FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood - a brief history of DomaWelcome to Doma - a beautiful land with an ugly history. For new players experiencing the expansion for the first time, here’s some background.
FINAL FANTASY XIV Online players are used to exploring incredible places, and the launch of the second expansion, Stormblood, opened up the world like never before.
For the first time, players were able to explore the Far East - wondrous lands where beauty and tragedy sit hand in hand. These lands are occupied under the oppressive regime of the Garlean Empire, and it’s up to you and your allies to free them.
Now even more of you can assist in the liberation, as FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood is free to anyone who owns or buys the FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Starter Edition (the promotion ends May 28, 2023, so make sure to claim your copy before then)!
To celebrate, we are taking a look through some of the sights you can expect to see in this most expansive of expansions. Last week, we showcased the architecturally stunning city-state of Ala Mhigo.
Today, we’re going to take you through the history of another location you’ll visit: Doma.
The invasion of Doma
Doma was once prosperous - a bountiful kingdom where people lived off the land, created incredible art and produced powerful warriors in the form of ninja and samurai. That all changed with the arrival of the Garlean Empire.
Around 25 years before the events of FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood, the Empire launched a full-scale assault against the kingdom. Facing Garlemald’s devastating weapons and the overwhelming strength of its airship armada, Doma’s ruler, Kaien Rijin, had no choice but to surrender.
The Doman uprisings
But the Doman spirit is not so easily crushed. While operating as deputy viceroy for the Garleans, Kaien also secretly guided the Doman Liberation Front, always waiting for an opportunity to take their country back from its occupiers.
That golden chance appeared when Emperor Solus died without a named successor. A civil war broke out in Garlemald, and the Domans took advantage of that moment of weakness to strike!
The people rose up in rebellion and pushed the Empire back from their lands. For the first time in decades, Doma had a true chance to be free.
…and then it got taken away.
The re-occupation of Doma
The war of succession in Garlemald didn’t last long. Varis zos Galvus took the throne and restored order. Stronger than ever, Garlemald turned its attention to the Far East once again.
The XIIth Imperial Legion, led by Zenos yae Galvus, marched into the country to brutally crush the rebellion. The Liberation Front fought valiantly but were swept aside - Kaien Rijin was killed in single combat, and reports soon emerged that his son, Hien, had fallen too. The resistance was forced back into hiding, many of them devastated by their defeat.
The current state of Doma
After putting an end to the uprising, the Garlean Empire tightened its grip on Doma. Zenos became Viceroy, and under his oppressive rule, life became even harder for the people. And yet things were about to take a turn for the worse…
When Zenos was called away to Ala Mhigo, he appointed the sadistic Yotsuyu goe Brutus as acting viceroy… and instructed her to destroy any chance of further rebellion. Under Yotsuyu, the people faced ruinous taxation and were subjected to back-breaking labor and corporal punishment.
Under these horrendous conditions, many Domans fled the country. These refugees, led by the ninja Yugiri, fled to Eorzea where, thanks to help from the Warrior of Light and Scions of the Seventh Dawn, they found a new home: Revenant’s Toll. They could now live their lives free of the Empire’s oppression.
But back in Doma, things continue to get ever worse. With any defiance savagely being put down, the people’s spirits are broken. The fire of rebellion has been reduced to mere embers.
…but perhaps it can yet be rekindled.
Some notable Domans
That’s one of your missions as you head into the Far East in FINAL FANTASY XIV: Stormblood. Naturally, you’ll meet many new people from the kingdom on your adventures… and reunite with some familiar faces. Let’s meet a few:
This brave and reliable ninja first appeared in A Realm Reborn, leading a group of refugees as they fled Doma. She’s truly dedicated to her mission and her people, pushing herself to the limit to keep them safe.
The group managed to reach Thanalan, but Yugiri struggled to find anyone receptive to her pleas for help - Eorzea was a strange and distant land, and its customs were very alien to her. Fortunately, she was noticed by Urianger Augurelt, who asked the Warrior of Light to investigate her plight.
With the help of the Scions of the Seventh Dawn, the refugees were permitted to set up an enclave in Revenant’s Toll, Mor Dhona. In gratitude, she pledged her support to the Scions, and has been a staunch ally ever since, providing essential support and fighting alongside them on multiple occasions.
With Stormblood taking our heroes into Doma, it seems likely she’ll have a part to play here, too…
But maybe you already knew this, and want more information about her? Well, you’ve come to the right place, as that’s the theme of our “Ask the developers” corner today!
Ask the developers:
Yugiri, the masked woman who eventually plays an active role in Stormblood and supports the protagonists, can you explain to us the thought processes that went into designing Yugiri as a character?
Ayumi Namae, Lead Character Concept Artist: I originally designed Yugiri’s face type as an entry into an internal competition that was held among the designers to decide the player character appearance of the Au Ra race.
Since the zones in Stormblood had Japanese influences, I decided to feature ‘cool’ and ‘calm’ eyes, which were not present on the face types for Miqo’te and Hyur player characters. I also wanted to create a noble and mysterious feel based on the image of Japanese aristocrats and priestesses - with those types of individuals, one could not casually talk face to face, and instead discussions would typically take place through a traditional Japanese bamboo screen.
During the selection process for the Au Ra competition, Producer and Director Naoki Yoshida told me “I think this is a perfect match for the true face of ‘Yugiri’, the masked NPC in the scenario we are working on”. As a result, he suggested that we use this design for that NPC instead of the player characters. That is how the design ended up getting decided for Yugiri.
Since Yugiri's costume was not designed uniquely for an original NPC, I decided to give her an easily recognisable characteristic through her hairstyle. In the rough version for the competition, the hair was braided, but I added a light purple-coloured ribbon to tie it together.
Aside from Yugiri, there are other characters who hail from Doma and also contribute to the story in Eorzea. Players who have taken up the Ninja job will probably recognize them, so let’s take a look!
This Ninja is a stern and serious man, though his passion for protecting others still shines through.
He was born in Doma during the Garlean occupation and fought alongside Kaien Rijin during the rebellions. However, betrayal by a fellow ninja, one Karasu Kanshi, resulted in the Garlean victory, and Oboro has pursued him to Eorzea.
Upon meeting the Warrior of Light, he recognized the strength within them, offered to teach them ninjutsu… and aid them in their quest for justice.
This flamboyant ninja is said to have betrayed Doma to the Garlean Empire, making him a wanted man among his countrymen… including Oboro.
Adventurers who take on the Ninja job will find they encounter him fairly often. Be careful though - he’s a slippery one, constantly one step ahead, and always has an exit strategy in place.
He’s also great fun thanks to a real taste for theatrics and a habit of narrating events as if he’s the hero of the story. You may never be sure what he’s up to, or even whose side he’s on, but he’s very entertaining all the same.
We hope this has whetted your appetite for all the adventures to come in Doma. Remember, Stormblood is completely free to everyone with the FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Starter Edition, up to May 28, 2023.
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