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Garlemald Flag

Garlemald, more commonly referred to as the Garlean Empire (ガレマール帝国, Garemāru Teikoku?), is a major world power from Final Fantasy XIV. The empire is located to the northeast of Eorzea, and is one of the game's main antagonist groups, having sought to annex the realm as one of their territories for the last fifteen years.

Its technology is said to be far ahead of the Eorzean city-states, specializing in magitek machinery and airships. Their magitek technology is empowered by a substance called Ceruleum, a special component that can be mined from below the earth or obtained by draining elemental Crystals; it is said that the origin of Unaspected Crystals may be simply the removal of their Ceruleum.

Story Edit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)
FFXIV Opening Battle

Garlean airships battling the Dravanian Horde.

The Garlean Empire controls the majority of the northern and eastern regions of the enormous landmass of the three continents—of which Eorzea is a part. Until some fifty years ago, Garlemald was a small, remote nation which held little more than a fraction of the northlands. But with the revolutionary advancements in technology and dramatic restructuring of the military ushered in by an ambitious commanding Legatus who later ascended to the seat of Emperor, Garlemald soon established itself as one of the most formidable forces in all of Hydaelyn.
The gigantic imperial warships which scorch the skies carry onboard fleets of the Empire's juggernauts—magitek-clad winged machina armed with devastating weaponry that are dispatched throughout the realm to rain terror and destruction from above. These forces, together with an immense standing army equipped with equally imposing arms and armor, grant Garlemald unrivaled military might. As the Empire's dominion expands into Eorzea, however, even its countless legions have begun to lack for numbers, and a policy of drafting and conscription has been implemented in all conquered lands.
—Official description

Until around fifty years ago, Garlemald was a remote and sparsely populated nation occupying little more than a fraction of the northlands. However, with the arrival of a technological golden age and the emergence of a brilliant young legatus, now Emperor, within a single generation Garlemald established itself as one of the most formidable forces of Hydaelyn, and quickly started conquering other nations with its unmatched magitek artillery and air force.

FFXIV Garlean Base

Artwork of a Garlean military base.

Fifteen years prior to the game's events, in the year 1557 of the Sixth Astral Era, the Garleans launched an attack on the city-states of Eorzea, using powerful machinery far more advanced than those of their enemies and massive airships to wreak havoc on the northern part of Aldenard. Quickly, the most powerful of these city-states, Ala Mhigo, fell before the might of the Empire and its Legatus Gaius Van Baelsar. Though the remaining states were forced to put aside their differences to battle against the new foe, Empire never attacked the southern nations of Eorzea, due to the emergence of a Primal shortly after the fall of Ala Mhigo and the destruction of the Agrius at Lake Silvertear in a skirmish with Midgardsormr and the Dravanian Horde. As quick as they came, they simply left. This results in the city-states of Eorzea, not wanting the purposeless warriors and armies to resort to criminal acts to survive, to establish multitude of guilds and services for the profession of "Adventurer". Thus this began what became known as the "Age of Adventure".

Before the Calamity Edit

FFXIV Nael Van Darnus

Nael Van Darnus, one of the Legati leading the invasion.

For years, peace slowly returned to Eorzea until the events of Final Fantasy XIV 1.0; this started to change as the Garleans were slowly resuming their invasion. In Gridania, two adventurers known as Yda and Papalymo were found lost in the woods and welcomed into town. It seems that part of their objective in the city-states was to spy on them and discover if they are preparing to start a war against the Empire - though it is unknown if they were sent there by the Garleans or not.

Not long after, giant machines were spotted in the forests surrounding Gridania while wiping out the Sylph camps in the process. Because of this, the Sylphs came to the Path of the Twelve seeking help as the "metal ones" are destroying their seedlings; the Adventurer and company learns that the Empire is preparing a strong position to launch an attack against Gridania and the beast tribes residing in the Black Shroud. Later on, sending linkpearls in all the major city states of Aldenard and Vylbrand to state the promise of protection from the beast men and their eikons to those willing to surrender, Garlemald began to dispatch legions throughout Eorzea. Units have been engaged in combat within Thanalan, as well as the Black Shroud. The Legatus of the VIIth Legion, the notorious Nael Van Darnus, secured the Ishgardian stronghold known as the Dzemael Darkhold for its vast crystal deposits located inside the caves for Ceruleum harvesting. An unnamed legion has also infiltrated and planted strange technology within the Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak, again for reasons unknown.

Darnus conceived of a plan to eliminate the primals and beast-tribes of Eorzea with Project Meteor by calling down Dalamud, what his family knew to actually be an Allagan relic . This drew opposition from not only Eorzea's populace but even Gaius, who felt that Meteor was too extreme a solution. Wanting to conquer an intact Eorzea rather than its ashes, he secretly provided intel to adventurers about the Lunar Transmitter housed at Castrum Novum. Despite their efforts at sabotaging the transmitter and killing Darnus, Dalamud's descent continued undeterred.

Seventh Umbral Era Edit

FFXIV Imperial Legatus

Gaius with his three Tribuni.

During the Battle of Carteneau where the Eorzean forces clashed with the VIIth Legion, the Seventh Umbral comes to pass when Dalamud shatters upon entering Hydaelyn's atmosphere with the released Elder Primal Bahamut emerging and devastating Eorzea in what would be known as the Calamity, marking the beginning of the Seventh Umbral Era. Gaius and the remaining Imperial forces were forced to retreat while the rest were consumed in death and flame. Though Emperor Solus abandoned his goal to conquer Eorzea, Gaius would renew the campaign five years after the Calamity.

The Garleans proceed to take residence in a few Imperial outposts that endured the Calamity as Gaius received aid from the Ascian Lahabrea to obtain the Allagan anti-Primal war machine Ultima Weapon. Once the weapon is refurbished by Nero Tol Scaeva with magitek, Gaius used it to absorb the Primals Ifrit, Titan, and Garuda with the purpose to inflict both deterrence and intimidation against both the beast tribes and city-states. In the face of Gaius's ultimatum, the city-states of Eorzea rallied together again to repel the Garlean invasion with a counterstrike called Operation Archon, the end goal being the destruction of the Ultima Weapon. This culminated in Gaius's final defeat and presumed death as his stronghold Praetorium was destroyed.

Seventh Astral Era Edit

Varis Zos Galvus

His Radiance, Varis zos Galvus

Since the downfall of Gaius, the threat of Garlean invasion has largely been eliminated. Refugees from the eastern nation of Doma, a vassal of Garlemald, brought word of a civil war that has resulted from a succession crisis—implying the Emperor Solus may be no more. Doma had been destroyed as a result of a failed revolt during the turmoil.

However, the Imperial presence within Eorzea has not completely disappeared. Nero Tol Scaeva survived the fall of the Praetorium, and is implied to have control over Baelsar's remaining invasion force as he investigated Crystal Tower, another Allagan relic that surfaced in the wake of the Calamity.

It is eventually revealed that the war of succession had ended and the late emperor's grandson, Varis Zos Galvus, has been crowned Emperor of Garlemald. This has renewed apprehension that the Garlean Empire may once again attempt an invasion of Eorzea. Furthermore, it was revealed that the new emperor had planted a spy in Eorzea known as "the Ivy" back when the Grand Companies were re-instated to combat Project Meteor.

The Warring Triad Edit

During the events of "Heavensward", Varis and Regula Van Hydrus traveled to the Sea of Clouds in pursuit of Archbishop Thordan VII, believing he had the key to reaching of Azys Lla. At that time, the Vundu tribe of Vanu Vanu had summoned a fearsome primal, Bismarck, which began devouring aether rich floating islands (including the one with the key). Unable or unwilling to distinguish the Vundu from less hostile tribes, the VIth Legion invaded Ok'Zundu and prepared to exterminate them as an extreme measure to deter primal summoning. At the village, Varis himself personally met the Warrior of Light and Alphinaud Leveilleur. The Garleans backed off due to the sudden intervention of Lucia goe Junius, especially now that Thordan had stolen the key with the aid of Ascians.

After Cid managed to break through the barrier surrounding Azys Lla, the new super-dreadnaught, Gration suddenly ambushed them. A last-ditch assault by Ysayle, in the form of the primal Shiva, froze the ceruleum engines of the great dreadnaught, forcing it to remain moored at the Garlean outpost in the Gamma Quadrant, where the imperials set up an outpost. Regula van Hydrus sought to reach the Aetherochemical Research Facility, hoping to learn how the Allagans bound the ancient Warring Triad on behalf of the Emperor.

These efforts were continually thwarted by the Scions, and Regula clashed with the Warrior of Light on three separate occasions, each time forced to withdraw.

Spoilers end here.

Motives Edit

Garlean war machinery

An Imperial Juggernaut marching on the Black Shroud.

No man can stop Ifrit. Nor Leviathan and Titan, nor the eikons yet to come. Only Eorzea's end will bring about their death!

While not much has been directly explained about the Garleans' true intentions, a few hints are scattered around the main storyline. Most importantly, it's clear that those touched by the Echo and the Beastmen tribes (as well as their Primals) are the "enemies" of the Empire, whose citizens and soldiers believe to be fighting for the greater good of their nation. Gaius Van Baelsar even expressed a belief that Eorzea must be "saved".

During the final stretch of Version 1.0 missions and Legatus Van Baelsar's appearance, it's heavily hinted that the Ascians are also targeted, and the soldiers believe they must prevent a Catastrophic Event from happening. During several missions, different characters also proclaim that the Empire is 'not the true enemy', which possibly means that while they are clearly antagonistic when it comes to their chosen methods, the Garleans may actually be wanting to prevent a terrible event.

Yet in spite of these implications, the Empire would inadvertently cause such a catastrophe thanks to Nael Van Darnus' Project Meteor: the moon Dalamud descended from the heavens and released the captive Bahamut within, devastating the land. Even then, not all Garlean leaders had agreed with using Project Meteor to purge Eorzea, preferring conquest rather than scorched earth. Many of these had covertly aided the Eorzean Alliance against Van Darnus, with the intent of having an intact Eorzea to conquer.

In Heavensward, Varis states he shares the Scions' goal of eliminating the threat of primals. He acknowledges, however, that their means are very different from how the Warrior of Light eliminates them.

Military Edit

FFXIV Magitek Vanguard

A Magitek Vanguard, one of the Empire's magitek weapons.

The Garlean military is said to be one of the most powerful in all of Hydaelyn, due to the Empire's technological progress.

The army is divided into fourteen large-scale units known as legions, and each legion is comprised of ten infantry battalions known as cohors. These cohors are further broken down into three companies, or manipuli. Finally, a manipulus consists of two platoons, or centuriae. Individual soldiers tend to be defined by their role, such as hoplomachi (sword-and-shield fighters) or eques (spearmen).

At the end of the Sixth Astral Era, two Garlean legions were present in Eorzea as part of the invasion force: the VIIth, led by Legatus Nael Van Darnus is stationed in the Dzemael Darkhold, and the XIVth, led by Legatus Gaius Van Baelsar is stationed in Silvertear Falls and responsible for holding Ala Mhigo. Following the Calamity, several strongholds were established by the XIVth Imperial Legion, chiefly near sites of Dalamud's debris and other strategic points in the realm. A third legion, the VIth, led by Legatus Regula van Hydrus, established an outpost on Azys Lla, intent on understanding how ancient Allag contained primals.

While it is currently unknown how they recruit soldiers from inside the Empire, a good portion of the lower eschelon imperial troops are citizens from conquered areas such as Ala Mhigo; after the fall of the city state, many of its children were brainwashed into hating the Primals and Beastmen, and became loyal servants of the Empire. Statements by the development team have confirmed that these conscripts are recruited with the promise of citizenship in Garlemald.[1] One advantage to this is that some of these recruits can utilize magical arts, something native Garleans are unable to do. Examples of this include shinobi from the nation of Doma, once Master Gekkai the Blind became an imperial spymaster. In order to curb rebellion, the military never stations its conscripted recruits in their home provinces, sending them to other annexed territories instead.

There's also heavy use of magitek weaponry, out of which the Imperial Juggernaut is the most prominent, being used for both ground support and air battles due to its mobility and the powerful magitek cannon. The air forces are also often backed up by massive dreadnoughts. Yet despite their technological might, the Garleans did not hesitate to augment their military further by studying the ancient Allagans and recovering their relics, whose technology had exceeded even their own.

Naming conventions Edit

Garlean characters that have appeared have a distinct naming convention quite different from those in Eorzea. They consist of a given name, a middle name denoting rank, and a surname taken from their family.

The ranks observed so far:

  • zos: Emperor
  • yae: Member of the royal family in the line of succession.
  • wir: Member of the royal family with no claim to the throne.
  • van: Legatus
  • tol: Tribunus laticlavius or Tribunus militum
  • sas: Tribunus angusticlavius or Praefectus castrorum
  • rem: Primus pilus or Pilus prior
  • quo: Primi ordines or Centurion
  • pyr: Optio, Tesserarius or Decurion
  • oen: Duplicarius or Legionarius
  • nan: Chief engineer or engineer
  • mal: Primus medicus or senior magitek technician
  • lux: Chief medicus or magitek technician
  • kir: Senior medicus or senior technician
  • jen: Medicus or technician
Public Officials:
  • iyl: Dictator or Princeps senatus
  • het: Consul, Praetor, Tribunus plebis, Aedilis, or Quaestor
  • goe: Censor
  • dus: Lictor
  • fae
  • eir

The majority of citizens bear the ban title and those who appear to be well respected artisans have adopted the title cen. aan is a title bestowed on the people of annexed territories and they lack even the basic rights of the citizens. People of annexed territories can gain citizenship for a display of exceptional skill or 20 or more years of military service.

Musical themes Edit

"Imperial Will"
FFXIV Garlean Empire Theme
Trouble with the audio sample?

Garlean appearances thorough the storyline are often accompanied by a ominous theme, more notably played during the invasion of the Black Shroud and the Futures Perfect mission. It also plays when Gaius attacks the player and battles the members of the Circle of Knowing.

This theme reprises in A Realm Reborn and Heavensward, appearing in cutscenes whenever a major Imperial character is on-screen, such as Gaius or Nero.

Notable Garleans Edit

Gaius and Tribunes FFXIV Art

Commanding Officers of the XIVth Legion.

Enemies Edit

Imperial Centurion FFXIV

The Gunblade is a commonly used Garlean Infantry weapon.

In version 1.0, Garlean troops could not be found outside of special events; they can only be fought during the main quest, inside the Dzemael Darkhold or the Aurum Vale, as part of some sidequests or may spawn at random at several camps; Helping fend off those Garlean invasions grants some missable achievements, deaspected crystals, faded pages and several types of potions.

In A Realm Reborn, members of the XIVth Legion could be encountered near the Garlean outposts throughout Eorzea. Defeating them occassionally awarded certain crafting materials not obtained from anywhere else. In Heavensward, members of the VIth Legion can be encountered in areas of Abalanthia's Spine.


An Empire is a dominion composed of a multitude of nations that's ruled by one sovereign leader, generally an Emperor, although some Empires were ruled by kings.

Trivia Edit

  • The name Garlean Empire seems to derive from Garland, the villain of the original Final Fantasy.
  • The ranks within the Garlean military is modeled after that of the Roman Empire.
  • As some people have been confused about the name of the Empire for some time, it has been posted on the Official Forums an explanation about it: "Garlemald is the name of the country, and Garlean is its adjectival form".[2]
  • The Garlean Empire's origins are similar to the Shinra Electric Power Company from Final Fantasy VII.
  • Native Garleans can be distinguished by the presence of a "third eye" on the forehead. The third eye is believed to considerably improve the race’s capacity for spatial recognition, giving them an advantage over other races when it comes to navigating aircraft or firing weapons.[3]
  • The Garlean Legati each have numerological motifs that represent a game in the main series:

References Edit

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