On the southern coast of the island of Vylbrand, under the shadow of ancient cliffs worn by the relentless onslaught of The Rhotano Sea, lies the maritime city-state of Limsa Lominsa. Said to be blessed by the goddess of navigation, Llymlaen, the city is spread out over countless tiny islands, each connected by tiny ivory bridges. It is this that has earned her the name the "Navigator's Veil" from traveling bards who have witnessed the city's beauty from afar.
Legend holds that Limsa Lominsa was founded shortly after the remnants of a giant armada fled from its homeland following a crushing defeat. Llymlaen is said to have taken pity on the plight of these brave sailors, and guided them to the shallows of a rocky bay where their ships were grounded upon the sharp rocks. With no home to return to, the sailors chose to settle in this newly-found land, and use the remnants of their vessels to begin construction of a city.
However, the sailors never forget their nautical backgrounds, and once a new fleet was in order, they would take to the waters again. It was only a matter of time before their influence spread and they ruled the five seas of Eorzea. Thus, the Limsan thalassocracy was born.
Remnants of this legend live on even today in the nation's ruling party, whose members still address their leader as Admiral.
While fishing and shipbuilding are prominent, a majority of the city's wealth comes from the shipping industry, with over half of the city's population being employed in logistics. To maintain shipping routes, the thalassocracy employs a powerful navy known as the Knights of the Barracuda, who patrol the Eorzean seas, ensuring safe passage for all those who do business with the nation.
However, even in the waters nearby, pirate bands run rampant, reaving and pillaging, leading neighboring nations to suspect that the Knights of the Barracuda and local bandits are in some way working together to profit off of unwary traders.
Built around the remnants of the Galadion -- a legendary battleship whose grounding off the shores of Vylbrand marked the humble beginnings of Limsa Lominsa -- the towering Mizzenmast stands at the center of all that goes on in the city-state.
The bottom level is a veritable citadel, fortified with yalm-thick stone walls dotted with arrow loops and murder holes to fend off invaders in the event of an attack. On the middle levels can be found both a bustling pub and a cozy inn, while the uppermost levels comprise the offices of the high-ranking thalassocratic officials, including the city-state's leader -- the Admiral.
Limsa Lominsa's airship landing is also located near the top of the tower, allowing for the safe disembarkation and boarding of passengers without the need for pilots to contend with the treacherous air currents swirling in the bay below.
This grand outdoor plaza situated below the Mizzenmast earned its name for the resemblance it bears to the revolutionary nautical instrument invented by maritime scientist and "father of modern navigation," Jovanni Gnonno.
During daylight hours, the round resounds with the cries of mountebanks, the songs of bards, and the laughter of children marveling at the many talents of the mummers' troupes. Yet come nightfall, the plaza assumes quite another aspect. Bedraped by the soft light of the moon, its steps become a private theater for lovers seeking to gaze upon the timeless drama of the heavens.
Erected over decades out of bright white chalk mined from nearby cliffs, this colossal lighthouse is a beacon for sailors braving the night seas, her light providing safe passage through the perilous shallows of Galadion Bay.
Few, save the candlekeeps who maintain a constant vigil over the flames, know anything about the pale blue light which emanates from atop the spire. Some say it comes from the maw of an arcane bomb, locked in a cage and tormented until its anger burns bright.
Others say the keeps themselves are powerful mages who use their thaumaturgies to capture the rays of the sun each day, only to release them again at night.
Hawkers' Alley (East & West)
Amidst the pungent aromas of smoke and spice, merchants from the four corners of Eorzea and beyond gather in this corner of the city-state, peddling their tramontane wares to all who would buy, while providing a lifeline for those crafters hailing from the faraway nations of Gridania and Ul'dah.
However, the Markets of Limsa Lominsa are not limited to the cluttered confines of this narrow boulevard. On several of their lesser islands speckled about the bay can be found neighborhoods such as the Frippers Ward and the Leechers Ward -- homes to guilds and workshops of innumerable trades.
It is within these wards that many adventurers have chosen to set up retainer-run stalls, selling everything from the assorted spells of their exploits to the fruits of their craft-du-jour.
The choice of a guild can prove the defining moment in an adventurer's budding career, and Limsa Lominsa offers a wide variety of unique options, many of which include businesses and organizations that constitute the backbone of the coastal city's government and economy.
Naldiq & Vymelli's
Founded by legendary cannonwright Theor Naldiq and renowned shipwright Bryce Vymelli, this well-respected establishment's forges have provided the steel plating and weaponry of nearly every ship to have braved the Navigator's briny demesne.
However, the recent upturn in adventurer activity has led the company to expand their repertoire to include basic blades and armor, and latterly to open their doors to aspiring crafters through the creation of both a Blacksmith's and Armorers' Guild.
Official headquarters for Limsa Lominsa's Knights of the Barracuda, the Coral Tower provides everything necessary for an officer to hone his skills while preparing for his next assignment, from a spacious firing range, to a fully-equipped barracks where weapons can be cleaned and repaired.
In an attempt to assist the Thalassocratic Navy's recruitment of skilled marksmen, and prevent those with promise from being beguiled into joining a pirate crew, the city-state has loosened enlistment regulations and opened the facilities' doors to almost anyone, using the name Musketeers' Guild to entice willing youths.
The Bismarck -- forever titillating the tongues of travelers, and assuaging the appetites of adventurers -- where gourmands from around the globe gather to dine on delectable dishes, to sup on sumptuous soups, to indulge their innermost cravings.
Pass through the gates of Eorzea's premiere culinary establishment and be greeted with a bountiful array of exotic delights from beyond the boundless seas. Watch and be amazed as grand battles unfold in the kitchens over fire and flame, pitting experienced masters against budding young chefs, eager to divest their mentors of their most secret recipes. Give in to the forbidden desires of your polished palate and join our goodly guild to begin the climb up gilded steps to gustatory greatness!
Tethered to a solitary pier, far from the watchful eyes of the Knights of the Barracuda, rests a towering galleon registered with Mealvaan's Gate as a trade vessel hailing from foreign waters. The fact that it is, in actuality, a battle-scarred warship captained by the undisputed lord of the region's underworld, One-eyed Hyllfyr, is one of the city-state's worst-kept secrets.
Serving as a gathering place for brigands, cut-throats, assassins, petty thieves, and the purveyors of sundry other breeds of villainy, the ship's captain has branded her the "Marauder's Guild," and it is here that the city-state's many pirate crews find new recruits to join their ranks ... as well as a few wide-eyed adventurers from whom to suck the marrow.
For centuries, casting nets has been the favorite method of catching fish in the seas off Vylbrand. Because of this, those who work the nets to make a living have come to be called "pullers," and over the years, several independent crews of pullers have united to form small businesses of their own. These businesses can all be found in a district of Limsa Lominsa known as Fisherman's Bottom.
One of the largest organizations based there, Wawalago's Pullers -- whose activities include everything from the buying and selling of fish, bait, and tackle, to the maintenance of the local fisheries (the Barrel), and the upkeep of the area's several lighthouses -- has taken the name of "Fishermen's Guild," with the laudable aim of offering instruction to aspiring fishermen and women.
The Drowning Wench
Once a run-down alehouse frequented by sailors, thieves and worse, the Drowning Wench underwent a defining change when pub proprietor and former sellsword Baderon Tenfingers declared the bar and the inn above it the Adventurers' Guild.
While still a popular venue for a pirate to drink away his ill-gotten gains, the majority of the pub's custom now consists of eager adventurers fresh off the ferries, seeking the quickest path to fame and fortune.