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Reaper

Ishgard - Current Hardships & Military

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Hello again, everyone!

 

This time I'm actually posting in the right forum. Without further adieu, I intend to RP an Ishgardian. A lot of the other city states' lore and recent histories are found out in the early game.
https://ffxiv-roleplayers.com/showthread.php?tid=18282&pid=280561
I found this link along with all the links Sounsyy posted at the bottom which I aim to read through, but none of them seemed to be geared to a brief overview of the recent history and current hardships facing Ishgard that every Ishgardian would be intimately familiar with. As such, I'm trying to get a somewhat compiled list of recent knowledge/hardships every Ishgardian would be experiencing or have recently experienced. I'm also hoping to better understand the standard Ishgardian military fighter (especially learning what the heck a Chirurgeon actually does).

 

Old to New History 

They've been at war with dragonkind for 800 years. Only recently (HW Spoiler) 

Spoiler

has the idea of talking to a dragon been legalized, and even then the primary/largest faction of dragons still detests Ishgard. Niddhogg seems to be a constantly reviving threat to Ishgard, though as a result of recent events he is likely gone for good this time it would seem.

Despite that, the Horde yet remains. 

Spoiler

Due to the combined force of Ishgard with the WoL and the Eorzean Alliance, they seem to have halted the Horde in its tracks and routed them. Still, I want to clarify, though the Horde is battered, bruised, and torn - it still exists as a clear and present danger to Ishgardians, correct?

Calamity

Previously, Coerthas was a beautiful countryside with both green and mountains in equal amounts. Ever since the Calamity at the end of 1.0 (which was 5 years ago as of time of posting), however, much of Coerthas has become difficult to traverse (some of the regions before are no longer accessible). It seems to be covered under an eternal winter, under which many of the local denizens have suffered.

I was not around for 1.0, so I am not entirely certain what happened in the Calamity to cause Coerthas to suddenly become a frozen hell. My guess would be it's due to ice-aspected aether becoming prominent after the fire-aspected primal Bahamut was dealt with, but that's speculation. Clarification would be appreciated if anyone knows what is actually happening to cause this!

The Calamity bringing ice and snow brought a new list of problems to Ishgard's people and government, and resulted in mass casualties and the loss of entire garrisons (as indicated in the dungeon where we clear out a garrison of snowed in soldiers).

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Botanist Spoilers Below (ARR + Heavensward)

Spoiler

Ishgard uses vast quantities of lumber in the construction and rebuilding of its structures as a result of constant warfare with fire-breathing dragons, to the point the region is running out of trees to assist with construction, as indicated in the botanist ARR level 50 quest chain. Furthermore, as is in the Botanist quest chain in Heavensward, the sudden climate change has made growing crops difficult which has lead to importing food. They are trying to get to a self-sustaining point again by learning to grow crops in the snow it seems (I have not completed the quest chain and don't know if they succeed, but I don't care about spoilers - please spoil away for this!).

Being as starvation is a great motivator, I would assume as per a related post I read they import a significant amount of it since much of their farmlands were demolished by the Calamity.

 

Trade 

They seem to have an iron grip on the chocobo trade. I know other nations have chocobos, but is it confirmed whether or not they're imported from Ishgard? I'm namely trying to determine what Ishgard's primary exports would be aside from snow and faith. I would appreciate knowledge about the chocobo trade, as well as any other exports they handle. If Chocobos are their only export and other nations already have them in large enough quantities, I would imagine getting what they need by trade would be difficult.

 

Government And Eorzean Alliance (Spoiler heavy for Heavensward, read at your own risk!)

Spoiler

Due to recent events, the government has changed from a theocracy to a republic with a House of Nobles & House of Commons. This change has resulted in an improvement in the quality of living for the commonfolk of the city-state. Furthermore, they have joined the Eorzean Alliance. To that end, they are contributing military support primarily in the form of knights (including Dragoons), machinists (for both their militant prowess and knowledge of magitek), and chirurgeons (not observed, but a general part of any Ishgardian detachment) to the Eorzean Alliance. Despite the recent discoveries, the church retains a position of grand power over the faithful populace, though no longer holds any legal sway outside of what it can convince representatives in the House of Nobles & Commons to do out of faith. While decrying someone as a heretic still may result in an execution by the Temple Knights, the threshold for heresy has somewhat changed as now it is permissible to speak to dragons (though still perhaps socially unacceptable - people don't change their entire belief systems overnight!). As the church no longer holds formal power, what are the roles of inquisitors in the modern city-state of Ishgard? I should also ask, the House of Nobles is certainly filled with members of the Four Great Houses and minor nobility, but who speaks in the House of Commons? More nobles, or elected officials from the populace? Also, is it confirmed which House has more power, or which House has power over the military/war?

 

Outsiders 

Given all of the recent events, are outsiders now permitted within Ishgard without the approval of a Great House?

 

Military 

Their modernized military consists of knights (powerful religious melee combatants, seemingly less cavalry based than their real life counterpart), chirurgeons, and machinists.

Knighthood, however, requires being knighted after undergoing training as a squire which seems to cover a large variety of topics from learning how to fight, to learning how to take care of one's own food-based needs in the field, to maintaining armor/weapons, and chivalric code.

Chirurgeons are their healers and in-game use the Conjurer weapon and class, though canonically they're not the same at all. I've heard mixed reviews as to whether they're simple non-magical doctors, or whether they're simplistic holy casters. If anyone has definitive lore on this (non-magic vs. magic healing, as well as if it is magical what school it is [elemental, holy, something else, how does it function?]) I would appreciate it!
Machinists are their specialists who are used in the field behind Knights. These are the most recent addition to the Ishgardian lines, only arriving in 3.0 (2-3 years ago canonically, right?). I have another entire post on these elsewhere, so I think I'm good on Machinists lore for now (thanks Sounsyy & Valence!).

Based on this, I should ask - are all of their front line soldiers knights/squires, or do they incorporate non-knight front line soldiers into their midst?

 

Summary (As I Understand It)

In short, they are dealing with a recent political upheaval, changes to their church's beliefs (which in a theocracy would be massive - it would be similar to the separation of Martin Luther from the Catholic church during the Reformation IRL), starvation, lack of building materials, a top-heavy economy (nobles appear to be fairly wealthy, the peasant populace on the other hand requires handouts to even get everyone blankets and food), needing trade to get basic needs (which isn't necessarily a hardship, but if trade were ever disrupted it would have drastic effects on their way of life so it makes them vulnerable), 
Even now, their military system of knights and squires is financed heavily by the four Great houses who control trade and the greater part of the economy, which ensures stability but also stagnancy in social status in spite of personal successes.

 

Please, post comments, questions, ideas, and thoughts! I'm very interested in other people's opinions and ideas

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Edited by Reaper
Fixed my spoiler tags

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You may find some useful information in this thread too! (As a heads up, I'm not sure how much longer we can keep the old site's links up and running as more parts of it beyond just the forum software are going end of life/support and won't be getting security patches. Sounsyy's working on getting these all ported over to the tumblr lore index, which is more up to date than the RPC thread)

 

https://ffxiv-roleplayers.com/mybb/showthread.php?tid=15938&pid=253663#pid253663

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First and foremost, I'm going to suggest checking out this massive compilation of everything Ishgard. This isn't mine, it's made by Tumblr user Hasty Touch, but it's fantastically thorough for everything pertaining to Ishgard. CTRL+F strongly advised. 

 

>>Ishgard Lore Doc by Hasty Touch<<

 

Overall, you seem to have done a lot of research already and you've got most everything reasoned out as well as some of it can be. I'll try to fill in on some of your questions. To preface most of my responses, so I don't have to say it every time, there's a good chance that we will get more information on how the "Republic of Ishgard" is doing in the upcoming expansion when DoH/L will be rebuilding the city-state. 

On 11/29/2018 at 6:34 PM, Reaper said:

Still, I want to clarify, though the Horde is battered, bruised, and torn - it still exists as a clear and present danger to Ishgardians, correct?

For all intents and purposes, Nidhogg and the Horde are defeated. The Dragonsong War is over as of the start of Stormblood. Are there still remnant dragons of Nidhogg's Brood who still wish for blood? Maybe. But they're not actively attacking Ishgard anymore. 

On 11/29/2018 at 6:34 PM, Reaper said:

I was not around for 1.0, so I am not entirely certain what happened in the Calamity to cause Coerthas to suddenly become a frozen hell. My guess would be it's due to ice-aspected aether becoming prominent after the fire-aspected primal Bahamut was dealt with, but that's speculation. Clarification would be appreciated if anyone knows what is actually happening to cause this!

An overabundance of ice-aspected aether, yes. Due to fire-aspected primal, no. This most recent Calamity was actually Light-aspected. We aren't sure why exactly Coerthas was struck with an eternal blizzard, but it's not uncommon at all for entire regions to change drastically in the wake of an Umbral Calamity due to a violent shift in aetherial aspect. Thanalan, for instance, was not always a desert. After the 3rd Umbral Calamity (fire aspected) the once lush grasslands of the Sagolii and Thanalan dried out and became a desert and have remained that way for the last 6,000 years or so. After the War of the Magi and the Great Flood 1600 years ago, the realm's aetherial flow was wildly out of control, giving rise to unstable weather patterns, which is why the survivors of Amdapor and Mhach built the Ziggurat to attempt to still the writhing aether in the area. If the arcane knowledge of that era hadn't been wiped out by several centuries of witch hunts in the early 6th Astral Era, maybe we could repeat the process to fix Coerthas. Alas.

On 11/29/2018 at 6:34 PM, Reaper said:

They seem to have an iron grip on the chocobo trade. I know other nations have chocobos, but is it confirmed whether or not they're imported from Ishgard? I'm namely trying to determine what Ishgard's primary exports would be aside from snow and faith. I would appreciate knowledge about the chocobo trade, as well as any other exports they handle.

-Chocobo Lore

All (or most all) chocobos in Eorzea are of Ishgardian stock. For years they've held a monopoly on the chocobo trade by only exporting male chocobos to other nations. However, since the Calamity, some female chocobos were able to be extracted from Ishgard and soon after a new, albeit smaller, chocobo industry began in Gridania. As for other Ishgardian exports... there's really not a lot of lore on that, because Ishgard hasn't been exporting much since they closed their borders 14~15 years ago. However, before that they used to export a lot of metals like steel, mythril, and furite to Limsa Lominsa. When they closed their borders, the Lominsans were forced to instead trade with Amajina & Sons Mineral Concern in Ul'dah. To Ul'dah, Ishgard used to export savage beasts from the northern regions for gladiatorial bloodsport. (The Ishgardians are actually pretty huge fans of gladiator culture/garb.) The Ishgardians also used to export alpine lumber, but that also seems to have fallen by the wayside as their needs have become so much more desperate. Most of their other trade has been imports. Vast quantities of imports, and because of this massive loss of economic self-sufficiency, the worth of gil internally in the region has plummeted. Most Ishgardians prefer bartering to coin now.

 

Colson: “The tight-fisted 'Fells o'er at Amajina an’ Sons ain’t no friends of ours. Still, don’t go raisin’ their hackles, whatever ye do. Since th’ kobolds stopped allowin’ us into th’ Giwamo Dustmines, an’ th’ priestlies up in Ishgard shut their gates, we’ve been forced to scrounge fer most of our ore in Ul'dah. If anythin’ was t’ turn them buggers against us too, our guild’d be ruined.”

Finecco Romanecco: “Used to be we’d have all manner of beast shipped down from the mountains to the north. Trade with Ishgard ain’t what it was, though. I’d like nothing more than to see things go back to the way they were, but it seems less likely with each passing moon.”

I'll Swap You: "Gil has quite lost its value in some parts of Coerthas, where winter is king and warmth the only coin of the realm. Bartering is the preferred method of commerce, and well-made doublets buy three times their own worth in wool grease."

Encyclopedia Eorzea - Ishgardian Industries: "Hunting & Trapping: While the highborn have enjoyed hunting as recreation for generations, in recent times many Ishgardians have turned to such activities to earn a living, as the colder temperatures brought about by the Calamity have seen an increase in the demand for furs, as well as wild chocobos."

On 11/29/2018 at 6:34 PM, Reaper said:

As the church no longer holds formal power, what are the roles of inquisitors in the modern city-state of Ishgard? I should also ask, the House of Nobles is certainly filled with members of the Four Great Houses and minor nobility, but who speaks in the House of Commons? More nobles, or elected officials from the populace? Also, is it confirmed which House has more power, or which House has power over the military/war?

The new Republic "envisions a more strict separation of church and state" so yes, the Halonic Church has lost a lot of its political influence for now. Meaning that the Inquisition, too, has had to redefine their role in the new system. However, we're not quite sure what that role is. The Inquisition was never strictly overseen or check/balanced by other institutions, and they still seem to be attempting to continue their duties even in this in-between state of rewriting the Church is currently undergoing. So can they still be a danger? Yes. Heresy is likely still a thing, but its definition has gotten more vague. That might mean fewer deaths, it might mean more. 

 

The name of the person who leads the House of Commons is unknown, but Aymeric mentions them. This quote actually answers your next question about power and who has power over military. The answer is that they share that power and must be in agreement on how to use it. For important issues, a full assembly of both House of Lords and House of Commons is called. However, for smaller issues it seems the leader of the House of Lords (Aymeric) and the leader of the House of Commons (currently unnamed) can get together for an expedient decision. 

 

Aymeric: "I thank you for bringing these developments in Ala Mhigo to our attention. Ishgard will of course send an envoy to attend the council in Gridania. I cannot say who will represent us, however, as the choice is not mine to make─not mine alone, at any rate.Given the imminence of the threat, we may forgo the formalities of a full assembly, but I will still need to consult my counterpart in the House of Commons prior to proceeding. Will you permit me some time to make the necessary arrangements?"

 

As for who makes up the members of the House of Lords and House of Commons, it seems to be by Nomination. Aymeric wanted to step down from politics but his name was thrown forward to be a member of the House of Lords. He eventually relented. There's also an NPC in the Brume who admits he doesn't think he's a good nomination for the House of Commons but he'll do his best to do good by the lowborn.

 

From the Memoirs of Count Edmont de Fortemps: "Following the battle with Nidhogg on the Steps of Faith, Ser Aymeric called an assembly that he might make his final proclamation as acting head of state. 'Twas there, with one decree, that the thousand-year rule of the archbishops was ended, paving the way for a new republic. The governance of Ishgard would now be placed in the hands of high- and lowborn alike, their ranks represented by the newly founded House of Lords and House of Commons. Church was separated from state. The foundation for change had been carefully laid, and the reforms proposed by Ishgard's new government passed into law without incident. His duty done, Aymeric de Borel gladly stepped down from the archbishop's dais... only to be raised unto the highest seat in the House of Lords. Though he strove at first to refuse this honor, the unexpectedly strident voice of the Count de Durendaire left him little choice but to accept... And so it was that the winds of gentle revolution came to stir. Prominent among the many honored guests at Ser Aymeric's investiture were the ambassadors of dragonkind, a fitting symbol of Ishgard's newfound peace. The people looked on in awe as he soared through the heavens on dragonback, and by their cheers did they hail him an Azure Dragoon for a new age. Thus were the notes of the Dragonsong rewritten, the din of war giving way to a rising litany of peace and hope."

Gerraldieux Cistault: "I do not think myself well suited to the House of Commons, but mayhap I can effect some good nonetheless."

On 11/29/2018 at 6:34 PM, Reaper said:

Given all of the recent events, are outsiders now permitted within Ishgard without the approval of a Great House?

Yes! Ishgard reopened its gates to the outside world and trade is beginning to start anew. However, as I said at the start, we will very likely only learn some of the long-term effects of this in great detail when 5.0's Ishgard Reconstruction effort begins. 

On 11/29/2018 at 6:34 PM, Reaper said:

Their modernized military consists of knights (powerful religious melee combatants, seemingly less cavalry based than their real life counterpart), chirurgeons, and machinists.

There are mounted Chocobo Knights! Ishgard is pretty famous for them, even if they don't make as much appearance in HW as they did in 1.0. They're there. Definitely talk to some of the NPCs around the Holy Stables and the Lightfeather Proving Grounds.

On 11/29/2018 at 6:34 PM, Reaper said:

Chirurgeons are their healers and in-game use the Conjurer weapon and class, though canonically they're not the same at all. I've heard mixed reviews as to whether they're simple non-magical doctors, or whether they're simplistic holy casters. If anyone has definitive lore on this (non-magic vs. magic healing, as well as if it is magical what school it is [elemental, holy, something else, how does it function?]) I would appreciate it!

You can learn all about Magical vs Non-magical healing and the Temple Knights' Hospitaliers and Chirurgeons here!

To answer your question though, they're both magical and non-magical healers. Ishgard does also teach conjury, however, Ishgardian conjury differs from Gridanian conjury in terms of religious connections, obviously, but the magic itself is similar enough. Conjury is always elemental magic - they draw aether from their surroundings and, through meditation, mold it into the desired elemental aspect and spell. Gridanians hold a spiritual, near religious, reverence towards nature. Nature is given life by the elementals, who Gridanians believe to be the spiritual embodiment of Nophica. So nature = elemental = pieces of Nophica. Ishgard, however, worships Halone and their magicks (conjury, thaumaturgy, astrology, and now arcanima to some small degree) are taught through the lens of the Halonic scripture.

On 11/29/2018 at 6:34 PM, Reaper said:

[Machinists] are the most recent addition to the Ishgardian lines, only arriving in 3.0 (2-3 years ago canonically, right?).

Ishgard actually does have a history of using firearms and cannons produced by Haillenarte's Manufactory as far back as the Year 1483. However, pistols and handheld firearms never really caught on and fell into disuse. When Stephanivien de Haillenarte assumed (unofficial) control over the Skysteel Manufactory, he began reaching out to foreign organizations, namely the Garlond Ironworks, to implement magitek technology into new Ishgardian aetherology to create Machinistry. When exactly machinistry came into existence isn't known, however, they did not officially become a recognized part of Ishgard's military until the events of the MCH storyline in 3.0. The 3.0 Heavensward story occurs less than 1 year ago, for clarification. 

On 11/29/2018 at 6:34 PM, Reaper said:

are all of their front line soldiers knights/squires, or do they incorporate non-knight front line soldiers into their midst?

The majority of Ishgard's military fall under the massive umbrella of the Temple Knights. So yes, most all of Ishgard's frontline footsoldiers can be described as "knights/squires". That said, Temple Knight is a very broad term under which a wide variety of martial disciplines fall, including archers, lances, swords, (very rarely a Fortemps pugilist), etc. The Temple Knights Hospitaliers (healers) are also on the frontlines where the fighting is thickest, and many are killed as a result. 

 

It’s the Circlet of Life (L): “The greenest field chirurgeons have completed their training and will soon depart Ishgard to join the front lines of battle alongside the Temple Knights. In order to commemorate their first time in the field, I would have you craft them circlets so that if their first mission proves their last (as is the case with most), at least their families will remember them in their finest.”

 

 

I think that's everything! Hope this helps!

Edited by Sounsyy

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@Sounsyy

Thanks again for all the help. I've started RPing my character now that I've brushed up on the lore.

 

Quick question though, can Ishgardian Temple Knight Chirurgeons become full-fledged knights, or are they purely an auxiliary rank?

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