Nos sum us manus, Nos sumus deus.
Portrait of People
This imbalance of power has greatly informed the territorial feuds of Ilsabard. In ages past, the 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 fur most of the year, and the resources of the waters were available for only 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 befure 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 tnbes of northern llsabard. To raise themselves from this base existence, one town named itself the center, and the others were brought into the fold through negotiation and furce. 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 llsabard and annexed their lands. To expand its small al'lllf, 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 powerfitl with every victory.
As triumph fullowed triumph, the Garleans' respect fur Galvus grew, eventually transfurming into worship. In 1517, he was granted control of Garlemald as dictator by overwhelming popular snpport. The same year, the republic awcked Dalmasca, 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 llsabard. In 1522, this campaign ended in victory. Having unified the continent through force fur 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 llsabard 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 lire. Scholars believe this temble 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 fur 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