The identity and nature of the sixth Dominion to be revealed, you heard it here first!
Just like the Anguis, the game of ‘guess the next Dominion’ has been a hit at Kiseki Parties* since The 3rd came out and Cold Steel II opened up exciting new possibilities by officially disproving the longstanding assumption that all Dominion must have green hair. So, the sky is once again the limit and while we already have at least two and possibly three of the Gralsritter’s finest running around Erebonia, I think there’s a fourth as well, they just don’t know it yet.
Remember a couple of key facts about the Dominion: They need trauma to awaken their Stigma. They need an Artifact as a power source. Dominion can sense when someone has the potential to become one. One thing the Gralsritter teaches its members is how to sense demonic presences and when the higher three elements are active in a region. Now, why does that sound familiar?
That’s right, because there’s a character in Erebonia who shows all the signs of a potential Dominion: Gaius Worzel. He has a ‘wind sense’ that goes off when entering the Ancient Quarry, where there is both a giant spider demon and where the higher elements are active. Everyone else in the series who can sense these things has either specialized training or is in some way Not Normal. True, this isn’t unique to him (Wallace and Lacan demonstrate it as well) but let’s set that aside for now. Then there’s the fact that a wandering priest from the Church showed a great deal of interest in Gaius growing up and inspired his interest in the outside world. This was suspicious enough at first, then we learned that his old teacher was none other than the Eighth Dominion. I don’t believe this is a coincidence. Lastly, there’s the visual effect of his first S-Craft. Sure, they’re usually over the top and we shouldn’t read too much into them but it can’t be denied that his kind of resembles a Stigma activating…
So, Gaius has a suspicious mentor figure and suspicious powers, fully in line with someone who might have an unawakened Stigma. And we know he hasn’t really had to deal with any serious trauma, so if he has a Stigma he hasn’t had the opportunity for it to awaken yet at all. However, we know that Erebonia’s story isn’t finished and there’s still a high probability that Nord is hiding one more secret thanks to the giant statue (and the canyon that may or may not be the Gagharv, according to Okaji, but that’s another crack theory). If fighting returns to Nord (and that’s all too likely to happen now that tensions with Calvard are at an all-time high) it’s entirely possible Gaius could have the kind of traumatic episode necessary to awaken his Stigma.
Now, all we need is an Artifact and I think I’ve got just the right one. Assuming the Black History can be taken as a vaguely remembered account of a war between the holders of two of the Sept-Terion, the fighting left the land torn apart. Perhaps Nord was part of this ancient battlefield. And perhaps, just perhaps, one of the two Treasures was the one controlling Wind. After all, the Highlanders have a religious devotion to the concept and we know it’s got to be out there somewhere. Why not in Erebonia? So, I think that Gaius will be the key to Sen III and when his Stigma awakens, he’ll absorb the Sept-Terion itself, becoming the most powerful Dominion because he’s just that cool.
Or not, but there’s definitely the potential for Artifacts to be hidden in that quarry just waiting for Gaius to call to them in his hour of need.
Additional crack theorylet: He will request a pardon for Scarlet and seek to have her reinstated in the Gralsritter. He’s going to need Squires and why not start with someone he already knows, in addition to giving her a reason to keep living and an opportunity to atone for her past actions? It doesn’t hurt his chances that the guy currently holding on to her is a personal friend.
* Schera always brings the booze, they’re lots of fun.