With the leaked Japanese magazine images just a mere day old, the site update was inevitable – and here it is! New background information is revealed about the two other starting city-states – Ul’dah and Gridania. So let’s take a look…
“The bustling commercial hub of Ul’dah sits amid the desolate desert landscape of southern Aldenard. The city is organized strategically around the dome-shaped citadel at its center. Its towering fortifications and protective outer walls are visible for malms in all directions, and serve as a stark deterrent to would-be besiegers.
Visitors from every corner of Eorzea come to Ul’dah to partake of the city’s famed recreation, most notably the fighting arenas and gambling halls. Ul’dahn culture is known for its affluence, and the wealth of the nation comes in large part from its abundant mineral resources and prestigious clothcrafting industry.
Historically, it is the sultan who claims sovereignty over Ul’dah, but true power is wielded by the Syndicate, an elite group of six of the most influential and richest members of society. Nald’thal is the patron deity of the city, and two great halls, devoted to his two aspects, can be found in the eastern and western sections of the city.”
“In the eastern reaches of the Aldenard landmass, home to vast, dense woodlands and coursing rivers, lies the forest nation of Gridania. The cityscape is a mosaic of labyrinthine waterways and great wooden structures, so gracefully constructed they seem a part of the surrounding environment.
The Gridanian emphasis on natural harmony has led to its preeminence among Eorzea’s city-states in trades such as forrestry, agriculture, carpentry, and leatherworking. Gridania is also home to the Wood waileers, a militant band of polearm-wielding sentries charged with the protection of their homeland.
The favored goddess of the citizenry is Nophica, the Matron, but great faith is also placed in the wisdom of the Seedseers – your oracles who guided the nation based on the will of the forest’s elementals.”
There is a poem on the bottom right of the map, translated on the official site as “In One Are Twelve” – attributed to Roddard Ironheart, in Year 1506 of the 6th Astral Era:
A map is as precise
As the malms walked in her making,
Yet I fear these feet
Have but far too few between them
May she serve faithfully
Any who would employ her for good,
And shun all who would fill
Her borders with blood
Twelve see the steps taken
By those who heed her humble guidance
Ensure her legacy endures.
The final “direct” information imparted from the update is about the map itself:
“The vast realm of Eorzea, comprising the continent of Aldenard and its outlying islands,has seen the rise of a civilization with peoples as diverse as its environs. Throughout history, the landscape has played home to a number of city-states – the tenuous relations among them fluctuating between friendlly and hostile.
The pantheon of the Twelve is followed devoutly by most, and doctrine holds that the past wars of the realm were the wars of the heavens, with the gods and goddesses laying their favor with nations to champion them. In this way, war spread throughout the realm, discouraging unity and peace.
As a result, years passed without the lay of the land and its borders ever being mapped in their entirety. It was not until some 70 years ago, when an intrepid soul set out to wander the land, at great peril to himself, that the first map of Eorzea was completed.
Since then, the original rendering has been amended and improved by others, and the form it takes today is used by adventurers across the realm as an indispensable guide on their travels.
So that’s the update. Time now for us (and you) to pour over the information and see what nuances are revealed (like Gridania being the home of the Lancers, or that second razed city state in the north-west). What else is Square Enix telling us with this update?
EDIT: Not so fast on this being it. The Limsa Lominsa information has also been expanded considerably with landmarks and guild information. We’ll be back (tomorrow probably) with a further update!