Loosely translated as “Game over”, Acta Est Fabula is the latest and – weighing in at almost 3000 words – longest theory submitted by Aliseyun. An overarching theory encompassing the major aspects of Erebonian lore, ranging from the Witches and Gnomes, Zoro-Agruga and the Divine Knights, and of course that mysterious Great Power.
I. The Celestial Titans
“In the beginning, there were two great gods.” (Black Records)
In the first volume of the Black Records, a battle between two “Gods” is described, one who boasts “Unrivaled Courage”, and the other who boasts “Unparalleled Fortitude”.
I am of the opinion that these two Gods refer to two highly advanced ancient civilizations, each centering around a Sept-Terrion. The titan boasting “Unrivaled Courage” pretty clearly suggests the Fire Treasure, while the one boasting “Unparalleled Fortitude” can refer to a few elements, the ones that come instantly to my mind are Earth, Water, and Wind. Earth because it is associated with defense arts, and Wind/Water because of its healing properties. For most of theory, I will assume that the second titan refers to the Wind OR Water Treasure. The reason I do not feel that it is the Earth treasure, is that the Records state “and it was upon the dark land below that they first met”. The root of the name “Erebonia” is “Erebos”, a Greek deity representing the personification of darkness, hence the term “Dark Land”. For this reason, I believe the second treasure to be wind, and not earth, as the earth treasure is speculated to be in Calvard. As for it not being either wind or water for most of this theory, it does not change most of the theory, and does not become relevant until the end, at which point I will explain it.
Upon their battle ending in mutual defeat, “the empty shells of the two celestial titans were flung to the furthest reaches of the dark land”. I believe this to refer to the two giant statues in Nord and Bryonia Island, which conveniently exist on opposite ends of the Empire. Now we come to the final line of the first volume of the records, “All that remained were terrible: their kin…and the Great Power.” First, the Great Power, I suspect is a fusion of the two treasures, formed in their end of mutual defeat. As for their kin, I believe it to refer to the members of the civilizations centered around those treasures, who joined together following the catastrophe, and became known as the “Hexen Clan”.
II. The Great One
“The First to be born, and the last to stand.” (Valimar, Reverie Corridor)
Following the fusion of the two treasures into the Great Power, the divine energy left by the treasures existed in a raw state, as if to consume the land around it. In order to prevent this, both the Witches and the Gnomes decided to work together to save their world. The Gnomes built a shell to contain the energy, and the Witches worked on a method to seal the energy within said shell.
However, they quickly noticed a problem with this. The two treasures fought because they were incompatible with each other, and just as before, they begun to fight each other again, this time while still sealed. In order to prevent another calamity, the Great One was further broken down into seven fragments, that way the fragments could be pit against each other, each holding a fraction of the original power, so that the battles themselves would be on a smaller scale. These fragments became known as the Divine Knights.
In order to make sure that the knights were used only when the power needed to be released, the trial system was constructed, only to activate after a certain period of time when the power contained within reached a critical point. To future proof this plan, the Hexen Clan was tasked with erasing the memories of the populace following every battle.
III. The Dark Dragon
“The Shadow that reigned over Heimdallr.” (Gideon, Catacombs)
In Septian Calendar year 371, for an unknown reason, the Dark Dragon Zoro-Agruga appeared in Heimdallr, spreading its miasma and turning the capital into a city of the dead. In response to this, the Erebonian Imperial Family was forced to move the capital to the south, to Saint-Arkh.
While there is not enough information to conclude a reason for Zoro-Agruga’s appearance, there are things tying it to Gehenna (said things will be covered later in this theory) and for this reason I believe it to be one of the Seventy-Seven Devils from the Church’s Testaments.
Nearly a hundred years passed with no hope showing of defeating the beast, until a Divine Knight regained its power, and the first of the trials became active. Emperor Hector II underwent this trial in the vicinity of Saint-Arkh, and became the Awakener of the Vermillion Divine Knight, Testa-Rossa.
In Septian Calendar year 470, the Vermillion Awakener marched on Heimdallr, and slew the Dark Dragon. As stated in the Black Records, following this, the blood of the dragon claimed Hector II’s life, and defiled the body of the knight, placing a curse on it. Following this the Divine Knight was sealed deep below Heimdallr, never meant to be awoken again.
IV. The Vermillion Ascends
“Thus the Vermillion Apocalypse was created” (Black Records)
During the height of the War of the Lions, False Emperor Orthros unsealed and awoke the sleeping Testa-Rossa, becoming its Awakener. He fell the Palatinate Knight and its Awakener, and sought to elevate his knight to even greater power. I believe that over the centuries, Zoro-Agruga’s curse had slowly been eating away at the Knight, heading towards its core where the fragment of divine power rests.
As its Awakener, Orthros let the curse penetrate the core, corrupting the divine power itself. This gave birth to the Blaze Demon God, the Vermillion Apocalypse, and with it came the Infernal Castle.
V. The Gehenna Connection
“Just as the Black Records told” (Rufus Albarea, Pantagruel)
Earlier on in the theory I made the claim that Zoro-Agruga was one of the Seventy-Seven Devils, but I provided no reasoning to back up that claim. As it turns out, the Infernal Castle provides all of the evidence I need.
In addition to Emma stating it was pushed up by “Purgatory’s Great Tree”, the Castle is teeming with Demons and Fiends found in Gehenna. Given that the castle itself is a result of Zoro-Agruga’s curse, it stands to reason that it is that same curse summoning fiends into this world.
In addition to this, outside the room in the Catacombs where the remains of the dragon rest, two fiends stand guard. This cements the link between Zoro-Agruga and Gehenna.
VI. The Flame Demon
“All of me” (McBurn, Pantagruel)
One of the big mysteries right now is what it means to be “mixed”, as McBurn puts it. And thanks to Emma, I think I’ve found the answer for it.
Upon seeing his demon form, Emma states “He’s just like the Flame Demon in ancient legend.” And there is one flame demon we know, the Vermillion Apocalypse. According to Erebonian Folklore Vol. 3:
[The Crimson Demon] A fabled devil said to wield a thousand weapons. Accounts describe it as wreathed in flames, but only a small number of reports exist, all found in the areas surrounding Heimdallr.
So, now we have a link between McBurn and the Vermillion Apocalypse, and the question is: “What are they mixed with?” There’s only one answer to this question, and it’s the blood of Zoro-Agruga.
VII. The Lance Maiden
“The pride of Legram” (Laura S. Arseid, Legram)
Among those who fought alongside Driechels in the War of the Lions was St. Lianne Sandlot, also known as the “Lance Maiden”. A common theory, which I personally support, states that St. Sandlot is still alive, and is using the name of Arianrhod. However, in addition to being one of the most powerful beings in Zemuria, I believe she has even more power up her sleeve.
Upon defeating Lucifuge in the Lohengrin Castle sidequest of Cold Steel II, the party finds themselves face to face with a door featuring a similar pattern to the trial doors in the Old Schoolhouse as well as the entrance to the Proving Grounds of the Spirit Shrines. At this point, Rean sees a vision where the door (very obviously still Lohengrin’s) opens and a portal appears, similar to the one that led to the Realm of the Great Shadow in the Old Schoolhouse.
I believe Rean was witnessing a past Awakener challenge the trial, and as his previous visions have all been memories of Dreichels, it makes sense for this one to also be. If Dreichels was in Lohengrin witnessing someone else undertake a trial, it could only have been his comrade and the one who used Lohengrin as a base of operations, Lianne Sandlot.
Furthermore, Celine states that the knight is missing and has been gone for some time, suggesting that Arianrhod still has the knight to this day.
VIII. The Trial’s Malfunction
“This door reminds me of…” (Rean Schwarzer, Lohengrin)
Up until this point, whenever a knight has been awakened, it was returned and put back to rest following the battle, with the exception of Testa-Rossa, which was cursed. This however was not the case with the Lohengrin knight, as Lianne Sandlot was presumed dead or at least missing, and Lohengrin Castle was maintained by the Arseid family, who would instantly recognize her should she return, blowing the cover for whatever reason she faked her death (presumably).
As a result of either this, or already being privy to the Grandmaster of Ouroboros’ plans and knowing she would need the knight in the future, Arianrhod chose to keep the knight. However, this had not been foreseen in the system, and 250 years later, the Lohengrin trial activated, as it was programmed to do, shrouding the town of Legram in fog.
As to why I believe this is related to the trial, upon seeing the orb that summons Loa Erebonius in the Old Schoolhouse, Rean remarks that it reminds him of the orb that summoned Nosferatu in Lohengrin Castle. So, going back to Nosferatu, after its defeat, the trial prepared to advance to the next stage, at which point it detected the absence of a Divine Knight. This caused a malfunction in the system, which caused it to loop back to the beginning of the trial, and after a few months Nosferatu was summoned once more and the town was again enshrouded in fog.
IX. The World Devourer
“Here lies a fragment of the Great Power” (Loa Erebonius)
Upon the defeat of Loa Erebonius and the successful completion of the Ashen Trial, the following lines are said: “Here lies a fragment of the Great Power, the Flame and the Jaws that Devour the World.”
As I argued earlier, “fragment of the Great Power” refers to a knight, while I believe “the flame and the jaws that devour the world” is referring to the Great Power itself. As I argued in section I, the world was on the brink of calamity, hence the devouring the world part. The “Flame” pretty clearly refers to the fire treasure, and I believe the “Jaws” cam refer to the wind treasure, in the form of storms which would ravage the land, claiming lives as if clamping down on them, or to the water treasure, in the form of tidal waves that submerge the land.
X. The Wish of the Abyss
“My wish shall be fulfilled as well” (Vita Clotilde, Pantagruel)
After reciting Lucifen Lied aboard the Pantagruel, Vita says “with this, the plans of us at Ouroboros will be able to progress, and my wish will be fulfilled as well.” In figuring out what her wish was, one scene came to my mind.
During the last Spirit Shrine, she speaks to Emma about the purpose of the Witches in a tone that suggests it is a burden, something that she wishes to avoid. I think that her wish is to free herself and Emma from their destiny of being “Witches”, placed onto them from birth. Yet even in trying to escape it and break the cycle, she performed her duty as a witch magnificently, guiding the Azure Awakener to his knight and supervising a battle between the knights.
XI. The Radar
“My goal was the battle of Azure and Ashen” (Vita Clotilde, Vermillion Throne)
For this section, which is needed to explain the next, please see my theory Divine Knight Radar. [Ed. note: pasted here for your convenience]
In physics, there is a phenomenon called resonance, whereby having a body vibrate at a certain frequency, you can cause other similar bodies to vibrate in response. This process can be used to explain the goals of Ouroboros during Sen II.
In the finale of Sen II, Vita succeeds in her goal to raise the Infernal Castle as well as have the Azure and Ashen knights fight at the top. Perhaps when these two knights fight with each other they give off a frequency, which would cause any nearby divine knights to give off a similar frequency. This brings up two questions however: First, the only divine knight nearby was Testa-Rossa, what is the point of having it resonate? And the second question: What data is Vita trying to gather by having them resonate?
Luckily, the answer of both questions is the same. Perhaps the Infernal Castle is meant to serve as more than just a setting, but rather as a broadcasting antenna. Valimar and Ordine would battle at the Vermillion Throne, giving off a resonating frequency, while the Infernal Castle would amplify that signal, spreading it across the entirety of Erebonia, causing the 4 missing divine knights to resonate.
Given that Vita was banished from the Hexen clan due to breaking a taboo, it is likely she was not aware of all of the clan’s information, and is possibly only privy to the location of a few divine knights. Thus broadcasting this resonating frequency would instantly reveal the location of the other knights, which are likely necessary in order to obtain one of the Sept-Terrion in Erebonia.
The last question we have is: What is Ouroboros up to after the events of the Finale? They now need to secure these knights under their control, as they will become needed in the future, and thanks to their knowledge of the Divergent Laws, they may be able to circumvent the trial system, which has kept reaching the Sept-Terrion out of humanity’s reach.
XII. Acta Est Fabula
“The Phantasmal Blaze Plan”
After the defeat of the Vermillion Apocalypse, Vita describes the Phantasmal Blaze Plan as “A plan to use the Hollow Phantasm of Crossbell to awaken the Blaze in the Empire.” There are a few things to discuss with this statement, but let’s start with the first: Why is the Demiourgos (Hollow Phantasm) needed?
In Ao no Kiseki, one of the abilities associated with the Demiourgos is the ability to communicate with the other treasures. Thus the reason the Demiourgos was needed was to communicate with the Great Power, activating all of the trials and allowing all of the knights to be awoken.
Before I address the Blaze portion of the name, I need to state one thing, I am vehemently opposed to the theory that “the Wind Treasure is in Nord”. To me, it seems more likely that Gaius’ constant spouting of the word “wind” is made to act as a red herring to make us think the treasure is in Nord, thereby hiding the possibility that the Great Power is in fact two treasures fused. It is possible that a fragment of the wind and fire is in the highlands, but suggesting that the whole thing is there when fire had to be split up into seven pieces makes little sense to me. As for why many believe the second treasure is wind, they often cite Gaius, but in order to avoid the red herring, I am not using quotes or symbolism (there isn’t much anyway) from people who have an association with the highlands.
One thing I want to take into consideration is this quote from earlier: “Here lies a fragment of the Great Power, the Flame and the Jaws that Devour the World.” First, starting with a quote from Ao no Kiseki by Chancellor Osborne: “The wind shall fuel a fire, and that fire shall rage even harder.” As said by Vulcan when talking about the Chancellor: “We’ll fan our own flames. Make ‘em so big and so wild, they’ll burn up even blood and iron.”
From these quotes, we can see how wind and fire can make a blaze, but quotes aren’t enough, beyond what I consider to be a red herring, it lacks any further symbolism or foreshadowing. Water however, has plenty of it.
First, in the Black Records, the Gods are described as opposing in nature, so let’s list out the ways fire and water are opposite. Water puts out fire, and fire evaporates water. Water arts are focused on healing damage, and fire arts are focused on dealing damage. Second, this tweet and the accompanying theory by fellow crack theorist Gu4n, and lastly, the duality of the Sen II artwork, featuring Rean (fire) and Crow (water).
Also, if you want to use process of elimination, given that Remiferia is out of the question due to the nature of Akatsuki, there’s not many other places for water to be. For these reasons I believe the second Erebonian treasure to be water, and for the final question of “How can water and fire make a blaze?” Nobody ever said that “blaze” was a description of the treasure itself, perhaps it is a title, or a description of its function, metaphorically setting the land ablaze and creating a new beginning.