To someone barely glimpsing at the history of Ala Mhigo, its conquest by the Garlean empire might come as a surprise, however, as we delve into the country’s history we come to understand how it was subjugated so easily.
Ala Mhigo’s foundation and destruction lay in an odd mix of strife and religion.
When the land flooded during the sixth Umbral Era, the survivors found themselves wandering on the higher grounds that were still free of water. The legend says Rhalgr made a comet appear in the sky in the eastern reaches of the Abalathia’s Spine. Several wanderers heeded the god’s call and found their home in Gyr Abania.
The land was inhospitable and the clans fought each other for its limited resources. When a clan became too strong, an ephemeral coalition between the other clans would crush it.
After about a millennium of constant conflict came a man called Anshelm Cotter. He was a natural leader and a tactical genius. He managed what no other clan chief had: he subdued all the clan and formed what would become the city state of Ala Mhigo.
He built a huge citadel and he named it Ala Mhigo. From this strategic position, he could easily defend from attacks from the North. He also built several watchtowers along the roads leading from Eorzea to the Near East. The northern invaders were watched, but so were the merchants. No merchants could pass through without paying the passage fees.
In 1468, 7th Astral Era, about three centuries after the rile of Anshelm, sea travel upset the fragile Ala Mhigan’s economy. The traffic on the merchant road dwindled to almost nothing and the passage fees were no longer enough to support the country. Their king, Manfred, decided to assault the Twelveswood in an effort to secure a more prosperous land. His effort succeeded at first, but Ul’dah, Limsa Lominsa and Ishgard, seeing Ala Mhigo as a threat, united their strength to Gridania. Together they defeated Ala Mhigo and pushed them back into the Abalathia’s spine The Ala Mhigan army’s defeat weakened the royalty. The the Fist of Rhalgr, a religious order who had a lot of supporters, malcontents, high born and low born alike, began meddling in politic.
To call the Fist of Rhalgr a religious order is truth and yet so far from the truth. The monks were superb hand to hand combatants that made up a large part of the Ala Mhigan military power.
Taking advantage of the royalty weakness, they took key position as advisors. The Fist of Rhalgr became the state religion. Religion and state held in a precarious balance.
This balance broke when Theodoric the first, better known as the king of ruin, took the throne in 1546. To discredit the monks, he decreed that he had been instructed by Nymeia to lead the nation and made the worship of Rhalgr illegal. Six years after ascending to the throne, he led his army against the Fist’s main temple, killing everyone. The monks were pretty much eradicated, and the city-state lost some of its greatest combatants. In the next five years, he would turn upon the royalty. Seeing traitors everywhere, he would execute many of them on trumped up charges. Even the queen ended up losing her life to the King of Ruin.
There’s a lot of speculation on Theodoric. Some claim that he was simply insane, others claim that he had a foreign advisor that fed his paranoia. No matter the reason, his reign was a bloody one. Eleven years after his coronation, he died alone and betrayed. His paranoia created exactly what he was so afraid of: traitors.
The king's body was still warm when the Garlean Empire attacked. With no leader and a broken army, Ala Mhigo offered a sloppy resistance at best.
Since then, Ala Migho has been occupied by the empire. They have two roles in the Garlean empire: Cannon fodder for the army, or cheap labor for the magitek factories.