- “To think Dalmascan air could taste so sweet.”
- —Basch fon Ronsenburg
The Kingdom of Dalmasca (ダルマスカ王国, Darumasuka Ō-koku?) is a small desert kingdom in Ivalice in Final Fantasy XII and the central location for most of the game. Dalmasca's capital is the Royal City of Rabanastre, home to its largest city and to its nobility, descendants of Dynast King Raithwall.
Dalmasca is surrounded by the empires of Archadia and Rozarria. One of the greatest treasures of the Dalmascan royal family is the piece of deifacted nethicite, the Dusk Shard, hidden in a statue in a hidden room deep within the Royal Palace of Rabanastre. Order of the Knights of Dalmasca formed the nation's main army up until being annexed by the Archadian Empire.
- “A small kingdom comprising the lands around the city of Rabanastre, governing a portion of the Galtean Peninsula. While its territories are small, its situation at the crossroads of three continents enables it to prosper as a center for trade. More than 700 years are marked in the charts of history since her founding, yet many are the armies that have sought to claim her cultural richness and strategic importance. Upon her defeat by Archadia in the invasion of 704, her lands were placed under direct control of the empire.”
- —Kingdom of Dalmasca
- “Bloodline begun by the second prince of Dalmasca to take up the mantle of rule after King Raithwall's passing. The reign of Raithwall's direct descendants, House Galtea, drew to a close after 400 years, marking the end of the Galtean Alliance, and the beginning of rule by House Dalmasca. Dalmasca reign continued for nearly seven centuries, until the Archadian invasion brought their era to an end.”
- —House Dalmasca
Fearing for his kingdom's safety, King Raminas arranged his daughter, Princess Ashe, to marry Lord Rasler of the Kingdom of Nabradia. Shortly after the wedding Archadia attacked Nabradia, drawing Dalmasca into the war. Rasler lead the combined forces of Dalmasca and Nabradia, and was struck down during the battle of Nalbina Fortress. He died shortly after and Captain Basch fon Ronsenburg returned his body to Dalmasca.
The combined army was defeated, and King Raminas sued for peace. He was to sign the treaty, even though many Dalmascans felt it betrayal to the Kingdom. The treaty signing was but a ploy as Vayne, the heir to the Emperor's throne, had sent Judge Gabranth to pose as Basch to kill King Raminas and frame Basch as the murderer.
With her father and husband dead, Princess Ashe went into hiding with the Resistance. The Archadian Empire annexed Dalmasca into the Empire, claiming Ashe had taken her own life. The Empire claimed rule over Dalmasca for their own protection and sent Vayne Solidor to oversee the kingdom as Consul.
Once the lady Ashe reappears, alive contrary to the Empire's assertions, Vayne is called back to the Imperial City of Archades. Once the Sky Fortress Bahamut is activated, it comes to Rabanastre along with the full Imperial fleet to attack the Resistance in the battle above Rabanastre. Ashe and her friends defeat Vayne and end the war but in the aftermath the Bahamut almost crashes into Rabanastre, barely being diverted to the city outskirts. Ashe reclaims the throne of Dalmasca, becoming Queen.
Rabanastre is separated into a northern sprawl, a southern sprawl, a marketplace, and a series of gates. The Royal Palace of Rabanastre lies in the north part of the city, inaccessible to the general public. Moogles operate a swift transportation system that allows citizens to teleport to different sections of the city called Moogling.
Underneath the main city of Rabanastre is a series of tunnels that house Lowtown where the poor, the destitute, and the lost live. Because Imperials rarely venture there many residents have relocated to Lowtown; one of such residents is Vaan and Old Dalan. Underneath Lowtown is a series of waterways with a secret entrance into the Royal Palace basement.
The Garamsythe Waterways supply the city with water. Within the waterways various dangerous creatures make their home, and would-be adventurers use them to sharpen their fighting skills. Unknown to palace security, there is a hidden passage from the Garamsythe Waterways into the Royal Palace basement.
The Giza Plains have a wet season and a dry season and different creatures inhabit the plains during the different seasons. Amidst the plains is a semi-nomadic village whose inhabitants migrate once the wet season comes.
Upon the plains stones that emit magickal light, the Dark Crystals, absorb sunlight during the Dry. The magickal light can be siphoned to create sunstones. The Giza Plains lead to the Ozmone Plain.
The Dalmasca Estersand is an open desert, inhabited by roving monsters. There is a travelers' sanctuary located near Rabanastre, and a village on the banks of the river Nebra. The Estersand leads to Nalbina Fortress on the east and Mosphoran Highwaste on the north.
The Dalmasca Westersand is also an open desert, and, unlike the Estersand, is caught in powerful sandstorms frequently. The Westersand leads to the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea. There is a shortcut to the Estersand, but it is guarded by the king of Westersand, the Earth Tyrant.
An abandoned monster-infested underground passage that connects Dalmasca Estersand, Garamsythe Waterway and Nalbina Fortress. Now the only people who walk the roads of this passage are the people who escape from the Nalbina Dungeons.
Its name is reminiscent of the city of Damascus in Syria, one that is also surrounded by desert and shares a similar arid climate. Both regions have seen many empires, both foreign and local, rises and fall. The architecture of Damascus is inspired by the rich influx of cultures smattering in this continental nexus, and analogous features may be referenced from Rabanastre's architecture. As Damascus stands in between Europe, Asia, and Africa, so too does Dalmasca stand between Valendia (Archadia), Ordalia (Rozarria), and Kerwon.