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The Invasion of Othard


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I was recently involved in a debate regarding the recent history of the Othard Steppes under Garlean rule.  One party held that since Othard was originally invaded and conquered some fifty years ago, the only way for the Xaela to have any knowledge of their culture was to have fought a lifelong guerilla war against the Garleans, moving their tribes and fighting for survival until the Doman rebellion forced the Garleans' hand and they were finally forced out.


The other party held that since there's no lore describing the Xaela's interations with the Empire, the only reasonable explanation is that Garlemald circumvented the whole of the Steppes solely to conquer Doma, and that all of the savage Xaela lived in total ignorance of Garlemald's conquest until the aftermath of the Doman rebellion.


It was suggested that the two attempt to reconcile this with the fact that Othard is invariably huge, and the tribes may have each had very different experiences as far apart as they were.  Unfortunately, one party couldn't abide this divide and left.


What are the thoughts on this?  The concern of the party that left is the massive fracture such assumptions would cause within the community.  However, this isn't something that can be ignored, since a large part of refugee roleplay is their experience in Othard.  Does it make sense that the Xaela fought a lifelong war against their oppressors, or were they blissfully ignorant, brutally fighting one another the entire time?  Or should we just say that everyone had different experiences, and accept the fracture as not being harmful?

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Neither side of the argument is right per say. The truth is that it's somewhere closer to the middle ground. Garlemald has conquered the whole of Othard, every nation, region, and territory. However, the majority of Garlean occupation does not equate to a violent, tyrannical rule that one might expect given the harsh treatment we witness in Ala Mhigo, Doma, or even Eorzea. Garlemald does not topple governments or institutions already in place and, for the most part, allows conquered territories to exist much as they had before so long as they submit to Garlean rule willingly. It wasn't until Doma rebelled, seeking to take advantage of Garlemald's ongoing War of Succession as a distraction, that the Empire set an example of Doma for the other territories.


For many years' date=' my nation, Doma, suffered under the yoke of imperial rule, and my people yearned to be free. Thus, when a war of succession broke out in Garlemald, we sought to take advantage of the chaos and reclaim our liberty. Alas, our enemy proved less preoccupied than we had hoped, and our rebellion was put down in the most brutal fashion.[/quote']


The new imperial army, now swelling with the might of countless assimilated nations, methodically subjugates the eastern continent of Othard and the remaining lands of Ilsabard, welcoming those nations willing to bow to imperial rule, while erasing those which refuse the Garlean standard.


With two of the three great continents now under its control, the Garlean Empire sets its sights on Aldenard, and in the year 1557, sends the XIVth legion to conquer Ala Mhigo in the first step to bring Eorzea's people under imperial rule. The Garlean Empire renames the conquered city-state and the surrounding lands of Gyr Abania to the Ala Mhigan Territory.


One nation after the next fell before their relentless onslaught' date=' first those of the northlands, followed by the sovereign states of the eastern continent, Othard. Employing suppression and conciliation in equal measure, Garlemald indoctrinated the peoples it conquered, thus integrating them into its ever-expanding territory. So it was that the Garlean Empire came into existence.[/quote']



That said, both sides of the debate have valid arguments. Are the Xaela tribes guerrilla fighting the Empire? Maybe. There isn't much lore about the Xaela's interactions with the Empire with the exception of Sidurgu's tribe who fled Othard roughly 25 years ago to escape the Empire and were subsequently slaughtered by Ishgardians. This kind of gets discussed in this thread on Othard's occupation.


Seeing as how lore is thin in the area, my theory is that many of the tribes have not put up large resistance against the Empire since the initial fall. Seeing as how the Xaelan tribes are small, nomadic, and largely spread out across the Othardian continent, Garlemald likely does not have the resources to control the comings and goings of the many tribes. So long as they do not pose a serious threat, the Garleans really have no reason to try.


But again, this could vary widely based on the tribes. A tribe like the Jungid or Kharlu who are more aggressive or warlike would likely not willingly bow to the Empire and may hamper nearby castrums with guerrilla strikes. Conversely you have more peaceful tribes like the Bairon or even less nomadic tribes such as the Uyagir who would likely not have the means or desire to resist the Empire directly and may have accepted Garlean rule of their lands.


We do know that during the early years of Garlemald's invasion of Othard, the tribes summoned an unknown primal. However, Garlemald was eventually able to defeat this entity and then sweep through Othard mostly unhindered. It could've been that once the tribes saw their gods defeated by the Empire, they may have lost much of their will to fight.


Hope this helps! ^^ Lemme know if you have more questions!

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That's a very well-thought stance and very much in line with how I play my character and his tribe.  Especially since the Malqir roamed the western Steppes, which borders Ilsabard.  Do you think maintaining that stance in roleplay seriously impacts the roleplay of those in one of the other camps, particularly one that assumes no contact from the Empire until two years ago?  Should we be more mindful of that in our interactions?  Not that I force it down anyone's throat to begin with.

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Given what we do know, I find it a ridiculous that anyone would think that Othard could be invaded by an outside force and occupied for fifty some odd years without the vast majority of people there knowing about it. That the entire Xaela population could be oblivious to such a thing is outlandish. There is simply no way that this could have gone completely unnoticed by everyone until two years ago.


Word of the situation in Doma would have spread pretty fast. Several tribes are described in established lore as having had direct contact with Doma and the Raen and we know a lot of tribes had interactions with each other. So how anyone would go fifty entire years in the dark let alone everyone, just carrying on oblivious like nothing ever happened is well beyond my understanding.


As to whether Xaela seriously contended with and opposed the Garleans is anyone's guess (though as mentioned above there is more lore to support it than there is otherwise), but I would imagine given how eager they were to fight one another, that fighting Garleans would be pretty common. It seems reasonable that certain individual tribes would have skirmishes with the Garleans over resources and territory just as they would have skirmishes with another tribe.


One does not simply walk into Othard, not even the actual people of Othard. :P


Regardless, I would probably just go with the third suggestion. That way everyone can still have a good time and story doesn't suffer. It seems silly to me that anyone should stop having fun because they read something differently or misinterpreted the available information and are unwilling to compromise.

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