This theory was also submitted by bronzefrog from gamefaqs on 3/19/2017!
Hunting the truth, 1192. Or where I am going to make more wild theories about what happened during that fateful winter with Rean.
Given the nature of the series these days, we can’t go any further without some praise for Jouji Nakata! He is the VA of Giliath Osborne in all JP versions of Trails games, and his menacing voice is definitely fitting of the Blood and Iron Chancellor.
And it’s very jarring to hear him during Rean’s flashback in the final chapter of CS2. He sounds like he is killing himself over what is happening. You have to search for 閃の軌跡 II on youtube to hear it for yourself, or just watch this video I guess from 47:45.
I feel that’s very deliberate on Falcom’s part. The sheer dissonance between the past and the present is really shocking, if the list of speechless players is any indication on all media platforms. There’s a real disconnect in what the present and past are showing us; something is missing from the equation. And after having been through the Ao no Kiseki experience where the devil could literally be found in the details, my instincts are telling me that the details of this “truth” is a key. But given that CS3 is supposed to be a game of many important revelations, I can only guess at so much.
So it’s time to go back over what we’ve seen in the Cold Steel games, try to find some kind of hint to figure out whatever is going on. My only lead is what Principal Vandyck has to imply about his old subordinate, that he was a different person and one worthy of his full trust before he became the chancellor.
And this is where the theory begins.
Let’s go to the Aqua Shrine and Vita. From what she tells the party, everyone forgets what actually happens every time the fragments of the Great Power get into a dust up. The stories point at the truth, but are lacking in the details such as how there were Divine Knights fighting in the War of the Lions. And it is the duty of the Hexen Clan to ensure that the memory of the world remains vague in regards to these events. It’s perhaps telling that no one has actually said that the war between the two giants mentioned in the Black History was at the same time as the Great Collapse. It very well could precede that event, one decisive collision after another being forgotten.
Well okay, the witches aren’t the first people in the series with the power to modify, erase and block out memories. Who can forget the late Professor Weissman, formerly of the Congregation of the Sacraments?
But Weissman couldn’t influence world’s memories willy nilly the way the Hexen Clan can lay claim to.
Hold up a minute though. Whatever the witches do, it isn’t absolute. It would be a given that the clan wouldn’t forget, but the Black History exists all the same.
Alright, you hear the theory getting at. Rean’s memories were blocked thanks to the Hexen Clan and can only be unlocked by specific circumstances or situations. Many other people’s memories were erased of Rean’s birth circumstances, but this was not absolute since Teo and Lucia knew about it.
Ah, but let’s not forget what Loewe went through. Supernatural abilities aren’t strictly necessary to erase the past and obscure the truth. But well, he did wonder how many times Hamel would be repeated in the future. Given what we’ve learned about the Lion War… how many times had it occurred in the past?
So I say that 1192 is the year where the truth about everything is hidden or kept secret. Hamel, the reason for the 100 Days War, Weissman’s involvement, Rean’s memories and parentage…
Well, part of the reason why I chose to say that the witches were involved in information hijinx back then is because who wasn’t? You can’t introduce a faction with the power to manipulate the truth and then say that they had nothing to do with everything that was going on 14 years ago. Especially when just about every faction with power back then was complicit in burying the truth, even people like Queen Alicia.
Alright, but why the witches would be involved in erasing Rean’s past? I leave that for another day and another theory. Let’s for now go back to Osborne.
We look upon a man who loses his family, loses his son, and the world at large slowly and surely knows nothing about it. But he does not exist in a vacuum, for the Empire is in a precarious situation. This is something alluded to in the Sky games, where everyone in the 100 Days War was on shaky ground. Liberl didn’t want to deal with more of the Imperial Army, and Alicia probably didn’t want to be at ground zero of an enormous war between the Empire and the rest of Zemuria. The Empire doesn’t want to be fighting this war over a false flag. And nobody was too keen on all the collateral damage going on.
So what is the least costly way to get out of the mess the Empire is in? In fact, that everyone is in during the 100 Days?
Completely erase the name of Hamel, and its survivors. Osborne as part of the cleanup of Hamel is about to do the same thing to innocent people that he, and his family was a victim of.
Well, let’s look at this from a military mind. The duty of the commander is to judge what means should be undertaken to achieve each objective. They must be aware of what is to be gained and what may be lost. Erasing Hamel is not much of a loss compared to what could happen if the war continues, or if other countries begin to think that Erebonia is a weak and divided country , easily manipulated at its highest levels and ripe for a take over.
But that alone will do nothing to assuage personal feelings over this horror, if Osborne was the man Vandyck thought him to be.
It’s said that in war, every soldier must find their way to deal with what they see and do, their own way of rationalizing away what’s happening. Well, Osborne has seen lives trampled upon, thrown into meat grinders and ruined by figures of power who they have never met or even know about. He has been one of them, someone almost powerless to change circumstances instead of constantly reacting and reacting to whatever the hell is going wrong next.
And this, I think is what Osborne ends up believing, partially through trauma and partially because of his iron will: That this is all perfectly normal in this mad world, haunted by the civilization of times past and conspiracies. In this game where people are nothing more than pieces in the hands of someone else, there is only one choice that matters. Are you a Hunter, or are you a Guard?
Ignoring the choice leaves you completely at the mercy of Authority, without any means to resist the outcome.
And Osborne has no intention of allowing this system to continue. He has no intention of being a victim of circumstances beyond his control. He will reform the Empire into something entirely else, a place that he dreams of. And if he must do unsavoury and unpleasant things to achieve his reforms, well, he has already taken part in such a thing for the body politic. It becomes easier and easier for him to issue the orders after the first time, to accept the losses some people have in exchange for those who gain something valuable afterwards.
That does leave us with certain questions about Osborne’s personality as of now, like whether he cares for the Ironbloods on a personal level, or if he has managed to pull off the most convincing acting ever seen in Kiseki lore. Personally, I’ve always subscribed to the line of thought that Osborne does care on a very personal level about his Ironbloods if Millium’s complete lack of experience with sadness and her complete freedom with Class VII to learn about basic humanity is any indication.
But that, along with many other questions about Osborne, is for another day and another game release. Continuing next post is a look at what I think is the function of the Sept Terrion of Fire in Erebonia.