actually, once they get on the road, balthazar starts to wonder why raphael needs a shield when, in actual combat, he seems to be able to repel attacks through sheer force of his “stoic badass” persona
it’s the glint in his eye
so the next time raphael brings up the shield in training balthazar just sighs loudly like,
“how about you teach me to defend myself just by being cool”
and raphael just raises his eyebrows for a long moment like, “you have a ways to go for that”and then he actually starts laughing, and cass laughs, and naomi’s like, “was that a request or an insult, i can’t tell”
endiness replied to your post “okay but Raphael asking Balthazar why he fights with twin swords…”
this is giving me even more feels taking the meaning of balthazar’s name into account
exactlyyyylet me just pretend it means the same thing in ancient aselian or w/e goodbyeeeee
actually i think this the first AU i’ve had where i can keep the original chars’ last names and they don’t sound so bad, i mean
• raphael aurion
• castiel brunel
• hannah wilder
• claire combatir
• naomi sage
• even balthazar irving doesn’t sound half bad
only ambriel and uriel need new ones so far and not because they sound off hrmmmm
I do need a new name for cass’ dad though, bc “frank” lol no. also his mum who didn’t exist(??) in the game, pls help
“Would stab with a butter knife if the opportunity presented itself”
is my favourite description of Kratos’ attitude towards Kvar.
but. there’s no one like that. for Raphael.
It’s fine, i mean, i realized Alistair makes a super Kvar (and Lilith for Pronyma maybe?) but
Skipping way ahead, it’s only the last night in Hima, before they head to the Tower of Salvation, that Cass admits to Balthazar that he does know he won’t be coming back. The last thing he has to give up to wake the goddess is his memory of being human, and then he’ll go…wherever angels live.
He apologizes for lying, saying he didn’t want to stop hearing Balthazar reassure him with all the things they would do and places they would go in the regenerated world. He didn’t want both of them to be miserable for the last decade of his life.
Balthazar isn’t angry, ofc, just very, very sad. But he rather suspected and tells Cass he wouldn’t have acted any differently if he had known.
Maybe, he says, after the regenerated world stabilizes, just maybe, Cass could come back to Sylvarant. He’ll still be the Chosen, after all, not just any angel.
Cass is doubtful, so Balthazar flags down the smith at the inn and asks him to melt down and forge a few gold coins into two tags for bracelets.
Once that’s done, Balthazar etches some words into them, filling the lines in with black ink. Then he presents them to Cass, one to wear on each wrist.
The first one is double-sided. On the front is Cass’ name, and on the back,
“You are my dearest friend and my whole heart. Yours, Balthazar”
Ever the pragmatist, Cass worries that he won’t be able to read after giving up his memory, so Balthazar points out the other bracelet.
It’s a (very) miniature outline of Sylvarant, with only one location: Palmacosta.
“I don’t think I’ll go there right away,” Balthazar explains. “I think I might travel with Raphael some, see the new world…” There’s certainly no question of going back to Iselia.
“But Naomi will be there to stay” he continues. “And so will I, eventually, I promise. We’re both half-elves, remember?” he smiles. “For the next thousand years, at least, there will always be someone waiting for you in Palmacosta, no matter what.”
“How long do you think angels live?” Cass wonders, finishing the unhappy thought.
It’s a very long night, yet never long enough.
balthazar, on the other hand, knows exactly how the adults relate to him. he’s the weird dwarf’s weird elf kid, who’s not really iselian but had better be fucking grateful they put up with his dad and let him come to school
still. he’d like to be friends with his classmates, and they seem to think he has much coolness potential (bc fireballs), but they also seem to have been warned that he could kill them all in an instant (bc fireballs). intrigued, but frightened
except cass. it’s like a week into school when balthazar realizes he hasn’t actually once seen cass’ face. outside school he seems to be reading constantly; inside school he sits way in front of balthazar, so
he hears plenty about cass, though, which keeps him busy until he realizes that’s not actually it. within a month he’s sure he knows all about the chosen’s journey and the history of the church, everything cass is doing or will do or better remember about the people who raised him but…
well, for example, nobody ever even suggests cass likes what he’s reading. nobody even jokes that he must be so into archaism and the faith. he just does it. it’s like his natural state of being at this point. he’s the Chosen. he Studies.
c’mon, thinks balthazar. we’re both, like, 7, if i have a personality, he must have one, too. somewhere.
but every time he even tries to get close enough to read the title of whatever cass is holding, he gets swatted away for “distracting” the chosen, so it all goes on the back burner for a while.
late one afternoon, just as he’s heading out of the village, half the adult population seems to have caught a thief and is giving them a sound…verbal haranguing
the yelling, debasing, and even threats go on for a good 10 minutes, which is about as long as it takes balthazar to muscle his way through.( Read more... )
so cass starts growing up in this village that seems to be constantly holding its breath around him. like, instead of straightforwardly spoiling him they seem to be trying to inculcate an extreme sense of indebtedness:
“look at everything we’re doing to make sure you grow up safe and healthy. someday the whole world will know of our courage, right?”
except…the treaty benefits everyone? and no one will tell him what it’s like outside iselia, so he doesn’t understand why they needed “benefits” in the first place? and don’t they know that, statistically speaking, he’s probably going to be killed on the journey of regeneration anyways?
actually, things work out for iselia whether cass completes the journey or not. if he does, well, they become the village who raised and protected the heroic chosen against all odds; cass (and iselia) will be remembered forever, just like spiritua, the last successful chosen of sylvarant, 800 years ago. (how long before they can sell their own relics?)
and if he’s not successful (”not successful” being the local euphemism for “dying”), well, they keep their treaty, right?
so it’s win/win
so cass grows up never seeing or really hearing about the world he’s supposed to save from some vague ~decline, never allowed outside the village, carefully shuttled back and forth between the schoolhouse - where the teacher has to talk about how terrible things are (so cass knows what he has to do) without actually…making things seem terrible (so cass doesn’t get too sympathetic for people outside iselia) - and the temple where he learns the specifics of his journey and studies the angelic language and such forth
it’s exhausting. and even if he had free time, really, it’s not like he has any friends at first to spend it with. the other schoolkids don’t really know how to treat him. some seem to actually want to be his friend. some seem to want to be the chosen’s friend. some seem to relate to him just like the adults, ie to incur a debtbut he just doesn’t have the time, he’s always reading something (by necessity) and he always looks so tired.
all right, so, castiel, the chosen of regeneration, is born in iselia, which at this point has no treaty with the desian human ranch next door and probably occasionally loses people to it
so at first this is all fucking terrifying and they consider chucking the whole family out on their asses
but when they hit on the idea of a treaty, they realize what a huge opportunity this actually is. since the desians have to, y’know, make a show of getting something out of this other than the chosen not starving to death in infancy, they propose that iselia and the ranch “support” each other.
so by the time cass has any conscious memories, iselia is an adorable postcard village, with good crops, actual cash money flowing, and livestock that is like. fucking extinct otherwise.
meanwhile, dirk the local (but not that local) dwarf finds baby balthazar, and at first the iselians have the same reaction to the baby elf as they had to the baby chosen: abject fucking terror
desians are half-elves, right? and they hate full elves just like they hate humans, right? does the treaty say anything about harbouring elves?
no, of course not, cause like. when was the last time anyone actually met a full elf anyways. probably the same time anyone met another dwarf, which was never. where is everybody?
since dirk doesn’t technically live in the village he just shrugs like, “my baby now,” and over time the iselians start seeing the advantages. elves use magic, right? well balthazar can, hello future village security
once balthazar starts showing real magic proficiency and is regularly attending the iselian schoolhouse, dirk is politely invited to move into the village proper, but he just kind of laughs rudely, soall right, i’m gonna have to do this in bits n pieces. til next time! aren’t you glad i’m finally getting to the point?
okay, my question is, what were the desians getting out of the non-aggression treaty with iselia? they won’t attack the town as long as the townspeople stay away from the ranch, sure, but what could the iselians do against the ranch anyway? ranch front gate security would take care of them just fine.
in exchange for not attacking the village where, y’know, their supposed mortal enemy, the chosen, is living, that can’t have been the whole story.
but apparently it was. sure.
i mean i know the whole thing was basically a cover, but like. imagine if the desians had put literally any effort into it. what if the ranch prisoners were also harvesting huge amounts of food that went to iselia? what if the iselians kept and raised animals for food and work, since the ranch only has facilities for holding people?also: sylvarant as “the declining world.” like, compared to tethe’alla, sure, but on its own it looks like any other rpg universe. what food shortages? what droughts? everything looks very quaint and nice, and it’s just that if you talk to NPCs, sometimes they’re like, “yeah, things are kinda bad i guess”
like. if it’s really been 800 years since tethe’alla started sucking up all the energy, sylvarant should be fucking stagnant. smaller towns and no centralized government is not a good example of a world on the brink of fucking death, okay?
i swear i’ll get on with the actual au very shortly, i just need to get this nonsensical worldbuilding out of the way, cause my complaints keep clogging up my actual au posts, whoops
but okay ToS
i realized! ambriel makes a much better sheena, and then hannah should be zelos. hmm. maybe? i was just through the tethe’alla base. why was zelos lagging? was he up to something shady?
i’m not saying i can’t work with that for sure, i just need to know what i’m working with
so okay, character rework pending, but that means i’ve got the whole gang minus regal. not bad not bad
lol also if that whole “sinful chosen” thing is because collette has ~impure feelings for lloyd or something
…pfffffffft– excuse me
funny story, i went looking for a basic plot summary to post here as an intro, and according to the ToS wiki page the plot and characterization came in for the heaviest criticism.
haha, no fucking kidding. the genre title was “an rpg that resonates with you.” yeah no.
anyways, here’s a little summary:
“The story begins in the world of Sylvarant, a land that is dying due to a steady loss of its energy, needed both for magic and to support life itself.
As crops begin to wither and hardship sets in, the people turn their hopes to the Chosen, a servant and messiah of the Goddess Martel, who can reverse the ills of the world by completing the Journey of World Regeneration.
In order to regenerate the world, the Chosen must travel from continent to continent, awakening the Summon Spirits that sleep at ancient shrines known as “seals.”
With every seal released, the Chosen comes closer and closer to becoming an angel. Once the Chosen fully transforms into an angel, the world will be regenerated.”
yoinked from Aselia, the Tales wiki and adjusted slightly for my purposes. spoilers obv if you visit.
right, so, tales of symphonia au.
i’ve kind of mashed genis & lloyd into one character who is now balthazar. i haven’t finished the game yet, so i hope that holds up.
cass is collette obv
naomi is raine, but she’s not from iselia, she’s prob a professor hired from palmacosta academy or something along with
raphael, who is kratos, duh. a mercenary who was deliberately hired beforehand by the village to escort cass.
ftr, i just reached ozette for the first time, or rather, i’m just leaving for the first time, bout to head to altessa’s place.
the tethe’alla gang is giving me more trouble, like
i think hannah makes a good sheena? and claire for presea probably?
but who is zelos? and regal? and like all of the villains, i really don’t know…
too many people. maybe i’m in over my head but the story has so much potential? it’s like stelglow that wayalso, what’s a good, non-appropriative alternative for “mana”?