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Aurelius

Garlean Pure-blood Questions

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Posted (edited)

I'm a bit of an old hand at role-playing in other mediums, not to mention a major lore buff when it comes to Final Fantasy XIV. Unsurprisingly if going off the title of this thread my preferred character is intended as a Garlean pure-blood, albeit one modified to possess aether manipulating capabilities at the cost of some sanity. As such, I've a few questions I'd like to ask the role-playing community at large:

 

1.) Is there a general consensus on where a Garlean's physical capabilities would fall relative to other intelligent races? Nothing in the lore that I've seen directly confirms uncharacteristically high physical parameters as a racial characteristic, but there are some rather notable instances of their physical capabilities being /implied/ to far outstrip that of the other races.

 

2.) How likely would a Garlean pure-blood expatriate be to even be accepted in Eorzea at all? In particular one whose expatriation was less a function of doing the right thing and more a function of escaping before he could be torn apart to further their experiments. 

 

3.) Do we have any confirmation as of yet on what that third eye actually does? All I've ever found is speculation. The few in-game NPCs that commented on it (some of which no longer exist) were Eorzeans, meaning they too were probably speculating. 

Edited by Cassius
Grammar fix.

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1 hour ago, Aurelius said:

1.) Is there a general consensus on where a Garlean's physical capabilities would fall relative to other intelligent races? Nothing in the lore that I've seen directly confirms uncharacteristically high physical parameters as a racial characteristic, but there are some rather notable instances of their physical capabilities being /implied/ to far outstrip that of the other races.

A lot of their armor is enhanced and made differently from more Eorzean designs and styles. As a basically 99% racial trait for not being able to manipulate aether, they use materials that do not/cannot conduct aether, etc. (The first lorebook does state that it's not impossible for a pureblooded Garlean to manipulate aether, but that it is a rarity.)

 

1 hour ago, Aurelius said:

2.) How likely would a Garlean pure-blood expatriate be to even be accepted in Eorzea at all? In particular one whose expatriation was less a function of doing the right thing and more a function of escaping before he could be torn apart to further their experiments. 

You'll find that a handful of people have done this concept and have had success at various points. Take Nero as an example.

 

 

1 hour ago, Aurelius said:

3.) Do we have any confirmation as of yet on what that third eye actually does? All I've ever found is speculation. The few in-game NPCs that commented on it (some of which no longer exist) were Eorzeans, meaning they too were probably speculating. 

Yes, from the Fan Fest lore panels, it was confirmed that the Garlean third eye is really...just another eye. IT allowed them better sight/perception, but it's not magitek, or specially implanted, or any of NPC rumors.

 

Quote

Letter from the Producer Live XXVII: “The next question had to deal with the functionality of the Garleans’ third eye (a question that a lot of people ask me personally at Fan Fests and game shows). Oda-san had an answer prepared for this one as well, so I read what he gave me. This pretty much stated that the third eye is believed to considerably improve the race’s capacity for spatial recognition. Because of this, the Garleans have a decided advantage over other races when it comes to navigating aircraft or firing weapons. I then bring up Cid’s bandana and the legatii’s helms… but Yoshi-P says that armor has been designed not to interfere with the workings of the 3rd eye.”

 

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50 minutes ago, Unnamed Mercenary said:

A lot of their armor is enhanced and made differently from more Eorzean designs and styles. As a basically 99% racial trait for not being able to manipulate aether, they use materials that do not/cannot conduct aether, etc. (The first lorebook does state that it's not impossible for a pureblooded Garlean to manipulate aether, but that it is a rarity.)

 

Thank you for the reply. I had noticed that about their armor, and the lore book entry seemed almost like SE was going out of their way to make it known that a handful of Garleans can manipulate aether.

 

The above being said, I shall clarify somewhat: Barring their armor, it has been implied on a handful of occasions that the Garleans /themselves/ may possess vastly above normal physical capabilities. Are these implications generally accepted by the community, or would people prefer Garleans to be treated as physically equal to Eorzeans when outside of their unique armor?

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Nothing in the lore suggests that garleans have improved physical capabilities over other races. The only thing I've read in lore on the subject is that the raw unnatural strength of xaelas can even surpass the body weight strength of roegadyns. 

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Garleans are noted to be strong of body--no surprise given their homeland--but that's largely it. They may equal, say, a Highlander on a good day. But as Valence pointed out? The only race who's been stated to have above-normal levels of physical strength are the Xaela, where "their physical strength, hardened by generations of war and conflict, far outstrips that of other races."

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Posted (edited)

Very well, then. Thank you both for the clarification. Myself and others had been wondering this for quite a while, given the number of times Garleans have been shown/implied to have some pretty crazy abilities even without their armor. I imagine, then, that these instances should be regarded with skepticism until such time as there is an official statement of some sort confirming their accuracy. 

Edited by Aurelius

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Being a Highlander's equal in terms of physicality is pretty good, and would allow for some fairly high-performance feats. We also have to take in "rule of cool" whenever it comes to the "underdog" trait (no aether use) and the fact that magitek is a varied and adaptable technology that's more than arms and armor. Just look at Thancred. Man's essentially a Garlean, now, and he's still pulling some impressive acts off.

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It's not necessarily about them possessing raw strength as much as it is their training and upbringing. Pure Blooded Garleans lack the capabilities to manipulate aether, so they have compensated for this even before the development of Magitek by honing martial skills above all else. Not only that, but Pure Bloods primarily only exist in the upper echelons of Garlean society, and because of that receive the best training possible from a young age, putting them well above both their peers and their enemies.

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No matter their training however, there is still a dead cold fact with garleans, and that is that they're very closed to aetherial manipulation, which means they have serious issues harnessing its natural power to enhance their own physical abilities, thus why they usually use a lot of aetherial inconductive armor and are armed to the teeth with ceruleum powered magitek contraptions. 

 

Strip them bare of their equipment, and they're as vulnerable as weaklings compared to aetherially imbued eorzeans.

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Posted (edited)

Even beyond that, attempting to manipulate aether is apparently very dangerous to them, from what I've read. One could almost say it extends beyond inability and into the realm of intolerance. The lore books do, however, assert that a small percentage of them actually can manipulate aether. Of course, I'd wager the ones that can probably can't do it very well. Pure-bloods would be too proud to ask their "lessers" for instruction on how to harness that gift, after all.

 

The above is what has lead me to consider one of two possibilities:
1.) By some miracle an attempt at imbuing a Garlean with the ability to use aether worked, but they were so keen to dissect him to find out /why/ it worked that he was forced to flee the Empire for his own survival. Consequently, the procedure would have robbed him of some of his sanity. It's always nice to have little references to FF6 built in, after all.

2.) He is one of the small percentage of Garleans that can manipulate aether naturally. Were this the case, I imagine the ability would only have been discovered shortly after the Battle of Carteneau. This would also provide incentive to leave the Empire due to, again, not wanting to be dissected to further their experiments. I could also see going with the idea that the character was one of Gaius's troops, meaning they had already defected in order to help stop Nael and would therefore be unable or unwilling to return to Garlemald at that time. The problem I see with this second option is just how little we actually know about the few Garleans that can access aether.

 

Opinions would be welcome here.

Edited by Aurelius

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As far as physical capabilities are concerned, we need to note that their physiques vary considerably compared to the other races. Cid is roughly the same size as a Midlander, albeit a bit more thickly muscled. Nero is taller and similar to an Elezen. One of the Garlean NPC's aboard the Prima Vista uses a Highlander model and then there's Zenos and Varis who are even taller and physically imposing.

 

They're hardy and disciplined as a consequence of the harsh environment they've been forced to adapt to with a fondness for efficiency to boot - so even accounting for their lack of ability to manipulate aether, they're still not going to go down easily in a fight. Even putting aside the fact that magitek can do a lot of what aether can do, it's not as if every Eorzean can wield aether to a significant degree or be well trained enough to go toe to toe with a seasoned, disciplined enemy soldier. Furthermore, there's their enhanced spatial awareness by virtue of their third eye.

 

You're also not likely to encounter many Pureblood Garleans to begin with, realistically. The vast majority of soldiers serving Garlemald are conscripts after all - with a smattering of Garlean Pureblood soldiers here and there.

 

As for the existence of Garlean Purebloods who can manipulate aether, aside from being exceptionally rare it kind of defeats the point of playing a Garlean Pureblood in my opinion since it just involves eroding away one of the things that makes them so unique and engaging. It makes for some pretty intense situations where you cannot simply have your character teleport about on a whim. Though saying that, there's examples of short range teleportation used by Pureblood Garleans as a consequence of magitek...

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Hyur model... You mean the tan skinned guy? Company Muscle, I think he's called. I'm not so sure he's a Garlean. Looks more like his circlet just has a white square in the middle of the forehead, though I could always be wrong.

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Posted (edited)

One thing to note, apologies if it has been mentioned--on the subject on Purebloods manipulating aether, look into the Resonant project headed by Aulus (an NPC). The project was begun in a response to combatting the Echo. Not much details on limits of the resonant are known, but I think it might allow some kind of fabricated manipulation to some extent. I myself tend to use it sparingly because of the lack of detail in the lore. But you'd be capable of the 'Echo visions' here and there and maybe enhanced martial prowess (I believe thats the only things that are nailed down in the lore). But it does have its weaknesses, as shown with Fordola. I imagine it is fairly taxing on the body, too. But most of what I do with Lucius and resonant is head canon. It can be fun, but just be sure to have a good ratio of weaknesses/strengths! :)

Edited by Lucius Volturcius

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The resonant concept does interest me, but I believe I might prefer taking a different approach to reach a similar end. Provided it doesn't break lore (which, to my knowledge, it shouldn't), the idea I'm mulling over after re-reading the lore books and discussing things in this thread would combine selective breeding (i.e. using bloodlines known to have produced aether-capable purebloods at some point), the use of a surrogate womb (implanting a fertilized Garlean egg in the body of a servant believed to possess the echo, for example), and intentionally exposing the unborn child to gradually increasing densities of aether over the course of its development. One could even involve Zodiark in the process if it was a project signed off on by Emperor Solus. No doubt he has access to the dormant Zodiark's energies, meaning he could imbue the children with a tiny portion of that power in an effort to increase their odds of having the echo.

 

The end result would be a modified Garlean possessed of aether manipulating abilities and access to a more natural form of the echo - one which requires significant amounts of time, training, and experience to use effectively - rather than resonance, which appears to yield an immense increase in prowess up front. Would definitely be interesting to see how that growth played out. After all, such an individual would not be able to receive that sort of instruction in Garlemald, and no pureblood wanting to maintain even an iota of social standing would go asking conscripts for advice in the first place. It's not likely they would be able to advance these abilities much, if at all, before leaving the Empire.

 

This new angle has also had me rethink the character's possible reasons for leaving Garlemald behind. Rather than doing so for survival, perhaps it was for the sake of reaching new heights? I can't picture an individual that would have been constantly pushed and prodded to meet or exceed the highest standards of excellence within the Empire for essentially their entire life being content merely to live out their life in servitude, never attempting to explore the gifts they've had since birth. I don't see the Garleans being foolish enough to tell an individual created through this process of their true nature, but you can bet such a person would always sense something was off. That sense of something missing would inevitably give way to the desire for something more - acknowledgment of dreams unfulfilled, potential untapped. That, in my opinion, would be enough to motivate just about anyone with the strength to do so to strike out on their own in search of themselves.

 

If anyone has any reason this would violate lore, please let me know. If not, I suppose that just leaves me with one final decision to make: which in-game race to best represent the character with. Au Ra and Elezen both have the correct height ranges and builds, but the former has all those pseudo-draconic/demonic/whatever traits while the latter looks awful in most helmets and has the neck of a giraffe. I suppose that leaves Midlander or Highlander. 

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I think some points to keep in mind are whether or not a Pureblood would refuse the knowledge of a conscript if it did, in fact, benefit them and the Empire. They wouldn't have to ask--they could simply demand. The nature of power and all that, yeah? It's also important to note that the Echo isn't necessarily a genetic thing, but a soul-related thing. It's completely random.

 

As for Emperor Solus being involved? I feel as if it'd invalidate his entire reasoning for the Garlean Empire to create a Garlean who's capable of wielding aether (which does get into some really lore heavy stuff I won't spoil here).

 

Finally, living to serve the Empire and push forth its "admirable" and "noble" goals by utilizing their abilities would've been drilled into their heads as something worthy of praise, I think. Would they be seen as odd? Perhaps. But if they're still of Pureblood descent while serving the best interests of the Empire, I couldn't hep but think they'd be fast tracked into various positions of power. Which would, of course, afford them more chances to explore the world. Keep in mind that the Empire may have dissension in the ranks, but they've ultimately got one of the world's strongest propaganda machines going. 

 

At the end of the day, it may be important to ask yourself why it's so important to play a Pureblooded Garlean with the ability to use aether. Because at the end of the day? That does strip them of an incredibly unique trait within the world. Which isn't bad, and it does present new opportunities--but what are they?

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Posted (edited)

The long and short of it is that I've been asked to concoct this character by a group of my peers that've known me for a long time. I'm only at my best when playing the proverbial villain, so that's exactly what they want me to do. Anywho, a Garlean pureblood PC that is capable enough on the battlefield to remain a dire threat to hardened career soldiers--one of which is a primal hunter, at that--even when denied access to all but its worn equipment is a difficult sell if it can't use aether. They have posited to me that this could be most readily achieved by it having the ability to use aether -- and access to the echo, but the latter part remains contingent on me figuring out some way to make it legitimate. I may simply have to cave in and go with the resonant angle, but I was trying to avoid doing things to make it too heavily resemble a certain sociopathic samurai we're all very familiar with. The potential involvement of Zodiark on some small level was intended to compensate for the fact that the echo is not a genetic trait, but I do agree that it would be quite problematic. The echo part still needs to be ironed out.

 

As for learning from conscripts, yes, I suppose they could just demand the information, though I would be surprised if many of their conscripts actually have the echo. Between being able to demand answers, Garlemald's excellent propaganda machine, likely being raised in the military, and easily gained rank, that does certainly pose some problems for the "expatriation" part of remaining an active PC (if it even survives its initial purpose) once all is said and done. On the plus side, I do already know how to bring it down a few pegs to prevent it from being overpowered after it goes from opposition to just being another PC in the fold.

 

Edit:
After much deliberation, I believe I've decided to reduce the Garlean concept to a simple one-off resonant NPC for them to take out. Funny how some people always seem to end up DMing or pseudo-DMing, isn't it? As much as I like Garleans as a whole, I believe I'm just going to go with a Xaela for my own personal character. Can't go wrong with lizard-Mongolians. Thank you to everyone that participated in helping me figure this stuff out, and sorry it turned out to be a bit of a waste of ya'll's time.

 

 

Edited by Aurelius

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Not a waste at all. S'what the workshop is all about. Good luck with your plot! I hope it's a fun time!

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