In Erebonia, the present continues to be haunted by the past. Shocking events repeat themselves beyond memories of citizens. The Black Records records these forgotten moments of history. In addition to the previously published five volumes in Trails of Cold Steel II, Sen no Kiseki III introduces seven more, each intriguing in its own way.
Foundation of the Imperial Capital – the land of beginnings (S.81)
Heimdallr, built by the Arnor mediator to serve as the home of renaissance in the land of Erebos, became known as the ‘imperial capital’ several years after that calamity.
The populace, suffering from distress and poverty, longed for a permanent and local leader. As a result, the first Arnor, recognised as the mediator from the second Holy Beast, and his bloodline were requested as the leader of hereditary succession, and he was set up as ’emperor’.
Officials of the Septian Church were dispatched from the land of Arteria to support and acknowledge the new order. They introduced a new form to interact with the Goddess in the form of ‘faith’ to the children of man, who had lost their emotional pillar after the Great Collapse, and at the same time they acknowledged the legitimacy of leaders throughout the continent to strengthen the social infrastructure for after the renaissance.
And thus, in the year 81 of the Septian Calendar under the reign of the third emperor, Sion Arnor, a cathedral was built in Heimdallr, after which people started to call the city the ‘imperial capital’. The cathedral served as the home of faith and the ceremonial site the acknowledge the legitimacy of the imperial family, other than its important, tangible purpose.
That is the Primal Ground, a reproduction of the original in Arteria, installed as an underground facility referred to as an Artificial Singularity to fulfill ‘a certain purpose’.
Thus, marking the end of the period of disturbances immediately following the Great Collapse, the children of man who lost their former civilisation now protected the cradle of faith and headed into the Dark Ages in their search for light.
But 200 years later, the ‘darkness’ of Erebonia’s land changed it into something riddled with darkness and despair. The Artificial Singularity vanished alongside one Holy Beast, and that Dark Dragon sealed off Heimdallr with its miasma from that day onward.
Magic Golems (S.527)
The Empire regained its stability and with the appearance of powerful families, the country slowly took the form of territories.
The powerful families were recognised as nobility by the emperor, gradually leading to competitions and small-scale conflicts between the families to expand their territories.
Amid these conflicts, ‘enormous knights’ similar to the Vermillion once summoned by Emperor Hector started to appear throughout the land and were used during these conflicts.
They — the Azure, Palatinate, Ashen, Silver and Gold one — brought forth overwhelming powers far beyond what the powerful families once had during the early Dark Ages, capable of pulverising soldiers and set a new standard of warfare.
But the enormous knights were like a natural disaster, with the influential families were no longer satisfied with money and power, meaning that ‘a kind of countermeasure’ was required.
That is when they appeared, the magic golems known as Magic Knights produced in great quantities by the mages of that time.
Like peers in other regions, the mages sought the glory and miracles of the collapsed Zemurian era in Erebonia during the Dark Ages and had a profound obsession with the realising its revival.
Influential families invested mira and, with the support of a certain power, they had numerous Magic Knight constructed to compete with the ‘enormous knights’.
A great number of Magic Knights, however, were actually faulty and had a crucial defect that they would only move as long as the spirit veins were active. But generally speaking when the ‘enormous knights’ appeared, the spirit veins would be disturbed and activated, meaning that the intended ‘countermeasure’ was to some extent in place.
In S.527, the first golem that can be considered the prototype for the Magic Knight was created in a workshop of the mages to serve a now-extinct influential family of the north.
Its name was Ol-Gadia. At a height of 5 arge, the headless, armoured golem was a tad smaller than the Magic Knights that followed it, making it possible to see traces of mages’ trial-and-error.
The Lance Maiden – Prequel (S.942)
In a corner of a gloomy, underground place, two figures are lit by the flickering flames of a bonfire.
“Indeed, I feel an overwhelming ‘presence’.”
The leader was a young maiden with an elegant body — the wind blowing through the underground place swept through her hair, beautiful which melted gold, and she carried a spear unfit for one with such slender arms.
“Ooh? Want to call it quits after all?”
“But even so, will you stop it?”
“That would be best, this power is far too great for mankind.”
She answered to the person speaking in an antiquated tongue, which belonged to a young woman with dull blonde hair and vermillion eyes, dressed in a toga that wrapped her sensual body and held a wand upon which a flame flickered.
The maiden shakes her head and asks the woman to open the door before her eyes. A symbol resembling a helix-warped cross was engraved into the door.
The name of the maiden was Lianne Sandlot.
Later known as the Lance Maiden, she was the daughter of the count who governed the Lohengrin Castle in Legram. Growing up in Legram, home of martial arts, she was able to demonstrate her natural talents from a young age onward and became skilled enough to best the soldiers of the castle at the age 15.
Her abilities with a lance in particular were considered divine, outdoing knights across the domain in radiant victories.
In admiration of the natural talents of a princess the soldiers should protect, they dedicated themselves to overwhelming support and worshipping of the girl.
When that girl was 16, she heard that ‘voice’.
While dignified and composed, somewhere the ‘voice’ sounded cold.
That voice whispered to Lianne the mission she should carry out and the fate she should accept, inviting her to something. The voice worried Lianne that only she had heard it, but before long a mysterious woman introducing herself as a ‘witch’ appeared.
The witch informed her that the voice belongs to a ‘certain being’ sealed away beneath the castle and that it wanted Lianne for its owner.
There was an overwhelming existence to be obtained, but in the end the great power would come with the risk of bringing about ruination.?
But Lianne, still worried and hesitant, decided to take the trial and face that being.
So that it could no longer be snatched away by the influential families for their eternal struggles or so she would have a trump card in ending the ongoing wars.
The witch was surprised when she heard her answer, but she acknowledged Lianne’s selflessness and finally offered to cooperate.
Thus the door opened, and the maiden of the lance and the witch of the blaze challenged the trial…
Five years later, the death of the emperor marks the start of the War of the Lions, said to be the largest civil war in the history of Erebonia.
Dreichels the Lionheart – Sequel (S.994)
‘Excuse me, you can go now.’
‘Acknowledged. If something is the matter, please let me know.’
As the young head butler takes a bow and leaves the room, ‘he’ softly sighs as he lies down back on the bed.
‘He’ was old and sick, but his trained body showed no signs of waning. In fact, he would look healthy to the majority of the people.
Still, ‘he’ was certainly aging, growing weaker and felt his death around the corner.
He is the 73rd emperor at the age of 70, the Dreichels “the Lionheart” Reise Arnor.
Ever since he ended the five-year War of the Lions over 40 years ago, he had been running without a single break.
Following his enthronement after the war, he dedicated himself to the reconstruction of the Empire with his befriended retainers but regretted being away from his friends from the Nord or the witch.
‘…There’s nothing to regret.’
‘No need to worry about the children.’
The empress he married also wished for him to give up on those thoughts.
She was the daughter of a marquis who had, until his assassination, supported him during the war. She was like a much younger sister to him, moved by his earnest dedication, whom he accepted as his empress, and bore him two sons and two daughters.
The empress died a number of years earlier, but he was convinced that his son and daughters would succesfully bear the future of the empire, which was rivitalised and healthy once again.
(Raising the next generation…)
Witnessing the growth of the Roland Vander’s orphaned son, his best friend and most loyal retainer who lost his life shielding him, filled him with great satisfaction.
He was like another son to Dreichels, flourishing primarily as guardian and martial arts instructor while serving as an important military officer.
And then there was Thors Military Academy.
About 20 years earlier, he had founded the classless military academy he had discussed with others, which brought forth many excellent graduates.
(‘He’, too, will be surprised…)
When he remembered his comrade-in-arms whom he parted with for an eternal slumber after the year the war ended, it brought a smile to his face.
The military academy was built exactly where he had found ‘him’ and where he had put ‘him’ back to rest.
(I suppose my life was not without merit after all…)
(But until the Goddess accepts me, I have to withstand ‘that’ there…)
Suddenly, he looks in the corner of the room, indifferently.
There crouched a difficult to describe ‘darkness’.
Like every day, it repeats itself in a stoic manner.
Pitiful, as if to request.
Ferociously, as if to threaten.
Silently, as if to beckon.
It knew him.
Since that day, 40 years ago, when he succeeded the throne.
(Fortunately, my children or descendants will not be haunted.)
And today, once again, the time has come of absolutely endurable despair and grief had he not been the man with the heart of a lion.
With that voice like a nostalgic, too nostalgic bell, appeared ‘that person’ with her waving melted blonde hair.
The Salt Pale (S.1178)
It was July 1st, S.1178, 5:45 AM when that great catastrophe hit the former Principality of North Ambria, north of the Empire in the northern region of Zemuria.
An enormous white pale touching the clouds suddenly appeared in the suburbs of the old capital of Haliask and overwhelmed the majority of the country in the blink of an eye.
The pillar was neither snow nor water, but ‘salt’. The salt coming from the pillar covered cities, hills, fields and rivers alike, and the majority of the population was forced to take refuge in the southern regions.
This calamity’s damage was so great that approximately one eighth of the principality’s population instantly fell victim. Including secondary damage, the death toll ultimately increased to one third of the population.
Immediately after this unusual catastrophe took place, the Septian Church responded with guidance to shelters, relief and medical treatment, followed by the Bracer Guild’s plans to dispatch hundreds of bracers.
Soon thereafter, relief groups from the Empire, Principality of Remiferia, Jurai City State, Liberl Kingdom and Calvard Republic arrived.
The ruler at the time, Prince Balmund, had already fled the country to the nearby nation of Remiferia, so his homegoing he was welcomed by insurrections of the enraged populace.
The insurrections ultimately led to a coup d’etat of the principality’s army, after which the principality fell and to have it reborn as an autonomous, democratic state.
The Erebonian Empire, bordering only of its northern border, took an antinomical response regarding the incident.
First, it did not acknowledge the circumstances of the democratisation following the principality’s coup d’etat.
Second, the extreme poverty of the autonomous state forced the former principality’s army to form the largest jaeger corps of the continent, the Northern Jaegers.
The jaegers moved around the more remote regions of the Empire and through clashes with the nobility and developing businesses they obtained septium gemstones and other resources.
Against the formation of an enormous jaeger corps, highly skilled and capable of large-scale operations, a ‘proxy war’ seemed to be the best approach.
One might say, ironically, that this way North Ambria was saved from poverty by a considerable amount of mira from Erebonia…
And 27 years after that calamity, the Northern Campaign led to the merger of North Ambria in the Empire.
Equally ironical, the gradual improvement of the perpetual state of poverty can be seen as the result of the enormous investment of Erebonia…
It was all caused by the Salt Pale.
Immediately after the abnormal event the Septian Church was quick to cover up the white pale as a ‘first-class singularity’, on which the Imperial Army’s Intelligence Division launched a follow-up investigation.
According to ‘a certain organisation’ the Intelligence Division collaborated with, the residual of the partially altered Salt Pale was brought back the Church’s home in Arteria by their Dominion, although it has yet to be confirmed whether still really remains there.
Orbal Shutdown Phenomenon (S.1203)
In February, S.1203, in the southernmost parts of the Sutherland Province, in the vicinity of Parm and the Titus Gate, an orbal shutdown phenomenon happened.
Around this mid-winter period – which happened to be milder than the average winter – all orbal devices, such as lightning, communications and heaters, suddenly stopped working.
For a week, the inhabitants of the Spinning Town, Parm, shivered through the cold and darkness, and sought support from the now-Provincial Army of Sutherland.
A ‘floating city’, that had suddenly appeared above Valleria Lake in the southern neighbouring nation of Liberl, was seen as the cause.
Measuring a height of 5000 arge and width of 3000 arge, the ancient city of the Zemurian era displayed its transcendal power by absorbing orbal power from almost the entirety of Liberl.
Its range extended to even the southern regions of Erebonia, causing shutdown of orbal technology there.
Three days after the phenomenon’s occurrence, the 3rd Armored Division from Dreknor Fortress arrived in Parm to shelter its citizens and to move on to Titus Gate at the border.
The 3rd Armored Division was in the possession of a great number of steam tanks – they were remodelled tanks, for which old tanks that were no longer used on the front lines were equipped with an external, steam-powered combustion engine that did not have to rely on ‘orbal energy’.
Similarly, their main armament did not consist of orbal but old-fashioned cannons, which were harder to operate but sufficiently ‘practical’ in use.
The 3rd Armored Division was commanded by Lieutenant General Zechs Vander, one of the Imperial Family’s loyal guardians and a resourceful commander known for his neutral moderation within the Imperial Army, felt a strong sense of discomfort while marching south.
‘Protecting citizens of the affected southern regions and ‘spearheading’ the restoration in the highly disordered Liberl’.
That was the command given to him by the Imperial Government, which could only be interpreted as an ‘invasion’.
One month earlier, the government was forcing the use of remodelled weaponry, such as the steam tanks, vastly inferior to the current tanks.
And tailing the 3rd Armored Division as they headed toward the border of Liberl were other armored divisions that had deployed the same steam-powered tanks.
In the end, the invasion of the Imperial Army was temporarily deferred by the clever strategies of Prince Olivert, son of Emperor Eugent, and the commander of the Liberl Army, Brigadier General Cassius Bright.
The high-speed cruiser Arseille headed toward the floating city to stop its mechanisms and restore the orbal functionalities in the southern regions, leaving one wonder whether the tension between the Empire and Liber had come to an end.
For some officials it was immediately clear that the Faceless, one of the Society’s Anguises and seen as the instigator of the strange occurrence, had been collaborating through some kind of factor with the Imperial Army’s Intelligence Division.
In addition, the self-controlled small weapons used by the Faceless have been referred to as ‘combat shells’.
Beginning of the Twilight (S.1206)
The interstice between the Blaze and the Earth — in the wavering darkness, the end of the story begins.
- One is the rivalry between two great gods.
- Two is the fusion of the Blaze and the Earth, and the creation of the seven shells.
- Three is the foundation of the millennial city and the reception of the grail.
- Fourth is the death of the Holy Beast and calamity of the Dark Dragon.
- Fifth is the recapture of the capital and the cursed crimson.
- Sixth is the war among the lions and sacrifice of the saint.
- Seventh is the manifestation of northern pale and the unwanted child.
- Eighth is the sacrificed village and the hundred-day foreign campaign.
- Ninth is the manifestation of the eastern Azure Tree and the Infernal Castle.
And thus, wishes of a thousand years have been fulfilled.
When the offering makes the old blood flow, the path to the Gral of Erebos shall be opened.
When the sword of world’s end slays the defiled Holy Beast and the Gral be filled with that blood, the Great Twilight will commence.