FFXIV Endwalker Preview: A Walkthrough of Old Sharlayan, Garlemald, and Thavnair

Let’s have a look at three of the regions you’ll visit in the upcoming expansion.

Everyone is excited to go to the Moon, but Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker is more than a lunar adventure. There will be a host of new locales to visit, friends to make, and monsters to kill on Eorzea itself. In a recent media tour, we were able to wander around three of these locations: Old Sharlayan, Garlemald, and Thavnair.

Each location was in an early, pre-release state. There were enemies, sure, but a number of non-player characters were nameless or couldn’t be interacted with. Likewise, vendors were either missing or nameless. This meant each region was open to a lot of speculation as to the purpose of each area within it.

We stress again: This article is based on playing an in-development build of Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, and content in the final version is subject to change.

Without further ado, let’s go on a tour!

You can also check out the rest of our coverage of the media tour:

Old Sharlayan

First up is Old Sharlayan: the new hub city for Endwalker, similar to Shadowbringers’ Crystarium or Stormblood’s Kugane. Sharlayan is a nation of scholars, scientists, and historians that ponder the magic and history of Eorzea. Many facets of FFXIV magic and technology originate from Sharlayan — like the Aetherytes that allow players to teleport around the world.

Sharlayan is also the point of origin for the Circle of Knowing, not to mention the home of its founder, Louisoix Leveilleur. Louisoix took a Bahamut Megafare to the face in the opening cinematic for A Realm Reborn (which you may have seen in its opening cutscene), but his legacy continues with his grandchildren, the twins Alphinaud and Alisaie. You can expect to hear more about their past as their father, Fourchenault Leveilleur, is one of the major leaders of Old Sharlayan.  

The Ferry Docks

Let’s start with The Ferry Docks, which look to be the primary entrance to Old Sharlayan. From here, you can see the city itself stretching out in front and above you, including the giant statue of Thaliak the Scholar, the patron deity of the city. 

Scholar’s Harbor

This is a larger region in the southern part of the city, stretching from The Ferry Docks in the east to The Scholar statue in the west. The small road to the statue is called the Thaliak Stoa. There looks to be a spot here for some vendors to congregate, as well as a restaurant called the Last Stand, nearer to the west side of the region. There’s also a single mini-Aetheryte located here for Aethernet travel within the city. 

FFXIV Endwalker Archon's Design
Welcome to the Archon’s Design, the center of the city of Old Sharlayan.

Archon’s Design

This is the city’s center. Here, you’ll find the Aetheryte Plaza, home to probably the most ornate Aetheryte yet seen in FFXIV. Carved into an almost nautilus shell design, it’s a centerpiece showcasing Sharlayans command of technology.

Northeast of the Aetheryte Plaza, you’ll find the Agora. This area is laid out like Kugane’s Kogane Dori, the Crystarium’s Musica Universalis, or Eulmore’s Aetheryte Plaza. Which is to say a compact area with lots of counterspace for merchants. I’d expect to find general vendors and tombstone vendors here. 

To the northwest are two more buildings. The first is the Confluence, which looks to be where Aetherytes are crafted before being shipped around Eorzea. Next to that, you’ll find the Baldesion Annex, a mostly empty building that will likely serve as the headquarters to the Students of Baldesion. This group of scholars includes Krile — the adopted daughter of Galuf Baldesion as well as Alphinaud’s mentor — and G’raha Tia. It’s worth noting that the Baldesion Annex actually has its own music separate from Old Sharlayan’s general soundtrack. (This building is sadly not in the video walkthrough due to footage issues.)

Journey’s End

Heading east from the city center, you’ll approach Journey’s End, which looks to be the residential district of Old Sharlayan. There’s one mini-Aetheryte here and another to the North in a small fountain area called Auk’s Landing. From Auk’s Landing, you can see the massive Leveilleur Estate. You can enter the estate, which screams opulence, including servants at the ready. Alphinaud and Alisaie are the Eorzean 1%, yeah?

The Rostra

Directly north of the Aetheryte Plaza is the Rostra, a massive structure that overlooks the entire city. This appears to house the city’s government, including the Forum, which was shown briefly in the Endwalker trailer but was inaccessible during our preview. In the basement of the building lies the Hall of Artifice, a room with two giant structures that look to be elevators. This is the only other exit from the city, but where it leads is a complete mystery (for now). 

FFXIV Endwalker Library
The Noumenon is the repository for Eorzea’s knowledge.


Finally, on the West side of the city is Tranquility. This is where the scholars of Old Sharlayan learn their craft and explore Eorzea’s past. 

To the northern side of this region lies the Studium, which seems like a giant university for… learning. Outside the building, you’ll find another mini-Aetheryte (which ought to cut some of the stress out of getting to class). The main hall of the Studium is then called Phenomenon, featuring NPCs that look to be from the major Grand Companies. To the left and right of this are Searcher’s Meet and Makers’ Meet — likely homes to Disciples of the Land and Disciples of the Hand within Old Sharlayan. Both locations lacked any vendors or NPCs during the preview period, but the names fit the gatherer and crafter subclasses nicely.

On the southern side of Tranquility, you can enter Noumenon. This is a giant library: one that we glimpsed in the full Endwalker trailer with G’raha Tia doing some unhappy research in the lower depths of the building. The actual in-game location shows multiple floors, but only a single floor is available.


We’ve seen small bits of Garlemald in cutscenes, but now players get a chance to explore the region in greater detail. While the Garlean Empire has faux-Roman aesthetics here and there, Garlemald itself looks to be based on Russian or Eastern European areas in the real world. Garlemald is a cold, desolate place, ruined even further by some unknown cataclysm prior to the Warrior of Light’s arrival. The region of death and despair is presided over by a massive fortress teeming with Dark energy. 

In the southwest, you’ll spot another major Aetheryte location: the sadly-named Camp Broken Glass. It’s likely from here that the Warrior of Light will head out in the rest of Garlemald. You also get a look at the Garlean version of an Aetheryte — a more shattered, industrial style than we’ve seen in other locations. 

Heading due west from the town, you’ll come across Monitoring Station G and then the Juterna Platform G. The latter is a larger oil rig-style facility sitting on the edge of Cerulea Ingens, a sea of ice and glowing blue crystal. Judging from the pipeline heading north, this was used to power the main city with Garlean Magitek, though the pipeline itself lies in ruins. 

FFXIV Garlemald
A dark fortress towers above a ruined city.

Train tracks encircle the main city as a testament to Garlean industry. Once again, though, the trains themselves no longer run. As you follow the pipeline north, you can find the Runaway Train, a set of derailed train cars, and then a derelict train station. Underneath this station is the other major Garlemald Aethertye. This location is called Tertium, with refugees from whatever happened to Garlemald living in train cars underground. The Magitek train cars loom larger, but there’s nowhere for them to go anymore.

The main city area, called Regio Urbanissma, takes up most of the map. Though it’s seen far better days. In comparison to the small bits of Garlemald we saw in story cutscenes, Regio Urbanissma is now a burned-out husk of a population center. Mighty highways and tall buildings lay shattered across the landscape; the only thing wandering throughout the city are monsters. In the center is Palatium Novum, which was likely the tallest structure outside of the fortress. Now, the huge spire lies cut in half. What happened here?

Outside the sinister fortress is the only intact structure in the area: The Enceladeum. This looks to be a building dedicated to black science with mutated Magna Roaders patrolling the grounds. How did this place survive what destroyed the rest of the city? I suspect we’ll find out.


The final region available in the preview demo was Thavnair. If Garlemald walks with the gait of Russia or Eastern Europe, then Thavnair is clearly inspired by the colors and life of India. Here, you’ll find beaches, plains, and a massive jungle, alongside a few towns and outposts. 

You’ll likely start in the region at Yedlihmad, a bustling seaside town. In the center, you find a Sharlayan-style Aetheryte, while just outside there’s a set of training dummies to test your skills. Within the area itself there are shops and buildings to enter, but the lack of NPCs means the true purpose of these structures is currently unknown. There were some citizens wandering around town, though, including one from a new Beast Tribe: the elephant-like Matanga. 

FFXIV Thavnair
The town of Yedlihmad sleeps as the Tower of Zot looms in the distance.

Directly West of Yedlihmad, you’ll find the region of Saltwind’s Welcome, a long coastal beach that eventually gives way to rolling hills. During the demo we ran into a difficult hunt just outside of town against the lion-like creature Sugriva. The monster is named after a character in the Indian epic Ramayana, lending more of the obvious inspiration. 

Farther along the coast are two large towers. This marks the area of the Great Work. Here, you’ll find a second major Aetheryte — though this one is closer to the classic style you’d find in an A Realm Reborn location like Limsa Lominsa. What is the purpose of this location? Who knows! But you’ll find a lone Matanga in a room of what looks to be steam engines. It’s also worth mentioning that there was no music here — meaning there’s likely a music track specific to this area that’s just not in-game yet. Whether it’s because Square Enix is still working on the game or didn’t want to spoil a song, it’s hard to say.

To the north of the Great Work, you’ll see the Tower of Zot, which seems to be the first dungeon in Endwalker. Players caught up on the Main scenario quest in patch 5.4 will recognize the Tower of Zot as another one of the dark towers created by the Ascian Fandaniel for… some nefarious purpose. You can’t fly up directly to the tower, however, as it’s quite a ways off the coast. 

Heading to the east of the Tower of Zot entrance, you’ll find the Perfumed Rise region, where the landscape moves up in the mountains. Two locations are here, including the Hamsa Hatchery and the Giantsgall Grounds — a quarry where the local citizens are seemingly mining the colorful marble of the area.

FFXIV Thavnair Wakeful Torna
Where will the Wakeful Torna lead?

The map ends just northeast of the Giantsgall Grounds. Here is a bridge called The Wakeful Torana. Just beyond that is a massive structure with two giant Matanga monoliths watching over it. 

Turning south, players will head into the jungle canopy known as the Shroud of the Samgha. There’s a single outpost in this region, the town of Palaka’s Stand, which has its own Aetheryte. Northeast of the town is a large butte with a temple complex on top. This is Kadjaya’s Footsteps, a monument that is seemingly dedicated to Dancers, with statues performing the familiar steps and wielding chakras surrounding a single peacock statue.

Within the Shroud, you’ll also find the Font of Maya, a statue depicting a multi-armed Matanga looking over a fountain. Is this perhaps the Primal of the Matanga that the Warrior of Light will have to contend with in some way? 

Thus ends our long travelogue of the new locations in Endwalker. We hope we gave you a good idea of what to expect from the new regions, alongside our video walkthroughs of each. Be sure to check out all of our preview coverage related to Final Fantasy XIV in the run-up to the launch of The Linkshell, our Final Fantasy XIV vertical coming soon!

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker will be released on November 23 for PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, and Mac. Early Access starts on November 19.