High above the Twelveswood, the raven circles, evermore seeking out truth hidden amongst the shadows of the trees. In today's edition, field correspondent Oliver Goodfellow reports on the threat presented by the appearance of Gridania's sworn enemy, the primal Garuda.
Garuda, Capricious Empress of Birds
Eyewitness reports of a “great winged monster” haunting the outskirts of Quarrymill have sent the Order of the Twin Adder into a flurry of preparation. It appears that the upper echelons of the Order believe the feathered beast to be none other than Garuda herself, and have placed the Grand Company on high alert.
With the ominous change that has befallen Dalamud, it is tempting to believe rumors heralding the Seventh Umbral Era's imminent arrival and give in to crippling despair. But no, I cannot indulge such selfish desires while a threat most real and solid exists within arm's reach. I shall steel my nerves and see for myself just what manner of being this Garuda may be. It must be noted here that this article could not have been penned without the invaluable cooperation of Bowlord Lewin and his extensive knowledge of Ixali history.
Some 550 years in the past, the Ixal chose the forest of Tinolqa* as their homeland. The stories say they built their nests in its trees, and, spreading their wings to the wind, were able to soar among the branches. Even in this ancient time, the Ixal, feeling kinship with the creatures of the sky, revered Garuda as the Empress of Birds. During this age of prosperity the feathered beastmen flourished and multiplied, overflowing the borders of their territory. Their unchecked growth, however, angered the elementals, and the Ixal were cast out of the forest. The exiled birdmen, in search of a new place to roost, migrated en masse to the great canyon known as Xelphatol.
But the trials of the Ixal did not end with the loss of their home. Inexplicably, the young that hatched in the land of Xelphatol were born without certain feathers they needed to catch the wind. As generations came and went, the Ixal lost their ability to fly completely. All that remained to them was an insatiable hunger for the sky. The birdmen's invention of the dirigible 150 years ago is most like the culmination of this tragic history and their undiminished yearning to fly.
This brings us to events of ten years past. Just as the Amalj'aa and the kobolds succeeded in summoning their gods, so too did the Ixal call forth the primal Garuda. Their motivation for doing so, hypothesizes Bowlord Lewin, was to regain the power of flight through the grace of the Empress of Birds. Yet no evidence has been found to suggest that the prayers of the birdmen have been answered. Quite the contrary, the unpredictable and violent Garuda has done naught but tear across the land like an untamed storm, relentless in her quest for blood. Perhaps the Ixal now, too, regret unleashing this unholy terror upon Eorzea.
* The Twelveswood. The word “Tinolqa” means “Blessed Forest” in Ixali.