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Sharlayan is a nation of scholars in Final Fantasy XIV. Located on an island in the Northern Empty to the north of Eorzea, members of the Circle of Knowing, Sons of Saint Coinach, and Students of Baldesion all hail from this city-state. Their patron deity is Thaliak, the Scholar and their motto is "Knowledge Seeks No Man".

Until recently, Sharlayan had established a colony in the Dravanian hinterlands, which grew prosperous enough to be counted among Eorzea's great city-states. With the fall of Ala Mhigo, the Sharlayans elected to evacuate the colony in anticipation of turmoil that would engulf the realm, in accordance with their policy of neutrality.

The abandoned colony became accessible in Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward. Old Sharlayan became accessible in Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker and serves as the main city for the expansion.

Profile[]

It used to be one of Eorzea's six city-states, and was situated in the northwest of Aldenard. The Sharlayans were the keepers of wisdom both old and new. Their mastery over magic and aether was unsurpassed, and even the Garleans knew to fear them.

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Though a highly academic and scholastic nation, Sharlayans seldom get involved in international politics, and the nation itself withdrew from Eorzea once it became apparent that the Garlean Empire was intent on conquest. Sharlayan is located in the "Old World" to the north of Eorzea and its main governing body is the Forum, a parliament of ninety-nine elected officials that determine national policy.

Sharlayan government is selective in what knowledge it is willing to share with other nations.[1] It is implied that sharing knowledge without sanction is considered treason. This isolationist stance is due to the dominant Bibliothec faction, who advocate hoarding knowledge and observing history from the sidelines.

Sharlayans are disinclined to accept any form of warfare, regardless of the necessity, and would not dream of using their legendary knowledge for martial purposes. Viewing war as barbaric, Sharlayans prefer to compromise and negotiate even when war is inevitable. This stance led to Sharlayans abandoning their holdings in Eorzea and retreating to their homeland over standing with the Eorzean nations against the Empire.

Nevertheless, the Circle of Knowing, led by the sage Louisoix Leveilleur, defied official policy and intervened in the prophecy of the Divine Chronicles.

History[]

Background[]

Sharlayan was founded in the wake of the Great Flood that characterized the Sixth Umbral Calamity. In the time prior to the calamity, a Roegadyn scholar from the distant island of Aerslant, known as Nyunkrepf Nyunkrepfsyn, predicted that the flood would hit the realm of Eorzea as a consequence of the War of the Magi currently being waged there. Creating a giant magical Ark that would be known as Nyunkrepf's Hope, he sailed down to Eorzea and tried to convince as many as he could about the coming disaster. When the Flood finally hit, Nyunkrepf saved as many as possible aboard his Ark.

The ship came under threat of being overturned by the churning tides, and Nyunkrepf invoked a spell that transported the Ark high atop the peaks in Gyr Abania, where they remained stranded for a while. As the flood waters began to recede, the passengers of the Ark looked to Nyunkrepf for leadership, especially when they needed to contend with other survivors in the region, the ancestors of the Ala Mhiganns. Nyunkrepf forswore conflict with their opponents and instead guided his people across Abalathia's Spine to the Orn Wild in the Dravanian Hinterlands, from where they constructed a new ship and set sail north to the currently uninhabited islands of the Old World. It is here that the original Sharlayan was founded, taking Thaliak the Scholar as their patron deity in honor of their Eorzean roots.

In 1311, many years after the founding of Sharlayan, an expedition of scholars returned across the seas of the Northern Empty to the Dravanian Hinterlands where they built an outpost to study the aetherial sea. This became a stop for all academics who ventured to Eorzea to conduct their research, and a hostelry was constructed for long-term tenure upon foreign shores. This small collection of buildings grew more numerous, and in time became a handsome settlement. Rumor of this community of learned men spread, and students began to converge upon the place from every corner of Eorzea. In 1361, upon the fiftieth anniversary of the research outpost, The Forum formally proclaimed it a colony and the Sharlayan settlement joined the six city-states of Eorzea.

The Hinterlands colony attracted students from all across Eorzea, and grew into a beacon of knowledge and wisdom. This was not to last as tidings that Garlemald had captured Ala Mhigo reached the city. To the Sharlayans, the Empire was a threat to their very way of life. They had spent an age stubbornly resisting all war, and the Imperial invasion of Ilsabard and Othard was a bane to the values they had held dearly since Nyunkrepf's time. Sharlayan sent ambassador after ambassador to Garlemald with entreaties to stop their advance. They even strove mightily to parlay a peace, but all these pleas fell on deaf ears, and the envoys returned home empty-handed.

In the wake of the failed negotiations, Fourchenault Leveilleur and the faction he led within the Forum elected to forsake their colony in Eorzea, abandoning the realm to struggle alone against the Garlean Empire. Following five years of elaborate and painstaking preparation, the plan to evacuate the settlement's entire population to the northern archipelago of their homeland was put into motion. The city of Sharlayan became a maze of empty streets and buildings in the space of a single evening. Despite the Forum's decrees of remaining neutral, Louisoix Leveilleur defied Sharlayan's policies of nonintervention when he learned the possibility of another Calamity and founded the Circle of Knowing to prevent it.

Prior to Shadowbringers[]

The Forum elected to maintain its non-interventionist policy, though individual Sharlayans disagreed and set off on their own or in groups to leave their mark on history. Louisoix's Circle of Knowing was one such faction, its members trying to gain the confidence of the Eorzean city-states' leadership to warn them of the threat of the primals and, eventually, Nael van Darnus recommencing Project Meteor. When the elder primal Bahamut broke free from Dalamud, Louisoix sacrificed his life to mitigate the disaster.

In the following years the remaining members of the Circle of Knowing joined hands with the group known as the Path of the Twelve to form a new order called the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to help guide Eorzea to a new Astral Age. The Scions gained assistance from the Students of Baldesion, another faction based on the Isle of Val, in their attempts to understand the Echo and Hydaelyn, as well as deal with the Ascian menace.

Almost no news was carried from the Sharlayan Motherland, who had cut themselves off from the world. Rather than partake in the struggle against the Garlean oppression or the Ascians' dark machinations, the Sharlayans kept to their own council.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers[]

After the Garlean Empire fell into a destructive civil war following the death of Emperor Varis and the liberation of the Empire's conquered provinces, the world faced a second coming of the Final Days, the phenomenon that once nearly destroyed the ancient world. The Final Days were being instigated by the rogue Ascian Fandaniel and his patron, Garlean prince Zenos yae Galvus.

Krile Baldesion of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn besought Sharlayan's aid, hoping that their legendary repository of knowledge would yield some clue as to prevent the Final Days. To everyone's dismay, the Forum refused to change their policies and decried the warnings of the Final Days as "baseless propaganda", preferring to remain on their island as the world burned. Krile and G'raha Tia suspected the Forum knew more about the Final Days than what they let on, as they had also barred any potential sympathizers in the nation from lending any aid. To discover the truth, the Warrior of Light and the rest of the Scions prepared to infiltrate Sharlayan.

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker[]

The Scions of the Seventh Dawn traveled to Sharlayan to discover if the Forum was deliberately hiding knowledge regarding the Final Days and to attempt to convince its people to aid in their prevention. They learned that the Forum had recently been significantly increasing in the delivery of resources to the subterranean, artificial environment Labyrinthos, but before they could get to the heart of the matter, they were arrested and taken to a hearing. The Scions were eventually allowed to remain in the city but were forbidden from investigating the Forum's plans under the threat of expulsion from the city. Despite this, Montichaigne, a Forum member and an old family friend of Alphinaud and Alisaie informs that even if they could gain the aid of a Forum member, they are magically sworn not to speak of their duty to anyone outside of the Forum. Seeing that their efforts are stymied and not wanting to be expelled, the Scions had no choice but to turn their efforts towards other pressing matters.

With Zodiark's demise, the Final Days started anew. In Mare Lamentorum on the moon, the Scions learned that the satellite was actually an artificial construct created by Hydaelyn as a back-up plan in case the Final Days were to return, to serve as a vessel for the people of the world to seek a new, hospitable Star. The Scions encountered the Loporrits, rabbit-like creatures that took care of the vessel. As the Scions explored and learned about the vessel as well as the Loporrits' mysterious client, they concluded this client was the Sharlayan Forum whose plan was to evacuate the population and knowledge of the world into the moon and seek out a new planet to live on.

The Scions returned to Sharlayan just in time to hear the Forum's announcement about the Final Days, revealing that the nation's expedition into the Dravanian Hinterlands, hoping to gain knowledge of the Aetherial Sea, actually allowed them to speak with Hydaelyn herself who warned them of the Final Days. Ever since being given this warning, the Sharlayan Forum has worked to preserve knowledge of the world and make preperations when the doom approaches, such as the creation of a massive vessel capable of space travel to serve as their ark, hence why the Forum has refused to change its course of non-intervention and the hoarding of knowledge. While the Sharlayan citizens took the news well, Alphinaud and Alisaie Leveilleur confronted their father about their reasons for wanting to stand and fight the Final Days. Fourchenault permitted his childern to do what they wanted but told them to stay out of the Forum's way. The Forum made arrangements to gather all necessary supplies, knowledge, and as many personnel as possible, extending invitations to Radz-at-Han and planning to extend similar invitations to other nations of the world.

Ultimately remaining resolute in their efforts to save their home and prevent the Final Days, the Scions made a bargain with the Forum. They would not bare their efforts in safeguarding civilization and knowledge should the Final Days succeed using their secret vessel being constructed in Labyrinthos, the Ragnarok starship, but to aid them complete the vessel and fine-tune it; the Scions wished to use the vessel to travel to Ultima Thule, the Final Days' origin point. The Forum voted in agreement to their terms, and to Fourchenault's surprise, the Scions delivered by bringing everyone they have allied and made friends with, allowing the Ragnarok to be fully operational. Seeing the lives his children had connected with and their resolve to save the world they loved, Fourchenault made amends with his children and allowed them to use the Ragnarok to venture out to Ultima Thule. After much struggle and sacrifice, the Scions prevailed against the Endsinger, bringing an end to the Final Days and saving the world from destruction. Though the Forum's contingency plan was no longer needed, they—along with all the other nations of the world—rejoiced at the Scions' triumphent return, now taking part in rebuilding and healing the Source from the destructive event.

Settlements[]

The Motherland[]

The original settlement founded by Nyunkrepf and his followers in the Old World, it is also known as "Old Sharlayan" to distinguish it from the now abandoned Hinterlands colony.

Hinterlands colony[]

The Sharlayans had set up a research colony during the Sixth Astral Era along the Thaliak river in Dravania, southwest of the territory held by the Dravanian Horde, which became counted among the city-states of Eorzea. Eorzean residents took to calling the colony itself "Sharalyan", while the motherland became known as "Old Sharlayan". Sharlayan inhabitants, if pressed for a name, would simply refer to it as "Emporium". The Garlean invasion prompted a mass exodus back to the motherland, leaving behind their buildings and artifacts, including the Great Gubal Library. At least one scholar, Matoya, stubbornly refused to leave, staying within her cave.

The abandoned settlement attracted treasure hunters, including the goblins. Though normally a nomadic beast-tribe, the goblins made an unorthodox decision to create a settlement at the northern end of the city ruins, called Idyllshire, along with other treasure hunters. These prospects were enough to prompt Rowena to expand her business there.

Not all who arrived in the hinterlands had honest intentions. Many fewer than savory types, such as brigands, have sought Sharlayan's wealth, often at the detriment of the current inhabitants. The goblin Illuminati—whose devotion to knowledge is said to rival Sharlayan itself—set up operations at the vacant Arkitechton. Their attacks on other goblin settlers and treasure-seekers with military equipment culminated in the summoning of a primal in an old defense mecha at the Tipped Ewer.


Notable members[]


References[]

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