|I'm TOTALLY in love with how this turned out. LUX-PAIN was a great game...|
The Curse of an Imagination and a Lovesick LullabyVersion 1The Curse of an Imagination and a Lovesick Lullaby by Goron-King-Darunia
I dreamt of you last night.
Without noticing my tears,
I whispered "Goodnight"
as though you were there.
Without noticing my tears,
I bent around your imaginary frame,
as though you were there,
because I forgot that you weren't.
I bent around your imaginary frame
and tried to hold a hand that didn't exist.
I forgot that you didn't. You never did.
You're only a music box melody.
I tried to hold a hand that didn't exist
because loneliness made be believe
that you aren't just a music box melody,
you're real, here, beside me.
Loneliness made me believe
that you were there last night.
You were real, there, beside me
when I whispered "Goodnight".
Written - 4/14/13 @ 9:38 P.M.
Unwittingly, in loneliness, I dreamt of you last night.
Without noticing my tears, or the absence of your warmth,
I whispered "Goodnight" into the folds of my pillowcase
as though you were there to hear me mumble in the dark.
Without noticing my tears run through your absent warmth,
I coiled myself i
Here, I will be setting up basic canonical references as I go along with the story. First, I'll be listing canonical references from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, then references from Tales of Symphonia: Knight of Ratatosk/Dawn of the New World. I will also establish the differences between the canonical uses of these characters, terms, places, items, etc. and my usage within the definitions. Most of my story is intended to be nearly canonical, but I have strayed from that for obvious reasons. I tend to keep more canonical in favor of the Elder Scrolls as opposed to the Tales series. Random "fan service" references outside of both games will be listed and cited at the bottom of this Journal. They are in alphabetical order (by first names). More information may be added as the story progresses and additional information needs to be explained.
The Oblivion Crisis - "The Oblivion Crisis, also known as the Great Anguish, was a total war between the Daedra and the population of Tamriel. Uriel Septim VII and all of his known heirs were assassinated. Shortly afterward, Oblivion Gates to the Deadlands opened across Tamriel and Daedra poured out as the result of a fanatical cult of worshippers of Mehrunes Dagon known as the Mythic Dawn. Widespread devastation and casualties resulted across entire provinces. Many of the old holds in Skyrim were destroyed. The city of Kvatch was entirely destroyed. The Empire was near collapse, but Uriel VII's illegitimate son, Martin Septim, ended the invasion with the help of a mysterious hero, but the cost was enormous. Martin, the last of the Septim bloodline, sacrificed himself and the Amulet of Kings to become Akatosh's Avatar and cast Mehrunes Dagon back into Oblivion. This event marked the end of the Third Era and the beginning of the eventual disintegration of the Third Empire." - The UESP*.
Altmer - Tall, golden-skinned people of Summerset Isle also known as the High Elves to Imperials. They call themselves Altmer, or the "Cultured People". "High" is often understood to mean proud or snobbish, and as the Altmer generally personify these characteristics, the other races generally resent them. They consider themselves, with some justice, to be the most civilized culture of Tamriel; the common tongue of Tamriel is based on Altmer speech and writing, and most of the Empire's arts, crafts, laws, and sciences are derived from Altmer traditions. The Altmer are the most strongly gifted in the arcane arts of all the races, and they are very resistant to diseases. "However, they are also somewhat vulnerable to fire, frost, and shock. They are among the longest living and intelligent races of Tamriel, and they often become powerful magic users, having centuries in which to practice their art. Some Altmers' incredibly strong minds make them naturally immune to all kinds of paralysis." - Paraphrased and quoted from the UESP.
Argonian - a.k.a. Saxhleel in Jel, their native tongue. They are the reptilian denizens of Black Marsh. They are equally at home in water and on land. They have developed natural immunities to diseases and poisons. "Their seemingly expressionless faces belie a calm intelligence, and many Argonians are well-versed in the magical arts... They are, in general, a reserved people, slow to trust and hard to know, yet they are fiercely loyal, and will fight to the death for those they have named as friends." While Argonians appear reptilian, they also exhibit qualities of fish and amphibians: they are able to breathe underwater through small gills behind their ears, and swim using the same method as that of a tadpole - moving their tail side-to-side to propel through the water. It is often assumed that Argonians possess neither personality nor emotions. "Of course this is not true; Argonians simply do not facially express their emotions as much as man and mer do... Argonian appearance ranges from reptilian to almost human; this is decided by the amount of Hist sap they ingest as hatchlings, which ceremonially takes place on their Naming Day." - Paraphrased and quoted from the UESP.
Bosmer - An elven clan native to Valenwood. They are canonically carnivores and cannibalistic, though many outside of Valenwood no longer observer these practices. Such practices are maintained in Valenwood due to the Green Pact. The Green Pact was a contract between the ancient Bosmer (who supposedly, according to Khajiit and Bosmer myths, could not maintain their shape) and the Forest God Y'ffre. The pact mandated that the Bosmer would never harm the forest in exchange for Y'ffre's patronage and the ability to maintain their shape. This agreement also included a Meat Mandate, which states that Bosmer must consume their fallen enemies (hence the cannibalism). "The Bosmer are often referred to as Wood Elves, but Bosmer, Boiche, or the Tree-Sap People is what they call themselves. Bosmer rejected the stiff, formal traditions of Aldmeri high culture, preferring a more romantic, simple existence in harmony with the land, its wild beauty and wild creatures. They are relatively nimble and quick in body and wit compared to their more "civilized" Elven cousins, making them well-suited for a variety of professions... They have many natural and unique abilities; notably, they can command simple-minded creatures and have a nearly chameleon-like ability to hide in forested areas. " - Quoted from the UESP.
Breton - A race of "manmer" or men with elven blood. They have an affinity for magic because of this. They are native to the High Rock province. They are, essentially "Half-elves", but their phylogeny is so old that their elven features have all but disappeared. Their magical capabilities are all that remains as a testament to their elven blood. Sometimes, features such as the eyebrow and ears may betray their elven heritage, but they are considered men, rather than mer. I like to think of them as distinct from "Half-elves", which are, for my purposes, specifically first generation offspring of an Imperial and Bosmer.
Dunmer - The Dunmer, also known as Dark Elves are the ash-skinned, red-eyed, Elven peoples of the Eastern Empire. "Dark" is commonly understood as "dark-skinned", "gloomy", "ill-favored by fate", but does in no way denote an inherently evil disposition. The Dunmer and their national identity, embrace these various connotations with enthusiasm. "Their combination of powerful intellects with strong and agile physiques produce superior warriors and sorcerers. On the battlefield, Dunmer are noted for their skill with a balanced integration of the sword, the bow and destruction magic. In character, they are grim, aloof, and reserved, as well as distrusting and disdainful of other races. Dunmer distrust and are treated distrustfully by other races. They are often proud, clannish, ruthless, and cruel, from an outsider's point of view, but greatly value loyalty and family. Young female Dark Elves are well known for their promiscuity. Despite their powerful skills and strengths, the Dunmer's vengeful nature, age-old conflicts, betrayals, and ill-reputation prevent them from gaining more influence. Those born in their homeland of Morrowind are known to be considerably less friendly than those who grew up in the Imperial tradition." - Quoted from the UESP.
Imperials - "Known as Cyrodiils, Cyrodilics or Cyro-Nordics before the time of Talos, the well-educated and well-spoken Imperials are the natives of the civilized, cosmopolitan province of Cyrodiil. Imperials are also known for the discipline and training of their citizen armies, and their respect for the rule of law. Though physically less imposing than the other races, the Imperials have proved to be shrewd diplomats and traders, and these traits, along with their remarkable skill and training as light infantry, have enabled them to subdue all the other nations and races and erect the monument to peace and prosperity that comprises the Glorious Empire. Their hegemony has waxed and waned throughout the eras, and most historians refer to three distinct Empires, the ends of which each mark a new epoch in Tamrielic history." - Quoted from the UESP.
Jode - He is the Aldmeri god of the larger moon, Masser. In Khajiiti religion, Jode and Jone are both parts of the Lunar Lattice.
Jone - He is the Aldmeri god of the smaller moon, Secunda. In Khajiiti religion, Jode and Jone are both parts of the Lunar Lattice.
Khajiit - Cat-like beastfolk who are native to Elsweyr. Several varieties exist. Suthay-raht being the most common. All Khajiit have a natural ability to see in the dark. Unlike typical Phylogeny, Khajiit are subject to a Morphology, and their physical appearance is determined by the phases of the two moons, not by the "breed" of their parents. They are known to have a fondness for Moonsugar, Skooma, and other sweet things. Suthay-raht Khajiit are bipedal, digitigrade (toe-walking [as opposed to heel walking, like humans]) humanoid mammals. They are essentially the "typical" thing one would imagine as a cat anthropomorph. Ohmes Khajit look similar to Bosmer, though they are generally of smaller stature. "In order to avoid being mistaken as one of the Bosmer many Ohmes tattoo their faces to resemble a feline-aspect. The Ohmes is the most common form seen outside of the province of Elsweyr, taking advantage of other races' preference to their appearance to serve in positions of ambassadorship and trade. It is possible that the Ohmes are the breed seen across Tamriel at the end of the fourth century of the Third Era." - Quoted from the UESP.
The Lunar Lattice - Created by the complex movements of the two moons, the Lunar Lattice is purported to be some force that protects Mundus from the rest of Aetherius.
Magicka or Magic - A substance infinite in the world. Magicka should be considered something different from mana, as it is used differently and is inexhaustible. Magicka used for spells seems to come from a free-flowing ethereal kind of Magicka, which may be consumed by eating or reabsorbed by resting. Magicka used for enchantment (giving armor, weapons, and accessories magical properties) is slightly different. Souls of lesser creatures (sometimes even men, mer, and beastfolk in the case of Necromancers and Black Soul Gems) must be captured in soul gems and added to artifacts by a process known as enchantment. This is typically done by high ranking, experienced mages in the mages guild. Black magic comes from black soul gems, and white magic from white soul gems. Black soul gems are the only soul gems powerful enough to capture the souls of men, mer, and beastfolk. Magicka also differs from mana in that it can be used by humans and beast-folk whereas mana can only be used by Elves and Half-elves.
Moonsugar Myth - Khajiiti myth. Ma'Ikau's explanation is essentially canon, so I will not reiterate here.
Nede or the Nedics - "The Nedes (more commonly known as Nedic peoples) were a race of men who were widespread in Tamriel until the First Era, when they were absorbed into the bloodlines of the modern human races. Their characteristics and ancestry are unknown because of conflicting historical accounts and definitions of the word, but modern-day Cyrodiils (especially the Nibenese) are known to be their closest relatives. The true story of their origins became lost and confused during Tamriel's violent past, and is now a subject of debate among students of history. Efforts to interpret surviving records have given rise to several schools of thought, and some explanation is needed to separate fact from the overlooked details and possible propaganda of official accounts." - Quoted from the UESP.
The Nine Divines - The traditional religion in Cyrodiil revolves around the pantheon known as the Nine Divines. The Nine are: Akatosh, Dibella, Zenithar, Mara, Stendarr, Kynareth, Julianos, Arkay, and the once mortal god Talos.
Nord - "The Nords are the children of the sky, a race of tall and fair-haired humans from Skyrim who are known for their incredible resistance to cold and magical frost. They are enthusiastic warriors, and many become renowned soldiers and mercenaries all over Tamriel. Eager to augment their martial skills beyond the traditional methods of Skyrim, they excel in all manner of warfare, and are known as a militant people by their neighbors. Nords are also natural seamen, and have benefited from nautical trade since their first migrations from Atmora. They captain and crew many merchant fleets, and may be found all along the coasts of Tamriel." - Quoted from the UESP.
Orc - "Orcs, also called Orsimer or "Pariah Folk" in ancient times, are sophisticated, beastlike people of the Wrothgarian Mountains, Dragontail Mountains, and Orsinium (literally translated as "Orc-Town"). They are noted for their unshakable courage in war and their unflinching endurance of hardships. In the past, Orcs have been widely feared and hated by the other nations and races of Tamriel, and were often considered to be goblin-ken. However, they have slowly won acceptance in the Empire, in particular for their distinguished service in the Emperor's Legions. Orc armorers are prized for their craftsmanship, and Orc warriors in heavy armor are among the finest front-line troops in the Empire, and are fearsome when using their berserker rage. Most Imperial citizens regard the Orc society as rough and cruel. The Orcs of the Iliac Bay region have developed their own language, known as Orcish, and have often had their own kingdom, Orsinium." - Quoted from the UESP.
Redguard - "The most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel, the dark-skinned, wiry-haired Redguards of Hammerfell seem born to battle, though their pride and fierce independence of spirit makes them more suitable as scouts or skirmishers, or as free-ranging heroes and adventurers, than as rank-and-file soldiers. In addition to their cultural affinities for many weapon and armor styles, Redguards are also physically blessed with hardy constitutions, resistance to poison, and quickness of foot. Redguards do not share the same blood as the other human races, and they have no connection with the ancestral Nordic homeland of Atmora." - Quoted from the UESP.
Batul gra-Sharob - An Orc woman living in the camp outside of Kvatch. She was one of the refugees from the Sacking of Kvatch. Canonically, she is the smith of that town-turned-campsite.
The Champion of Cyrodiil - The hero who helped Martin Septim avert the Oblivion Crisis. S/he is also known as the Hero of Kvatch, for it was s/he who closed the Oblivion gate there, saving what remained of the city. The Champion is also credited with saving Cyrodiil by defeating Umaril the Unfeathered and reforming the Knights of the Nine, and with saving the Shivering Isles from Jyggalag and the Greymarch. For the purposes of my story, to fit with the canon historical documentation, it is taboo to refer to the Champion by name, race, or sex.
Haskill - A seemingly immortal Breton man canonically the chamberlain to the Daedric Lord Sheogortath - a spirit worshiped as a deity who's particular sphere of dominion happens to be madness. For my purposes, he is chamberlain of Rosethorn Hall and personal butler to Richter Abend. Is he canonical in my story? That is secret...
Hauls-Ropes-Faster - An Argonian Sailor who makes his home in Anvil. Slightly non-canonical in my version, he is also a trader with Kvatch and married to the canonically unrelated Argonian Quill-Weave.
Hircine - A Daedric Prince whose sphere is the Hunt. He is also known as the Father of Manbeasts. Hircine is credited with creating many therianthropic diseases which transform mortals into beasts. He is therefore the guardian of were-creatures. His "typical lackeys on the mortal realm Nirn are werewolves, which he directly talks to, gives tasks, and rewards with additional powers." - Quoted from the UESP.
Lifts-Her-Tail - See Random Fan-Service.
Quill-Weave - An Argonian author living in Anvil. She likes to talk to the sailors at the bar to get ideas for her books. In my version, she is married to the canonically unrelated sailor Hauls-Ropes-Faster.
Salmo - a baker in Skingrad. He's famous around Cyrodiil for his sweet-rolls.
Vaermina - Daedric Lord of Dreams and Nightmares, though she is far more often associated with nightmares, and rarely praised for her involvement (if any since this is speculation and never presented first hand in the games) in dreams.
Aetherius Equivalent to the afterlife, it is said to lie outside of Oblivion. Stars are said to be holes punched in the veil of Oblivion as lesser Aedra fled for Aetherius. The day sky is "mortal perception of Aetherius without the obstruction of Oblivion". Mortals are essentially staring at all of Magic when they stare at the daytime sky. Aetherius is said to be infinite, but outside of Oblivion, though Oblivion is also considered infinite. These inconsistencies are regarded as being caused by "mental stress of the mortal mind" attempting to understand the impossible. The spatial, physical, and metaphysical understandings of the workings of this world are far more complex than I care to delve into. See the UESP for Details. Also see the Imperial Library* out-of-game reference and explanation, though this may be non-canon (however, as much of it comes from game developers themselves, it can be treated as canon.)
Anvil - A coastal county along the Abecean Sea on the Gold Coast. Distinguishing features include a lighthouse and a mermaid statue in town. The inn "The Fo'c'sle" is located here.
Bravil - A relatively poor town spread across three little isles on the west coast of the Niben Bay. I doubt I will be exploring this town much. For the purposes of this story, all that needs to be known is that a Skooma hut (place where people go to use the drug Skooma) and a Black Market source of said drug may be found here.
Cyrodiil - The diverse province in the center of Tamriel, home to the Emperor, and the playable province in Oblivion. Demographics are the most diverse for all the provinces, with nearly equal distribution of races compared to other provinces, though mostly Imperials populate the land.
Hircine's Hunting Grounds - The domain of the Daedric Prince Hircine. It is described as a vast forest, populated by were-creatures. Visitors are often pursued by were-bears, and, in some cases, by Hircine himself. Hircine is often accompanied by a pack of werewolves, which seem to be his favorite minions. Mortals who die with lycanthropy are sent here, rather than Aetherius, to serve Hircine, though they may be cured postmortem and freed from this servitude...
Kvatch - Built on a mountain top, located between the Gold Coast and the Colovian Highlands. It was nearly entirely destroyed during the Oblivion Crisis. The only structures that remain more or less unharmed are the Chapel of Akatosh and parts of the Kvatch Castle. A camp is located at the base of the mountain where the refugees now live.
Mundus - The mortal plane of existence. As far as the game has reported, Mundus is made up of the Nine planets, including Nirn, and its two moons Masser and Secunda. The Eight Planets are the infinite bodies and planes of the gods, as are the two moons. Nirn, the mortal plane is the only finite plane. However, due to mortal mental stress, it is impossible to perceive the infinite bodies surrounded by the void of Oblivion so they are perceived as bubbles in space. The spatial, physical, and metaphysical understandings of the workings of this world are far more complex than I care to delve into. See the UESP for Details. Also see the Imperial Library* out-of-game reference and explanation, though this may be non-canon (however, as much of it comes from game developers themselves, it can be treated as canon.)
Nirn - The name of the planet on which the continent of Tamriel can be found. Nirn is part of Mundus. Nirn is an anomaly according to myth in that, unlike other planets, it is finite and yet made of all the other planets. Because of this, it upset the balance in the cosmos and now, the Gods and Daedra supposedly have a vested interest in the fate of Nirn. The spatial, physical, and metaphysical understandings of the workings of this world are far more complex than I care to delve into. See the UESP for Details. Also see the Imperial Library* out-of-game reference and explanation, though this may be non-canon (however, as much of it comes from game developers themselves, it can be treated as canon.)
Oblivion Supposedly an endless plane know also as the Void. It is similar to our concept of "outer space" in that it contains the heavenly bodies and planets. Daedra are each said to have realms here, also of purportedly infinite size and mass. Some of these realms resemble worlds, others are simply 'voids', containing nothing but dust, with no air, no warmth, etc. The spatial, physical, and metaphysical understandings of the workings of this world are far more complex than I care to delve into. See the UESP for Details. Also see the Imperial Library* out-of-game reference and explanation, though this may be non-canon (however, as much of it comes from game developers themselves, it can be treated as canon.)
Skingrad - The county ruled by alleged master mage Count Janus Hassildor. (He is, in actuality, a vampire.) One of the richest counties in all of Cyrodiil, it is home to both the province's best known vintners, a bakery reputed for it's sweet-rolls, and some of the biggest, most wealthy households in the empire. Rosethorn Hall is located here... (or is it? )
Tamriel - The major continent on which most events in the Elder Scrolls series take place.
Moonsugar - There is actually no evidence that you can sell or buy it in Cyrodiil, but what the heck, technically speaking, if you can get Skooma, you should be able to get Moonsugar. Ma'Ikau's explanation is canon, so I won't re-explain it here.
Skooma A highly addictive narcotic refined from Moonsugar. Though illegal in many provinces, it is merely a black market (though perfectly legal) item in Cyrodiil, and can be found most easily in Bravil. Most merchants will actually buy it from you in-game, unlike stolen goods which can only be sold to a fence. It comes in both solid, crystalline form - which is smoked in a pipe - and in the more prevalent liquid form which is imbibed.
The Blood Purge - An event carried out by the Vanguard in which the citizens of Palmacosta were massacred. This event was supposedly carried out by Lloyd Irving in retribution for the town's alleged crimes against the Church of Martel. Marta's mother was not actually killed in this massacre. Both Emil's parents were killed. For my story, The Blood Purge is carried out by the Vanguard, but they are now an organization not at all associated with Brute (or Richter) who are upset with the union of both nations and wish to remain separate. They are still a primarily Sylvaranti faction, like the game canon.
The World Regeneration - This canonically takes place approximately two years before the events of ToS2:KoR/DotNW (counting the beginning cut-scene which takes place 6 months prior to the beginning of the actual start of the game.) The Chosen of Regeneration, Colette Brunel, and her friends are reputed to have made pacts with all the known Summon Spirits of the divided worlds (Tethe'alla and Sylvarant) in order to free the Great Seed (which became the World Tree), restore mana to the worlds, and unite them into one. For the purposes of my story, the World Regeneration may be considered the national (rather than physical) union of both Tethe'alla and Sylvarant, as well as the planting of the new World Tree. Essentially, in my version, Colette and the others may be credited with politically uniting the peoples of both nations and stopping the squabble over mana by planting a new World Tree. But other than that, all canonical plot is non-essential to my story. While they are united, Tethe'alla and Sylvarant govern themselves.
Carriage Travel - Though never shown in game, Marta and Emil make reference to traveling by carriage at least once. Marta expresses dislike of traveling by carriage because she gets motion sickness.
Elves - Though canonically, they are simply a race capable of using magic, for my purposes, they are of the Tamrielic Altmeric descent.
Half-elves - Canonically, they are hated and feared by both men and elves. For my purposes they are merely a being born from an Imperial and Bosmer union. There is also a lack of the expected canonical prejudice associated with them in both ToS games. (I never said my story was canon, did I? I said it was almost canon. Remember, this is Nirn, not Aselia...) I exclude other possible man and mer combinations for these reasons - Altmer unions with any race of man would be culturally decided by the Altmer member of the pair. If the offspring looked more like the Altmer parent (usually offspring of two different races take on the mother's traits [though paternal traits may also be present]) then, being a proud race, they would simply dub the child an Altmer and be done with it. If it resembled the other parent more, then it would be considered to be of that race. The same rational would be supposed for Dunmer. Orc half-breeds (not meant in the derogatory canonical sense) would be called "Half-orcs". Bretons - since they have some elven blood, would produce something more than a literal "half-elf" since more than half of the offspring's phylogeny would be of elven blood. Redguard offspring seem more likely to resemble Redguards than anything so... (totally glancing over that possibility, because I'm racist! *shot* [Don't be offended, Redguards, I love you! Especially your handsome men. I just can't think of a good term for a half-Bosmer, half-Redguard child... Maybe Bosguard?! *shot again*]) Union between beastfolk and other races has never been recorded, or shown to produce offspring. So there go the Bosmonians and the Bosmiit! So that leaves Imperial and Bosmer as the likeliest candidates for "Half-elf" parents. However, more than likely, anything beyond the second or third generation would be considered Bosmer or Imperial based on physical traits. Because race is, after all, cultural and not biological... So there... *shot several more times with a machine gun.*
Mana - The source of all life in Aselia's lore. It is only known to be produced by specific trees, non-native to Aselia. Summon Spirits especially need it to survive. For the purposes of my story, it should be considered a separate thing from Magicka, and non-essential to survival for anything but Summon Spirits. It's only use, therefore, would be for magic (spells) and magi-technology.
Alba - Emil's uncle. It was canonically noted that he's hit Emil at least once. He is not known as an alcoholic in-game. It is merely my personal fanon.
Aster - Seen briefly in-game. He was killed by Ratatosk while trying to convince the Summon Spirit not to destroy mankind. In my story, however, he is a Tamrielic native who grew up beside Richter in Skingrad. He is of Imperial descent, and was Richter's best childhood friend. He was enlisted as a knight alongside Richter during the Oblivion Crisis and was tragically killed when the Skingrad Defense fought back against the Daedra.
Aqua - Canonically, Aqua was one of Ratatosk's Centurions - a being whose job is to work pact magic and control monsters of their element to aid Ratatosk in balancing the world's mana. Aqua is the Centurion of Water. She also happened to have a crush on Richter. Due to her feline appearance in the game, I decided to make her an Ohmes Khajiit. She is Richter's personal maid and head-maid of the household. Her primary duties are to tidy Richter's quarters, groom Richter's hair and nails, mend clothes, set the tables, and serve special guests. However, she may also fill in for Haskill if he is unavailable since she and Haskill share significant overlap in their duties. She retains her canonically obvious crush on Richter.
Brute Lualdi - Marta's Father and head of the Vanguard. Though he is not the founder of the Vanguard, many of its actions can be traced back to his orders. For the purposes of my story, Brute is simply Marta's father, and is not associated with the Vanguard in any way.
Desians - The antagonists of the pre-regeneration world. Their main purpose in the game was to use humans as a source of Exspheres - powerful gems created from human suffering which are used to enhance other beings' physical and magical capabilities - and to antagonize the Chosen in order to enhance his/her Cruxis Crystal, which only grows when the host is in danger or under stress. For the purposes of my story, the Desians are the developers of Rheiards. They retain their canon role of "Exsphere farmers" but as the Chosen's journey is entirely different in my story's context, that's where the similarity ends.
Emil Castagnier - Born in Palmacosta and raised by his parents until they were killed in an event known as the Blood Purge. His mother told him to flee to Luin, where he was taken in by his abusive aunt and uncle for 6 months prior to the start of his "adventure" (I have changed this to two years to coincide with another event). Canonically cowardly, but in my version, I highlight the often-ignored fact that he's conditioned to behave this way, and is in reality far more brave than he appears in-game. He is apparently immune to motion sickness because he can ride in carriages and on boats without being affected. This is expressed in a couple in-game skits. (This might suggest that he does not have a functioning vestibular sense, which may also affect his balance, hence I made him a little clumsy.) He has a notable stutter which fans never forget (since all fan-fictions [that I've seen, anyway] express his stutter in dialogue.)
Emil's Mother - Lana Castagnier - Died in the Blood Purge.
Emil's Father - Reysol Castagnier - Died in the Blood Purge.
Flora - Emil's Aunt and Lana's sister. She is notably verbally abusive toward Emil.
Marta Lualdi - Canonically Emil's love interest. Richter/Emil fandoms entirely ignore this in favor of the subtext provided in-game. Her mother actually died during the World Regeneration, killed by the Giant Tree that went rampant.
Ratatosk - Summon Spirit of the Giant Kharlan Tree and the Lord of all Monsters. He is responsible for controlling the flow of mana and guarding the Ginnungagap. He is served by Centurions - spirits that resemble, but are not, monsters. They directly control monsters of their own element and thus control the flow of mana. He was betrayed by Mithos, who split the two worlds in order to prevent their destruction, preserve the Great Seed, and the soul of his sister Martel. It was his goal to eventually resurrect his sister. However, I yet again stray from canon. Ratatosk only matters insofar as he is the guardian of the Ginnungagap (which in my version leads to Oblivion, the Tamrielic "name" for Nifelheim) and the Lord of all (Aselian) Monsters.
Richter Abend - A half-elven researcher at the Sybak Research Academy, a Tethe'allan Scientific institute that enslaved half-elves and forced them to research prior to the World Regeneration. He and Aster became friends at the Academy, despite racial differences (half-elves were long persecuted in both Sylvarant and Tethe'alla, especially by humans.) Richter and Aster set off together after the Regeneration to seek the Summon Spirit Ratatosk to ask him to resolve the chaotic weather patterns around the world. Ratatosk kills Aster in a rage and is nearly killed by Richter in an act of vengeance. Richter then founds the Vanguard to recover Ratatosk's core (Ratatosk's dormant form) which was taken by one of Ratatosk's Centurion servants, Tenebrae. Though he is founder of the Vanguard, he does not lead the organization. In my version, he is a half-elven nobleman (alternately called noblemer) living in Skingrad. The circumstances surrounding his grief at Aster's passing (as well as the passing itself) are entirely different than in the canon. Thus, my Richter is only canon in regards to personality, affinity for science, love of knowledge, and mourning of Aster. He has no connection to Aselia in my version whatsoever.
Aselia - The name of the World according to Tales of Phantasia (which takes place roughly 4000 years after Tales of Symphonia games.) For the purposes of my story, It is the name of the nation that Tethe'alla and Sylvarant are a part of. Since Nirn and Tamriel are much larger than Aselia (game map wise) and much of Nirn is as yet uncharted, I incorporated Aselia onto the planet Nirn, rather than the continent Tamriel onto Aselia. Aselia, for my purposes, then, is made up of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla, two regions of one nation. See map for details...
Hakonesia Peak - A pass in the mountains between Luin and Palmacosta. It is the only way to get from one locale to the other without the use of a Rheiard.
Lake Sinoa - The lake that surrounds Luin. There is a cave at the bottom that could be reached if the Lake dried up. However, since we are not following the canonical plot of ToS2, Lake Sinoa is still full of water.
Luin - A town in Sylvarant. It was nearly entirely wiped out by the Desians prior to the world regeneration. The Heroes of Regeneration helped rebuild it. Statues of these Heroes can be seen all through the town. It is east of both Palmacosta and Hakonesia Peak.
Palmacosta - A port city west of Luin and Hakonesia Peak. Emil Castagnier was born and raised here, prior to the Blood Purge. Marta was also, though oddly, they never met prior to the Blood Purge, even in the canon. In order to get out onto the open ocean, a vessel would have to sail around a cape to the west, then south then east along the continent's coast. (If they built a port along the east coast near Luin, it would be much easier to make it out to sea... Just a thought... maybe... I'll build one there!
Sylvarant - A more primitive nation that exists as part of Aselia. It has no unified national government, and relies instead on smaller localized government. It was its own world prior to the World Regeneration. It is home to the Chosen of Regeneration, Colette, who grew up in the town known as Iselia.
Tethe'alla - A technologically advanced kingdom that exists as part of Aselia. It used to be its own world until the World Regeneration.
Rheiards - Flying machines used and developed by Cruxis and the Renegades (known for a significant period of the game by the misnomer "Desians"). They are a kind of magi-technology that runs on the Summon Spirit Volt's mana. They take advantage of dimensional rifts and are the ultimate mode of transport in the ToS games.
Arrietty - The lullaby Haskill sings to Richter is actually "The Neglected Garden", a song by Cécile Corbel. It is featured in Hayao Miyazaki's "The Secret World of Arrietty".
Caravel - As a fan-service to One Piece Fans, I threw in a caravel (The Going Merry/ The Merry-Go was a caravel). Most ships in both games appear to be galleons, but I see no reason that they wouldn't have caravels too. I've seen at least one ship with lateen sails in both games (I think) so... it's automatically a caravel! *shot again*
Lifts-Her-Tail - An obvious fan-service relating to the "Lusty Argonian Maid" play (see "The Lusty Argonian Maid"). In this case, she is merely an Argonian Tutor native to Black Marsh who tutors Richter in Jel. She is not at all related to the fictional Lifts-Her-Tail in the play. Her Black Marsh name is merely too difficult to pronounce since the phonemes do not exist in Tamrielic. Argonians with difficult to pronounce native names are often given "Cyrodiilic" names. Hauls-Ropes-Faster and Quill-Weave are also canonical examples of this.
Lillies and Carnations - a reference to the 6th One Piece Movie. The Lily Carnation was a "flower" of life, death, and rebirth. The Barron lured pirates crews to the island in order to make their captains suffer the same fate he had - to lose their entire crew, making them believe it was all their fault. He would feed the fallen crew members to the Lily Carnation in order to keep his "crew" (a bunch of false, ageless replicas created by the Lily Carnation) "alive" (failing to feed Lily would cause the crew to age and weaken, eventually turning back into plants...)
"The Lusty Argonian Maid" - A bawdy play popular in the Elder Scrolls game series. Its popularity due to the humorous suggestive text spawned a second scene only appearing in Skyrim. My addition is entirely mine, and was written to mimic the original canonical ones. Notably, it follows the style of speech patterns, suggestive references, and the ending two lines, which have appeared in the two canonical scenes.
Passports - There is actually no evidence in either Tamriel or Aselia of needing passports for travel or immigration/emigration. I threw that in as a fan-service to... uh, the real world? So if you live in the real world and not in the digital world... Yay! Passports! Realism! *shot*
Ma'Ikau - Double fan-service. First, it's a fan-service to M'aiq fans. M'aiq the liar is a recurring Khajiit in the Elder Scrolls games. Second, he's also a fan-service to Legend of Zelda fans who know the Majora's Mask game. Mikau was the name of the Zora Hero of the Great Bay area and the soul residing in the mask Link uses to become Zora Link. A slight third fan-service for people who know Japanese. Ma'Ikau contains the phonemes for the phrase "まぁ いっか", or Ma Ikka which loosely translates to "Oh, well." or "Whatever".
Puppy Emil - In the fourth paragraph of Chapter 1, I describe Emil as "trembling like a puppy", which is, of course, a reference to one of Richter's remarks about the boy: "Are you a dog? Or are you really a man?"
Same Language Phenomena - So how is it that Emil can speak "Tamrielic" though Tamriel and Aselia have been separate for centuries? Well, originally, the Ehlnofex language was the widespread predominant language of man and mer and eventually led to most of the diverse languages, including Cyrodiilic Tamrielic. The only language that does not share roots in Ehlnofex is Jel, which comes directly from Hist. The similar pantheons and names of the Gods seems to reflect these cultures were once united in language. Martel can be said to represent Mara, and I'm also just being lazy and taking that one almost-similar detail to justify Emil being able to speak Tamrielic. Bandai-Namco never explained how Tethe'alla and Sylvarant shared the same language despite a thousand year separation. So take this as a fan-service to every anime, manga, and story where the writers do the same as me: completely ignore the language barrier and make everyone speak a universal language. Yeah!
The Two Squirrels - The two squirrels in Emil's yard which Marta marries are described as being both male and constantly fighting. This of course is a fan-service to original Norse myth and game plot. Ratatosk and Emil Castagnier are revealed in-game to be one in the same person, though they are distinct personalities. Emil's persona is constantly at odds with Ratatosk's, trying to suppress the Summon Spirit's violent tendencies, while Ratatosk struggles for complete control of his body, thinking himself braver and stronger and thus more suited to protect Marta, Emil/Ratatosk's canonical love-interest. Ratatosk - or Ratatoskr - originated in Norse myth, as a squirrel who ran up and down the World Tree, Yggdrasil, carrying messages between an eagle at the top and a wyrm at the bottom. Hence, I represented Emil/Ratatosk's internal turmoil in-game as two feuding squirrels.
Vampirism - The vampires in the Elder Scrolls are actually canonical: they take sun damage, drink human blood (or blood not from animals), are masters of deception and manipulation, and, most importantly, do not sparkle like whatever God-awful creature Meyer created and tried to pass off as a "vampire". Although Hassildor and Vicente kind of sparkle... in their own way... but certainly not in the sun... they hate the sun! A fan-service to gingerfarnsworth who shares my disdain for Meyer's horrible excuse for a "vampire" - Edward "Sparkle-breeches" Cullen, and all his sparkly friends... Those are just creepy fairies on steroids, Meyer... not vampires...
Why the Oblivion Crisis didn't happen in Aselia... - ... Ratatosk ate them... Any Daedra stupid enough to emerge in Aselia was promptly eaten by 'Tosky! Fan-service for ShadowedLightning and VaatisCloudy... Because there needed to be a little 'Tosky vore going on somewhere... (needless to say... he was very full after the Oblivion Crisis finally ended... Mehrunes Dagon was lucky he didn't come through the Ginnungagap... or Ratatosk would be even bigger... LOL, but no, I kept the canon. Poor Martin, though... But I do not service Martin fan-girls... Yes, he's cute, but... come on... I'd rather have Lucien Lachance and Vincent Vicente back... Besides, Martin made a cool statue! *stabbed by Martin fan-girl mob*