Final Fantasy XIV takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, just before the Seventh Umbral Era, an apocalyptic event heralded by the descent and potential impact of the lesser moon Dalamud. Players create and customize avatars who participate in the affairs surrounding the impending invasion by the Garlean Empire and its relationship to Dalamud's descent. The various nation states of Eorzea reestablish their Grand Companies and form an alliance to prepare for the coming war with the Empire. Final Fantasy XIV makes use of the standard RPG exploration mechanics, consisting of several regions with unique geography, ranging from snowy mountains to lush forests. Regions are further divided into zones for the player to explore. Zones consist of cities, safe havens where monsters do not roam, over-world areas and dungeons, where monsters are abundant to be fought, and instanced areas, where players form small groups to defeat specific monsters and achieve objectives. While most zones and regions are traversed by walking, various modes of transportation exist that facilitate movement across the game world, ranging from classic Final Fantasy Chocobo's and airships, to teleportation via Aetheryte Crystal nodes. The game is set in the world of Hydaelyn, which cycles through prosperous Astral eras and disastrous Umbral eras. The original version of Final Fantasy XIV took place during an Astral era, while the A Realm Reborn relaunch will take place in a new Umbral era, triggered by the fall of one of the world's moons, Dalamud. Players are able to explore a region of Hydaelyn named Eorzea. The Eorzean realm is uniquely rich in Aether, a magical substance that flows through the planet and everything living on it. Aether can be used in a number of ways, including fuelling magic, powering Machina, aiding in crafting, and allowing instantaneous teleportation through Aetheryte Crystals. This valuable substance plays a key part in the game's lore, story, and events as different organisations and races compete for control over the substance. Three major city states exist within Eorzea; the bustling commercial hub of Ul'dah, the forest nation of Gridania, and the marine city-state of Limsa Lominsa. At the start of the game a player chooses one of these states as their home, and to progress through the story joins one of their Grand Companies - economic and military organisations which are tasked with defending the land. The game's main antagonists consist of the Beastmen races and the Garlean Empire. Beastmen are a group of intelligent but monstrous clans, whose ideals and objectives clash with the humanoid races. The Garlean Empire is a technologically advanced nation of Hyurs, hailing from outside of Erozea. The Garleans seek to conquer the land and its Aether, which powers their Magitek machinery.