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The Beginning of Calamity
(Tales of Zestiria Perfect Guide)

T/N: This covers everything on Camlann, including some new bits on Michael’s past. Major game spoilers!


How did the Age of Chaos envelop the world? The source of that chaos is the Lord of Calamity, whose creation was influenced by the previous Shepherd, Michael. The journey of the current Shepherd, Sorey, is tied closely to that man’s fate.


Shepherd Michael’s Journey

Michael was the Shepherd around twenty years ago, having assumed the role at a young age because of his outstanding qualities. Alongside his Prime Lord, Lailah, he traveled the world purifying hellions. His goal was to restore faith in Maotelus and the other seraphim, but at that time malevolence was heavily affecting the world, and his journey became a series of disappointments. Although he existed only a generation ago, few people remember his name, which can be considered a sign of the world’s indifference.


Relocating Maotelus
In those days Maotelus was enshrined in the church in Pendrago, but his existence was threatened by the malevolence in the city. When Michael learned of this, he took Maotelus from the church and moved him to the place known as Artorius’ Throne near Elysia. Although these ruins had once been a shrine to the Five Lords, humans had long since forgotten about them and they were untouched by malevolence. Lailah advised that he protect Maotelus’ new location, and so Michael founded a village nearby with a few other believers. He afterwards dissolved his pact with Lailah, retiring as Shepherd and beginning a new life based on his faith.


The Development of Camlann
Michael founded Camlann, the Origin Village, along with others who shared his fervor in worshipping seraphim. Many of them possessed high resonance and were able to see seraphim, including his younger sister, Muse. Because of the villagers’ deep faith, they were able to coexist with seraphim just as humans had in ancient times. This made Camlann into a sacred ground free of malevolence and a safe haven for Maotelus.


Writing the Celestial Record
The author of the Celestial Record is a worldwide mystery–but Michael was the one who wrote it after retiring as the Shepherd. Drawing from his experience, opinions, and nationwide journey, he wrote extensively about the geography of different locations and the legacies of various civilizations, as well as his research into the historical time periods of the divided countries, and also included his input on their archaeology.


Caption: After retiring as Shepherd, Michael wrote the book that was later loved by men and women of all ages, and demonstrated the importance of revisiting history.

Character blurb: Michael
After retiring as Shepherd, he didn’t seek to educate the public, but instead gathered a small group of believers with the focus of protecting the seraphim.


Character blurb: Muse
Possessing a resonance that rivaled her brother’s, Muse supported Michael both publicly and personally. Her biological son, Mikleo, was later reincarnated as a seraph.


The Conflict of the Three Countries

At the same time that Michael founded Camlann, Rolance’s military was becoming active under the leadership of Heldalf, chief of the empire’s Knight Order. To battle the threat of Hyland’s invasion, he set his sights on establishing a foothold in Camlann, which he had believed to be an ancient ruin. The land was defended from Hyland in the east by the Mabinogio mountain range and sat on the western bank of the strait dividing Rolance and the northern country. As such, it was considered a buffer zone between the three countries and a strategic military location. When Heldalf discovered its value, he ignored Michael’s objections and seized the village. However, Hyland wanted the village for the same reason, and its army soon invaded. Wary of the northern country taking advantage of the chaos, Heldalf decided to abandon Camlann. The Rolance army withdrew and the Hyland army ravaged the village, ultimately destroying it only a few years after its foundation.

Maotelus’ Hellionization
As Hyland attacked Camlann, Maotelus absorbed a large amount of malevolence and became a hellion. Because he was such a powerful seraph, his hellionization would eventually guide the world to ruin. Fearful of this possibility, Muse used herself as a human sacrifice to hold his malevolence in check. Maotelus remained sealed within the ruins of Artorius’ Throne for nearly twenty years–until he was used by the Lord of Calamity, Heldalf.


Caption: Maotelus disappeared after the destruction of Camlann, and his blessing was lost.


Heldalf’s Downfall and the Fulfillment of His Curse
Despite Heldalf’s promise, he abandoned the village, and Michael made a oath-like curse in retribution. From that point on, Heldalf–who had many political opponents and was no stranger to attempts on his life–fell from his position of power due to the blame for his failure in Camlann, and found himself abandoned by his allies. His entire family succumbed to mysterious deaths, plaguing him with sorrow, and his beloved son was tragically born with an inhuman appearance. After this chain of events, he finally took his own life, but his body wouldn’t die. Filled with despair, he disappeared. Abandoned by time, he went on living in his “eternity of solitude,” and Michael’s curse was realized. The Lord of Calamity turned his back on the world, and Michael faded into history without ever knowing the disastrous consequences he had caused as the price for his vengeance


The Successors of the Land of Hope
The only survivors of Camlann were Muse, who ultimately sacrificed herself, as well as Sorey and Mikleo, who were only infants at the time. Zenrus took them back to Elysia, where they grew to adulthood as best friends and were entrusted with his hope that they would one day become Shepherd and Sub-Lord. A human and seraph born on the land founded in reverence to seraphim, they could become the key to understanding the past and give the world new hope.


Caption: Following his death and the reincarnation of his soul, Mikleo was born again as a seraph and entrusted to Zenrus.
Translated by Jay
Secrets of the Shepherd
(Tales of Zestiria Perfect Guide)

T/N: Shepherd lore, including some new details! contains game spoilers!


“The Shepherd protects the world by banishing malevolence.” What is the truth of this great figure spoken of in legends? By understanding the Shepherds of the past and the hidden bonds in society, one can perceive the meaning of accepting fate and accomplishing one’s duty.


The Shepherd Depicted in Legends

The Shepherd exists to guide the people and purify the malevolence plaguing the world. That power is made possible through a pact with a seraph, which allows the Shepherd to manipulate the seraph’s power at will and purify hellions of their malevolence. However, because faith in the seraphim has diminished greatly in present times, there hasn’t been anyone worthy of the Shepherd’s name, and the existence of such a person thus became nothing more than a legend. Sorey is the first Shepherd to appear since his predecessor, Michael, nearly twenty years ago.


Caption: In a previous era where humans and seraphim coexisted, many Shepherds existed at the same time and were close to one another.


The Shepherd’s Pact

In order to be a Shepherd, one must have both an appreciation for the seraphim and an understanding heart, as well as “resonance,” or the ability to adapt to the seraphim’s power. However, even if a person has outstanding resonance, rejecting the seraphim–and, by extension, refusing their will–makes it virtually impossible for him/her to be a Shepherd. Having been raised by seraphim all his life, Sorey sees no boundaries between the two races, and naturally possesses the disposition needed for a Shepherd.


As part of the pact, the Shepherd’s Prime Lord–the seraph who becomes his partner–says a ritual prayer and marks the back of his hand with the Shepherd’s crest. (In the Sacred Blade Festival in Ladylake, the ability to pull the Sacred Blade from its pedestal indicates the Shepherd’s identity, but this is merely a feature of the festival; the mark of the Prime Lord’s seal is the true key to the Shepherd’s birth.) Furthermore, the binding of Shepherd and Prime Lord is also called a “wedding,” since the Shepherd’s body serves as the seraph’s vessel and the two are constant companions from that point onward–so it can certainly be said that their relationship is just like that of a marriage.


Caption: When the Prime Lord recites the words of the pact and marks the Shepherd’s hand with the crest, the two of them are bound together by the marriage ceremony.


The Shepherd’s Symbol


The design is made up of circles resembling crescent moons with a pair of lightning bolts striking them. The overall symbol also resembles a dragon. It can be found on gloves left behind by past Shepherds.


A Shepherd’s loneliness and malevolence


The inhuman power that a Shepherd wields isn’t the only reason he faces such a harsh reality. With the exception of his blood relatives to whom he was born, he is forbidden from having a family, which may result in his gradually distancing himself from others. Should a Shepherd’s loneliness drive him to malevolence, the effect on the world would be immeasurable, and far worse than if any other human or seraph fell. The fortitude to resist such solitude and despair is an indispensable characteristic of a Shepherd.


Caption: Heldalf, aware of what would happen if a Shepherd fell to malevolence, sought to sway Sorey’s heart and corrupt him.


Squires and Sub-Lords

The companions who support the Shepherd on his journey are Squires, who assist him, and Sub-Lords, who are subordinates to the Prime Lord. Lailah possesses the “Flames of Purification,” a power unique to the Prime Lord and bestowed upon the Shepherd through her, and in a similar fashion she can share that power with her Sub-Lords. Like the Shepherd, Squires are humans endowed with high resonance, and by means of a pact with the Shepherd, they are able to wield his same power. However, should a Squire’s resonance be insufficient, the Shepherd runs the risk of both extreme exhaustion and the loss of his eyesight as compensation for supporting them. Sub-Lords are seraphim who obey the Prime Lord, and they can also be called her attendants. The number of Sub-Lords that a Shepherd has is dependent on his ability. Since Sorey has four–one for each elemental attribute–it can be said that he’s highly skilled as a Shepherd.

Pacts and True Names


A seraph’s True Name is a hidden name that they naturally possess. It indicates their personality and character, and can predict their fate. Lailah, as well as each of her Sub-Lords, gives her True Name to Sorey as part of their pact. Since True Names are normally only revealed between those in a pact, they are usually kept secret even among friends, and so Lailah was surprised to learn that Mikleo had given his to Sorey beforehand. In the case of humans, who have no True Names, Sorey gives them one as part of the Squire’s pact.


Caption: If the same person serves a Shepherd under a different contract, their True Name changes.
The Armatus

The Shepherd’s ultimate form, the Armatus, is a paranormal power attained via unification with a seraph, in which the Shepherd wields the seraph’s power as his own. He must take the seraph’s special weapon–their “sacred vessel”–in hand, and the Armatus will only activate if the weapon is the appropriate style and attribute for the seraph. Lailah’s sword and Mikleo’s bow are national treasures originally enshrined in ruins, but like Edna’s gauntlet, they can also be a personal possession of the seraph.


Caption: The Armatus can be used not only by the Shepherd, but also by a Squire with enough resonance and the right disposition, such as Rose.
Translated by Jay
Investigation: Fates Tied to the Shepherd
(Tales of Zestiria Perfect Guide)

T/N: so this section is really heckin interesting (in my opinion) because it clears up some of the more confusing (also in my opinion) story elements on top of providing some new insight on certain backstories, including Mikleo, Muse, Dezel, Rose, Maltran, and even Konan’s family.

contains major game spoilers!


The fates of some people were left as gaps in the Shepherd’s journey. Some of these details went unnoticed, but in exploring the hidden mysteries of these truths, we can see the true meaning of the “salvation” that Sorey and his friends sought.


Q1: What is the origin of the affair with Rolance’s royal family?


     →Konan, the Imperial Prince, fell to malevolence when he came into contact with Dezel.


The aforementioned affair was the incident five years ago in which the infamous Wind Riders were blamed for the murder of a member of the royal family. The pasts of Sorey’s comrades were deeply embroiled with this matter–even though Konan, the second imperial prince, was already tainted by malevolence to begin with, Dezel’s presence was the trigger that sent him over. In his strong desire to see the Wind Riders continue on, the warped nature of Dezel’s blessing influenced Konan and prompted his hellionization.


However, there were rumors that Konan was not the biological child of the late Emperor Dorann. His doting mother, the queen, was plotting the assassination of his older brother and the first imperial son, Leon. This tragedy was bound to occur at some point, and the Wind Riders were in the wrong place at the wrong time when they were framed by Konan. It could perhaps be said that the incident was unavoidable.


Outline of events:

>The queen and Konan form a conspiracy

>They scheme to kill Leon

>The Wind Riders are hired; Konan is engaged to Rose
>Konan becomes friendly with the Wind Riders

>Dezel’s blessing amplifies Konan’s malevolence and hellionizes him

>Konan has Leon assassinated

>Konan arrests Brad, the leader of the Wind Riders, and executes him

>Rose murders Konan

>Lafarga is hellionized by Konan’s malevolence
>The stigma of the blame for Leon’s assassination causes the Wind Riders to disband

>The Wind Riders change their name to the Scattered Bones and begin a new life in the underworld of society


Q2: Was Symonne the source of Dezel’s revenge?


     →Because of his lapse in memory, Dezel mistakenly blamed her for what happened.


In the years following the incident with Rolance’s royal family, Dezel attributed the downfall of the Wind Riders and Lafarga’s hellionization to Symonne. In truth, however, this was merely a fabrication of his faulty memory. She was only a spectator at the time, desiring to see the outcome of Dezel’s cursed blessing (which was the same as her own) as a means of measuring his worth.


Caption: Dezel himself was the catalyst for the tragic affair, but he was convinced that Symonne, who was only present by coincidence, was the actual culprit.


Q3: At what point did Dezel begin possessing Rose?


     →In the days of the Wind Riders.


Dezel secretly manipulated Rose during her time in the Scattered Bones, helping her to survive in the harsh world. However, to go back further, she had been serving as his vessel since the time of the Wind Riders. Despite her high resonance, Rose reached the point where she denied the existence of seraphim–perhaps as a result of trauma during her childhood when she once witnessed Dezel’s appearance.


Caption: Rose had no way of knowing that her talents as the leader of the Scattered Bones were actually a result of Dezel’s power.


Q4: Was Mikleo reincarnated in Camlann?


     →He died, was reborn, and afterwards met Zenrus.


As a result of the reckless violence that the Hyland army inflicted on Camlann, Mikleo was mortally wounded, and then killed when Michael used him to inflict his curse on Heldalf despite Muse’s cries of protest. In other words, Mikleo’s human life ended during the Camlann Incident.

He was miraculously reborn as a seraph and encountered Zenrus, who had arrived at the disastrous scene. So it was that fortune favored Mikleo and he was able to survive.


Caption: Reincarnation is a mystery that even high-ranking seraphim cannot manipulate. Could Muse’s love have given birth to the miracle of his reincarnation?


Q5: What caused Maltran to become a hellion?


     →The betrayal of her allies in a past battle.


Maltran wasn’t only a hellion, but one who operated as Heldalf’s subordinate following an incident ten years ago. Jealous of her military achievements, the soldiers in her own unit turned on her and attempted to kill her, which was the trigger for her transformation. For this reason Maltran was more fastidious than Alisha, and in her strong desire to cleanse the warped world of its corruption, she chose the path of dirtying her own hands.


Caption: With the sword of the fallen Shepherd Asura in hand, Maltran declares that destroying the world is the only way to purify it.


Q6: What is the meaning of the inscription on the grave [in the credits cutscene]?


     →“Rose” in the modern language.


After Sorey’s journey was over, a grave was erected on a hilltop. On the stone was engraved “Numin,” or “Rose” in the modern language, therefore indicating that this grave was Rose’s. Incidentally, the person visiting Rose’s grave–the one who had succeeded Sorey as Shepherd–was none other than her successor. He also held the Celestial Record in hand, and can be considered the one who inherited the will of Sorey and his friends.


Caption: Between the pair of daggers lying on the tombstone and those assembled around it, one can guess the owner of the grave.
Translated by Jay

Seraphim and Blessings

(Tales of Zestiria Perfect Guide)


The power of seraphim is what drives the world. These “people who don’t exist” have been worshipped since ancient times for guidance and divine protection, and they continue to affect the lives of humans despite that faith in them has waned in present times.


The Seraphim’s Existence

Although seraphim existed in the world long before humans, it is generally believed that they don’t exist. In many cases they resemble humans both young and old in appearance, as their physical growth stops once they reach the peak of their power. They don’t have natural lifespans, so they don’t grow old–however, they carry the risk of being tainted by malevolence, which is born of ill will and hatred, and the tragic fate of transforming into hellions.


Caption: Sorey’s Sub-Lord, Edna, resembles a child, which means she reached the height of her power at a very young age.


Blessings of the Seraphim

Seraphim wield power that comes from the natural world, and thus are able to produce corresponding natural phenomena. This became known as a seraph’s “blessing,” and since ancient times this ability has made them objects of worship and reverence in human society. It is often believed that the Five Lords control the very elements of earth, water, fire, and wind–but all other natural phenomena, including affairs beyond the scope of human understanding, are said to be caused by blessings. Among the seraphim are those who influence the world with their powers, as well as protect humans with their blessings, and they are known as Lords of the Land. These Lords are enshrined in various places, bringing even more prosperity to the areas in which they dwell.


The Power of the Lords of the Land
The power of the Lords of the Land doesn’t come entirely from themselves, but as part of the oaths they make: to provide for humans and risk being tainted by their malevolence. In a paradoxical situation, they develop special domains that are able to resist malevolence. They are highly respected by other seraphim for their noble hearts.


Caption: With the power to interfere with the land at large, Lords of the Land honor the faithful people’s devotion by shouldering the duty that comes as part of their oaths.


Blessings of Misfortune
In many cases, the blessings of seraphim bestow grace upon humans, but in rare cases they can bring injury to others.The wind seraph Dezel and the seraph who manipulates illusions, Symonne, are both such a case; the more “protection” they give, the more disaster they invite, and the more people they hurt. Such seraphim are called “Angels of Death” and are shunned as omens of misfortune, regardless of whether humans can sense their presence directly.

Dezel: His blessing brought difficulty and disaster to his companions against his will, inviting sorrow that he never intended to cause.

Symonne: The dreams and illusions she created misled people in ways she didn’t intend, and so her blessing was regarded not as a sign of fortune, but as a nightmare.


Faith in the Five Lords

Belief in the Five Lords is a form of nature worship that goes back to ancient times, the origin of which is unknown. Each of the Lords represents a different element–earth, water, fire, and wind–with the leader representing “nothing,” and people pray to these five seraphim for their blessings to bestow peace and harmony. Each seraph governs their corresponding attribute, and they are replaced by new Lords as needed in a never-ending cycle. It is known that in the era of the Temperance of Avarost, Maotelus–the Lord of “nothing”–was preceded in his position by Innominat, the evidence for which can be seen on abandoned altars found in ruins. Furthermore, the faith in the present Five Lords was at its most enthusiastic around 200-600 years ago, a period referred to as “the Era of Maotelus.”


The Five Lords and Protector Seraphim
The seraphim who serve the Five Lords as guardians are known as Protector seraphim. While their existence is unknown to humans, they watch over the state of the world alongside the Five Lords. Protector seraphim serve as Sub-Lords to the Five Lords, with their very existence bound to them in a way resembling a contract between master and servant. While some Protectors are naturally-born seraphim, many are former humans who were reborn. They are well-versed in the ways of the world, and so they perform tasks such as guiding different generations of Shepherds, sealing malevolence, and other important roles.
The Current Beliefs of the Church


Faith in the Five Lords is currently the state religion of both the Kingdom of Hyland and the Rolance Empire. As seen below, the clergyman of both countries use a similar crest. This is because the separate countries come from the same royal family, and each claims to house Maotelus within its own borders. Truthfully, belief in and appreciation of the seraphim has been lost in both countries, and religion is regarded as nothing more than a factor in their political agendas.

The Church’s Symbol: A crest resembling a tree with three leaves, it represents the Trinity of man, Maotelus, and the earth.

Clergyman: Senior clerics are well-dressed, donning articles of clothing such as a monk’s hat marked with the crest of the Church. In contrast, the general clergy is dressed simply.


Caption: Elegant churches have been constructed in the capital city and surrounding towns, and festivals are held around them. However, the faith is becoming a mere shell of what it used to be.
Translated by Jay
Armatus Character Sheet
(Tales of Zestiria Perfect Guide)

When Sorey and Rose don the Armatus, their outfits have unique designs that reflect the form and grace of each seraph, with fine, gorgeous details all over.


Sorey

Sorey’s outfit is a white suit and gown, and his short hair is replaced by a much longer hairstyle that flutters as he moves. His hair clip and belt change color according to the corresponding seraph’s attribute, as if to convey reverence to them.


His long hair is affected by his movements, an effect that requires a fine attention to detail. Even on the battle screen, the way it moves with the activation of the Armatus is reproduced. Did you notice that he also has a hood?


The decorations around the neck, wrists, and waist are very elaborate. There’s a similar pattern on the boots, and the beautiful heels and toes stand out, especially when flying around (thanks to the seraphim’s borrowed power).
Rose

While her overall design is similar to Sorey’s, Rose’s style includes a casual mini skirt. The back has a very bold, open design, and the voluminous waist and ribbon give her a sense of strength and glamour.


The details in everything from her bracelets to the ornaments on her hips give a very feminine style to Rose’s Armatus. Her puffy sleeves and frills add both charm and beauty.
Translated by Jay
Credit Roll Artwork Commentary
(Tales of Zestiria Perfect Guide)

Memories of childhood and the journey walked with friends: the ending staff credits are decorated with images of “The Shepherd’s Tale” that look as though they were drawn on parchment from an old book. The brush strokes are a light, warm style that gives a heartfelt vibe.
Gramps gives the young boys the Celestial Record, which ultimately shapes their destinies. Sorey and Mikleo break into big smiles as they both look toward their bright futures.

The three family members sit around a roasting prickleboar. Gramps taught them everything they know about living. Around the edges of the fire, they’ve even skewered some insects, too!

A bag cut from prickleboar skin is made for Alisha’s return journey to the capital. She watches attentively and apologetically; behind her, Mikleo looks as though he objects.
For the first time in their lives, they find themselves outside of a seraph’s domain. The sky, earth, and lake stretch before them in the distance on their way to Ladylake, promising a journey of endless adventure.
Drawing the Sacred Blade, Sorey becomes a legend in the flesh: the Shepherd. Lailah watches, speechless, as the one she’s been waiting for overflows with shining power.
The party escorts Sorey back to the inn after the Shepherd’s power causes him to collapse. When people see Mikleo carrying him on his back, Alisha frantically tries to keep up appearances by telling them it’s a magic trick!
Eizen, the dragon of Rayfalke, draws near. While Sorey and Mikleo flee for their lives, Edna is calm and composed, and smiles fearlessly…
“Lady Edna” demands the Normin Dance, and her straight-faced joking causes Alisha to tear up. As usual, Sorey, Mikleo, and Lailah all react in their own ways.
Exhausted from his confrontation with the Lord of Calamity, Sorey sees the back of the Scattered Bones’ boss just before he faints. Is the female assassin’s true motive to determine the Shepherd’s worth…?
The founding leader who also won honor for the Imperial Knights, Georg Heldalf. Even before Sergei speaks, Heldalf’s image gives the impression of a proud, imposing figure.
As the party of six crowds around the dinner table, Dezel works to collect the scum from Edna’s hotpot. In contrast, the growing boys Sorey and Mikleo pay no mind and continue to eat.
Rose’s protector was a proud, independent man who lost his life against his former friend. Thoughts in the form of a bird take to the sky in pursuit of this companion’s departed soul.
The Sparrow Feathers gather before Mayvin’s grave. He was like a father to each of them, and the rustic gravestone suits the magnanimous, free-spirited explorer.
Friends huddling together and sleeping shoulder-to-shoulder. Behind their peaceful faces lie dreams of magnificent ruins or favorite snacks, but surely they also dream of their distant loved ones.
As the malevolence covering the world is purified, Maotelus shines once again. Sorey watches Lailah’s group guide the malevolence towards heaven.
Adventure is curiosity towards the unknown, the occasional thrill, and memories that inspire laughter. The bonds built in those times are surely connected to the future.
Alisha’s Episode Ending: Beyond the land protected by Sorey, Alisha’s and Rose’s eyes reflect their determination: to face the world that both humans and seraphim should create together.
Translated by Jay