The world of Final Fantasy 14 will not just contain one overlying story-arc but be filled with big and small stories (as we have come to expect from Final Fantasy series). Director Komoto’s vision is to create an epic tale that’ll impress even Final Fantasy veterans and thus have incorporated smaller but equally impressive stories in each town and city-state of Eorzea.
Square Enix updated their website with the following except (below) which provides a back drop to the game. From this passage we learn of Eorzea’s beginnings and troubled past, and of the mysterious Garlean Empire who disappeared after conquering only one city-state.
Rather than providing us with the story line that we will be playing, think of the following text more as a brief history of Eorzea in order to give the game itself a context in which it can be placed.
Countless moons have waxed and waned since wondering tribes from across Hydaelyn first arrived in Eorzea and settled its untamed lands. The benevolent deities who ruled the empty continent and its surrounding islands were impressed with the resilience of these primitive men and women, and in an act of mercy each saw fit to ensure their welfare.
These gods and goddesses soon came to be known as the Twelve, and the village thrived in their light until the land was bespeckled with several independent city-states. Though, where man walks, strife follows, and for generations, these tiny nations carved out a history of blood and betrayl built upon broken oaths and the sun bleached bones of the fallen.
However, the fate of the land would soon change, Not fifteen years past, a new thread appeared with warning from the east. Metal-clad warriors brandishing weapons that spewed streams of fire, fleets of behemoth airships belching oily smoke that would block out the sun for days at a time…
A resistance was amassed, but to little avail, and it was not long before Ala Mhigo, once considered the most powerful of the remaining six Eorzean city-states, had fallen to the mighty Garlean Empire.
As the empire’s dreadnaughts continued their march of terror across the blood-soaked fields of the north, the remaining nations put aside their differences and clandestinely joined hands to form a loose alliance to ensure they do not meet the same fate, should the invaders turn their eyes southward. Fortunately, the invasion never came, and just as quickly as it had arrived, the empire was gone again.
However, echoes of their grim message rang clear in the hearts of Eorzea’s people – it’s effect on them, profound and irriversible. The realm would never be the same.
And it was thus that Eorzea slipped into the ‘Age of Calm’, during which an uneasy peace prevailed.
To prepare for the coming storm, the first task of the newly-formed alliance was to fortify their defences. In the previous era, few city-states maintained organised militaries, opting instead to hire the services of mercenaries and hedge knights to champion their cause. However, after the fall of Ala Mhigo, city guard units were restructured into legitimate standing armies which would be quickly called upon and mobilized if the need arose.
Unfortunately, this left the majority of the realm’s hire-swords with nowhere to pledge their fealty, and with their livelihood ripped out from under them, many of these men and women resorted to acts of villany to survive. For fear of the situation worsening and the land falling into chaos, several respected leaders from around Eorzea gathered together and formed a network of guilds to provide these lost souls with the opportunity to redeem themselves by aiding others.
Through the foresight and resolve of these leaders a new industry known as ‘adventuring’ emerged, its advent helping usher in the current era – an era of hope and in time when shadows of uncertainty loom ever closed”.