The Naadam is a ceremonial battle for control of the Azim Steppe held on the final day of the Tsagaan Sar between any tribe of Xaela which wishes to compete and has completed the trials of Bardam's Mettle. The victor of the Nadaam is crowned khagan of the Azim Steppe.
To compete in the Naadam, warriors must obtain a Yol from Bardam's Mettle: a great winged bird that will serve as their mount. Riding their Yol, they will race to the center of the Steppe, the Oovo, fighting off enemy warriors along the way. The first warrior to seize the Ovoo wins the Naadam and becomes khagan until the next Tsagaan Sar.
During the events of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood, a Naadam is held, with the Bugudan, Dotharl, and Mol tribes challenging the incumbent Oronir tribe, and their khagan, Magnai the Older. Unusual to this Nadaam is the presence of foreign troops: the Doman Liberation Front ally with the otherwise tiny Mol tribe, which had only joined because a prophecy demanded that they must, in exchange for support in the liberation of Doma. In retaliation, the Garlean Empire sends a strike force lead by Grynewaht to assassinate Lord Hien and the Warrior of Light; but by the time they arrive, the Mol have already defeated their rivals and seized control of the Steppe, and the Garlean forces are quickly routed by the Xaela. The Naadam establishes the Warrior of Light as the khagan of the Xaela, as well as setting the stage for the liberation of Doma and ultimately Ala Mhigo.
The player participates in the Naadam by completing several quests which explore the Xaela culture as well as the dungeon Bardam's Mettle and a solo instance in which they help lead the Mol to victory over the Oronir and Garleans.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
Naadam (in Mongolian, literally "games"; often called eriin gurvan naadam, or "three games of men") is a festival in Mongolia and one of their most important holidays. It features wrestling, archery, and cross-country horse racing.
Tsagaan Sar (literally White Moon) is the Mongolian lunar new year. Tsagaan Sar features a great feast, and is one of Mongolia's most important holidays.