Calvard and the East have been synonyms since the series’s inception. This connection was first evoked by Zin and Kilika’s attires and fighting techniques, then further bolstered by Crossbell City’s East Street. When discussing Calvard, we always tend to look at the Far East. Aren’t we, as Hellseye47 suggests in the following theory, overlooking another region named the Middle East? Come on, we’re going to Egypt.
This is a crack theory is derived from another crack theory I came up with a while ago that was based around finding some geographical significance to the elements associated with each lost art. In particular, I was trying to use the Lost Arts to estimate where the Sept-Terrions of Wind and Water were located.
Sun, for example, consists of Fire, Space and Wind. If Fire is in southern Erebonia, which is adjacent to Liberl (Space), then Wind would be based in southern Calvard. Likewise, Moon consists of Fire, Mirage, and Water, which would then put the Water Sept-Terrion around northern Calvard. Furthermore, Fire, Earth and Time make Star, which aligns fairly well geographically with the canon position of Leman (and Arteria), assuming Time is in Arteria as everyone expects.
Unfortunately, the other two — Dragon and Holy — screwed me over in Sen no Kiseki IV, which swapped Space and Wind from their Sen II counterparts.
Originally, Holy (Space, Mirage and Time) formed a straight line and Dragon (Wind, Water and Earth) formed the shape of a mouth that looked like it was going to devour Western Zemuria (like a Jormungand). Anyway, since Falcom kept Sun, Moon and Star the same. I’m still going to use them to claim that Wind is based in southern Calvard and Water in the north.
The Land of Ra
The central argument that I’m going to make is that the tribes of Light and Darkness in the Arc en Ciel play, Golden Sun, Silver Moon, correspond to the tribes of Wind and Water and were based in Calvard.
The central plot of the play is that two tribes within the Land of “Ra” try to win the favor of the goddess for themselves by having their own respective princesses of the “Sun” and of the “Moon” compete in a dance.
When Falcom chooses a name for a country, there is always some significance or symbolism behind the choice. In this case, Ra is the Egyptian chief deity, the sun god that governs over all of creation.
Furthermore, a few dialogue blocks later, after we are introduced to the tribe of darkness and the princess of the moon, it is said that the power of “Ra” was split in two.
In regard to the powers of Ra, what is actually be referred to is its Eyes. Notably, throughout Egyptian history, many different gods tended to get amalgamated together with the most significant being that of Horus with Ra which are both often treated as sky or sun gods.
Typically, the left eye is called the Eye of Horus and the right eye, the Eye of Ra. The legend goes that originally both eyes corresponded to the sun until Horus’s left eye was torn out in a battle with Set. The eye was restored by the goddess of the Moon, Thoth, and since then has been attributed to the Moon.
In addition to each eye representing a different celestial body, there were different powers associated with each eye. The eye of Horus was said to have healing and protective powers with the primary myth being that eating it brought the god of the underworld, Osiris, back to life. There was also a herb that was named after for it for its alleged healing powers. Due to the myth of Osiris, it has often also been linked to immortality, royalty, and even the underworld. The Eye is also sometimes thought to represent a solar eclipse.
The Eye of Ra, on the other hand, is meant to symbolize the feminine side of Ra himself, represented by a gentle and affectionate cat when calm and an uncontrollable lioness when angered. She is often associated with procreation and the raw power of sun. One such myth associated with her enraged form is that Ra sent his eye to punish humanity for its crimes, but the eye was uncontrollable and threatened to wipe out all of humanity until she was pacified with alcohol.
Wind and Water Arts
Now let’s look at the Arts associated with Wind and Water. Wind arts have always had an uncontrollable natural force and rage theme to them with most of them being Wind Vortexes and lightning bolts. However, what’s fascinating is that during the Crossbell arc, which is likely the point where Falcom had the concepts of each Sept-Terrion outlined, they add a new wind art, called Breath. Breath adds a theme of life to the rage of the heavens which correlates heavily with the attributes of the Eye of Ra.
With the exception of its attribute changing, Water has pretty much always been associated with healing in its support arts and the underworld (though not as much as the time element) with its high level offensive arts. The most notable for the underworld theme is the art Cocytus, named after the frozen lake in the underworld. Ao had an art called End of the World, which summons a great demon to freeze everything. While the underworld connection is fairly loose, the healing properties of water quartz correlates with the healing properties to the Eye of Horus.
There’s a few other small connections we can try to make. One is that, if we look at the Master Arts cards, Wind is portrayed as an eye above a raging vortex behind a solid circle. Water portrays a woman sitting in front of a hollow ring. If we look at the two eyes in their hieroglyphics, the Eye of Ra is a solid circle whereas the Eye of Horus is a ring. While likely not as important, it can be noted that the firstborn children of Ra are the twins, Shu and Tefnut: the god and goddess of wind and rain respectively, and that Shu is also considered a solar deity.
Let’s now look physically at what the driving forces causing the movement of air and water actually are. Starting with wind, from the ideal gas law, pressure — the mean force per unit area a gas molecule exerts on other gas molecules (or the wall of the container) nearby — is directly proportional the temperature as the thermal kinetic energy makes them vibrate faster. Gas molecules generally like to be where there is more freedom to move around i.e. lower pressure; therefore, if you have two point — one of higher pressure, the other of lower — gas molecules from the higher pressure point will move to the lower pressure point at a speed dependent on difference in pressure between the two point.
This also means that gas molecules in a higher temperature area will want to move to a lower temperature area. If we consider the sun as giant heater centered around the equator which rotates (relatively to the earth) from east to west, we then have unequal heating and therefore unequal pressures. This causes a movement of air which we call the wind. There are other factors to the wind but this is the key one associated with the Sun. Wikipedia probably explains it better than me:.
Continuing on, tides and tidal currents are caused by gravitational forces exerted from other celestial bodies namely the Sun and Moon. The force itself is proportion to the mass of the celestial body and 1/distance^2. If you do the math, it comes that the sun exerts a stronger force on the Earth than the moon (which is obvious because we’re stuck in the Sun’s orbit).
However, tides are dependent on the “difference” between the force exerted on the near side and far side of the earth not the raw force. While the Sun applies a much strongest force to the earth than the moon, the diameter of the earth is basically insignificant compared to the distance between the earth and sun meaning that the difference between the near side and far side force is almost negligible.
Meanwhile, the diameter of the earth is significant compared to the distance from the moon to earth meaning that there will be significant difference in force between the near and far sides of the earth. Because of this, the Moon has more than double the effect of the sun on the tides. This link explains it better and in a more detail.
So far I’ve established a connection between the ancient Kingdom of Ra and the Sept-Terrion of Wind and Water by means of the Sun and Moon. Now, I seek to find evidence that the Tribes of Wind (Light) and Water (Darkness) are based in Calvard.
Based on Gu4n’s map and the Lost Arts, I suspect that they are based in Calvard, but that evidence is only tangential. The first real clues that we are given are in the book from Ao no Kiseki, Sunshine Agnes.
A quick summary is that the story follows the reporter, Edwin and — I want to say assistant — Agnes investigating the case of a fake-Magician killing real ones to collect their powers. Agnes herself is a Magician and is often described as having sun-like characteristics like cream-colored hair, dancing in the sunlight, golden eyes (which she shares with her familiar), etc.
During the climax of the story she confronts the fake and unleashes her full power causing her whole body to glow like the sun and her hair to burn into white flames. As a side note, the dancing hair imagery which could relate back to the Arc en Ciel play.
Furthermore, Agnes’s character and her power as a magician can be described similarly to the Eye of Ra. Agnes is a gentle and kind heroine who only uses her powers in its minimal capacity to help others. However, when she finally reaches her breaking point, she unleashes her full uncontrollable power which destroys everything in its vicinity.
Additionally, her familiar is also a cat of which the Eye of Ra is often symbolized by when in its passive state. She also calls her true power a curse, a hint to its uncontrollable nature, and has to leave her home after unleashing the full power.
In addition to sun imagery, Sunshine Agnes also had a lot of wind imagery like Agnes’s hair dancing in the wind despite there being no wind. Agnes personally seems to love the wind as shown during biking scene with Edwin and during her exile in the epilogue.
Probably the most impactful line from the exile scene is “Calvard’s winds are magnificent”, in reference to the wind over the prairie. She also wears an esmelas around her neck, which was a momento from her mother, who was also a Magician. Esmelas and the colour green have long been associated with the wind element.
Location-wise, we know that the location the story takes place in, Anchorville, is a long distance from the capital, on a river, and in a mountainous region which doesn’t give us much. My guess is that the capital leans slightly towards the western side of the country and closer to the center, which puts Anchorville towards one of the edges, likely also towards the west due to the absence of much eastern culture. I suspect it may be towards the southwest, near the Liberl border.
Three and Nine
The most recent clue that we have is from Sen IV’s book, 3&9, which details Sharon’s backstory as part of the Order of the Moonlight Horse. I haven’t read the story myself, since I can’t read Japanese, but from what I gather from Gu4n’s recent theory, the villain of the story is the leader of the Order who likely now is the 4th Anguis.
During the climax, Three and Nine face the leader in battle where he removes his cloak revealing himself to be wearing a set of golden artifacts called the Monarch’s Regalia, which grants the user control over gravity and said armor was once worn by the Calvard Royal Family prior to their ousting.
Here we have a royal donning gravity controlling gear while leading an organization called the Order of the Moonlight Horse. After killing him, Three and Nine remove his mask revealing the face of a young man which could imply that the Fourth may be an immortal.
As I mentioned earlier, the Eye of Horus is symbolic of the moon, was used as a symbol of royalty by the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, and was said to be able to grant immortality. Furthermore, the only reason to establish a connection between the Moon and gravity is if you intend to establish a connection between the moon and tides. Putting that together with the moon’s connection to royalty, we have a link between Water and the royal family.
Now, let’s return back to where we started with the Arc en Ciel. The Land of Ra was traditionally ruled by tribe of light who received favor from the goddess. However, it was the tribe of darkness who brought confusion and competition to the Land of Ra which lead to the dance of Sun and Moon Princesses. If light is the truth and darkness obscures the light then darkness obscures the truth.
The name Calvard is speculated to be derived from the Latin word “calvor“, which means “I deceive” which effectively implies that Calvard is the Land of Lies. Finally, we don’t know who won the “dance” competition, but if the moon princess won, then it would mean the lie overcame the truth.
- The two pieces of the power of Ra refer to the Sept-Terrions of Wind and Water, which were originally both controlled the Tribe of Light.
- I’m inclined to believe that the conflict between the Tribes and Light and Darkness was resolved more so with violence than a dance.
- The Tribe of Light lost the conflict and likely lost control of Water. To prevent the dark ones from using Wind, which is basically a weapon of mass destruction, they hid it away. The Magicians are their descendants.
- The Tribe of Darkness used the power of Water to become the Immortal Kings of Ra (now Calvard). The Moonlight princess became the Immortal Queen. Since Dreichels’s was depicted on the Fire Arts card, I think that she is depicted on the water arts card. She may still be alive.
- Fourth Anguis is an immortal. If he was just a normal descendant of the royal family, Ouroboros likely wouldn’t be as interested in him since they seem to pick Anguis based on their knowledge of the Sept-Terrion.
Special thanks to Kitsune for proofreading and commenting.