EDIT: Pictures coming.
Anyways, let’s get back to the Heart of Ymir, since the thing pretty much drives your storyline anyways. Note that you use the Heart underneath Yuno (the complete, and presumably, the original piece) to transcend. But you know, the RKB probably uses it for other things.
In the second part of the President quest, you will recall the mercenary rebellion, in which the mechanized inventions totally replaced them, and thus, having no choice, the mercenaries initiated what would ultimately become a failed rebellion. One thing we should, perhaps, pay attention to is the description of the machinery. We know they’re powered by the fragments of the Heart of Ymir. We know they’re made out of metal, being tireless, emotionless, and immune to pain, and once there is some sort of a mechanistic error, the machine as a whole will go berserk.
Attentive players may notice that this is the exact description of the monsters in the Juperos ruins.
So, we know that the Juperos mobs are related, somehow, to the RKB. However! It doesn’t stop there, as in-game evidence proves that Juperos was long there before the RKB is around. From here, though, we could figure out something else. Wander around on the first floor of biolabs, or even the first floor of the RKB headquarters. What do you see?
Guardians. Tons and tons of them. Same guardians you find in Thor volcano and the SE castles. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the RKB is somehow behind their development, no?
It’s not a stretch. In fact, take a close look inside the second floor of Thor. Those are either rock patterns, or they’re upside-down versions of the emblems of the Republic, from Einbroch. If I had more health on my Pally, I would have been able to get to another spot which is more obvious, but for now, you’ll have to be content with these.
(Custom aura/colored sprite. omg i r spirte hax grf no ban plz)
Either way, we know that the technological level of Rachel is pretty much fail, compared to everywhere else. There is no way Veins or even Rachel could have developed these weapons on their own. Whether or not Rachel is stockpiling mecha in order to declare war on Rune-Midgard isn’t what we’re concerned with (for now), but for now, we’re pretty damn sure that those stupid things that oneshot us all the time in Thor is created by RKB.
So far, we’ve seen artificial life-forms, biological enhancements, and mechanical units. Does this give you an idea of how the RKB runs their business? It is entirely chilling – no matter from which direction, the RKB is directly trying to surpass life itself, which is … rather contrary to what the rest of Rune-Midgard believes in, which is a delightful blend of Judeo-Christian values and Norse mythological traditions.
Thus, we head over to Hugel. Peaceful little place, eh? Except, for you know, Odin’s temple, the last of the mercenaries, Schuwell, and a lot of hints at to what the Rachel church and the RKB is up to. We know that the Heart of Ymir is once again involved, and something about reviving an ancient race…
Ignoring everything else, I wonder if anyone else has noticed certain details in Odin. For a ruined temple, why is everything unusually intact? Even the broken status have whole hands, whole heads, and fresh cuts – no signs of erosion, no nothing.
For that matter, where is … Odin? You know, the wide-helmed, dude with an eyepatch we see in Rune-Midgard. Why in the world is this called Odin’s Temple?
The answer, to me, seems to lie in the Valkyrie Randgris
. It is strongly suggested in the Odin Excavation quest that she is sent down directly by Odin. The temple is destroyed, at Odin’s orders, to warn the residents of Rune-Midgard that they’re pushing the natural limits. Mankind will not surpass the divine, and should not attempt to do so – just like Thanatos Tower, which appeared almost overnight.
Speaking of Thanatos Tower, we find out inside the tower that the whole place itself is arguably an alteration of reality. What we know is that – there are many legends associated with it. According to the church, the Gods built the tower in one day to demonstrate their strength to humanity. According to other legends, it is a fortress built by demons as they tried to invade Rune-Midgard (this stretches all the way back to Geffenia, by the way), and after their defeat, the tower ceased to be functional. Whatever the case, the RKB stopped excavating after a series of accidents, and so far, they’ve only managed to head up to the third floor.
It is interesting to note that there are no records of the Thanatos tower in Yuno’s libraries, either. This is an explicit point that is noted in the official lore. It seems that either the Yuno sages didn’t know anything, or something may have intentionally removed them.
The commonly accepted story, as revealed by talking to NPCs in town, is that the legendary champion, Thanatos fought Satan Morroc for ten days and nights, as a colleague of mine has pointed out, and that the divine commemorated the event by building Thanatos Tower. Thanatos himself presumably perished after the event, and disappeared into history. Over time, history became myth, and myth became legend.
Note the word I used is presumably, because it is never explicitly
stated that he dies, at least in the cRO version. Instead, the players discover what happened to humanity’s finest champion inside the Thanatos tower.
We get a bit of information from reading Balmont’s notes. On page 6, we see a bunch of scribbles – and a lot of incoherent ramble. Something about the powerful sensation of magic and something from Thanatos himself. This is again, in present tense…
Well, screw him and his notes.
Let us look at the mobs that appear in the tower itself. Ignoring the mutated junk (Deathwords and elders and whatnots), the true inhabitants are Solace, Observation (Sentinel), Shelter, and Retribution. This is evident in the fact that as the floors increase, the deathswords, mimics, and other smaller things stopped appearing. Instead, the only things left are the angels.
… Along with their counterparts, Dolor (Sadness), Odium (Hatred), Maero (Sorrow), and Despero (Despair). Not only are these four attributes key aspects of Freud’s “death drive,” (Thanatos), but something about the naming looks familiar, doesn’t it?
You’re right. It does. In fact, here’s a clue. The translation is slightly botched, and I believe in this case the cRO/jRO translations from kRO directly makes more sense than their English ones. Shelter is more aptly translated to “One at rightful rest.” Observation translates to “One keeping diligent watch.” Retribution translates to “One carrying out divine justice,” and Solace to “One who brings recognition,” though more aptly to “one who replenishes,” or “one who refills.”
As the player advance further into the tower, they realize that with each mechanism, it is almost as if they are reliving Thanatos’ past. Without a party, and my old guild disbanded, I am unable to re-enter the Tower. What I can remember, however, is the ninth floor. We were bugged at that floor, and I remember the text quite vividly because it was both badass and pertinent to the plot.
Approximated from cRO. If anyone has the English one, I’d love to see it.
- The Demon King… only he remains -
- Come! This is the last time! –
You hear the mechanism turning
- Indeed! This is … the last time … -
And also, note that this is “someone’s memory directly injected into your mind.” This is taken from an English fansite, but the text below I'm sure is 100% accurate.
- This battle will determine the fate of mankind -
- We must defeat Satan Morroc. There is no alternative. Who’s with me? -
- *Cough cough* the demon … is too strong! We c-can’t… -
- Foolish, weakling humans. You should have known better –
- AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! H-HOW DARE YOU HUMANS. -
- HOW DARE YOU?!-
- …. -
- …… -
- …… -
“The images faded from your mind as quickly as they appeared. What could have happened in the past?”
Memories only belong to the living or spiritual. It is no accident that you got the memory.
Once you get to the top floor, though, look at what you have to do. You have to put the memory fragments back, fighting the mobs again, and then … conjuring the “Memory of Thanatos.”
Why is it called the Memory of Thanatos? Why not “Thanatos?” Herein lies the reason. Once again, Gravity gives us clues in the form of drops. In particular, the Cursed Seals. As powerful as Thanatos is, it is impossible that he could have remained unaffected by Satan Morroc. My interpretation is that sealing Morroc away did not cost his life – but rather, his very existence. As we learn from side materials in some of the Morroc quests, it is necessary for the individual to be living
in order for the seal to persist. Those cursed seal things? Representative of the actual seal on Satan Morroc.
Wait, Thanatos is still alive?
At least, that’s my interpretation. I’m getting to it. And yes, Thanatos is alive. Those angels you see? They are his allies in the physical sense, and also the personification of his ideals, dreams, and hopes in the spiritual sense. In order to keep Satan Morroc in check, he locked himself away at the top of his tower, perhaps casting some sort of a magic veil so that he will not be disturbed. Thanatos is human, too, and suffers through all the things we humans do – including some random chick named Lucil which he seems to be attracted to. But, that’s a different story. Sufficient to say we know Thanatos kept the seal going for at least a few hundred years.
But living in solitude is a maddening experience. And sealing away the greatest evil in the world isn’t the easiest task, either. As we know, Satan Morroc has many methods of influence. As the curse slowly ate away at Thanatos, all of his emotions changed. The rightful rest he should have earned he cannot have, because he needs to keep Morroc in check. Keeping watch for an eternity is a thankless job, with no one to remember what he did. Slowly, and slowly, hope became despair. Solace became restlessness, and then sadness. Peace became rage, joy became hatred. Waiting for the "thank you" that will never come...
The rest, you could piece together. The only other evidence I have to present are the lines Thanatos utter when he is defeated. “…Thank you. It is over.”
And then, as you’re warped out, if you’re the first guild on the server that did this, you get … *“…No… it is not over…I must return …”
*This is what I believe to be the case. Subsequent parties on cRO did not get this line, but my guild had screenshots of this because they thought it was extremely badass.
Contradictory? Here’s my take on the whole thing. This is almost entirely due to speculation, but nonetheless, may be useful.
- Thanatos Tower, like the Odin Temple, is something that is either raised by the Gods in warning, unveiled by the Gods in warning, or, because the RKB is screwing around, managed to get the thing to surface.
- Thanatos himself is still alive, but locked in that semi-living state as a memory.
- All of the angels and stuff? Those are the “good guys.” The memories of Thanatos are corrupted versions of his feelings, just like the Memory is a shadow of himself.
- Fragment and pieces you collect allows you to coalescence all the fragments of Thanatos together, giving him his identity back.
Note that part of the tower collapses after you defeat Thanatos. Which may suggest a few things. In particular, the top level cannot be accessed. Suggesting that perhaps, we have finally given the swordman the rest he deserves. Or ... we actually screwed our own world over by destroying one of the few things keeping cthulu-wannabe in check.
[FONT="]o [/FONT]The tower itself is constructed and powered from Thanatos’ memories, and by defeating his memories and giving him peace, you’ve not only killed Thanatos and sent him off to Valhalla, but also broke one of the few things that’s still keeping Morroc in check. This interpretation explains both of the lines he utter. The first line is thanks, and the second is abject horror as he realizes that he can no longer keep Satan morroc sealed.
[FONT="]o [/FONT]Or: the seal is persistent, Thanatos is already dead, has been dead, and it’s just that Thanatos is trapped in a maddening experience, and you’ve freed him from his torment. This particular interpretation explains the first line in a similar fashion, but interprets the second one as a wistful comment, that since Thanatos died all these years ago there is no one else to fight Morroc. After all, it is mentioned in the tower that the success chance for an entire guild of Assassin Crosses is less than one percent…
Either way, I really want to read some sort of fiction piece - perhaps I'll even write it myself or something.
Wow, that was a long detour. Either way, if I haven’t convinced you that RO has a decent story yet, I should probably try harder next time. Rachel's coming next. And hooboy, there is a LOT to say about that place...