"Nos sumus manus, Nos sumus deus"
The Garlean Empire lays claim to nearly three-quarters of the Three Great Continents—the enormous landmass that encompasses Eorzea—Aldenard being the only region yet to fall entirely under imperial rule. Until some fifty years ago, Garlemald was a remote and sparsely populated republic which held little more than a fraction of the northern territories of Ilsabard. But with the arrival of a technological golden age and the concurrent emergence of a brilliant young legatus—later to become its first emperor—in the span of a single generation, Garlemald has established itself as one of the world's most formidable forces and come to stand upon the threshold of ruling all Hydaelyn.
Garlemald is unsurpassed in the field of magitek, a technology which it exploits with devastating effectiveness in warfare. Unperturbed by their lesser numbers, the Garleans went forth upon gigantic flying warships, bearing powerful weaponry the likes of which the world had never seen. One nation after the next fell before their relentless onslaught, first those of the northlands, followed by the sovereign states of the eastern continent, Othard. Employing suppression and conciliation in equal measure, Garlemald indoctrinated the peoples it conquered, thus integrating them into its ever-expanding territory. So it was that the Garlean Empire came into existence.
In the year 1557 of the Sixth Astral Era, a mere thirty-six years from the Empire's founding, the Garleans brought their campaign of conquest to Eorzea, swiftly bringing the city-state of Ala Mhigo to its knees. Yet following the subjugation of Ala Mhigo, the Empire suddenly ceased its aggressive expansion.
For more than a decade, the continent of Aldenard knew relative peace. In the year 1572, however, the Garlean army once again began its inexorable advance. Using the calamitous arrival of the Seventh Umbral Era to sinister advantage, the Empire prepares to gather the lands of Eorzea into its steely embrace... 
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Organizations
- 4 See Also
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
The emblem upon the Garlean flag is a chain in abstract design. It symbolizes the value the native sons and daughters of Garlemald hold dear: tight unity amongst their small number. In like fashion, the crimson of the central link represents all those who have perished in the name of the Garlean people.
Nos sumus manus, Nos sumus deus
(We are the Hand, We are the God)
Garlemald was a republic until Solus Galvus brought all of Ilsabard under his control and named himself Emperor, earning the title "zos." Thus was born the Empire, a mighty regime to govern new Garlean territories. The Senate yet exists, and gives council to the Emperor. However, its power is a shadow of what it once was, while the voice of the military echoes ever louder.
Garlemald's central government is a large bureaucracy, led by magistrates personally appointed by the Emperor.
Note: These figures represent only the capital city of Garlemald, as well as only those with full citizenship. If all subjects were included, the percentages of true-blooded Garleans would be significantly reduced.
The Empire has banned religion, seeing it as a barbarian practice that all too often results in the summoning of primals. Many of the inhabitants of Garlemald proper are atheists, a fact attributable to their biological and spiritual inability to harbor and wield aether-based magicks. As theologians believe that religion can only truly develop alongside magic, it is little wonder that the Garleans are disinclined to keep any faith.
The invention of the ceruleum engine ushered Garlemald into a golden age. As much a change in society as in technology, this magitek revolution advanced Garlean industry greatly, and allowed the nation to produce goods in vast numbers through machina.
Garlemald had long ago learned to fly by capturing in fabric balloons a lighter-than-airgas created when ceruleum is ignited. In the skies of northern Ilsabard, however, these vehicles were completely at the mercy of frigid winds and blowing snows. True flight came with the invention of the ceruleum propulsion engine and wings treated with aether whch led to the realization of the modern airship. Currently, the Empire produces many and more of these machina, some for personal or commercial use, others for the military.
Using a viscous resin produced during the purification of ceruleum, the Garleans have learned to spin fibers of highly-durable carbon—a revolutionary development in the textile industry.
Following the invention of magitek, Garleans have come to hole efficiency in high regard, and the founding of the Empire has heralded the advent of a strict social hierarchy. Advancement has become an excessive measure of individual merit, and those aspiring to move upwards have carried Garlemald forward. However, there is also a marked tendency to look down upon the peoples of annexed territories, which has been the cause of much discord.
The winters of Garlemald are bitter, and the cultivation period short. Food that can keep, then, is a necessity. Simple and hearty fare is commonplace, such as stews of dried, salted, or even fermented meats and fish. In recent years, however, Garlemald has reaped the benefits of an empire, and the diverse foods of the provinces increasingly deck the Garlean table.
Portrait of a People
To understand the history of Garlemald, one must first understand the character of its people. Known to be strong of body, the most distinguishing Garlean trait is a third eye sitting at the center of the forehead. This ocular organ resembles a pearl, and grants purebloods superior spatial recognition. Garleans have little inborn ability to manipulate their body's aether, however, and thus the arcane arts have ever eluded all but a few. Thus, they have long been at a disadvantage against other peoples with a command of magic.
This imbalance of power has greatly informed the territorial feuds of Ilsabard. In ages past, Garleans were expelled from the relative warmth of lands to the south of the realm-dividing central mountain range. After crossing the treacherous peaks, they had no choice but to settle in the bleak northern reaches of the continent.
Winters in the Garleans' new home were harsh. The northern seas were bound in ice for most of the year, and the resources of the waters were available only for a slim window. Likewise, farming and rearing animals were possible only at certain times. The land, in other words, could not support a large populace. The Garleans multiplied slowly, and over time were forced to accept being few in number.
There was but one benefit to the frigid land—its vast deposits of ceruleum. This deep-blue liquid burned as well as oil, and kept the hearth warm during the long, dark times of year. Indeed, had it not been for this natural resource, the Garleans would not have survived the severe winter cold. Yet, it was to be a long time before the Garleans realized just what a boon this ceruleum was.
The Early Republic
The Garlean people officially banded together in 922 of the Sixth Astral Era. Many small villages existed before then, but none developed overmuch due to occasional raids by other more-established tribes of northern Ilsabard. To raise themselves from this base existence, one town named itself the center, and the others were brought into the fold through negotiation and force. This, the Garlemald Republic, had but one goal: to unite its people in order to stave off foreign aggression.
Survival was no small task. In desperation, the Garleans began to employ Roegadyn magi from the central mountains to bolster its own army where it was weakest. They also waged war from the shadows, sending spies to incite conflict betwixt the surrounding nations. For centuries, Garlemald prevailed, using every tactic at its disposal.
Starting in the early 16th century, however, a new age was to dawn on the nation. In 1513, a man named Solus Galvus attained the rank of legatus. The twenty-four year old Garlean learned of the newly-invented ceruleum engine, and saw great potential in it. His was the hand that guided the development of magitek weapons, and his the mind that devised tactics for these warmachina. Galvus also saw them integrated into the army, and so imbued the military with mechanical might.
Unifying the North
At first, Galvus's innovations were viewed with a skeptical eye. 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 technology in exchange for service. This cunning carrot-and-stick strategy made the republic greater and more powerful with every victory.
As triumph followed triumph, the Garleans' respect for Galvus grew, eventually transforming into worship. In 1517, he was granted control of Garlemald as dictator by overwhelming popular support. The same year, the republic attacked a nation called Nhalmasque, a small country nestled in the central mountains, and rained down fire upon it with their new airships. Thus, the Garlean army turned to conquer the south of Ilsabard. In 1522, this campaign ended in victory. Having unified the continent through force for the first time in history, Galvus proclaimed himself Emperor, and thus created the Garlean Empire.
Though he had already accomplished the impossible, Galvus was not content with Ilsabard alone. Six years after becoming Emperor, he set his gaze upon the eastern continent of Othard, and marched upon it with a great host. With their warmachina at the fore, the imperial forces toppled all who dared stand before them.
It was during this campaign that Galvus first laid eyes upon the ruin wrought by primals—an entire land utterly drained of life. Scholars believe this terrible sight ultimately led the Emperor 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. With this, Galvus had conquered the east. Now, 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. In Eorzea, the Garleans suffered a crippling and unexpected defeat over Silvertear Lake, faced the emergence of eikons, and watched its Meteor project end in stunning failure. In Garlemald, a war of succession broke out. The unrelenting march of the imperial army—and its territorial acquisitions—ground to a halt.
- Imperial Court
- XIVth Imperial Legion
- VIIth Imperial Legion
- VIth Imperial Legion
- XIIth Imperial Legion
- Crania Lupi
- Ferae Domitae