Gelmorra (ゲルモラ, Gerumora?) was an ancient civilization that predated Gridania in Final Fantasy XIV. They were predominately subterranean, responsible for the construction of the four dungeons beneath the Black Shroud: Mun-Tuy Cellars, Tam-Tara Deepcroft, The Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak, and Palace of the Dead. They had only one above-ground structure to anyone's knowledge: the Gelmorra Ruins near Lasthold. They spent their time underground in fear of the Ixal and the wrath of the Elementals.
After the wanton misuse of aetheric energies that led to the great flood of the Sixth Umbral Era, magic became a forbidden art, and the Elementals of the Twelveswood would not suffer the presence of mankind. Driven underground, the Hyur and the Elezen grew to accept one another in the subterranean cities of Gelmorra.
At long last the Gelmorrans learned to commune and cooperate with the elementals, bringing about the dawn of Conjury as we know it, as well as the earliest Padjal. As the people once more migrated to the forests above, they founded Gridania, and for centuries a tense but stable peace has been retained between mankind and elemental with the help of the Padjal and the "Hearers" (conjurers who can hear the elementals' words). The underground structures of Gelmorra fell into disuse, and now fester with hostile vilekin and seedkin.
The Gelmorra ruins are of particular significance to the Duskwight Elezen. Given their physiology and social distrust, it is likely they remained within Gelmorra longer than the Wildwood and adapted to the darkness.
Gelmorran locations are named using the Padjali language, and thus follow the same conventions. Currently the exact words in each name are unknown, but when two words combine to form a concept, they are linked with a hyphen. Toto-Rak and Ak-Mena are examples.
Possibly the only part of the Gelmorra civilization to see continued use, the Mun-Tuy Cellars, are a labyrinth of passages and chambers used for making alcohol, particularly Mun-Tuy brew. The cellars, labeled in Eorzean in the 1.0 maps, each have unique sights with vats, bags of grain, or other wine-related things. Having fallen into disuse, the Mun-Tuy cellar were home to squirrels, wolves, and yarzons, among other things, but after the Calamity the Order of the Twin Adder cleared the vermin out. People have returned to the cellars to resume Mun-Tuy brew production, which is notably used in cooking.
In A Realm Reborn very little is seen of the cellars; it is mostly notable at this point for being the primary passage point between the eastern and southern parts of the Shroud. There is a locked door that likely leads to the remainder of the place, but like the Tam-Tara Deepcroft, it is likely they have undergone drastic layout changes. It is possible this door will be opened in future patches, or the closed off area may be featured as an instanced dungeon.
One of the early dungeons in A Realm Reborn, but was also featured in the original game.
A large plant called the Caretaker ran its roots, collectively larger than most tree trunks in Black Shroud, through the First and Second Rings (levels) of this ancient necropolis. It, or rather the Elementals therein, watched over the slumbering dead in the numerous tombs branching off from the main tunnels.
Larger tombs contain the sarcophagi of prominent figures in the Gelmorran civilization. On the lower Second Ring are the largest tombs, where the noble houses of Ak-Inik, Ak-Mena, and King Galvanth the Dominator rested. There were also unmarked tombs. The undead who walked there were likely servants, as is the case in the ARR version.
The First Ring crawled with puks, but floating eyes, wild boars, and even toads had taken up residence there since its abandonment. Miqo'te toad poachers here are either protective of their hunting ground or wary of anyone who might engage them as enemies of the Black Shroud.
A Realm Reborn
The Tam-Tara Deepcroft was changed dramatically in the new version. Rather than two floors of claustrophobic tunnels, the halls of the Deepcroft are now shown as dug out from the sides of an enormous cavern, with a broken ramp spiraling down to a platform below. Though the ramp itself has broken, the lower areas can be reached by traveling through the winding halls and broken walls.
The zombies here, known as the Ak-Inik and Ak-Mena varlets (lancers and thaumaturges, respectively), are the servants of those two houses, but the true threats are the depraved Lambs of Dalamud that have begun their demon summoning rituals. Adventurers completing the dungeon interrupt the ceremony, which leads to the incomplete revival of Galvanth the Dominator, who curses his twisted Mindflayer form.
The Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak
Named after a man-eating creature from Padjali folklore, the Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak was built on the site of a natural cave system beneath Silent Arbor. Until recently it held all of Gridania's foulest criminals, from arsonists to poachers, but the completion of a newer gaol closer to the city heralded its abandonment.
Whether or not this gaol originated in the time of Gelmorra, it is clearly built using the same subterranean architectural methods, particularly the stone masonry that is practically absent in wood structures of Gridania.
As the Aetheric levels were far too high before the Calamity, adventurers were only permitted to enter for no longer than 30 minutes, but since the restriction has lifted. There are notes written on the walls detailing the demise of an investigation team and the gradual derangement of their leader, though most of them are now lost in the caved in portions. Before the Calamity the Garlean Empire set up devices that block off certain tunnels with force fields, each operated by four "photocells", which have been scattered throughout the dungeon.
Adventurers often came here for the rewards for slaying one of three Diremite bosses, as the rare equipment can be redeemed for Grand Company seals. Now it is a necessary part of the story.
Though some of the tunnels have caved in, its layout is largely retained between both versions. The similarity is so strong, in fact, that the development team even included empty chests in places that once contained loot chests. However, added mechanics like sticky slime on the floors, diremite web traps, and explosive poison pods make it an early example of the much more dynamic dungeons the new game is capable of.
The boss Antares returned as an optional mini-boss, exactly where he was in 1.0, but was removed during development to keep with the consistent 3-boss model of most dungeons. Shaula, originally the hardest boss, never reappeared, and now Graffas is the sole diremite boss remaining, acting as the dungeon's end boss.
Before the Calamity, the Gelmorra ruins were the only above-ground Gelmorran structure known to players. This landmark was one that few have seen in person, as it was near the Aetherial Gate of Lasthold, one of the most treacherous parts of the Black Shroud. It was teeming with Malboros and Efts above level 70, and occasionally visited by Ixali Fencers.
The Gelmorra Ruins consisted of a large platform with a 15-20yalm hole in the middle, surrounded by columns. If they were not ruined already, the Calamity made sure they matched their name, and now the entire platform is upset, half-buried, and utterly shattered. The small amber figures that surrounded the hole at regular intervals led to much player speculation of Tonberries, but these have curiously disappeared, and Tonberries are now featured as the main enemies in the Wanderer's Palace in La Noscea (on the opposite side of Eorzea). The ruins are now guarded by very manageable Treants around level 37.
The ruins of Issom-Har were once Gelmorra's residential district. The calamity tore a hole open leading into the ruins, and excavators have already built a ladder into them. A man named Rolandaix seeks to restore them for use by the Duskwights, so that they need no longer commit crimes to make ends meet.