The Dead Dunes
- Try to leave the Train Station and a station worker will stop you and chat a little about the lands beyond, as well as the clavis Lightning is looking for out here.
- Dead ahead, up the first sand dune, is an Outfitters. He'll sell you Passion Rouge and Dust and Shadow.
- Beside the hapless Outfitter is a red Cactuar statue. Investigate it to turn it into a warp point. Whenever you find another Cactuar statue, be sure to investigate it - these make desert travel much simpler.
- Beside the statue is a 'Bandit Message Board'. Be sure to read at least the message about the settlement, as it notes that the front entrance is blocked by a sandstorm. You'll have to go through either the Dry Floodlands or the Grave of the Colossi to reach it. The Grave of the Colossi route is a bit shorter, so we'll go that direction.
- Run up the hill. Somewhere in this area you'll likely see an enemy represented as a glowing ball of white and black light. This is an Aeronite. It is dangerous. Very, very dangerous. I don't recommend fighting it yet, especially if this is your first time through the game. Steer clear until you're much tougher.
- Dead ahead is a set of temple ruins. If you check inside you'll find the Path to Desolation. We'll come back to this. Continue across the dunes to the north, following the waypoint.
- Down the next long hill you'll find a small camp beside some more ruins. The guy here isn't terribly responsive, so use the Cactuar statue to set up a teleportation point (and test it, if you feel the need), then follow the rocky terrain ahead to the northeast.
- There's a half-buried building down the next hill. At the base of it is a sphere containing Defaith Lv. 2.
- Follow the cliffs north until you find a northbound path between them. Go through. To your left you'll see a rocky rise; atop it is a floating item. Grab it for a Pilgrim's Crux.
- Dead ahead is a wide open space. Go through the archway to your left. You're now in the Grave of the Colossi; head northwest.
- Up the next hill is another Cactuar statue. Trigger it and keep going past the ruins beyond. To your left is a giant ribcage; check inside it for a Bhakti's Oil.
- The path splits ahead. Head west, towards the split in the hills. Be wary - there's a boss-level monster here, and though you can avoid it ith careful movements, it's quite tricky.
If you've faced the Chocobo Eater before, you'll pretty much know what to expect here. The Earth Eater is a vicious but straightforward opponent: most of the time it will come at you slowly and unleash quick - but telltale - punching attacks. It will also bite, and these bite attacks will restore its health. Most dangerous is its I'm Getting Angry attack, as it will buff itself and then move in close to swallow Lightning and steal a huge chunk of her HP. Try to stagger the Earth Eater with wind attacks, as well as physical strikes whenever it opens its mouth, to quickly eat away at its HP and bring it down. Not elegant, but it works.
- Just up these stairs you'll find a Serenity Stachet. Continue through the canyon and you'll find a new destination.
- Welcome to the town of the bandits. Before leaping off the cliff in front of you to check out the sights, run south. You'll find a sphere containing a Corsair Scarf.
- Leap down into the small oasis. There's a Cactuar statue here to activate. Do so, check out the small shop next door for items and a Bhakti's Oil, and head inside. The merchant here has a side quest for you.
- Go inside the largest building and check the top floor. You'll find Gurangatch Notes up here. Then hop back downstairs and check the northern room. The boss of the bandits, Adonis, is in here. He'll tell you that you need to join Monoculus, the bandit gang, to receive any info on the clavis. Talk to him again and he'll task you with stopping an unnatural sandstorm nearby.
- If you leave Ruffian and head south, towards the waypoint, you'll be stopped by God's Wrath, the sandstorm. Don't bother. Teleport to the Ruins North Gate you activated earlier.
- Climb the bluffs nearby. There's a sphere containing a Galestrike Lv. 2 up here, and past that, a series of half-buried arches. Activate the Cactuar statue here, then climb the hills past the arches.
Though it's kind of a boss, the Gurangatch is pretty easy. Your main problem here is chewing through its armour, as it will resist virtually anything you throw at it. Use a combination of physical attacks and Aero-style wind spells to build up its stagger meter. Once that's done and the armour is gone, bust out your physical hits and demolish Gurangatch. Repeat if its armour goes back up.
- Afterward, Lightning will shut down God's Wrath and open the easy path to Ruffian. Time to go meet the boss...