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Ishgard

Ishgard1.jpg

Ishgard2.pngIshgard
Subregion

"Of the Sky, From the Sky, For the Sky"

In the central region of Abalathia's Spine, that great mountain range that spans Aldenard from east to west, can be found the forbidding highlands of Coerthas and the Holy See of Ishgard. The archbishop of the church, while leading his people in the teachings of Halone, the Fury, rules also as the nation's sovereign.

Ishgard's formidable army of knights wages constant battle against its mortal enemies, the dragons. Faced with ever more aggressive attacks from its serpentine foes, as well as an unprecedented spell of bitter cold, the theocracy's days are dark indeed.

Matters have grown so grave as to prompt the archbishop and his advisors to consider throwing open the heretofore sealed gates of Ishgard and calling for outside aid. [1]

Zones

Name
Foundation
The Pillars


Requirements: Before the Dawn

Region: Coerthas
Landmass: Aldenard
World: Hydaelyn
Weather: varies
Expansion: Heavensward
Lore
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And so they came, at a friend’s behest. Heroes once celebrated as saviors of Eorzea, brought low through treachery, their names blackened with royal blood…

With memories of the lost and dreams of redemption, with hope yet in their hearts, they came…

To Ishgard, shining city on the mount, overlooking the dominion of Coerthas… A great and proud nation devoted to Halone, the Fury, ruled by Thordan VII, Archbishop of the Ishgardian Orthodox Church. The last bastion of the Faith, her walls ever bristling with the sworn swords and spears of her four High Houses.

A land that after a thousand years of war had forgotten what it was to be at peace.

Through gates long closed the Warrior of Light and his companions passed, entering at last a city whose history was written in blood. In the midst of the Dragonsong War they came — three weary travelers whose arrival would set in motion great change…

Though none knew then how great…

Contents

Overview

Deep in the center of Abalathia's Spine, floating top an impenetrable sea of clouds can be found Ishgard—a veritable jewel of the Coerthas highlands.

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Flag

The Holy See's standard is an escutcheon divided into four quarters, each bearing the sigils of the four High Houses of Ishgard: House Haillenarte on the upper left, House Durendaire on the upper right, House Dzemael on the lower left, and House Fortemps on the lower right. Atop the escutcheon rests a winged crown, representing the archbishop. [3]

Motto

"Of the Sky, From the Sky, For the Sky" [3]

Government

For one thousand years, Ishgard has been ruled as a theocracy under the leadership of the archbishop and the high-ranking clergymen of the Ishgardian Orthodox Church. [3]

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Leader

Archbishop Thordan VII

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Ruling Body

Clergymen and women of the Holy See of Ishgard regulate the teachings of the Ishgardian Orthodox Church.

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Military

As their patron is the Fury and her domain is war, Ishgard appropriately boasts the largest military force in Eorzea. It is said that those who will not fight in Her name are considered as traitorous as the First Dragons. [4] In keeping with this mentality, desertion recently became equivalent to heresy. [5] It is believed that those killed in battle with dragons are granted a special place in Halone’s heaven. [6]

Temple Knights

Among their ranks are the Temple Knights of Ishgard. Quartered in the Congregation of Our Knights Most Heavenly, the Temple Knights protect all corners of the Holy See’s dominion and operate under direct authority of the Holy See. They are responsible for defending national interests and maintaining public order. They also provide humanitarian aid in addition to military service in order to serve and protect the Ishgardian Orthodox Church and its followers. [7]

Despite this, many Temple Knights are people who sought knighthood to escape poverty. More than a few Temple Knights are corrupt and may abuse their power to prey upon those weaker than themselves. [8]

Order of the Knights Dragoon

The Order of the Knights Dragoon [9] is a division of the Temple Knights [7] that serves the Holy See under the command of the Azure Dragoon. [10] Using the power of a relic harboring the power of dragons simply known as the Eye [11] [10] and clad in Drachen Mail forged in the lifeblood of dragons [12], the Azure Dragoon is the most powerful and iconic of Ishgardian heroes. [10]

Racial Distribution

Ishgardian Elezen: 70%
Midlander Hyur: 20%
Other: 10%

Religion

The fervent worship of Halone, mover of glaciers and goddess of war, and the teachings of the Enchiridion, the holy scripture of the church, are at the core of Ishgardian society. Although members of the Ishgardian church will readily acknowledge the existence of the other eleven deities of the pantheon, they firmly believe that the power of all other gods is eclipsed by the might of the Fury. [3]

Industries

Stonemasonry

Ishgardian architecture has been deeply influenced by a millennium of war with the Dravanians, and the need for more fortifications capable of withstanding the enemy's attacks. Moreover, the church has a long tradition of funding religious works of art, which accounts for the massive sculptures that can be found throughout the capital and beyond. [3]

Steelworks

Smelting techniques developed over centuries to produce superior weaponry for the war effort have yielded such famed alloys as the aptly named Ishgardian steel, which is slow to rust and resistant to the elements. These techniques, however, are fiercely guarded by the industry's smiths and manufactories, which labor at the behest of the Holy See. [3]

Magitek

Contrary to the perception that theirs is a conservative country which does not aggressively pursue scientific advancement, Ishgard has conducted research and development into the military applications of magitek technologies. Furthermore, they have worked closely with the Garlond Ironworks to improve upon their existing airship designs. [3]

Livestock

The lush pastures of the Coerthas highlands were once ideal for black sheep and chocobo husbandry, the latter giving rise to a prosperous industry for which Ishgard would be renowned throughout the realm. Alas, the climate change brought about by the Calamity decimated the herds and left ranchers destitute. [3]

Hunting and Trapping

While the highborn have enjoyed hunting as recreation for generations, in recent times many Ishgardians have turned to such activities to earn a living, as the colder temperatures brought about by the Calamity have seen an increase in the demand for furs, as well as wild chocobos. [3]

Beliefs

Ishgardians value honor and tradition above all else, and the Dragonsong War is understandably at the forefront of each and every one of their minds. House lineages are carefully documented, and those who can trace theirs back to the founding fathers of Ishgard enjoy elevated status. This preoccupation has, over generations, resulted in a stratified society in which the highborn and lowborn have developed markedly different values and customs. [3]

Because of their ongoing war with the Dravanian Horde, Ishgardians are immediately opposed to anything draconic. Such is their zeal that the leafy seadragon, a fish once found in all five seas, is now endangered in part due to Ishgardian culling parties. [13] Similarly, though not a dragon in any way, shape, or form, the rhamphorhynchus fish found in the Sea of Clouds is thought by many Ishgardians to be a minion of the Dravanians. [14]

Additionally, when the first Auri Xaela refugees fleeing Garlemald came to Ishgard, they were mistaken for Dravanians. Though the Au Ra were able to defeat them and showed them mercy, the Ishgardians later returned in force, slaughtering Auri men, women, and children alike. [15] [16]

Myths and Legends

Myths and legends are also found amongst Ishgardians. One such legend stats that the striped goby, a fish native to Coerthas and Mor Dhona, was not always a fish but once a brightly plumed bird cast to the bottom of the seas by the Fury for flying too near to Her realm. [17]

Another fish-related legend speaks of the dawn maiden, a beautiful crimson trout. Ishgardian knights claim that, if one catches the Warden kissing the dawn maiden at daybreak, the skies will be clear of dragons for the sun’s full turn. [18]

It’s said that the saucerfish, a jellyfish found in the Sea of Clouds, are the descendants of a plate of fish tossed out of a window into the Sea of Clouds by a finicky king. Coerthan puffer fish are thought by nobles to bring fortune [19], and to slay a rime eater jellyfish is five winters' bad luck. [20]

One cannot visit a Coerthan tavern without hearing tales of the great man-eating shadowhisker, a massive fish said to eat Lalafells, though the details of the story vary heavily between villages. [21]

Legends tell of a brave priest who would rush into battle headlong with his copy of the Enchiridion in one hand and a morning star in the other. So frenzied was his slashing and whirling of the weapon, that often the spiked ball would fly from its chain and into the nearby rivers and lakes. Contrary to expectations, lake urchins have nothing to do with his legend. [22]

Holidays and Observances

Saint Feast Days

Though most pagan rites from the early days of the Ishgardian Orthodox Church are frowned upon in modern times, the Feast of Saint Daniffen is still observed annually and is celebrated even by nobility. [23] Other saint feast days are also observed. [24]

Valentione’s Day

Each year for over two centuries, Eorzea celebrates Valentione's Day. The holiday pays tribute to Countess Arabelle de Valentione of Ishgard, whose unparalleled courage in her quest for true love inspires people to express love and gratitude to those most important in their lives each year. Mostly, this involves the exchange of chocolates made by the giver. At its core, however, it is about an individual’s quest to conquer the fear of rejection. [25]

Valentione’s Day is often associated with the color red which, to Ishgardians, represents true love and loyalty. [26] Whether this belief came about before or after the establishment of the holiday is unclear.

Starlight Celebration

The Starlight Celebration also stems from Ishgard during a time of conflict within the realm several generations ago. [27] A terrible battle claimed countless lives and left thousands of children orphaned in Coerthas. The knights of Ishgard, unable to bear their suffering, decided to help these unfortunate youths. [28]

Each night, while on their patrols of the city of Ishgard, a handful of knights would seek out impoverished children and offer them room and board within their barracks. This was forbidden by the knights’ charter, and so they would disguise the children in the jackets of their scarlet uniforms and sneak them inside. [27]

Because of their generosity, the children survived the winter and lived to pay forward the kindness they received. The former orphans, adorned in scarlet uniforms, delivered gifts to children on the coldest week of the year, and thus the Starlight Celebration was born. [28]

The principal hero of the tale was a snowy-bearded Ishgardian captain often referred to as the “Saint of Nymeia”. The compassionate acts of him and his soldiers are now honored by annual tradition, wherein gifts are given to children across Eorzea during the coldest days of the year. Starlight Celebrants continue to don scarlet apparel as the saint’s “little helpers” and distribute gifts to every child who writes a letter to Nymeia, goddess of celestial wonders. [29]

Diet

In the years following the Calamity and the coming of the snows, the popularity of warm soups and stews among Ishgardians has burgeoned. To the delight of dairy farmers, many cooks have also begun to incorporate melted cheeses into their cuisine, producing gratins which have become beloved dishes for nobles and commoners alike. Of course, not all foods are recent inventions; Ishgardian sweets and confectionaries associated with religious ceremonies have long been known of outside the Holy See. [3]

Meals

Ishgardian muffins are baked on the griddle instead of in an oven. Cornmeal is dusted onto the dough before cooking to prevent it from sticking to the pan. [30] Ishgardian muffins can be sliced into halves and topped with salmon, a poached egg, and Hollandaise sauce, then served as a breakfast called royal eggs. [31]

Kaiser rolls are a round Ishgardian bread first made by Halonic monastics who, when brewing ale, would add barm and leftover malt to their daily loaves. [32] Served with ground liver loaf slices and cream cheese, this makes a delicious liver-cheese sandwich. [Liver-Cheese Sandwich] More traditionally, the Knights of Ishgard eat hard, leavened rye bread often named "Knight's Bread". [33]

By cooking emerald beans until they break down into a ghastly paste, Ishgardians cook the bright-green emerald soup despised by both highborn and lowborn children alike. [34] The more appetizing clam chowder is also a common enough meal that it's served to inductees to the Knights Dragoon to remind them of home. [35] Stuffed cabbage rolls also achieve that nostalgic effect, ground meat rolled in cabbage and boiled in broth, often eaten at home. [36]

Beet soup is another dish popular throughout Ishgard; commonly served with sliced magma beets and loaghtan meat slow-cooked with vegetables and served with sour cream, families in the Brume often substitute with the meat of what animals they can find in the back alleys. Beet Soup

Ishgardian nobility typically enjoy extravagant course meals for supper on saint feast days, such as a meal of royal eggs, sauteed porcini, fig bavarois, and a Sohm Al tart dessert served with hot coffee. [37]

The House Dzemael has a special dish passed down through their family for generations. Dzemael gratin is made of thinly sliced popotoes and eft tails baked in a creamy, white sauce. [38]

Desserts

Sohm Al tarts are a traditional Ishgardian dessert cake made of several stacked layers tapered to resemble Sohm Al, a sacred peak to the Dravanians. It’s believed that devouring the mountain will grant them fortune in their struggle with the dragons. [39]

Pastry fishes, a delicious, apple-filled tart made to resemble the legendary sunfish, are a popular treat made to celebrate the Feast of Saint Daniffen. [23] On Valentione's Day, the House Valentione cooks a decadent chocolate cake emblazoned with the House Valentione coat of arms. [40]

Drinks

In Ishgard, tea is brewed by boiling yak milk and letting dried highland tea leaves steep right into the hot liquid. [41] Hot chocolate is a sweet beverage commonly drunk in the Holy See, but rarely seen in the Foundation due to its expensive ingredients. [42] Frozen spirits — made by fermenting fresh cloud bananas and Old World figs, freezing them with ice crystals, then mashing and mixing it into a slush [43] — is often used in the Holy See to numb the burning of a throat seared by dragonfire. [44] [45]

History

A Nation's Founding

According to scripture, the story of Ishgard's founding begins one thousand years ago when the goddess Halone blessed King Thordan with a vision of paradise for the Elezen. The king declared he would lead his people to this promised land which lay at the heart of Abalathia's Spine and so , having packed their few possessions into humble wains, they abandoned the Black Shroud for the highlands of Coerthas. Once the great caravan reached the valley, however, the dread wyrm Nidhogg suddenly appeared and attacked the Elezen with unbridled ferocity. [3]

King Thordan and his knights twelve, of whom his own son Haldrath was one, ventured forth to meet the wyrm in combat. In the bloody battle which ensued, the king was cast into a ravine by Nidhogg and killed, and the greater part of his knights were slain. In the end, the remaining four and his son Haldrath triumphed over Nidhogg, prying out one of his eyes and forcing the dragon's retreat. [3]

By this terrible sacrifice were Thordan's people afforded a peace during which thy could build their grand city at last. However, Haldrath would not accept his father's crown, and instead donned the helm of the Azure Dragoon, vowing to hunt down any dragon who dared threaten his people. The king's throne would lie empty, leaving the four remaining knights to found the High Houses and the Ishgardian Orthodox Church which would rule over Ishgard and guide the people for centuries to come. [3]

The True Genesis

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Love Transcendent

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The Sins of Antiquity

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The End to the Song

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It would not be accurate to state that the violence continued without interruption, as there were long periods during which the great wyrm was compelled to rest and recuperate. [3] Even so, the destruction wrought by Nidhogg each time he awoke was so terrible that Ishgard dared not recognize any such respite; only a constant vigilance would ensure that the military was prepared to face the dread wyrm's wrath. To that end, the High Houses worked closely with the church to encourage the lowborn to take up arms against the Dravanians in what was increasingly framed as a holy war for the nation's survival. [3]

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Ishgardian Organizations

Notable Ishgardians

See Also

Notes
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  • The Guardian Deity of Ishgard is Halone, the Fury.
  • Ishgard is inaccessible until the quest "Before the Dawn" is completed in the Main Story Quest.
  • Ishgard is the only city-state that cannot be accessed from the others via airship.
  • Ishgard was planned to be added into the original release of Final Fantasy XIV.
  • Ishgard's flag was one of very few allusions to horses in the original game, in this case a unicorn.
  • The Eorzean text on Ishgard’s flag is its motto: "Of the Sky, From the Sky, For the Sky"
  • Ishgard is the only city-state to have a dungeon located within the city proper.
  • Many Ishgardian songs sing of the beauty of the sky faerie, a tiny, transparent mollusk native to the Sea of Clouds. [46]

References
  1. FINAL FANTASY XIV: Heavensward
  2. Coming to Ishgard
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 Encyclopaedia Eorzea pg. 47-53, 63-77, 148-167
  4. Loloma
  5. Blood Sacrifice
  6. Elde
  7. 7.0 7.1 Duty Commenced Episode 11 - Part 2
  8. The Knight and the Maiden Fair
  9. Sky's the Limit
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 The Wyrm's Roar
  11. Eye of the Dragon
  12. Double Dragoon
  13. Leafy Seadragon
  14. Rhamphorhynchus
  15. The Wages of Mercy
  16. Hands of Healing
  17. Striped Goby
  18. Dawn Maiden
  19. Coerthan Puffer
  20. Rime Eater
  21. Shadowhisker
  22. Lake Urchin
  23. 23.0 23.1 Pagan Pastries
  24. High House Supper Set
  25. Valentione's Day (2011)
  26. Amber Draught Chocobo
  27. 27.0 27.1 The Starlight Celebration (2013)
  28. 28.0 28.1 Starlight Celebrant
  29. A Starlight Miracle
  30. Ishgardian Muffin
  31. Royal Eggs
  32. Kaiser Roll
  33. Knight's Bread
  34. Emerald Soup
  35. Like Ma Used to Make (L)
  36. Nostalgia Through the Stomach (L)
  37. High House Supper Set
  38. Dzemael Gratin
  39. Sohm Al Tart
  40. Valentione's Cake
  41. Ishgardian Tea
  42. Hot Chocolate
  43. Frozen Spirits
  44. It Goes Down Smoothly
  45. Quenching the Flame (L)
  46. Sky Faerie


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