Long ago, in the land of Ivalice, the gods granted their favor to King Raithwall, who would oversee the subjugation of a vast territory spanning from Ordalia to Valendia. At the midpoint of his lands, he summoned forth those among his people who were noble and loyal, and forged the Galtean Alliance, through which he demonstrated compassion for his people and disdain for needless war—a philosophy passed on to his successors, and one that would bring peace and prosperity for hundreds of years to follow, thus earning him the title Dynast King. It was during this time of peace that the city-states of Landis, Archadia, and Rozarria, each members of Raithwall's alliance, took root and flourished.
Raithwall himself was gifted with two daughters, who would become the matrons of House Nabradia and House Dalmasca. To them, he granted equal portions of his land, positioned west of Archadia and east of Rozarria, south of Landis and north of the floating islands, and requested a burial at a location that his daughters should agree on, and tell no one of. This was done, but the contentment of the Alliance was diminished, for the Dynast King left three relics signifying decent from House Raithwall. Of these, the Dawn Shard was given to the Kingdom of Nabradia, and the Dusk Shard to the Kingdom of Dalmasca. The last of these relics was the Midlight Shard, which remained hidden within the Dynast King's tomb, buried with him upon his death. No parting gifts were given to the city-states—indeed, their rulers were not even told where Raithwall was laid to rest. Thus a great animosity grew, and the Alliance was forgotten.
The kingdoms lived in peace for many generations, seeing no vice-filled royals that threatened the honor of their thrones, and no conflict that could not be settled through simple diplomacy, but alas, the peace would not hold. Ordalia and Valendia soon fell to Archadia and Rozarria, and bitter battle was waged over ownership of the Republic of Landis. For many years, the two great empires struggled for dominion over Ivalice, but after the divide and fall of Landis, the Kingdoms of Dalmasca and Nabradia, which sat physically between the empires, sought an alliance—a return to their shared heritage—and found it in a marriage of convenience: Princess Ashelia B'nargin Dalmasca and Prince Rasler Hetos Nabradia were wed mere weeks after the final surrender of Landis—a symbol of the alliance between their countries. Both empires knew that no good would come of this for them, but it was six years before either acted on their impulses.
With the Landisian Resistance at last quelled, Archadia sought to strike before Rozarria, for neither empire had gained more land than the other in their previous competition. Nabradia's royal city of Nabudis fell to Archadia in a hail of fire, and with it Nabradia's royal family, both the current king and the future one. Unfortunately, the death of Lord Rasler was but one of many tragedies to befall Dalmasca. The body was retrieved by the exiled Landisian Captain Basch Ronsenburg and returned to the young widow for proper burial, but the air of hope that had surrounded Her Royal Highness's wedding was now quite lost, for there were no heirs, and now no Nabradia to ally with. Dalmasca, which stood at the exact geographical center of the conflict, had been set adrift, at the mercy of history's restless tides.
The invasion of Landis was but Archadia's first step in its war-fed march. With Lord Rasler's beloved homeland consumed by battle, it seemed clear that Archadia would soon mete out a like fate to the land-locked Dalmasca. The fall of the fortress at Nalbina tolled the destruction of the greater part of Dalmasca's forces, and though a counter-attack was mounted by the Order of the Knights of Dalmasca, ever brave and faithful, against the martial might of the Archadian armies, they stood little chance of victory.
Barely before the bodies strewn about Nalbina were cold, Archadia came forward, offering terms of peace—or, as one might rather put it, terms of Dalmasca's surrender. Lord Raminas, King of Dalmasca, had no choice but to accept these terms. It was thus only with reluctance that he set out for Nalbina Fortress—now under Archadian occupation—to affix his seal to the emperor's treaty of "peace." The king had scarce departed his royal city of Rabanastre when the remnants of the Order made their return. The esteemed Captain Azelas York Vossler, personal guard of Princess Ashelia, allied with Captain Ronsenburg, the former personal guard of Prince Rasler and now a legal citizen of Dalmasca, mustered the surviving troops to serve under the Order, only to destroy their country's last hope. The aim of the attack was to rescue the king, but it instead resulted in his murder. The treacherous Ronsenburg left none alive.
Pretenses of peace left by the wayside, the Archadian forces resumed their advance toward Rabanastre, finding no resistance, for the newly appointed queen, wrought with grief at her father's death, her kingdom's defeat, her friend's betrayal, and her bodyguard's disappearance, took her own life on the night before her coronation. Dalmasca's doom had been decided. To make resistance would serve no end, and so the Marquis Halim Ondore of Bhujerba, brother-in-law to the deceased king, addressed the Dalmascan citizenry:
"Sons and daughters of Dalmasca, I bid you lay down your arms; raise songs of prayer in their stead. Prayer for His Majesty, King Raminas, ever merciful—a man devoted wholly to peace. Prayer, too, for the noble Princess Ashelia, who suffered a greater pain than we could imagine. And even prayer for Captain Ronsenburg, that he may come to peace on his final night of life. But know also that they who at this late hour choose still the sword are cut of the same cloth as the captain: traitors who would lead Dalmasca to her ruin."
For high treason, incitement of sedition, the murders of twenty-one royal soldiers, and the assassination of His Royal Highness King Raminas, Basch Ronsenburg was found guilty and put to his death. But the public had little time to react to this, for the very next day their princess was laid to rest between her husband and her father. Servants stole the bedsheets she died on, still stained with the remaining poison that spilled from her cup as she collapsed, and tossed them into the crowds, where they were shredded beyond recognition. Dalmasca's surrender without terms was soon to follow.