The Lore Train: Is Sharlayan An Island Or What?

The Lore Train: Is Sharlayan An Island Or What?

If ever there was one mind-boggling question risen from apparent contradiction, it is this: Where in the seven hells is Sharlayan? Nearly every mention of this unseen city of knowledge refers to it as an island, yet Roddard Ironheart’s map of Eorzea shows the city-state directly on the main continent of Aldenard in the western region of Dravania. Did an error in the game text get repeatedly carried over? Or was Ironheart just a terrible cartographer? I wouldn’t wave that accusation in his grandson‘s face, so when we ran into Fernehalwes at PAX a few weeks ago (we’re both OK, don’t worry), we waved it in his instead.

“Hey! What’s the deal with Sharlayan!?” we totally didn’t make a scene whilst yelling, “Is it an island?! Is it on the continent!? Bestow upon us your knowledge so that we may finally be able to sleep from knowing the truth!”

And the truth he told us…

While we don’t have a huge timeline of the details, the basics of it go something like this…

The Sharlayans are a people from an island to the north – called Sharlayan. At some point, they migrated south and founded a city-state in Eorzea that was dedicated to learning – called Sharlayan. Wait, what? Sometimes, when a group from an established location migrates and forms a new settlement, they just keep the name.

To use a real-world example, settlers from Portland, Maine traversing the Oregon Trail established the city of (surprise!) Portland, Oregon. Could they have gone with New Sharlayan and saved us some confusion? Sure, but that attention to detail and illusion of organic growth is one of the things that makes Eorzea special, in our humble opinion.

So, the settlers from the island nation of Sharlayan came to Eorzea and established their city-state on the continent of Aldenard. When the Garlean Empire moved on Eorzea and captured Ala Mhigo in 1557 Sixth Astral Era, the Sharlayan Council attempted to open diplomatic channels, but were forced to abandon their city-state when these peace talks fell through in 1562. While most returned to their island home, one group of scholars would stay behind, forming the Circle of Knowing under Louisoix and beginning to gather information on the rising threats to Eorzea. Could these humble beginnings be what we witnessed in the Version 1.0 introduction echoes? We’ll have to get back to you on that…

One thought on “The Lore Train: Is Sharlayan An Island Or What?

  1. I think Sharlayan in not on ground level. I would like it to be in the sky.

Comments are closed.