Final Fantasy XII takes place mostly in the Kingdom of Dalmasca, a relatively small city-state in the world of Ivalice. A neutral party in the past wars between the neighboring Empires of Archadia and Rozarria, Dalmasca was ultimately conquered by Archadia and reduced to the status of an occupied state under Archadian rule, when its King Raminas signed the city into Imperial rule.
As a result, formerly-loyal knight Basch fon Ronsenburg murders his king for his betrayal. Witnessing the betrayal is young knight Reks, who reveals Basch’s betrayal in his last breaths. Marquis Ondore, head of the sky city Bhujerba, narrates that the King’s daughter, Ashe, has committed suicide after her newly-wed husband, Rasler, was shot and killed with an arrow from an Archadian Imperial soldier during the Battle of Nalbina Fortress. He also announces Basch has been executed for high treason.
Final Fantasy XII revolves around the attempt to liberate the kingdom of Dalmasca from the Archadian Empire. The story is told through the eyes of a man named Vaan, an orphan who wishes to be a sky pirate, and the various characters he encounters throughout his adventure.