In Ishgardian legend, there’s the tale of a witch, called Hengr. Not a lot is known about this mysterious witch, other than her trusty cauldron – or Crucible. But there’s more to the tale than that. Cause in the northeast of 1.0’s Coerthas, north of Camp Crooked Fork, was a cave. The biggest red flag? It was guarded. It’s name? Hengr’s Crucible.
The Ishgardian knight guarding the entrance went by the name of Ladislas, and approaching him would say: “You have no business in Hengr’s Crucible. Begone!” You’re not the boss of me Ladislas. Let’s head inside, and see what Hengr has in store for us. Immediately we’re greeted with the gray, kinda dull color palette we all know from our exploration of the Fesse. The initial corridor is long, and winding. And it goes very – VERY – deep down. I’m not kidding when I say that by the way. I wish I could show you the whole descent, but it’d take too long. This is a good thing, cause it means we might uncover a massive room! Right off the bat I find myself in a room similar to the first room of the Fesse. I have a feeling that’s going to be a trend in this video… I’m going to stick to my usual tactic of moving as linearly as possible.
If The Fesse taught me anything it’s that coerthan dungeons are BIG and have loads of confusing and maze like tunnels. Best not to get too lost. After leaving through the tunnel to the left, I enter this really cool room, which shows off a pretty neat looking effect. I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but look over here. It seems the devs created a texture that, when viewed from a distance, gives off the impression that stalactites are hanging down from the ceiling, when in fact they’re all just a flat texture! Pretty neat huh! Walking past that room, I start seeing water. A common theme in Coerthan dungeons. I think we can expect a large room with some waterfalls at some point.
I encounter a crossroad leading left and right. I decide to go left, as the path seems to be heading down in that direction. A large open boss room appears. Nothing of particular interest here, just a nice big room. The exit heads back up, into another crossroad. I stick to my guns and head left, once again. At this point, the rooms start to repeat themselves a lot. Common for unfinished and abandoned dungeons. After a long time of just walking around not really being sure if I’m walking in circles or not, I finally make it to this large room, with what seems to be geysers splashing up from the ground, at regular intervals.
This is good stuff, it means we’re on the right path! While I was cursing the twelve over and over as I swore I was lost, I also started thinking about the name of this place. Hengr’s Crucible. We don’t know much about Hengr, other than the witch part with a cauldron. But why is THIS called Hengr’s Crucible. So far I’ve yet to actually see anything resembling a crucible… Just as I thought about that, I found it. The crucible. This monster of a room is filled with this strange mist, and the large pond in the middle of the room is bubbling, oozing.
The bubbling almost looks like footsteps… Small waterfalls fill smaller ponds around the room. Another strange effect in this room is the actual mist, which seems to be locked to your character. The mist literally spawns inside my character at regular intervals! Is this Hengr’s lair? Is this the crucible? Is this where we would face off against the Ishgardian legend? No… it doesn’t feel final enough. This room has multiple entry points. I turn around, and retrace my steps back to the previous room. I pick the easternmost exit, and follow the tunnel. I encounter several large rooms similar to the one I just came from, complete with the mist. And then there was this room. Massive in size, filled with smaller ponds, bubbling and oozing as well. No mist though. I press on. Going deeper and deeper underground. After following the path for a short while, I find another big room. This one is less impressive. No mist, and no central bubbly pool. But neat nonetheless.
Curiously, this room has only one exit. This could either be end of the line in form of a treasure room, or something else… Wait is that… An Ishgardian brazier!? That’s the first ever sign of anything man made existing in this dungeon. So far all we’ve seen are mossy rocks and bubbly water! As I turn to the left, I spot another one. This one is placed in the middle of the path! I wonder if this is just random set dressing they placed here for— oh… OH.
The circular door. These doors are usually only used to contain bosses. Or if it’s what I think it is in this dungeon – the Final Boss room. Is THIS where we finally encounter Hengr? What could possibly be behind this door? Only one way to find out. Oh… What am I even looking at here. At first I thought I was looking at the tops of bombs, but these look like… I guess… Cauldrons? They have water in them, but they don’t appear to be hot.
What are they made of? Wood? Metal? Something… else? There are loads of these all over the room. Could these have been meant to be mechanics in whatever fight was planned in here? These strange sticks stand up from the water. I don’t know what they are… Are they… Sticks? Are they wooden? These things even stick out of the rocks and the walls! And at the end of the room, I find this. It looks like it could be what these water filled things used to look like.
Like they once used to be circular, like eggs. Was this room meant to be filled with some sort of insect? Like a spider? I do recognize these from the Sand Caves and Cutter’s Cry, but the way they are used in this dungeon makes very little sense to me. I guess it would make some sense if we take into consideration the fact that Hengr was a witch. It could be the result of black magic gone mad. The placement of this thing is not random though. It’s directly opposite of the entrance, and oversees the whole room. If Hengr was in this room, she would most likely be standing right here. It almost resembles a throne. But it wouldn’t be secrets of a realm without things getting a little creepy. When I explored The Fesse, stepping into a water puddle in a very specific room, the sound of watery footsteps kept following me around the dungeon. While I was examining details in what I can only assume to be Hengr’s room, I started hearing splashing noises.
These noises would only sound when I was standing in specific spots. If I moved closer to the splash sound, it would go quiet. There are no bubbles in the water, and there are no geysers in this room. Creepier still, if I stood still, it was as if the sound grew louder. After meticulously examining the room, I found nothing. I concluded that the room did indeed have geysers similar to those found in the other large rooms in the dungeon, but the visual effect never being placed in the room. One thing I can’t get out of my head is the presence of Ishgardian made objects like the braziers and the stone door. This means the Ishgardians were down here.
Why? What could they possibly be doing down here. And why did the braziers only show up near the door? Why not sooner? Unless… Unless they didn’t want anyone to actually find it! Oh that’s clever… What if this was a PRISON! It makes sense! Hengr was most likely a heretic in the eyes of the church. A black magic wielding witch, dangerous to the Ishgardian population, what better way to ensure she did no harm than to lock her up deep below Coerthas, with little to no indication of where she was locked up! That explains the lack of Ishgardian designs in the other parts of the dungeon. Not a single torch. Not a single door. Not a single wooden beam, until you’re right there.
In front of the sealed door, keeping Hengr from doing harm to Eorzea. And they gave it a fitting name. Both an insult and a tribute. Hengr’s Crucible. Just a theory naturally. Now I was actually meaning to cover Hengr’s Crucible first in this series, but I was sidetracked with the whole adventurer’s guild that never was and whatnot. Hengr’s Crucible was actually the reason why I made this series in the first place. And here’s why. In Heavensward, Hengr’s Crucible survived. In the Sea of Clouds. Only what seems to be a small portion of it has survived, but it’s right there! Now as to what actually happened to the Hengr’s Crucible is literally up in the air. If we’re to look at it with Eorzean logic, a portion – if not most – of Coerthas Eastern Highlands was thrown up in the air during the calamity, and as with so much of the Calamity debris, remained suspended in the air, and became part of the Sea of Clouds.
The small portion that floats around there with the name Hengr’s Crucible is extremely tiny, and the similarities are… well few. I guess you could say that this could have been one of the rooms in the dungeon that survived the destruction, but even I have a hard time accepting this. Apparently Koji Fox did acknowledge that this was meant to be a reference to the unused dungeon. If this means that the rest of Hengr’s Crucible is still down there, or of this suspended piece from the Crucible had always been suspended in the air here is hard to tell. You tell me, in the comments! Let’s theorize together! Thank you so much for watching this episode of Secrets of a Realm. I hope you had a nice time in this musty old place. Please leave a like if this was your cup of tea, and subscribe if you’d like some sugar in that. Comment too if you’d like some milk with it too. If you want to give me a biscuit with that tea, consider pledging to my Patreon at patreon.com/speakersXIV. I’ll be back in the next episode of Secrets of a Realm – until then, may you ever walk in the light of the Crystal!
As found on Youtube