The Let's Play Archive

The Last Remnant

by Stabbey_the_Clown

Part 120: vii. Last Remnant History and Lore

vii. Last Remnant History and Lore

After some requests, here's a post collecting together a lot of the important lore and world-building the game does. Also included are recaps on various main plot subjects. Some information is duplicated between sections. Some particularly spoilerish images are behind URL tags instead of TIMG tags.

1. Remnants

Most of the basics about Remnants are covered in the Academy Visistones:

[Remnants 1] Remnants are mysterious objects that hold powers beyond those of men.
[Remnants 2] No one knows when or how Remnants were created.
[Remnants 3] Men have used Remnants as beneficial tools since ancient times.
[Remnants 4] Towns and kingdoms were built around Remnants with strong powers.
[Remnants 5] ???
[Remnants 6] A powerful Remnant can affect even the environment around it.
[Remnants 7] It is said that a Remnant once caused a flourishing city in the Great Sand Sea to fall into ruin.
[Remnants 8] In order to use the powers of a Remnant, one must bind it to himself.
[Remnants 9] To bind a Remnant, one simply needs to place a hand over the Remnant and concentrate.
[Remnants 10] However, a Remnant can only be bound during its Luminescence.
[Remnants 11] Luminescence is a natural occurrence that causes light to emit from a Remnant.
[Remnants 12] Luminescence occurs in a cycle, the length differing for each Remnant.
[Remnants 13] A short cycle can be a few minutes, while a long cycle can take years.
[Remnants 14] One known Luminescence cycle is that of the Remnant Ark: three months.
[Remnants 15] No one knows why Luminescence occurs. Perhaps it is a signal.
[Remnants 16] If a Remnant is bound to someone, it cannot be bound by anyone else.
[Remnants 17] A bound Remnant can only be operated by whom it is bound to.
[Remnants 18] An unbound Remnant is called a Blank Remnant.
[Remnants 19] A Collapse is a misfortune triggered by a Blank Remnant being unbound for too long.
[Remnants 20] The most common effect of a Collapse is the spawning of monsters.
[Remnants 21] Some forms of Collapse are said to affect people's minds.
[Remnants 22] Operating a Remnant wears away at the operator's soul.
[Remnants 23] The core Remnants of each town are bound by the town's Lord.
[Remnants 24] The Remnant Elysion is currently unbound.
[Remnants 25] A lord bound to a core Remnant is said to have a shorter lifespan than the others.
[Remnants 26] A Remnant's size does not relate to its strength, though the core Remnants have great powers.
[Remnants 27] It is inferred that all Remnants were created from Elysion.
[Remnants 28] Remnants constantly emit resonating waves.
[Remnants 29] Remnants are made from an unknown substance, unaffected by space or time.

What a collapse is, and the dangers of it is made pretty clear in Chapter 7.

(Ch. 7.)

Pagus: This was once a prosperous town. It was centered around the Remnant of Peace, the Rubber Soul
Rush: Was there a war?
Pagus: No. The one the Remnant was bound to passed away. The world is filled with countless Remnants. No two look alike or share the same power. However, they all have one thing in common. ... When a Remnant is not bound to a soul, it calls forth disastrous misfortune. This calamity is known as the Collapse.

END "1. Remnants"

2. Town Legends
Almost every town we visit in the game has its own Remnant. Naturally, legends have sprung up about them. Most are even true.

2.A Athlum

(Chapter 4)
Remnant-Gazing Old Man: This Remnant is the heart of our town. It's called the Valeria Heart. It represents bravery. Long ago, this town was victim to many disasters. But one day, a massive sword fell from the sky, and from that moment on, nothing else troubled the land… or so the legend goes. Thus, as long as the Valeria Heart exists, Athlum will not fall. If you are ever discouraged, pray to the Valeria Heart. Your spirit will be set at ease.

Legend Teller: In a time rocked by peril, even the earth itself trembled from its ferocity, until one day all evil was stilled by a giant blade, thrust by the gods...". That’s the legend of the Valeria Heart. When I was young, my father would tell me the story over and over. But he usually followed it up with something like “you’d better be good, or the Valeria Heart’s gonna get you.”

2.B Celapaleis

(Chapter 9)
Smarypants Qsiti: Isn’t the view amazing? There isn’t any other place in the world that’s covered with a Remnant like this! Every one of those crystals floating in the air is the Remnant Umbermarici . So long as Lord Qubiine has bound the Remnant, those crystals will glow, and the people of the town will be happy and healthy. The might and glory of Celapaleis is linked to the Umbermarici, for certain.

Legend Loving Child: A long long time ago here in Celapaleis, there was a really pretty stone. It was so pretty that people were totally mesmerized by it… enough to do evil things. Pretty soon the town was in trouble. But one day a traveler came through town, and saw the stone, and bound it. From then on, it didn’t do anything else bad, and everyone was happy.

I'm still not really sure what the Umbermarici actually DOES. But it seems to be more powerful than the ones Athlum has, if it can still rule over Athlum.

2.C Elysion

(Ch. 14)

Pagus:That is the Elysion Remnant. Its power keeps the world in balance. A thousand years ago, the great Marian Marshall bound herself to the Remnant, marking this as the birthplace of Remnant culture.

The Sacred Lands AKA The Elysion Remnant is tied very closely to Marion Marshall. See The Marshalls section for further details.

Mythology-Savvy Devotee: See the Sacred Lands through the clouds? According to legend, that’s where the souls of the dead return. A thousand years ago, there was a war that cost many their lives. Marion Marshall prayed for the dead, and her prayer enveloped the Sacred Lands with a celestial light. Since then, it has been an area for souls to rest.

Ark Tour Guide: Straight ahead is the Remnant Ark. The Academy has the ability to send a select few to the Sacred Lands several times a year. The Remnant that Marion Marshall bound to herself is the Sacred Lands, the mass of rock above. The Sacred Lands is where our souls go to rest when we pass away – it is even referred to as a heaven.

2.D Balterossa

(Ch. 15)
Elegant Madam: It’s amazing that we can have such a bustling city in the middle of the desert, isn’t it. It’s all due to the blessing of the Tao Tie. Go on, take a look. It’s like two giant insects, isn’t it? Those sweet beasties take care of all Balterossa.

Tao Tie-Admiring Child: It can stick its tail in soo deep, an’ drink water from, like, super-deep underground! When I grow up, I’m gonna be the Tao Tie !

The formation and prosperity of Balterossa is tied strongly to the fate of the desert kingdom destroyed 1000 years prior. See that section for details.

2.E Baaluk

(Ch. 17)

Resting Yama: Town legend says there was some terrible monster running wild, but the Imperator took the Remnant and sealed it in that very spot. ‘Course, that was hundreds of years ago… If’n there’s any truth to it, I sure ain’t the one to tell. Only half-believe it myself, actually.

Wyngale: I’ve stood here for hundreds of years, watching over the Remnant Brimslabus and what it seals.

There's another local legend unrelated to the Remnant.

Mystic Girl: He-llo… So, you crossed the Vale of the Gods all by your lonesome? You must be stronger than you look. The legend ‘round here is that the gods created the split in the mountain range to invite mortals to come to the area. ‘Course, if I were a god, I’d just invite a bunch of hot guys… Heheh.

2.F Royotia

(Ch. 18)

Legend Telling Yama: Long time ago, deep within the earth’s molten core, twin birds signifying good and evil were locked in eternal battle. The founder of Royotia saved the bird of virtue. In return, he gained weapons strong enough to defeat and take over the surrounding lands. However, the bird of virtue fought again with the bird of evil, and lost. The founder was absorbed into the evil beast. When all was almost lost, the bird of virtue began to sing a lament… a lullaby. Upon hearing the sad, gentle song, the bird of evil fell asleep and sank beneath the lava, to slumber for eternity. That legend has been told in this land for hundreds of years. Still, there aren’t too many people interested in such fairytales nowadays.

In this case, the legend is elaborated on in great detail through a couple sidequests.

Rush: Who are you?
Flame Guardian: I am the Flame Guardian. I am the watcher of Vespalia, that which would lavish destruction upon Royotia. I have called you here to perform a task for me. To protect Royotia, will you destroy Vespalia? Our time grows short. Vespalia has struggled for lifetimes to break free from its seal. Soon it will succeed. Once the bird awakens, it will destroy all of Royotia.
Rush: So that ancient legend is actually true?
Flame Guardian: Vespalia is not only strong, but possesses incredible fortitude. It would take a miracle to defeat it. Nevertheless, we are not without recourse against it. This I request. Find the nine Crimson Shards scattered around this world. If there is to be any hope of destroying Vespalia, all nine Crimson Shards must be assembled.
Rush: Crimson Shards?
Flame Guardian: The Crimson Shards are drawn to those with strong wills. Go to the powerful of this world, and you shall easily find the Shards. Once collected, the Crimson Shards may be combined. Depending on this combination, they take the form of a shield, bangle, or blade. And thus, equipped with Crimson Blade, Bangle, and Shield, it should be enough... Enough to give you the power to destroy Vespalia once and for all.

END "2. Town Legends"

3. Glenys: The Desert Kingdom Destroyed 1000 Years Ago

There is a LOT of world-building about the lost desert kingdom, destroyed a thousand years before this game. And we haven't even seen half of it yet.

The name has mostly been lost to history, most people just refer to it as the old kingdom. But the name was not entirely forgotten: it was called Glenys.

(Ch. 15)
Yama Adventurer: The desert’s plenty dangerous, but it’s worth bravin’ it for all the treasure hidden out there. Rumor going ‘round the guild is that beneath the Great Sand Sea is the ruins of the greatest of the Old Kingdoms – the Kingdom of Glenys. What I’d give to get even a look at that loot…

A man in Cafe Moondust supplies more information - particularly about the army that protected the old kingdom.

Wise Old Man: A thousand years ago, there was a prosperous country in the middle of the desert. The guard that protected it was unmatched in skill. That strength threatened the Imperator, and he set his armies against them. When the dust cleared, the desert country was destroyed. However… the spirits of the warriors from the defeated land still lurk within the desert’s sands, awaiting the perfect time for revenge… My great-grandfather first told me that tale when I was just a little boy.

The Duchess of Balterossa's Chief of Staff tells us that the queensguard of the old kingdom was known as the Mantroskylo.

Chief of Staff: A thousand years ago, there was a great kingdom in the desert. Its military was renowned around the world. And within that force was the queensguard – the Mantroskylo. Their prowess in battle is still sung in legend today. They were heroes who sealed countless wild monsters. A brotherhood who protected their queen like an iron wall. Skilled warriors who could win while outnumbered a thousand to one. However, they were eventually destroyed by their own strength. They turned into monsters, and turned upon the Imperator. The Imperator immediately struck back. After a fierce battle on both sides, the Imperator took the Tao Tie and sealed the Mantroskylo.
Rush: Sounds like an old story. What’s the big deal?
Chief of Staff:Young traveler, this is no simple nursery-tale. After a thousand years, the Mantroskylo have returned. They assemble against Balterossa to take back the Tao Tie. This cannot be allowed, no matter the cost. Somehow, the force that was strong enough to even plague the Imperator must be defeated.

That story seems to clash with the other story. In the Wise Old Man's version, the Imperator was threatened by the strength of that country and attacked it. The Advisor's story is that the Mantroskylo turned into monsters and attacked the Imperator. The Imperator somehow sealed the Mantroskylo away - it didn't destroy them (probably because of how dangerous they were), but they have returned. I guess the seal expired.

This also reveals that the Tao Tie used to originally belong to the kingdom of Glenys - no doubt responsible for its prosperity. When the kingdom was destroyed, it was transferred to Balterossa, and as before, caused that city to prosper.

How did the Mantroskylo come back? Well, two possibilities. Either the seal wore off after 1000 years, or an archaeological dig was responsible for bringing it back. I also speculate that the reason why the second monster came back is that when the Mantroskylo was sealed, the Absolute Queen it was fighting was sealed with it.

It is funny how the ancient hero who was such a legend seems to be so weak, but the big huge dragon, also a Mantroskylo, is apparently just an ordinary guy.

(Ch. 16)

The old kingdom's ruins come up again in a quest.

Scardey-Cat Mystic: Hey, would you go look for me?
Rush: Sure.
Scardey-Cat Mystic: Cool! So, there’re a bunch of pillars set up in the desert to keep you from getting lost. And they’ve all got IDs on them if you look close. If you look at them in the order: C-4-B-E-A-1 then… *shudder* The pillars are engraved with the language of the Old Kingdoms, so take this – it’ll show you how to read them.

The kid vanishes as we get close, and there’s an investigation point.
Obtained Godstone of Souls!

If that seemed like it went nowhere to you, well, just wait. We've got two Godstones, and we'll need all the Godstones later.

Archaeologist: However, after being killed in his battle against the last monster, he ended up turning into the undead himself! ... It seems the warrior knows formations no longer used in the present age.

END "3. Glenys: The Desert Kingdom Destroyed 1000 Years Ago"

4. The Marshalls and the Dawn of the Era of Remnants

The Marshalls are a famous clan with strange powers, and are pretty key to both the past and present of the world.

(Ch. 14)
There are some Academy Visistons about them as well.

[The Marshalls 1] The Marshalls were an ancient clan, infamous for their mysterious powers.
[The Marshalls 2] A Marshall did not need to focus an object to use mystic arts.
[The Marshalls 3] The Marshalls used magick, an ancient ability that has long been forgotten.
[The Marshalls 4] The Marshalls were said to have developed many fantastic techniques.

Pagus: A thousand years ago, the great Marion Marshall bound herself to the [Elysion] Remnant, marking this as the birthplace of Remnant culture.

Mystic Girl: You know about Lady Marion and the romance between her and the Imperator, right? *sigh* I wish something wonderful like that would happen to me, too… *sigh*

Mythology-Savvy Devotee: See the Sacred Lands through the clouds? According to legend, that’s where the souls of the dead return. A thousand years ago, there was a war that cost many their lives. Marion Marshall prayed for the dead, and her prayer enveloped the Sacred Lands with a celestial light. Since then, it has been an area for souls to rest.

Devoted Woman: This is the temple dedicated to Marion Marshall. You saw the statue up front, didn’t you? It’s a statue of Lady Marion. She has the most peaceful look on her face, doesn’t she?

Preacher Guy: Once Lady Marion connected with the Remnant, her soul traveled to the Sacred Lands. She still looks upon us from the heavens. She prays for the souls of the dead to safely reach the heavens to join her side.

(Ch. 23)

Marina Sykes: You might have heard of Marion Marshall. She was the one who bound the Remnant Elysion to herself and wed the God Emperor. The power she held was extraordinary - the power to erase the bindings of the Remnants and replace them with her own.

END "4. The Marshalls"

5. Main Plot - The Sykes

I've broken the main plot into three sections, although there is some overlap.

(Ch. 2)
What kicked the entire plot off was the kidnapping of Irina Sykes. It was no coincidence that it happened shortly after the Doctors Skykes made a discovery.

John Sykes: Hi Rush, hello Irina! Are you two behaving yourselves? Both of us are having a great time here at the Academy in Elysion, and we were lucky enough to have a break in our research. But, as you’ve probably guessed, things are taking longer than expected.
Marina Sykes: So your father and I have agreed that you should come live with us in Elysion.
John Sykes: What we’ve found is a key that’ll let us use the Remnants in new ways. It’s gonna change the world for the better… but you kids are more important to us, and I’m sorry we haven’t been out to visit for so long.

(Ch. 11)
But Irina was valuable to him all on her own. For she's no ordinary girl.

Wagram: Irina, you must bind this Remnant to yourself. You must release its power. For that power will change the world.

She reached up to try and bind the Remnant Schiavona . It responds easily, turning from orange to blue and floating down to her.

(Ch. 21)
David: I found out what happened to the Sykes, on the condition that I kept quiet about the Academy’s involvement. It seems that your family has been transferred to a new facility. It’s being kept quiet, but they are within the Temple of Elysion.

(Ch. 22)
After navigating the Catacombs beneath the Temple, we learn David's info was good, as we meet Rush's father.

John Sykes: Rush?
Rush: Dad, Irina’s been –
John Sykes: Yes, I know.

Rush: What’s that?
John Sykes: This… is what Irina’s kidnappers are after. This tablet can put Remnants into… a deep slumber. It was developed by your mother.
Rush: Where is she anyway?
John Sykes: She’s out there, luring them away from this.

This tablet is the discovery that John Sykes mentioned in the video message to Rush at the start. Wagram wanted it, and one way to do that was to kidnap Irina to pressure the Sykes into turning it over to him. Unfortunately, the catacombs were a trap...

Wagram: You cannot escape that easily, John Sykes. Hand over the tablet, or he dies.

Wagram got the tablet, and John Sykes was left in a coma.

(Ch. 23)
Pagus: His life is not in danger, but it looks like he is in a coma. There's no telling when he'll wake.
Rush: Wagram... If only I knew where Mom was.
Emma: I think... I may have an idea of her whereabouts.

Emma and Rush went alone to Numor Mines. There, at the bottom...

Emma: Thought you would never show! ...It's been a long time.

Rush: Mom... me and Irina - we've both got the power to call out to Remnants. All of this is happening because of our powers, right? I need to know: what are we? And what does that make you?
Marina Sykes: I was... an orphan. The directory of the Academy took me in when I was a child. To return the favour, I joined the Academy, and dedicated my life to their research. That's where I learned the truth about who I was.

Marina reveals a secret about herself that she has tried to keep hidden for years.

Marina Sykes: You might have heard of Marion Marshall. She was the one who bound the Remnant Elysion to herself and wed the God Emperor. The power she held was extraordinary - the power to erase the bindings of the Remnants and replace them with her own. Inside me rests that same, terrible power. For I... I possess Marion's Blessing. As does Irina.

Marina gives Rush another talisman, similar to his own (which he claimed after it was dropped by Irina during her kidnapping).

Marina Sykes: Here. I made it using the tablet. When you find Irina, I want you to give her this for me.

So this explains what Rush's Talisman is. It's a Remnant in a special state.

END "5. Main Plot - The Sykes"

6. Main Plot - Irina's Kidnappers

This section deals with the people behind Irina's kidnapping, and their goals.

(Ch. 2)

Irina was kidnapped by a man - Jager - who is bound to a previously unknown flying Remnant.

(Ch. 10)
The face of the kidnappers is Wagram. A mage in white who has a dark blue gemstone in the burned-out socket where his right eye once was. He was taking Irina to various Blank Remnants to see if she could bind them.

Wagram: Ancient magicks bound to my call, within the void envelop all!

Wagram is gifted with powerful magic beyond the currently known mystic arts. What it is and how he learned it is unclear.

(Ch. 12)

But even Wagram has someone he answers to, a man of wealth and power.

(Ch. 21)
The Chairman of the Congress, and the head of the Academy:

Bertrude: Chairman Hermeien!

Rush: You learn anything new?
David: Chairman Hermeien revealed that the Academy was involved with both Irina’s kidnapping, and the invasions into Athlum. Apparently some members of the Academy are bent on conducting forbidden research. The mage Wagram is their ringleader. ... Unfortunately, not even the Chairman knows [Irina's] whereabouts. ... I found out what happened to the Sykes, on the condition that I kept quiet about the Academy’s involvement. It seems that your family has been transferred to a new facility. It’s being kept quiet, but they are within the Temple of Elysion.

Unknown to Lord David, Duke Wilfred Hermeien, Lord of Nagapur, is actually the mastermind behind Irina's kidnapping.

END "Main Plot - 6. Irina's Kidnappers"

7. Main Plot - The Conqueror

The Conqueror is a powerful, mysterious figure, whose desire for a powerful Remnant of his own threatens the current peace.

(Ch. 19)

Qsiti Hoodlum: Word on the street is that some people're hosin' themselves over some Conqueror guy what's been terrorizin' cities like it's going out of style.
Loitering Yama: They're just a bunch of thugs that'll do anything to get hold of a Remnant... Bet they’d sell their mama for somethin’ cheap, too! Talking ‘bout them’s all the rage here – some say they even wanna take over the world! They’re a shady bunch, that’s fer sure!
Sky-Gazing Woman: Some men calling themselves “the Conquerors” or something are plotting to attack the city, I heard… That’s so silly, isn’t it? We’ve got the Marquis and the generals to take care of us. Plus, the Valeria Heart will protect us, no matter what. Whoever these guys are, who cares? They can’t do anything, so it’s not even worth worrying about.

Word about the Conqueror started to appear even before Rush and company left Athlum. When they arrived in Elysion...

Roeas: I am Roeas, messenger for his lordship, the Conqueror! We hail from the eastern city of Veyriel. We’ve come for the Remnant entrusted to us by the prophecy of the God Emperor! His Lordship promises prosperity to us all! The mark of this promise will soon become apparent to the world! The Remnant will awaken. Time will be stagnant no more. The promised time is almost upon us. Your dreams will soon become reality!

David: What is going on? What has he done?
Rush: I dunno… but there’s something about that guy…

His mere presence seems to excite Rush's Talisman. Rush followed the mysterious man to the Ark Remnant at the top level of Elysion.

Torgal: (Does he wish to bind the Ark? Only one with great power could do so.)

(Ch. 20)
Pagus: H-he did it! He bound the Ark! Who – or what is he?

The Conqueror should not have been able to do that.

Rush wandered the Sacred Lands and eventually came to a pure white room.

Conqueror: Yes… think back.

For some reason, the Conqueror seems to have an interest in Rush.

(Ch. 21)
Elysion – Academy Entrance Hall

Academy Researcher: ...The Ark was activated? How could that be? Once a Remnant's been bound, it can't be activated by anyone else until the bind is broken. We all learned that in Remnants 101. Does that mean that... what we've been taught was wrong?

Researcher on Break: What? The Ark was activated? That's impossible. It's bound to a member of the Academy. Meaning, it can only be activated by a member of the research team that was hand-picked by the Academy. Your eyes are just playing tricks on you.

Academy Researcher: Everyone around town is talking about how the Ark was activated. The legendary Marion Marshall is the only one I've ever heard of who can overwrite bindings of Remnants. Perhaps she's come back to us...

So that at least clears some things up about the Ark. It is indeed currently bound to someone, which means that it should have been impossible for the Conqueror to overwrite the binding… but there is a historical precendent: The Marshall clan from long ago could also do that.

(Ch. 24)[spoiler]

Pagus: The Congress has been slow to grant that Conqueror fellow a Remnant, and all the Lords are in a flurry over it. And the Conqueror keeps rattling his saber about taking over countries and seizing their Remnants.
Emma: You’d expect that from the sort of person who would bind the Ark… He’s made an enemy out of every Lord with a Remnant. What’s he plotting?
Pagus: For starters, he’s building an army.
Emma: So it’s come to war…
Torgal: You see, the Congress has split into two factions… One sides with the Chairman against the Conqueror. The other supports the Conqueror, fearing the God Emperor’s wrath. Duke Hermeien wishes to ally with us and end the rift as quickly as possible.
David: He’s asked to speak with me directly, in Nagapur.

END "7. Main Plot - The Conqueror"

8. Quest Chains

8.A The Paris-Charlotte Conspiracy

(Ch. 15)

Paris: Mojcado Castle… It’s an ancient castle left to ruin. Now it’s only home to legions of monsters and beasts. Why in the world would she select such a dangerous place to meet? No matter how I try, I cannot make heads or tails of the decision.

After an assassin is defeated...

Paris: Thank you, Rush. Words cannot fully convey my gratitude. … But, dearest Charlotte, why did you decide to meet in such a perilous location in the first place? Though thanks to me requesting Rush’s help, we were able to rescue you…
Charlotte: What do you mean? Paris, you were the one who decided the meeting place. You wrote me not a fortnight back.
Paris: What!? I never wrote such a letter.

Paris: What manner of knavery is this – and towards what end? Now that I think of it… The brute from earlier knew me by name. Certainly it could not have been –
Rush: So neither of you sent the letters to each other?
Paris: *sigh* Forgive me, Rush. This mystery does not preclude a reward for your assistance.

(Ch. 25)
Paris: East of Balterossa, deep below the Great Sand Sea, lives a very kind old seer. Charlotte and I would appreciate it if you would escort us to him.

Charlotte: Paris...wait, please. I... I'm worried, Paris. Is running away like this truly the right thing for us to do?
Disembodied Voice: There's no need to worry...
Paris: Who's there?
Disembodied Voice: By ridding the world of the two of you, our organization will be able to spread joy to many, many people.

Paris: That voice - that's the seer...

Seer: Hmph. There is no need for me to explain. All I'll have to explain is how I found the two of you - victims of lovers' suicide!

Charlotte: Yes, I'm fine. Paris...I'm sorry, I can't do this. I tried, but...I need to be at Mother's side.
Paris: They say that given enough time, a broken heart becomes inured to the pain... I suppose all I can do is wait...

END "8. Quest Chains"