world as I am. He can join his loved ones. Why doesn't he? If I were him, I would be long gone from this world. I would be in the comforting embrace of Zaon for eternity. It is what I wish for above all else, yet I remain.

My duty chains me to the will of my father. He doesn't care for my fate. He only cares for summoning. His summoning will last forever in the spiral that he has created. He must be very content. I am not. I miss so much: Zaon, the living Zanarkand, and my own happiness.

Am I necessary? Another summoner could easily perform the ritual to create fayth. I have only to teach them. Afterwards, I could join Zaon in the other world; but my pride tells me I give hope to the beleaguered people of Spira, thus I have purpose. I give them time to grow, only to be destroyed when Sin rises again. It is unending.

Why am I still here? My duty ties me to my father. My pride ties me to the world he punishes through Sin. Death is the only peace Spira will ever know from him, the only comfort left. There is no other way. I wish there was.


I found Yunalesca to be rather intriguing. She is both a monster and a martyr who is trapped in the spiral just as much as Spira itself. Of course, this interest produced a rather demanding, and melodramatic, muse. Maybe she'll shut up now that I've written her.