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Sharlayan (シャーレアン, Shārean?) is a nation of scholars in Final Fantasy XIV. Located on an island to the north of Eorzea, Sharlayan is well-known for being being a city of scholarship, and the Circle of Knowing, Sons of Saint Coinach, and Students of Baldesion all hail from the city-state. Appropriately, their patron deity is Thaliak the Scholar.
Until recently, they had established a colony in the Dravanian hinterlands, which grew prosperous enough to be counted among Eorzea's great city-states. With the fall of Ala Mhigo, the Sharlayans elected to evacuate the colony in anticipation of turmoil that would engulf the realm, in accordance to their policy of neutrality.
The abandoned city became accessible in Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward expansion.
Limited information is known of the nation of Sharlayan, beyond their members in the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. Though a highly academic and scholastic nation, they seldom involve themselves in international politics, and withdrew from Eorzea once it became apparent Garlemald was intent on conquest. They are located in the "Old World" to the north of Eorzea. Their main governing body is the Forum.
The Astrologian job quests present a more cynical viewpoint, as the Sharlayan government seems to be selective in what knowledge it is willing to share with other nations. It is implied that sharing knowledge without sanction is even considered an act of treason. This isolationist stance is largely due to the dominant Bibliothec faction, who advocate hoarding knowledge and observing history from the sidelines.
Nevertheless, the Circle of Knowing, led by the sage Louisoix Leveilleur, chose to go against official policy and intervene directly in the prophecy of the Divine Chronicles.
The Sharlayans had set up a research colony during the Sixth Astral Era along the Thaliak river in Dravania, southwest of the territory held by the Dravanian Horde. Over time, it grew until it became counted among the city-states of Eorzea. The Garlean invasion prompted a mass exodus back to the motherland—leaving behind their buildings and artifacts, including the Great Gubal Library. At least one scholar, Matoya, stubbornly refused to leave, staying within her cave.
The abandoned settlement would soon attract treasure hunters seeking treasures the Sharlayans left behind, including the goblins. Though normally a nomadic beast-tribe, the goblins who arrived made an unorthodox decision to create a settlement at the northern end of the city ruins called Idyllshire, along with other treasure hunters. These prospects were enough to prompt Rowena to expand her business there.
Not all who arrived in the hinterlands have honest intentions though. Many less savory types such as brigands have sought the wealth of Sharlayan, often at the detriment of the current inhabitants. The goblin Illuminati—whose devotion to knowledge is said to rival Sharlayan itself—have set up operations at the vacant Arkitechton, and have no qualms about attacking the other goblin settlers and treasure-seekers with their military equipment. Even worse, they decided to summon a primal in an old defense mecha at the Tipped Ewer.