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No lands must remain beyond our grasp. Go forth. Conquer. Rule.
—His Radiance, Solus zos Galvus

Solus zos Galvus is a non-playable character from Final Fantasy XIV. He's the founder and first emperor of the Garlean Empire, and the grandfather of Varis zos Galvus and great-grandfather of Zenos yae Galvus.

Since the original version of the game, Solus zos Galvus has been mentioned several times as a relevant antagonist due to his role as the founding father of the antagonic empire. However, despite being showed in a few artworks, Solus never appeared in-game nor had a great presence with the events, leaving the empire antagonism to other imperials. He would later resurface in Stormblood with a far more prominent role and a younger, more able body.

StoryEdit

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

Early lifeEdit

Solus zos Galvus was born in the year 1489 of the Sixth Astral Era to the esteemed House Galvus, a distinguished family of pure blood Garleans in the then-small Garlemald Republic. He joined the military at the age of sixteen, where he distinguished himself from the rank and file as a brilliant tactician and statesman and attained the rank of legatus by his twenty-fourth nameday in 1513.[1]

AscensionEdit

Shortly after achieving the rank of legatus, Galvus learned of the newly-invented ceruleum engine, and saw great potential in it. He guided the development of magitek weapons, and devised tactics for these warmachina. Galvus saw them integrated into the army, and imbued the military with mechanical might.[2]

At first, Galvus's innovations were viewed with skepticism. However, as neighboring nations began falling to Garlemald's warmachina, the people realized the wisdom in his decision. As if to avenge every wrong ever done to them, the Garleans invaded the countries of northern Ilsabard and annexed their lands. To expand its small army, Garlemald recruited the subjugated peoples, promising to better their lives with magitek in exchange for service. This cunning carrot-and-stick strategy made the republic greater and more powerful with every victory.

The Garleans' respect for Galvus grew, transforming into worship. In 1517, he was granted control of Garlemald as dictator by popular support. The same year, the republic attacked Dalmasca, a small country nestled in the central mountains, and rained down fire upon it with their new airships. The army turned to conquer the south of Ilsabard, conquering it in 1522. Having unified the continent through force, Galvus proclaimed himself emperor, and created the Garlean Empire.[3]

In spite of Galvus's many successes and victories, it is difficult to characterize his life as happy: he was betrayed by those he had believed his closest friends, and lost his firstborn son to illness when the boy was still young.[4]

Expanding the EmpireEdit

Galvus was not content with Ilsabard alone. Six years after becoming emperor, he set his gaze upon the eastern continent of Othard. With their warmachina at the fore, the imperial forces toppled all who dared stand before them. During this campaign Galvus laid eyes upon the ruin wrought by primals—an entire land utterly drained of life. This sight led him to issue an imperial mandate for the annihilation of the dread beings the Garleans dubbed "eikons," refusing to believe them of divine origin.

After a long and hard-fought resistance, the nation of Doma fell to Garlemald in 1552. Galvus having conquered the east, he turned his armies towards the west, plotted the invasion of Aldenard, and captured Ala Mhigo in 1557. However, this was to be the last victory for some time.[5]

Final Fantasy XIVEdit

Once Ala Mhigo had been assimilated into the empire both politically and economically, the XIVth Imperial Legion focused on hastening the progress of the Eorzean campaign. In 1562, the Imperial fleet accompanied by the mighty flagship Agrius forged its way into Mor Dhona to Silvertear Falls. The legion's armada encountered unexpected resistance from the Midgardsormr—forgotten guardian deity of the lake. The great dragon called out to his kin, who pitted themselves against the Garleans' fleet. The battle ended when Midgardsormr and the Agrius collided and plummeted to the land, compelling the legion to retreat from Mor Dhona.

Eorzea's beast tribes began summoning their own "gods"—the primals—into the corporeal realm. As per the prior-established imperial mandate, these powerful creatures were deemed a threat to imperial rule and made a target of its armies.[6]

The Garleans attempted communication with the lesser moon Dalamud under the guidance of the empire's principal engineer and grand minister of industry, Midas nan Garlond. Dubbed "Project Meteor," the operation's test was conducted in the imperial stronghold of Bozja Citadel using Allagan artifacts donated by House Darnus.

The project was proposed by nan Garlond after Emperor Galvus had tasked the engineer with finding a solution to the eikon threat. From records discovered within the artifacts, the grand minister gleaned that the armies of Allag had also exchanged blows with eikons, eventually conceiving a method to overcome the beings. Further research uncovered that the lesser moon Dalamud was not a natural celestial body, but rather an ancient satellite of Allagan manufacture. Nan garlond surmised that within the moon's metallic nacelle slumbered a great source of untapped energy—forgotten power which could transform the moon into a weapon of destruction if pulled down from the skies and unleashed upon Eorzea. The moon would serve as the empire's own "meteor."

Days after receiving the emperor's blessing, nan Garlond traveled to the Garlean city of Bozja to communicate with Dalamud. The immensity of the satellite's power was confirmed, but nearly five millennia-worth of amassed energy was directed by the moon to the citadel's makeshift transmission tower. The beam made the tower as well as the entire city evaporate. Efforts were made by the Imperial Censors to hide the event, but the vanishing of a major commercial center was too big a secret to suppress. News of the catastrophe spread across Hydaelyn and became known as the Bozja Incident.

The loss of Midas nan Garlond, the lunar transmitter, and the Allagan records stored at the Gozja Citadel seemingly sealed the fate of the Meteor Project. The emperor declared he had no interest in power of such an unpredictable nature and ordered the project to be dismantled.[7]

During empire's decade-long stalemate with Eorzea, Emperor Galvus publicly recognized Legatus Nael van Darnus—also known as the White Raven—as a man of exceptional talent for his scores of crucial victories in the empire's eastern campaign. Despite being well past his eightieth nameday by the year 1572, the emperor's ambitions to unify the Three Great Continents under Garlean rule were as strong as ever. After amalgamating the political affairs of the occupied territories in Othard, he set his sights once again upon Aldenard and her vexing eikons. When the emperor declared the annihilation of the eikons as one of his administration's top priorities, van Darnus proposed ridding Eorzea of its false gods once and for all, using House Darnus's closely guarded knowledge of Allagan relics to succeed where others had failed.[8]

After learning of his deployment to Eorzea, van Darnus appealed to the emperor regarding the merits of resurrecting Project Meteor, claiming he had discovered a means to control Dalamud. After enduring a decade-long stalemate on the Eorzean front, the aged emperor, impatient to solidify his legacy before his death, entertained the notion of a realm-wide "cleansing" of beastmen and their eikons and the second phase of Project Meteor was commenced.[9]

In spite of repeated interference from the Grand Companies of Eorzea and adventurers, Project Meteor went along as planned, with the lesser moon beginning its descent into a direct collision course with Eorzea. With the denizens of Eorzea praying to their gods, Galvus's genocidal conquest of Aldenard seemed assured. The remnants of the VIIth Legion amassed at the plains of Carteneau, where Dalamud was expected to make landfall. Thanks to Gaius van Baelsar, legatus of the XIVth Imperial Legion, who disagreed with Project Meteor, the Eorzean Alliance learned of this.[10]

Eorzea was devastated by the machinations of the Garlean Empire, though not in the way that Galvus had expected: Dalamud shattered above the land to reveal the elder primal Bahamut. Although the land was devastated by both fragments of the lesser moon and Bahamut's rage, the primal was subjugated by the Archon Louisoix Leveilleur.[11]

Gaius van Belsar and his XIVth Legion used the the Eorzea's state of disarray to set up several outposts across the land in preparation for the future conquest of the severely weakened realm.[12]

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm RebornEdit

Five years after the Calamity, Solus zos Galvus remains the official ruler, though rumors spread that he is in frail health.[13] His condition has caused political strife within the empire as to who will succeed him, leading to the official abandonment of the unified effort to conquer Eorzea. Gaius Van Baelsar, a general and Imperial Legatus in the Garlean Army, leads his legion to Eorzea without the formal support of the rest of the empire.

Varis casket

Galvus's casket being spat upon by the succeeding emperor.

Not long after the beginning of the Seventh Astral Era, Galvus succumbs to an ailment at the age of eighty-eight. As Gaius is no longer present to oppose any challengers, a civil war breaks out in Garlemald over the succession to the throne.[14] The conflict is resolved with Galvus's grandson, Varis, crowned the new emperor.

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood]]Edit

Near the end of Prelude to Violet, Solus makes a surprise return. After overhearing Elidibus' conversation with him, Solus reminds Varis that he doesn't make judgments but administers them without question, all the while sneering at him and reiterating his position as a mere figurehead, telling him that any threats to the balance of the Light and Dark are to be expunged. He reveals that he, as an Ascian, built the Garlean Empire for the sole purpose of creating chaos and ultimately invoke another Calamity. As he continues gloating, Varis immediately shoots him dead in anger, proclaiming that man is the master of their own destiny, though his attempt is scoffed off as Solus simply reappears to the side and ends their discussion

Other appearancesEdit

Final Fantasy Trading Card GameEdit

GarleanEmperor TCG

The Emperor appears with an ice-elemental card.

GalleryEdit

Spoilers end here.

EtymologyEdit

Sol is Latin for "sun". "Galvus" is derived from Latvian word galva which means "head".

ReferencesEdit

  1. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 177-178
  2. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 177-178
  3. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 177
  4. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 178
  5. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 177
  6. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 38
  7. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 41
  8. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 40
  9. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 41
  10. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 42, 43
  11. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 44, 45
  12. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 54
  13. http://eu.finalfantasyxiv.com/world/threats/key-enemies
  14. Encyclopedia Eorzea, p. 178