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[[{{SUBST:The Ice Queen Shiva-A Tragedy of Treason}}|   ]]
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The Ice Queen Shiva-
A Tragedy of Treason
[[{{SUBST:The Ice Queen Shiva-A Tragedy of Treason}}|   ]]
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SE-Shiva

Long, long ago in the southern regions of Vana'diel lived a solitary queen who reigned over a tiny kingdom. This queen was named Shiva. Following the will of her mother, she became the sovereign of her country at the age of 15. Due to her youth, however, she was placed under the tutelage of her uncle, the Duke. From the very start, this arrangement plunged the kingdom into terrible anxiety.

In spite of this, the young Shiva, who had been seen disparagingly as a simple marionette lacking independent thought and free will, was a prodigy in both the realms of diplomacy and the battlefield. In the face of the unreasonable demands of empires far greater than her kingdom she debated with the utmost ingenuity; in times of war, she fought alongside her forces on the front lines, giving them a sense of unrivaled encouragement. It was for these very reasons that she became ingrained in the memories of the people as the most brilliant ruler of her dynasty.

Several years passed. Her wisdom and the prosperity it brought to her people further spread throughout the continent, bringing in flocks of merchants and artisans within the castle walls. The name of Queen Shiva was heard even in the farthest regions of the world, and at this time, not even the most powerful monarchs easily dared to overthrow what was known as The Great House of Shiva.

Everyone in kingdom came to be truly grateful for Shiva's rise to the throne. With the exception of a handful of the noblesse.

Worrying over their gradual loss of influence and wealth, they sought to consult the Duke, whose place as Shiva's official guardian and tutor had not been completely forgotten.


To the Duke, their sense of dissatisfaction was a very convenient thing indeed. In all truth, from the very instant of the late queen's death, his heart became deeply filled with an ambition for the seizure of kingdom's throne.

Becoming the guardian of the then-inexperienced queen, he had hoped to place the control of the country in his hands behind her back; however, despite his intentions and the pre-conceived notions of the upper aristocrats, Shiva was a sagacious and tactful ruler. As a result of her growing popularity, even his lofty position as the kingdom's Duke had become endangered.

Upon gaining the support of the noblemen, Shiva's uncle contracted a secret alliance with the neighboring empires, and thus completed his meticulous plan to surround Shiva in a deadly political triangle.

The coup-d'état succeeded all too easily.

Betrayal and usurpation by the man she had embraced with her utmost trust was completely unexpected by Shiva. By the time she understood what was being done to her, her Uncle, who sat on the gilded throne while grinning in a demonic fashion, made his first decree as the kingdom's sovereign: Shiva would be banished to the Northlands. In truth, the wicked Duke, despite his deepest wishes, dared not order Shiva's execution due to her state of high esteem amongst the people; thus, her quiet and frigid death in the Northlands was seen by him as the easiest way to accomplish his goals without provoking public uproar.

The tragedy thus continued.

In reality, the empire that contributed the most to the success of rebellion was even cleverer. As soon as the Queen had departed, the imperial century that had been under the command of the Duke began to plunder the city in a wild frenzy, refusing to listen to the Duke's futile orders for restraint.

Upon seeing this, the nobles' opinion of the Duke's competence faded, and it was not long before chaos within the court erupted. All along, the empire had waited for this opportunity. The army seized the castle, arresting the royal house, bringing the country to its knees. In a short week, the tiny kingdom that had been so lovingly adored was no more, reborn under the flag of the Great Southern Empire.

The Duke was killed in a short execution thereafter and the small remnants of the Kingdom's soldiers, having lost both their ruler and mother country, scattered. One of Shiva's loyal subjects, the general Aeomatra, however, had the idea of leading out a rescue party to the artic regions to save their Queen.

Despite their determination, their Southern ways were their weakness. Unaccustomed to the frigid glaciers, the party faced many difficulties and one after another, the soldiers that had so yearned for Shiva slowly froze to death.

Finally, Aeomatra and 10 of the remaining soldiers came to discover their queen.

However, what they had found was a breathtaking yet saddening sight. Sleeping eternally, frozen in a crystal of ice, was the great Shiva.

With their last bits of strength, they drew their swords from their scabbards and shouted cries of their allegiance. And in those few moments they drew their last breaths, shouting aloud:

"Even if we become frozen in ice, we shall remain forever loyal to our Queen! If only the dreaded empires of the south would feel our vengeance for their sinful acts!"

Sometime afterward, hail began to fall inexplicably in the lands of the Southern Empire. Some time passed, and amongst the people it became rumored that this hail was a form of Shiva's vengeance.

Year by year, the blizzards became stronger. The Southern Emperor, rightfully fearful of Shiva's vengeance, ordered the erection of a shrine in the name of Shiva, as suggested by one of his vassals.

The Goddess Altana, watching the tragedy of Shiva's kingdom from above and the Emperor's decision to reform his traitorous ways, descended to the Artic and quelled the aura of fury cast upon the Northlands by the curse of the frozen knights--the rage that could be felt on every bitter squall disappeared, returning the perpetual snowfall of the region to a sense of silent harmony. The Goddess then called Shiva to the celestial plane, where she could watch over and protect her kingdom forevermore.

And since that time, hail has never come to fall in the Southern Lands.

[[{{SUBST:The Ice Queen Shiva-A Tragedy of Treason}}|   ]]
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Taken from: Vana'diel Tribune Issue No. 11



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Notes

Note: Aeomatra is the brighest star in the Shiva constellation in Vana'diel's sky. It is a light blue-colored star.


Article in the original Japanese

むかしむかし、南方にひとりの女王が治める小さな国がありました。

女王の名はシヴァ。先代女王の遺言によって、わずか15歳で女王となった彼女に対し、伯父の公爵が後見しているとはいえ、当初、周囲の心配は大変なものでした。

しかし、頼りなげに見えた彼女は、いざ王位につくと、外交の場では無理難題を要求する大国と智謀をつくして渡り合い、また戦争となると最前線にまで赴き兵士を鼓舞したため、すぐに国民の人気者になりました。

やがて数年がたった頃には、彼女の人柄を慕って多くの商人や職人も城内に集うようになり、女王シヴァの名声は遠国にまでとどろき始めたので、彼女の国を狙う大国も簡単には手を出せなくなりました。

国民の誰もが、シヴァが女王になったことを喜ぶようになっていました。ただ、ひとにぎりの貴族を除いては。

彼らは自分たちの権力や財力が徐々に弱まっていることを心配し、彼女の後見人である公爵の下に足しげく相談に訪れるようになりました。

公爵にとっても、彼らの不満は、好都合なものでした。野心家の公爵は、実は先代女王が亡くなったときから、ずっと王の座を狙っていたのです。

未熟な女王の頼れる後見人となって、背後から国の実権を握るつもりだったのですが、シヴァは意に反して聡明でした。それどころか、今では彼の立場さえ危うくなっているありさま。

公爵は、大国と内通して支援の約束をとりつけるなど、二重三重の綿密な計画を練って、貴族たちと共に反乱の火の手を上げました。

意外にも、反乱はあっけないほど簡単に成功しました。

信頼をよせていた公爵の裏切りは、シヴァにとって予想外の出来事だったのです。彼女が、自分の身に起きたことを理解したときには、玉座に座った伯父が、シヴァを極北の地へ追放する旨を宣言していました。

あまりにも、国民の人気が高かったため、さすがの公爵も直接手を下すのはためらわれたのです。

悲劇はさらに続きました。

反乱に協力した大国は、公爵以上にずる賢かったのです。公爵に従っていた大国の軍隊は、女王がいなくなるやいなや、彼の制止も聞かずに町で略奪を始めました。

これがきっかけで公爵に対する貴族らの信頼は薄れ、やがて内乱が起こりました。この時を待っていた大国は早速介入し、事実上、小国を占領してしまいました。

公爵も命を落とし、祖国を失った兵士たちが散り散りになる中、シヴァの忠臣だったエーオマトラ率いる軍勢は、わずかな手がかりをおって極北の地へ女王の救出に向かいました。

しかし、南国出身である彼らにとって、極寒の中での捜索は困難を極め、シヴァを慕う兵はひとり、またひとりと、凍えながら倒れていきました。

やがて、エーオマトラとわずかに生き残った10人の兵士は、ついに女王を見つけだしました。

しかし、それは美しい姿のまま氷の中に眠る女王のなきがらでした。

彼らは、最後の力をふりしぼって、凍てつく鞘から剣を引き抜くと、忠誠の誓いをたて、そのままそこで息絶えてオまいました。

「我ら、たとえ氷となりても女王シヴァに従わん!  願わくば、業深きかの国に報いが訪れんことを!」

南方の大国に、なぜか雹(ひょう)が降るようになったのは、それから、数年が過ぎた頃でした。雪も見たことがない人々は、この雹が氷の女王シヴァの復讐だと噂し、恐れおののきました。

年々激しくなる雹に、すっかり怯えてしまった大国の王は、家臣に言われるがまま、女王を祭る神殿を建立しました。

シヴァの小さな国を昔から見ていた女神は、大国の王が改心したことを認めると、極北の地に降り立ち、シヴァの軍勢の怒気を静め、彼女を天へと招きました。シヴァが、いつまでも彼女の国を見守れるように……。

それ以来、南の地に雹が降ることはありませんでした。


Credibility of the Avatar Legends

The stories told in the Vana'diel Tribune might not be actually true. There are some points in the main storyline of FFXI that contradict the facts said in these stories.

It is possible that these stories are actual legends that are spread around by the people of Vana'diel. This becomes even more likely considering that most of the time the Vana'diel Tribune is being told from the point of view of people actually in Vana'diel.

Legends of the Constellations
Chapters: The Ice Queen Shiva-A Tragedy of Treason | The Hermit Ramuh | The Legendary Giant Titan
Leviathan, Guardian God of the Sea | The Transformation of Ifrit | Garuda, The Queen of Birds-A Tale of Granted Wishes


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