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Ala Mhigo

Ala Mhigo Concept Art.jpg
Mob19 Icon.pngAla Mhigo  HISTORICAL CITY-STATE

AlaMhigoFlag.png
The highlands of Gyr Abania in the eastern reaches of Aldenard were once under the control of a martial nation known as Ala Mhigo. It was, perhaps, the historically conflicted nature of the territory that forged the country into a significant military power.

Even as this aggressive nation sent its forces to conquer in the west, it repelled repeated attempts at invasion from the east. In the Year 1557 of the Sixth Astral Era, however, it finally fell to the incursions of the Garlean Empire. From that time onwards, the country became merely another imperial territory under the governance of its usurpers.

Though the people of Ala Mhigo once revered Rhalgr, the Destroyer, as their patron deity, any such religious observance has since been forbidden by the controlling authorities.[1]
Region: Gyr Abania
Realm: Eorzea
Landmass: Aldenard
World: Hydaelyn
Notes

Lore

Contents

Overview

Ala Mhigo stands at the far-eastern tip of Abalathia's Spine. For centuries, it commanded the lands of Gyr Abania, and was known as the premier power amongst the Eorzean city-states. In the face of the armies of Garlemald, however, this might proved less than sufficient in repelling the Empire's metal-clad warmachina, and thus has Ala Mhigo borne the yoke of imperial rule for the past twenty years. [2]

Flag

The Ala Mhigan flag is a field of purple upon which stands a silver griffin with sword in talons. The winged creature is the sigil of the nation's royal house, and the blade signifies the force used to see all other clans bend the knee before them. Purple is the color of Rhalgr, the guardian deity of the nation, and is associated with his element of lightning. The hue's presence on the pennant also marks the bond betwixt the royalty and the religious order of the Fist of Rhalgr. [2]

Motto

"Born from Blood"

Government

Though kings have long ruled Ala Mhigo, the Garlean invasion two decades past brought an end to the monarchy. The city-state is now a provisional imperial territory, and its people, the Emperor's albeit unwilling subjects. Under the Garlean viceroy's iron reign, not all Ala Mhigans have earned citizenship and its privileges. Many live in squalid conditions, their lives little better than those of slaves. [2]

Leader

The leader of Ala Mhigo has been displaced, and the nation is currently run by a Garlean viceroy. The first viceroy of Ala Mhigo was Gaius van Baelsar, the Black Wolf, Legatus of the XIVth Imperial Legion. With his death, the current viceroy is Zenos yae Galvus, son of Emperor Solus zos Galvus and uncle to Emperor Varis zos Galvus, as well as Legatus of the XIIth Imperial Legion. Zenos fought a war of succession against his nephew and lost in his bid for the throne. [2]

Ruling Body

All matters of governance fall to the viceroy—dispatched from Garlemald—and his staff. [2]

Racial Distribution

Highlander Hyur: 60%
Midlander Hyur: 10%
Hellsguard Roegadyn: 10%
Seeker of the Sun Miqo'te: 10%
Other: 10%

Religion

During the Sixth Umbral Calamity, people fleeing the floods spied a blazing comet in the night's sky. As Rhalgr's symbol, they took it as a sign of the breaker of worlds, and followed it to a new home high in the mountains. Thus, worship of the Destroyer took root in lands of Gyr Abania. In time, one sect known as the Fist of Rhalgr grew in power and influence, and came to flourish as the state religion. However, King Theodoric oppressed this faith with fire and sword, and the Garleans—finding no value in worship—have forbidden religion altogether. [2]

Industries

Mercenary Work

In the rocky terrain of Gyr Abania, few are the patches of arable soil. There were many disputes over the extant ones—jealously guarded by their owners, and fiercely coveted by all others. Indeed, even after Ala Mhigo unified the region, little industry could grow from the lands. The men and women of the nation began to sell the only thing they could: their skill at arms. They found many buyers, particularly during the times of conflict betwixt the Eorzean city-states. Indeed, each nation is said to have had its own company of Ala Mhigan sellswords. Even today, many of those who fled the city-state eke out a living as mercenaries. [2]

Magitek Manufacturing

For many centuries, the mountain hamlets of Ala Mhigo were self-sufficient. Villagers coaxed crops to grow from small fields, and reared animals for their wool. However, the Garlean invasion brought an end to this way of life with magitek technology. Now, Ala Mhigans are forced to work for pittance in great smoke-belching factories, while Garlemald reaps wealth and luxury from their labor. [2]

Beliefs

To better know the Destroyer, seek strength of body and mind—such are the teachings of the Fist of Rhalgr. Over the ages, this idea has shaped all who call the mountains home. Ala Mhigo is also geographically vulnerable to invasion from Ilsabard, and this ever-present threat has given birth to a culture that greatly values martial prowess. [2]

Diet

With so few crops, the Ala Mhigan diet is a rather stark affair. However, as a stop on the trade routes, the city-state has adopted some fare from the Near East and Ilsabard. The foreign influence is said to be particularly apparent in the usage of spice. For drinks, it is customary to brew medicinal teas, such as ones made by steeping the ground horns of beasts in boiling water. [2]

History

A Litany for Survival

As the Fifth Astral Era drew to its calamitous end, many and more fled their homes, forced into wandering with no clear destination in mind beyond higher ground to escape the ever-rising waters. It was then a burning comet in the night sky led a number of the errant souls unto Gyr Abania in the eastern reaches of Abalathia's Spine. There, they found salvation from the floods, though life among the high peaks proved unforgiving. The survivors were of different races and nations, and soon, they fractured into factions, fighting bitterly over what little resources there were to be had. [2]

The feuds continued for many, long years. On occasion, one clan would win a string of victories, and grow larger by absorbing their defeated foes into their ranks—only to be encircled by a coalition of the remaining tribes, and hammered back down. Following its victory, the loose alliance would then dissolve for lack of a common enemy. This pattern repeated time and again, and the fray showed no signs of abetting. [2]

Unification

Change was to come, however. After year 1100 of the Sixth Astral Era, Anshelm Cotter, a man of powerful lineage, set out to subjugate the other clans once and for all. Naturally, they united against him. Yet, Anshelm possessed an incomparable tactical genius, and his enemies were scattered before the march of his forces. For the first time in history, Gyr Abania's clans were unified. [2]

As the sole passage between Aldenard and Ilsabard, however, Gyr Abania was ever vulnerable to attacks from the north. Anshelm feared that invaders making for Eorzea might sweep away his fledgling nation, and thus, in 1135, laid the foundation for his capital upon the shores of a lake in the easternmost part of the region. He built the walls tall and thick, and named the glorious citadel Ala Mhigo. From within, his soldiers watched for foreign attack, ever ready to defend their borders. [2]

This plan proved successful. In 1154, Ala Mhigan pikemen drove out the invading Hyuran nomads from northern Othard, and tales of their courage and martial prowess resounded across Eorzea. Northern forces attacked time and again, yet never managed to break through the stalwart defenses into the city proper. The Ala Mhigans established watchtowers along the roads so as to guarantee safe travel for merchants betwixt the Near East and Eorzea—and charged a heavy fee for passage through their territory. The city-state with so little natural resources thus secured a crucial source of coin. Ala Mhigo also prospered from its mercenary trade. In 1179, Ul'dah enlisted the aid of Ala Mhigan soldiers to swell their ranks as they besieged Sil'dih during the War of the Sisters. [2]

The Autumn War

Though Ala Mhigo prospered from the trade route for a time, its fortune was to be short-lived. After 1190, Ul'dah gained control of Thanalan, and began to trade on the high seas. Despite the ever-present threat of pirates, Ul'dah's ships were large, and could carry far more goods than caravans. A single voyage was much more profitable than a train of men traversing the overland route. Moreover, no one charged a toll to sail over the waves. Though the change was gradual, trade with the Near East shifted to the seas. [2]

Despite the decline of the trade routes, Ala Mhigan mercenaries still found work. In 1313, Sharlayan enlisted the service of Ala Mhigan mercenaries to subdue the beasts that roamed the Dravanian Hinterlands to ensure the safety of their outpost. Later, in 1353, the Thorne Dynasty enlisted Ala Mhigan forces once again to help drive the Ashkin from their newly-relocated city. [2]

As the steady stream of coin from traveling merchants slowed to a trickle, Ala Mhigo's King Manfred sought survival through foreign conquest. In 1468, he laid claim to the East Shroud, and sent a great army against Gridania, sovereign of the Twelveswood. This conflict has since come to be known as the Autumn War, and it was to prove a disastrous defeat for Ala Mhigo. Nevertheless, Manfred's host seemed unstoppable at the outset; it vanquished Gridanian forces decisively in the First Battle of Tinolqa, and swept down deep into the Black Shroud. The tide shifted a year later, when the combined forces of Limsa Lominsa, Ul'dah, and Ishgard heeded Gridania's call for aid. At the Second Battle of Tinolqa, the Ala Mhigans suffered the loss of General Gylbarde, a brilliant tactician who had earlier led his nation to victory at the had of a regiment of griffin-back soldiers. Manfred's army was broken, and his war lost. [2]

Theodoric’s Reign

Manfred's gamble had lifted the spirits of his people and his nation's economy. With the final defeat, however, Ala Mhigo entered a period of unhappy austerity. His army had been raised at great cost, yet now the vanquished soldiers struggled home with no spoils of war to their names. The power of the king waned, and unrest flared within the nation. From amidst the dissatisfied masses, the Fist of Rhalgr and its monkhood emerged upon the political stage, growing stronger in power by the day. Lest their regime fall to the faith, the royalty chose to embrace this change, and named the Fist of Rhalgr the state religion. They employed high-ranking monks as advisors to the throne, and thus sought to stabilize the nation. Though this was met with some success, the voice of the religious sect echoed loud within the halls of government from there forward. [2]

Due to their defeat in the Autumn War, Ala Mhigo was forced to dramatically reduce their highroad tolls as part of their terms of surrender in the Autumn War. As a result, overland transport regained popularity as an alternative to the piracy-plagued sea routes, and great merchant caravans employing chocobo carriages were organized, setting off for the east. [2]

In 1539, the Darklight Raiders, a famed Ala Mhigan mercenary group under the command of Gerbald the Red, gained renown for felling an enormous poisonous snake in the Aurum Vale. Unfortunately, they suffered a grievous defeat in 1544, failing to purge Cutter's Cry of the chimera lurking in its depths. The group was effectively disbanded, most of its members slain. [2]

In 1546, Theodoric the First ascended the throne. He was to be Ala Mhigo's last king, and his reign would wreak ruin upon his nation. Seeking to free himself from the influence of the Fist of Rhalgr, he proclaimed himself ordained by Nymeia Herself to lead the nation, and forbade worship of the Destroyer. Instead, he demanded the people prostrate themselves before him as the Spinner's emissary. Naturally, the Fist of Rhalgr protested—just as Theodoric had planned. In 1552, he led a vast army to the site of the monkhood's main temple and set it ablaze. All inside, be they priests or refugees, perished in the flames. Those few who managed to escape met a similar end upon the blades of soldiers awaiting without. [2]

The Price of Revolution

Though Theodoric had purged the Fist of Rhalgr, his brutality did not stop there. Convinced that his lands were full of traitors seeking to sit upon his throne, he began to execute the royalty. Only one among the royal line, a nephew of Theodoric named Theodred, survived, spirited away to a remote temple of the Fist of Rhalgr. Once its ranks were thinned, the heads of their vassals rolled upon invented charges, the purge extended even to those smallfolk who had accrued even the slightest amount of wealth. No longer able to watch the slaughter, the queen herself conspired with a group of nobles to slay the king. The plot failed at the betrayal of a single nobleman, and all involved—including the noble betrayer—were executed. The palace was transformed into a scene out of the lowest of the seven hells; nigh-endless bloodshed watched by a despicable gathering of sycophants and backstabbers. [2]

Around this time, a young officer of the Ala Mhigan Army from a remote village in Gyr Abania earned wide renowned when he was charged with suppressing an angry mob. This young soldier, Raubahn Aldynn, succeeded in the task without spilling a drop of blood. In two years, this young man was assigned to the border forces, where he and his comrades undertook a series of diversionary tactics against the encroaching forces of Garlemald's XIVth Imperial Legion, keeping the Black Wolf at bay. [2]

The following year, Raubahn made short work of an imperial magitek contingent in a border skirmish, toying with the enemy. His impressive accomplishments on the field of battle won him not only trust and acclaim among his men, but a promotion to a position of high command. Unfortunately, just one year later, Raubahn was struck by an imperial sniper, suffering grievous wounds. He withdrew from the frontlines, returning to his home village to coalesce. He would never have the chance to rejoin the army, however, as he would be forced to flee his homeland the following year. [2]

In 1557, the people finally revolted, and stormed the palace. The guard, charged with halting the advance, instead opened the gates wide and joined the protesters. So great was the throng that the Corpse Brigade, who had loyally slain nobles and rich men alike, fled fearing retribution. So did the King of Ruin's reign end—friendless and surrounded. [2]

Ala Mhigo should have been free. Yet, the hard-won victory of the peasantry was to be snatched away by the Garlean Army. The imperial troops had been stationed just to the north, awaiting the king's demise, and came swarming down upon the city when his standard fell. Neither the Ala Mhigan army nor the lay fighters stood a chance against the flood of enemy soldiers. The proud nation thus became a Garlean territory, ruled by Gaius van Baelsar, the first viceroy of Ala Mhigo and legatus of the XIVth Legion. [2]

In 1571, the Archons of the Circle of Knowing infiltrated occupied Gyr Abania in an attempt to aid those Ala Mhigans seeking asylum abroad, but many lives were lost when the Garleans caught wind of the defection. [2]

Notable Ala Mhigans

See Also

Gallery Add Image
References
  1. Final Fantasy XIV Official Website
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 2.25 2.26 2.27 Encyclopaedia Eorzea pg. 47-53, 81, 174, 175


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