The undying Steel Maiden’s secret

ArianrhodThe mere presence of the Steel Maiden spawned numerous theories over the course of the last five years. While Falcom continues to add mysteries to the ever-growing piles of speculations, potential answers in Sen no Kiseki III are still at least another year away.  Or are they?

While Akatsuki no Kiseki‘s success as a Kiseki game remains debatable, the canonical value of its core story is undeniable with the reveal of new royals in its third chapter.  And once we start to take its contents a little more seriously, it’s actual a rich source of information. We find that the capital of the lush Principality of Remiferia is called Ardent and that Campanella, as a playable character, makes use of rings for fighting.

Arian the Impalerhod

Arianrhod’s fifth weapon in Akatsuki is a lance named ‘Tepes’. Its description explains this means ‘The Impaler’. These names draw our immediate attention to Vlad Tepes (or Vlad the Impaler in English), a fifteenth Century prince in what we now know as Romania. This son of Vlad Dracul became the direct inspiration for Bram Stoker’s infamous novel Dracula and its eponymous bloodsucker.

In the Kiseki series vampires went unmentioned until Sen no Kiseki, which dedicated a 14 volume collectable book series to vampires and provided three volumes on Erebonian folklore, in which the entry for vampires read:

Vampires are powerful fiends said to suck the blood of humans. There are many tales that exist regarding them, with some stating that they turn to ash in sunlight and others suggesting they have no reflections, but all concur that they have significant enough power to be known as ‘the king of fiends.’

With other mythological creatures such as witches, gnomes , fiends, the Dark Dragon and Crimson Demon popping up, it’s safe to assume that Falcom did not dedicate so much attention to vampirism for no reason. So far, however, we’ve tried to explain Osborne’s elaborate game of peekaboo through vampirism, but there is certainly a reason to suspect Arianrhod as well.

Roseliarhod

With nothing else to go by, we turn to Red Moon Rose. Its first paragraph is of immediate relevance:

Our story begins in Erebonia during the Middle Ages, some two hundred years ago. The War of the Lions had concluded in Western Zemuria, and Emperor Dreichels, a driving force behind its resolution, had been deceased for over a decade.

The opening paragraph makes no mention of Lianne Sandlot, the leader of the Eisenritter that guided Emperor Dreichels toward the resolution of the war. What we do know is that St. Sandlot suddenly died after the war and that her body went missing, which Victor S. Arseid compares to Osborne’s missing body after the attempted assassination:

Hmm… A disappearing corpse is certainly cause for concern. It’s difficult NOT to draw parallels with the Lance Maiden’s sudden death following the War of the Lions…

Sen no Kiseki II, Act 2
Sen no Kiseki II, Act 2

After the fight with Arianrhod and Elie’s history lessons on the War of the Lions for the rest of the S.S.S in Ao no Kiseki,  she speculates possible causes for Sandlot’s death:

There are plenty of rumours [surrounding her death], such as an assassination or a certain illness…

Ao no Kiseki, Finale
Ao no Kiseki, Finale

What if Lianne Sandlot did not die because she was suddenly killed or kicked the bucket because of an illness. What if she became — or had always been — a vampire, that was cursed to live on in the darkness away from the general public and only came out after sunset?

A-Ahaha… O-Oh, actually, one of the accounts of St. Sandlot’s death places at right around this time of year. So it’s almost the anniversary, and last night WAS a full moon…

What if Arianrhod owes her inhumane strength to the vampiric blood running through her veins? What if she went on to live as Rose, the titular heroin of Red Moon Rose and the last remaining True Ancestor, the most powerful among vampires?

Arianrhod SD

Her ash-blond hair reached as far as her neck […] Her cool blue eyes locked with his.

What if Lianne Sandlot was, like Rose, an ardent believer, which are said to be the only ones capable of wielding the ‘Holy Avenger’ lance Arianrhod uses in Akatsuki no Kiseki?

Thaumaturgy, as Rose explained it, was the collective name for special techniques used by a small number of people belonging to the Septian Church. […] Curious, Alphonse asked Rose if she was connected to the church, to which she responded, ‘Feel free to think of it that way.’

What if her inexplicable loyalty to the Grandmaster comes from gratitude for ridding her of her cursed bloodline through divergent means, enough to drop her legendary name of St. Lianne Sandlot or moniker Roselia in favour of, as Rixia — the current Yin — theorised, the title of Arianrhod?

If so, then what does that make Osborne?

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