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Archanea (pronounced /ɑɹkəˈneɪə/[key]; Japanese: アカネイア Akaneia), later known as Ylisse (Japanese: イーリス Iris), is a continent which is the primary setting of six games in the Fire Emblem series. It is situated to the east of the continent Valentia/Valm, also existing in the same world as Jugdral. Archanea's history stretches across thousands of years, passing from an ancient dragon rule into the hands of countless human nations which have risen and fallen over the millennia, the most enduring of which is a mighty, holy kingdom which bears the continent's name as its own.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Locations (Archanean era)
- 4 Locations (Ylissean era)
- 5 Other appearances
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Etymology and other languages
- 8 Gallery
- 9 References
Roughly four thousand years prior to the rise of the human nation bearing the continent's name, Archanea was dominated by an advanced and enlightened dragon civilization prior to the rise of humanity, one overseen by the wisdom of the divine dragons. The dragon civilization reigned supreme and uncontested for at least three thousand years, until the species entered a period of decline: a mysterious wave of deteriorating health struck them, rendering them infertile and slowly driving them mad. In response, the dragonkin learned that the only way to survive the condition was to take the forms of humans, and so sought to convince all dragons to do so. While some refused to accept this and eventually devolved into mindless beasts, others accepted the word of the dragon elders and took human forms, thus becoming the first Manaketes. 260 years afterward, the degenerated earth dragon clans engaged humanity in an aggressive war, only to be repelled and defeated by Naga and the divine dragons; at this war's conclusion the defeated earth dragons were sealed away by Naga in the Dragon's Table and remained there for millennia under the watch of one of their own kind, the Manakete Medeus.
In the centuries following the earth dragon war, the dragonkin's hold on Archanea rapidly diminished and Naga died, though not before leaving behind Falchion and the Binding Shield in the Fane of Raman for humanity to use in future. Human populations steadily increased as the dragonkin waned, giving rise to humanity as the dominant race of Archanea.
Rise, fall, and rise of the holy kingdom
730 years after the earth dragon war, the thief Adrah broke into the Fane of Raman and stole the Binding Shield , breaking off its five spheres to sell for money. Within ten years Adrah had raised a powerful army and created the Holy Kingdom of Archanea, a human nation of unparalleled power with himself as its founding king; he henceforth rechristened the Binding Shield as the "Fire Emblem", adopting it as a symbol of his new kingdom. The Holy Kingdom's foundation became the central point of the calendar of Archanea, with the years counted relative to the kingdom's foundation.
The rise of Archanea finalized the landmass's shift into the hands of humanity, many of whom persecuted and abused the Manakete survivors of the dragonkin. In retaliation against the betrayal of those they had once fought to protect, Manaketes from across Archanea came together to forge a new nation of their own. This nation was Dolhr, under the rule of Emperor Medeus, whose years of watching humanity abuse his kin had embittered him toward the species.
Within three years, Dolhr's army had conquered the entirety of Archanea and wiped out almost the entire royal family of the Holy Kingdom, with only Princess Artemis surviving to eventually ally with the scattered resistance forces opposing Dolhr. Medeus's rule lasted five years in a bitter conflict known as the War of Liberation, but Dolhr's army was ultimately defeated by the Archanean heroes Cartas and Ordwin, and Medeus himself was struck down by Anri, a rural hero wielding Falchion. In the years following the restoration of Archanea, the heroes of the War of Liberation founded several new kingdoms of their own, and the nations of Aurelis, Altea, Grust and Macedon were founded. They were joined by three more nations within the following century: Gra was founded thirty-four years later after Anri's death, the sorcerous city Khadein was established in the northern deserts by Gotoh, and over seventy years after the war, Talys was forged by Mostyn with the unification of several eastern islands. Seven of the post-war kingdoms - Archanea, Aurelis, Altea, Gra, Grust, Macedon and Talys - would eventually became collectively known as the "Seven Kingdoms" or "Seven Realms".
Resurrection of the Shadow Dragon
Ninety-nine years after his original demise, Medeus was resurrected through the machinations of Gharnef, a bitter sorcerer who soon came to be known as the Dark Pontifex. Medeus restored Dolhr and amassed a new army of both Manaketes and humans, and coerced Macedon and Grust's rulers into allying with him, then with this might launched a new war against the rest of Archanea. Within two years of Dolhr's restoration, the Holy Kingdom fell and nearly the entire rest of Archanea followed; the sole surviving member of Archanea's royalty, Nyna, entered Dolhr captivity under General Camus, and Falchion was taken by Gharnef following the death of Anri's descendant, King Cornelius.
Following two years of exile in Talys, the last surviving nation, Cornelius's son Marth emerged with the remnants of the Altean army and soon became the leader of a successful liberation army opposing Dolhr, with the full support of both Nyna and Prince Hardin of Aurelis. Marth's army, the united Archanean League, won successive victories over Dolhr and its allies in the Aurelis, the Holy Kingdom, Gra, Altea, Dolhr and Macedon, and with the assistance of Gotoh, Marth's army found two of the Fire Emblem's gemstones and used them to forge Starlight, enabling them to pierce Gharnef's dark protection and defeat him to reclaim Falchion. In the war's closing days, Marth led the march on Dolhr Keep and slew Medeus, putting an end to the war.
Although the War of Shadows had ended, the Seven Kingdoms spent the next three years struggling to heal from the scars Medeus's rule left behind. At first, the marriage of Hardin and Nyna, and Hardin's new Archanean Empire, greatly accelerated the restoration process, but soon Hardin fell victim to Gharnef's machinations and was twisted into a malevolent ruler, waging holy war on the rest of Archanea. Having tricked Marth into leaving Altea to perform a mission for him, his army conquered Altea and pursued Marth, but were unable to catch him as he embarked on a long quest north for Gotoh: to gather the five gemstones and re-assemble the Fire Emblem back into the Binding Shield. On his return, he took back Altea and led a final assault on the Archanean capital, defeating Hardin, claiming the last gemstone and restoring the Shield, only to learn that while he had been distracted by Hardin, Gharnef had abducted Empress Nyna and three other priestesses for the purpose of resurrecting Medeus. On Gotoh's counsel, he traveled to the Dragon's Table in Dolhr, defeated Gharnef to reclaim the stolen Falchion, and slew Medeus a second time.
The sheer brutality of this second war, the War of Heroes, had taken a considerable toll on its survivors. Following her rescue, Nyna ceded rule of the Holy Kingdom to Marth before vanishing, and all of the other surviving monarchs followed suit, entrusting the future of their lands to Marth as a result of his valorous leadership in the war. As a result, Marth unified the Seven Kingdoms into the United Kingdom of Archanea, and ruled as its first king.
Heirs of the exalt
An unspecified time after Marth's reign, the United Kingdom broke up again into several smaller nations. Roughly a thousand years after the War of Heroes, a a hero descended from Marth put a stop to the rise of the Fell Dragon Grima using Falchion and the Binding Shield (now again called the Fire Emblem), he founded a successor nation known as Ylisse. Afterward, in an unknown event dubbed the Schism, the Fire Emblem was broken for a second time, and four of its gemstones were lost and spread among the nations of both Archanea and neighboring Valm.
A thousand years afterward, Marth's descendant Chrom fought a war against Ylisse's neighbor Plegia after years of aggression from them toward his sister, the exalt Emmeryn with the support of a mysterious tactician. Emmeryn committed suicide in the war's climax to prevent the Fire Emblem from falling into Plegian hands, after which Chrom defeated Plegia's King Gangrel after Emmeryn's demise inspired the Plegian army to desert in droves. Several years later, Chrom led an invasion of Valm to protect the Archanean continent from an invasion by the Valmese Empire, with the assistance of his time-traveling daughter Lucina, and was tasked by Tiki with restoring the Fire Emblem again. Following the defeat of Valm's Emperor Walhart, he and Lucina contended with the machinations of the Grimleal sorcerer Validar to resurrect Grima, and the two defeated Grima once more with Naga's power.
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In terms of environment, Archanea is split roughly in two distinct halves. The southern portion is largely dominated by plains, forests, and mountains, and prior to the Ylisse-era Ferox, was the only part of Archanea to be widely inhabited by humans. In contrast, the territories north of Aurelis - collectively known as Anri's Way - are composed of harsh environments ranging from volcanic terrain to deserts to ice fields, and while these were inhabited by various barbarian clans during Marth's era, no widely populated human states existed there until these barbarian clans eventually evolved into the people of Ferox.
There are four oceans bordering Archanea: Oceanus North to the north of Thabes, Oceanus Archanea along the western coast, Oceanus Galder to the north of the Kingdom of Archanea, and Oceanus Pyrathi to the east near Talys and Pyrathi.
Locations (Archanean era)
The Holy Kingdom of Archanea
The first and greatest of the Seven Kingdoms of humanity, founded by Adrah. Using the Fire Emblem as its emblem of divine right, despite repeatedly falling to Medeus's onslaughts, the Holy Kingdom always played an integral role in at least assisting in setting the world to rights. Following the War of Heroes, its last ruler Nyna ceded it to Marth, turning it into the core of the new United Kingdom of Archanea.
Founded by the hero Anri, slayer of Medeus and one of the Three Heroes of the Liberation Wars. It and Gra were originally one country, but when Anri died with no heirs, the kingdom in two; his younger brother Marcellus ruled over Altea, while a faction unhappy with Marcellus's rule left and founded Gra, though the two kingdoms always kept on good terms with one another. Marth is descended from Marcellus, and is therefore Anri's indirect descendant.
Originally part of Altea, Gra was formed by a radical faction after rows with Altea's succession, but nonetheless remained a close ally of Altea for many years. Under the reign of King Jiol, however, Gra betrayed Altea and played a big role in its downfall in the dawn of the War of Shadows, and for years afterward his successor Sheena struggled to overcome this past.
Aurelis was forged as a kingdom in the aftermath of the War of Liberation, with King Cartas's conquest of the northern plains, and was granted to his brother Marlon. Prince Hardin and his brother are his descendants.
A nation founded by the revolutionary hero Iote in the forested southern and eastern coasts of Dolhr's island. Its knights ride into battle astride pegasi and wyverns, the finest of whom are the Whitewings and Dragoons. It was ruled by King Osmond until his death at the hands of his son, Prince Michalis, who turned it into a key ally of Dolhr in the War of Shadows.
A Manakete-dominated nation which was founded by Medeus, in response to centuries of abuse inflicted upon Manaketes by humans. Seeking vengeance and conquest upon humanity in retribution for their crimes against Manaketes, it was the enemy nation in both the War of Liberation and the War of Shadows.
Founded by the White Sage Gotoh, who was originally a member of the Divine Dragon clan. It is a desert country, and it is renowned for its skilled mages. The dark sorcerer Gharnef and Pontifex Miloah both hail from this country and were instructed by Gotoh himself.
Founded by General Ordwin, one of the Three Heroes of the Liberation Wars, who conquered the region of barbarians and turned it into a kingdom. His descendants are Ludwik and his children, Yumina and Yubello. It is famed for its exceptional military power, led by the renowned Sable Order and its General Camus.
A small island kingdom ruled by King Mannu. It is very isolated from the outside world, and is not welcoming to outsiders.
An island just north of Grust, connected to the mainland by a great bridge. Its most significant landmark is the Fane of Raman, a temple built by the ancient dragonkin to house their greatest treasures.
A collective of untamed northern lands of widely varying terrain, which fall outside the control of any nation. These became known collectively as Anri's Way after the War of Liberation, named for the hero Anri who became the first human to traverse it in his quest for Falchion.
- Marmotord, dubbed the Desert of Death, is a vast desert covers the northwestern portion of the continent. Anri visited it on his legendary quest to obtain Falchion. It is unclaimed by any nation, and inhabited only by various barbarians and wild wyverns.
- The Flame Barrel is a volcanic region inhabited only by barbarians and fire dragons. It is also known as the "fire dragon boneyard", and according to Xane is where all degenerated fire dragons instinctively come to await their death.
- The Ice Dragon Temple is the centerpiece of a frozen wasteland in the north-eastern reaches of the continent. It was the original resting place of the sword Falchion, until Anri was led there by Gotoh to claim it to defeat Medeus. Marth later visited the temple in Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem to obtain the Lightsphere, fuse together the Starsphere shards, and recruit Tiki.
Locations (Ylissean era)
This halidom is a distant successor to Marth's united Archanea, still ruled by his descendants and still bearing the Fire Emblem and Falchion. It occupies the former territories of the Holy Kingdom of Archanea and Talys.
The former lands of Anri's Way were tamed by its barbarian inhabitants, evolving into the militant binary kingdom of Regna Ferox, the largest nation to grace modern Ylisse; its territory also includes the former Khadein and Aurelis. It is snowbound for a significant portion of the year.
- Archanea was originally called (Japanese: アリティシア Aritisia) in the original proposal for Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.
Etymology and other languages
|Names, etymology and in other regions|
|Language||Name||Definition, etymology and notes|
|English||Archanea||As of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. An alteration of the Japanese name possibly invoking the prefix arch-, "highest".|
| • Akaneia
| • Unlike the NTSC release, all PAL releases (including English) keep the Japanese name with no alterations.|
• Used in the PAL localization of Shadows of Valentia.
|Japanese||アカネイア||Officially romanized as Akaneia. Unused text in Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light romanizes it as Acrnear.|
|Korean||아카네이아||Transliteration of "Akaneia", as above. Used in the South Korean version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, as no Fire Emblem game prior to Fates has been officially released in the region.|
Map of Archanea from Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light.
Map of Archanea from Mystery of the Emblem.
Map of Archanea from Fire Emblem: THE BEST Vol.2.
Map of Archanea from Shadow Dragon.
Map of Ylisse from Awakening.
- Fire Emblem Warriors dialogue}}
- "If you really wanna know... Tens of thousands of years ago, the dragon tribe settled down on this continent, and created a civilization. They possessed intellect and abilities far exceedin' those of humans. But suddenly, outta nowhere, their day of destruction came. At first, they couldn't bear children. Then they began to lose their minds, goin' berserk one after the next. The elders warned that the end of dragons as a species was approachin'. There was no longer any way to prevent it. However, there was one way they could survive: to discard their identities as dragons and live on as humans. The dragons fell into a panic. Those who believed the elders sealed their forms within stones and became humans. But those who couldn't throw away their pride as a dragon; those who adamantly refused to become human... They eventually lost their minds and became naught but beasts..." - Xane, Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem
- " Y'see, I don't like humans. I've got nothin' but contempt for those who treated the defenseless Manaketes like insects. So I can understand why Medeus despised you humans so. Medeus, an Earth Dragon prince, was the only one of his tribe who become a Manakete. And, as ordered by Naga, he guarded the Dragon's Altar. But the once peaceful human race, drunk with power, began to rule with tyranny. They oppressed the dragons who had done nothin' wrong. Furious at their betrayal by humans, the Manaketes gathered in Dolhr, and they created a nation for their people. Then they fought to conquer humanity." - Xane, Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem
- "It was General Ordwin, one of the Three Heroes of the War of Liberation, who put Grust on the map. His peerless knights tamed their neighbors the barbarians in the kingdom’s infancy, securing its place as one of the greatest of the Seven Kingdoms." - Opening narration of Chapter 20, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon
- "Hear me, O ruler of ancient Altea and true lord of the Seven Realms... I summon thee, Marth, the Hero-King! Come forth and grant us your protection!" - Old Hubba, Fire Emblem Awakening
- "Tiki: After all, I slept there within the ice for several centuries. As I recall, it was a frozen hell plagued by barbarians and mage dragons.
Flavia: So the legends go. I can tell you the barbarians, at least, are still around.
Tiki: They are? But how do you keep them at bay? Are your villages not harassed day and night?
Flavia: Ha ha! I mean we're descended from the barbarians—the Feroxi people." - Tiki and Flavia, Fire Emblem Awakening
- "More changes can be witnessed in an early draft of the game’s world map.
While the shape of the Altesia Continent is different to the Archanea Continent, the general shape and locations of the countries are vaguely similar." — VincentASM, Making of Shadow Dragon (NES), Serenesforest.net, Published: January 7th 2016, Retrieved: December 16th 2017
|Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem|
|BS Fire Emblem: Archanea War Chronicles|
|Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon|
|Fire Emblem: New Mystery of the Emblem: Heroes of Light and Shadow|
|Fire Emblem Awakening|