- Sharlayan Guide: The Nation of Scholars - September 1, 2022
- Alphinaud Guide: A Starring Scion - August 7, 2022
My favorite part of Final Fantasy XIV is its expansive and detailed world. Throughout the base game and its expansions, players are treated to traveling throughout numerous cities, nations, and cultures. Each is thoroughly fleshed out with its history, essential characters, political affiliations, and unique cultures.
This helps make adventuring worldwide feel more rewarding and realistic as players are exposed to so much variety. Throughout all of my adventures in the world of Eorzea, one of my absolute favorites is the City-State that we’re going to star in this Sharlayan guide.
Key Info Up Front
Type: CUs: Endwalker
Sharlayan is well-known as one of the most academic nations in Eorzea. It is ruled by a governing body known as the Forum, which comprises 99 officials. Their approach to foreign affairs is generally isolationist.
Not only do they rarely get involved with international politics and events, but they also covet the knowledge they’ve acquired. They are very careful to only release information that the Forum agrees is safe to be publicly available.
However, Sharlayans also have a massive distaste for war and conflict. The idea of using their amassed wealth of knowledge in service of developing military technologies or trying to win wars is terrible to them. Instead, they always try to diplomatically solve issues, even if it means giving up their lands or resources to preserve the peace.
The City-State of Sharlayan was founded after the Great Flood of the Sixth Umbral Calamity. It was founded by a mage named Nyunkrepf Nyunkrepfsyn, who foresaw the Great Flood and built an ark to save as many people as possible.
During the flood, the ark became stranded atop the mountains known as Gyr Abania. They stayed there, and when the floodwaters receded, they began building a new life there. Even this early in Sharlayan’s history, they were resistant to the concept of warfare and tried to make peace with other survivors nearby that threatened their safety there.
However, peace ended up being impossible, so Nyunkrepf led the people to the Orn Wild region in the northern Dravanian Hinterlands. They built ships and sailed further north, eventually founding the original Sharlayan on the Old World islands.
Years after its founding, a team of scholars traveled south from Sharlayan to build an educational outpost where researchers from all over the world could study. Within fifty years, the outpost grew enough to be considered an entire colony, allowing Sharlayan to join the six recognized city-states in Eorzea.
This helped the colony grow and expand in influence as students, scientists, and professors from across the world completed pilgrimages to study there. The golden age of the colony was only interrupted when the avarice of the Garlean Empire began encroaching nearby as they captured the city of Ala Mhigo.
The Sharlayans recognized the threat the Garleans posed to their pacifistic nature and love for learning. So, they sent dozens of envoys to try and arrange peace dealings with the Garleans, but all to no avail.
As their years of efforts to appease the Garlean Empire proved fruitless, the Sharlayans decided to abandon the colony and evacuate its citizens to their homeland instead. This was done in a single night, leaving the architecture and stone bones of the settlement as a haunting reminder of what it once was. However, not all Sharlayans were happy with this action and were led by Louisoix Leveilleur, who founded the Circle of Knowing to try and resist the Garlean Empire.
While Louisoix eventually gave his life to prevent the awakening of the primal Bahamut from damaging as much of the world as it otherwise would have, the Circle of Knowing continued. After the death of its leader, its remaining members founded the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, an order focused on guiding the people of the world to new achievements and sustainable efforts.
While the order attempted to establish communications with Sharlayan multiple times in the following years, the city-state refused on all occasions and stayed isolated in their northern land.
Even at the end of the Shadowbringers expansion, when evidence of a new coming of the Final Days was found, Sharlayan refused to intervene. The Forum even went so far as to reject the news it received and to label it as dangerous propaganda that was not based on any facts.
They routinely refused to assist the rest of the world as they watched it burn around them from the safety of their home island. Even Sharlayans who disagreed with the Forum’s decisions were barred from helping others under the threat of being labeled treasonous.
Sharlayan In Endwalker
The actions of the Forum at the end of Shadowbringers led to the Scions of the Seventh Dawn wanting to investigate exactly what was going on in Sharlayan. Shortly after arriving there, they uncovered evidence indicating that the Forum was funneling massive quantities of resources to its underground complex known as the Labyrinthos.
This seemingly told that they believed the Final Days were coming but opted to try and save themselves rather than helping the rest of the world try to prevent it from happening at all.
Before the Scions could uncover more information, however, they were captured by the Forum and questioned. In the end, their only punishment was being barred from investigating the Forum further under the threat of being exiled from the city if they did not obey.
One friendly member of the Forum named Montichaigne then revealed to the Scions that the Forum uses a magical enchantment that prevents its members from discussing its happenings or the duties of its members to anyone outside the Forum. This meant that the Scions had no hope of uncovering what was happening then and had to divert their attention elsewhere.
Later in the expansion, when the Scions travel to the moon, they discover more about the Forum’s plans. In a colony on the moon named Mare Lamentorum, the Scions found that the moon was a construct that was built by the goddess Hydaelyn and was meant to allow the people of Eorzea to escape to a new planet if the Final Days were to return.
When it was discovered a race of rabbit-folk called Loporrits was maintaining the construct. The Scions were able to investigate the dealings of the Loporrits further, revealing that the Forum was paying them to maintain the construct so that they could escape Eorzea with all of its accumulated knowledge.
With that knowledge, the Scions returned to Sharlayan only to discover that the Forum was announcing its belief in the Final Days. They revealed that they had managed to connect with Hydaelyn, who had told them of its coming and allowed them to prepare to flee using the construct on the moon.
The Forum decreed that it would continue gathering supplies and resources for the success of its mission and extended invitations to many of the ruling families in other nations to accompany them to re-found their societies on a new planet.
Instead of opposing the Forum’s plans to abandon the weak and poor to suffer the apocalypse on their own, the Scions offered to help them complete their ship to go to the moon. The Forum accepted their help but did not realize that they were being tricked as the Scions planned on stealing the ship and flying it to the origin point of the Final Days, known as Ultima Thule. The Scions’ plan eventually succeeded, allowing them to save the Source and prevent any future Final Days from occurring.
While the Scions expected Sharlayan to be angered at the betrayal, the Forum celebrated their success alongside the other nations of Eorzea. With the Final Days averted, they joined the effort to repair and rebuild the Source alongside the other countries.
This is because it was revealed that their hoarding of knowledge and isolation politics were motivated by their attempt to preserve that knowledge during the Final Days. With the cataclysmic event prevented, they saw no reason to keep their knowledge and abilities from the wider world any longer.
The Forum is the ruling body of Sharlayan. When Nyunkrepf Nyunkrepfsyn founded Sharlayan, its government was designed to allow every member of Sharlayan society the opportunity to have a voice in the city-states policies and rulings. This worked well for a time, but as the city-state grew the time it took to reach any agreement or decision took a paralyzing length of time that completely debilitated the government.
To solve this problem, the Forum was created. It was decided that it would be comprised of 99 members representing various poltiical parties and were voted on by their peers to rule. Early in its conception, the Forum even met in a public place that allowed any citizen or concerned individual to attend the meetings and keep an eye on its decisions and processes.
At the time of Final Fantasy XIV, the Forum is dominated by the political party known as the Bibliothec. The party runs on a platform of hoarding knowledge and staying out of foreign politics and events. They have ruled Sharlayan for most of the Forum’s lifespan, which has made them extremely difficult to defeat politically, as they hold majority support amongst Sharlayans.
There are still a few other political parties that have minority representation in the Forum, and they are known to vehemently push back against the policies of the Bibliothec party. However, they are far too small of a minority to impact the governing body’s decisions.
Notable Forum members at the time of Final Fantasy XIV include:
- Fourchenault Leveilleur
Circle of Knowing
The Circle of Knowing was a group of twelve scholars Louisoix Leveilleur founded after Sharlayan abandoned its colony to the Garlean Empire. The Circle was created to go against the Forum’s decision to avoid intervening in the aggressive expansion of the Garleans and the Umbral Calamity it foreshadowed.
Ultimately the group was largely successful. They saved countless lives by assisting in battles, leading evacuation efforts, and even in the nascent formation of the Grand Companies.
However, the Circle of Knowing was no more after Louisoix sacrificed his life to hamper the destructive force released by the awakening of the elite primal Bahamut. Instead, the remaining members went on to found the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to continue their work. The members of the Circle of Knowing were:
- Louisoix Levellieur
- Y’shtola Rhul
- Yda Hext
- Papalymo Totolymo
- Thancred Waters
- Urianger Augurelt
- Moenbryda Wilfsunnwyn
- Rammbroes Zasertylsyn
Sons of Saint Coinach
The Sons of Saint Coinach are a group of scholars and archaeologists primarily interested in uncovering the artifacts and secrets of the Allag. They are named after Saint Coinach, who was responsible for proving that the ancient Allag were more than mere myth.
Their operations are performed from a research camp formed in Mor Dhona to investigate the Crystal Tower. They also play a role in the job quests for Summoners. Their small membership includes:
- Cid nan Garlond
- y’mhitra Rhul
- Koh Rabntah
Students of Baldesion
Another group of scholars, the Students of Baldesion, are houses on a small island near Sharlayan named the Isle of Val. The scholars that make up its membership are primarily interested in investigating the Umbral Calamities and arcane mysteries across Eorzea and Ascians.
Their information is often offered to the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to assist them in their efforts, and the two factions frequently work closely together.
However, during the primary campaign for A Realm Reborn, the Isle of Val disappears, with only one survivor revealed during Heavensward. The Stormblood expansion shows that the island appeared on the opposite side of the world. There, it was renamed Eureka, and an investigation was carried out to uncover what had happened and why.
It is learned that the event that killed all but two members of the group and transported the island was performed by its founder to prevent the Ascian Emmerololth from reaching a primal named Eureka.
However, the order was re-founded in Sharlayan by Krile Baldesion. After the Final Days are averted, the effort to re-found the group is continued, and they are eventually tasked with investigating the strange realm that appears in Mor Dhona. Notable members of the Students of Balesion include:
- Galuf Baldesion
- krile Baldesion
- G’raha Tia
- Ejika Tsunjika
- Ojika Tsunjika
Alisaie and her twin brother are both members of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. They are descendants of Sharlayan’s founder Louisoix Leveilleur and their father still rules the city-state as part of the Forum.
She is an Arcanist and Red Mage that works alongside the Warrior of Light frequently throughout the base game and its expansions. However, she is not as involved in the Scions of the Seventh Dawn as most of its members and can frequently be found on her missions.
The twin brother of Alisaie, Alphinaud, is also a member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn. However, he is much more involved in the group’s activities. He frequently appears alongside the player to help them and is eventually thought of as the group’s leader. He can be a Sage, Academician, and Arcanist depending on which expansion the player is currently playing.
Ameliance is the mother of Alisaie and Alhpinaud and appears during Endwalker as an NPC character. She was born in Sharlayan and studied there astutely, which is how she met her eventual husband, Fourchenault Leveilleur.
While she has always remained faithful and supportive of her husband, she also has been very supportive of her children even when he didn’t wish her to be. Not only did she provide funding for the founding of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, but she also secretly met with the Warrior of Light and the twins after the Forum caught them.
The final member of the Leveilleur family, Fourchenault, has a very strained relationship with his children. He largely disapproves of their actions as part of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and wishes they would follow in his stead as a leading individuals of Sharlayan. When the twins sent letters home, he even went so far as never to respond and only had Ameliance write back. Fourchenault also played a key role in Sharlayan’s history, such as being a key planner for the evacuation of the colony to appease the Garlean Empire.
During Endwalker, however, it was revealed that he still cared about his children even if he didn’t show it. Their relationship started being repaired when the Scions helped Sharlayan build their ship, and he wasn’t even mad at their eventual betrayal. When the Scions return from preventing the Final Days, Fourchenault is even seen letting out a sigh of relief after anxiously waiting for their return with his wife.
Erenville is a Viera hired by the Forum to gather agricultural data across Eorzea. He focuses on gathering information about geological elements, plant compositions, and the need to grow and sustain crops worldwide. Erenville is also the first male Viera that players interact with during the expansion’s main questline.
The founder of the Students of Baldesion, Galuf, is an astute scholar widely respected and beloved throughout Eorzea. After discovering the primals in his youth, he used his vast fortune to establish numerous research facilities focused on protecting the world from significant threats and devastating events.
He always held a deep respect for the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and was known to work alongside them frequently. He eventually gave his life and those of many of his followers to prevent one primal from rising.
G’raha Tia is a member of the students of Baldesion that has a secret royal lineage. He eventually comes into great power through the Crystal Tower and plays a vital role in Shadowbringer’s expansion. Afterward, he helps the Scions prevent the Final Days during Endwalker and eventually joins the order officially.
Graham is one of the more frequent companions that players travel with and has become beloved by the fanbase for his fun-loving nature and captivating character arc.
Krile Mayer Baldesion
The adoptive daughter of Galuf, Krile, worked alongside her father as a diligent member of the Students of Baldesion. When the Isle of Val mysteriously disappeared she was the first survivor found and was revealed to have been saved by the goddess Hydaelyn.
She frequently operated in conjunction with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and assisted them in any way she could. Eventually, she returned to Sharlayan and sought to restore the Students of Baldesion to carry on her father’s legacy.
Leveva is most notably an Astrologian who wishes to share her craft’s secrets with other factions across Eorzea. However, the restrictive leadership of Sharlayan put multiple roadblocks in her way to preventing this.
Despite this, she eventually managed to find a way around the restrictions. She traveled outside the reclusive city-state to spread her knowledge to others, leading to the popularization of Astrologians.
Louisoix was the founder of Sharlayan that saved its people from the Sixth Umbral Event. He is known to have been a mighty Sage, and his distaste for violence still inspires the current foreign policy of Sharlayan. His love for knowledge and its preservation laid the bedrock on which nearly all of Sharlayan was founded. His original vision was one of the most progressive and equal of any Eorzean ruler.
Matoya is a witch that was famously a rival of Louisoix Leveilleur. She was a prophetic student in Sharlayan’s colony and was highly respected. When the advancement of the Garlean Empire became a concern, she developed a repelling device to help stave off invaders, but its use was denied as it was deemed too violent.
This angered Matoya, who sealed all of her research notes and knowledge in a tome and hid it in the most restricted section of the Great Gubal Library. She then retreated into a cave where she stayed when the rest of the colony evacuated to the homeland.
Mikoto Jinba is a quiet and respectful Archon in Sharlayan whose identical twin sister went missing years before the player’s first interaction with her. She specializes in studying Auracite and works closely with the Scions of the Seventh Dawn to help them in multiple instances.
Moenbryda is a member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn that hails from Sharlayan. She is a Marauder that grew up with an endless hunger for knowledge.
She eventually took to Aerthic study and joined the Circle of Knowing under the tutelage of Louisoix Leveilleur. Finally, she gives her life to allow the Warrior of Light to forge a blade capable of killing Nabriales.
Papamoa is a Thaumaturge member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn and is most often found with his partner Yda. He is well-known for his impeccable manners and is well regarded as a capable member of the Scions.
Not only does he risk his life to buy the Scions opportunities to escape in times of great danger, but he also secretly investigates the false claim that the Scions committed regicide in Heavensward.
Eventually, Paplymo gives his life in service of the Scions, although during Endwalker, his soul still appears to help defend the Scions when they commune with Hydaelyn.
Rammbroes is a dedicated member of the Sons of Saint Coach and is the head of investigating the elusive Crystal Tower. He is known to have studied in Sharlayan and was once a member of the Circle of Knowing before dedicating his efforts to researching the finds in Mor Dhona.
Sevestre Albright is a member of the Forum associated with the Bibliothecs political party. He is a powerful Astrologian and serves as the primary antagonist of the Astrologian Job Questline
However, he has not seen any consequences for his actions and likely never will since he is such an influential part of Sharlayan’s ruling body.
Urianger is a member of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn that frequently appears throughout the main questlines of the base game and its expansions. He is a powerful Arcanist, Astrologian, and Lithomancer capable enough to embark on his own quests while the rest of the Scions work together toward another goal. However, in times of great need, he fights alongside the Warrior of Light and others.
Y’shtola Rhul is a previous member of the Circle of Knowing that helps the player early on in A Realm Reborn. She is competent on her own and is a powerful Conjurer and Sorceress that eventually joins the Scions of the Seventh Dawn after helping the Warrior of Light in numerous moments. She has become one of the most iconic characters from Final Fantasy XIV and appeared in a handful of other spin-offs and cross-overs.
Question: How do I get to the Sharlayan Diadema?
Answer: To gain access to the Sharlayan Diadema, you must first raise every zone’s FATE to the max rank of three.
Question: What is Sharlayan FFXIV?
Answer: Sharlayan is a city-state nation that is focused on scholarly pursuits. It does not like getting involved in foreign affairs or violence of any kind but is well respected by scholars and artisans everywhere.
Question: Is Yshtola a Sharlayan?
Answer: Yshtola was born in the Sharlayan colony in the northern Dravanian Hinterlands. So, she is considered Sharlayan despite not being born and raised in its homeland.
The nation of Sharlayan is an exciting one for me. It has such an intricate balance of incredible achievements, frustrating dogma, and reclusive politics that it plays a unique and exciting role in the world events of Eorzea. It is a shame that it isn’t featured more in the game leading up to Endwalker, but that makes it all the more exciting and rewarding to reach it finally.