Note: This theory is based on a conversation I had with Latte in the Falcom Discord server and the idea that the four lower elements are based on tarot alchemy is his.
1200 years ago a single event shook all of Zemuria leading to the loss of the Goddess’s Treasures and a collapse of their advanced civilizations. In all known cases, immediately after the Great Collapse, the Tribes lost control their respective Sept-Terrion. Here, I show the connection between Tarot Alchemy and Erebonia’s Treasures and then use that connection to argue why they lost control of them, which I then use to make a prediction on how the remaining tribes of the lower elements lost control of theirs.
In traditional alchemy, the person is comprised of four components. First is the body or container which is capable of the five senses and within it is stored the metaphysical components of Logos (Mind), Ethos (Spirit), and Pathos (Emotion). The Greeks associated the body to the element of earth; water to the mind; wind, spirit; and fire, emotion. This actually was thought to be the case in Kiseki since the mind quartz was originally water in Trails in the Sky before being switched to mirage in Zero. However, Sen no Kiseki III and IV threw a monkey wrench into this by associating Fire with the spirit instead of emotion. Latte later pointed out that, in Tarot Alchemy, Fire is the spirit— not emotion— and instead water is emotion and wind is the Mind. I’ve written about why Wind and Water could possibly be the Sept-Terrions of Calvard already, but this conversation and Kondo’s statement on there being 3 arcs remaining has gotten me to rethink the nature of the Sept-Terrions and even their locations.
To establish the alchemical nature of the Sept-Terrion, I’m going to first demonstrate the Ishmelga had power over body and spirit. If we look at the Black’s primary method of influencing people, he does so not by messing with your emotions or controlling your mind but by corrupting your values and beliefs warping your personality in such a way that makes you more likely to make decisions that would benefit him which is congruent to fire beating wind in elemental rock, paper, scissors. Once the decision is made to act, Ishmelga would strengthen the body to make sure the conflict was as long lasting and destructive as possible, and all that would be left is despair. He was essentially manipulating the Ethos to influence the Logos. The Logos would drive conflict and the result would be despair or darkness effectively making him the Septerrion of Darkness. Ishmelga notably could not influence emotions directly nor could he control or read people’s mind. He could influence your beliefs but if your emotions were strong enough they could override Ishmelga’s influence on your values. In that sense, ARCUS, as a device which combines your feelings with others, was the perfect weapon to overpower the curse’s grasp.
Trails in the Sky tells us about the Aureole which constructed a paradise in the Sky to escape the chaos of the world below. However, something happened which caused the Aureole to act outside the direction of the Tribe of Sky, turning the paradise in the sky into a prison. Something similar happened to Earth and Fire. They just “stopped” listening to their respective tribes like something just broke. It was almost like they lost the ability to respond to attributes besides their own. The Absolute Belief could not accept the emotional pleas of the Tribe of Fire and the The Absolute Action could not accept the Logic of the Tribe of Earth resulting in their combined destruction. It’s also interesting, then, that the more emotional Tribe of Fire was able to resist the influence of the Blaze whereas the rational Tribe of Earth became corrupted by it.
So then what happens when you have an Absolute Logic machine that suddenly has no values or reference to base its decisions on? It either does nothing or its decisions become completely random meaning that Wind would suddenly starting spouting bullshit. The Sept-Terrion of Wind would metaphorically become the Sept-Terrion of Lies which is fitting for Calvard who’s name is likely derived from the Latin for “to deceive/lie”. At the direction of a Mad-God, even the greatest empire could collapse in an instant. The especially terrifying part of this is that, if it’s anything like Ishmelga, it would have the ability to control your mind, your very thoughts. It could compel you to do anything based on what amounts to a random decision. Since it was emotions that beat the curse, it would then be the strength of values and beliefs that would let you resist the God of the Mind.
Even more terrifying than wind, what happens if you have an Absolute Reaction machine that loses its ability to respond to actions? Its would also start behaving randomly, possibly apocalyptically like the names of high level offensive water artes like “Around Noah” or “End of the World” imply. Given that Ored’s name appears to come from Order, maybe Water is Ored’s Sept-Terrion of Chaos. Additionally, it would have emotional manipulation which when controlled by a Mad-God would turn its populace into Madmen. Treated like a disease, Remiferia, derived from Remigius meaning Remedy or Medicine, could be a good choice of setting and it would be the Sept-Terrion of Sickness.