Dr. Arecia Al-Rashia is a supporting character in Final Fantasy Type-0. She is an archsorceress in the Dominion of Rubrum, the head of the Sorcery Division and doctor at Akademeia—Rubrum's magic academy—and a member of the Consortium of Eight—Rubrum's governing body. She is one of the most influential people in Orience. She hand-picked the initial members of Class Zero, who regard her as their adoptive mother. Whenever her cadets die in battle, Arecia will revive them when they are brought back to Akademeia or a town.
Arecia's personal Eidolon is Bahamut ZERO, whose details not even high-ranking Sorcery officials are privy to. All that is known about it is that its abilities are on a different level than those of the dominion's other summons.
Arecia has pale skin and hazel eyes. She has long black hair held back with a lavender headband except for two slim sidelocks. She wears red-rimmed glasses, a layered white top, black gloves and slim flared pants that fade from lavender to gray. She wears red low-heeled boots and several scarves: a plum-colored one wrapped around her neck, and two long gray and green scarves draped over her shoulders. Arecia wears an ornamental necklace and carries a cigarette in a holder. According to the Rubicus, Arecia's age is unknown and she is 5'5" tall.
Head of the Sorcery Division and the most influential member of the Consortium of Eight, Dr. Al-Rashia carries herself with an air of authority and intrigue. Ace and his classmates refer to her as "Mother," but she bears no biological relation to any of the Class Zero cadets. Although she is brilliant enough to single-handedly facilitate the development and improvement of the dominion's magic, the doctor has also earned a reputation for her rather brash and daring demeanor. She has maintained a powerful presence at Akademeia for as far back as anyone can remember, but no one knows exactly how long she has held her position.
Regarded as a genius, Arecia's job is to develop and reform magic around Akademeia. She is depicted as aloof, eccentric and secretive to the point of irritating her fellow consortium members. While she treats nearly everyone around her with indifference or disdain, she shows a different face to Class Zero and Chancellor Khalia Chival VI. With Chival, she displays a frank understanding. She actively cares for the original twelve members of Class Zero, viewing hem as her children, just as the members of Class Zero see and treat her as their mother. According to Ace, Arecia taught him how to sing the song "Zero".
In her true role as one of the central figures of Orience, she holds a scientific attitude in line with her human profession, along with a faith in human potential not seen in her counterpart, Gala. Her faith in humanity and love for Class Zero eventually influence her decisions concerning Orience's fate.
In an interview found in Final Fantasy Type-0 Artwork Book: Secret Vermilion History, director Hajime Tabata said the Crystals of Orience have a limited Will of their own and, in terms of the Fabula Nova Crystallis mythology, are equivalent to the fal'Cie of Final Fantasy XIII (and were initially referred to as fal'Cie). He also said this means Arecia is a higher being capable of creating fal'Cie. Arecia does appear to be the most powerful entity in Orience, though she limits her direct involvement with it and thus the true extent of her powers remains a mystery.
As the Crystals' creator, she can remove their presence from Orience, can communicate with souls, release sublimated l'Cie and even revive the dead. The only time she "participates" in battle, Arecia summons a unique Eidolon, the Bahamut ZERO, which annihilates Class Zero's adversary. As the spiral's facilitator, Arecia retains memories of past events.
Arecia developing an affection for mankind and forming a bond with her adopted children, calling an Eidolon, and her close relationship to human souls, somewhat resemble Goddess Etro.
Arecia can be found in the Sorcery Division during the afternoon and night.
Arecia Al-Rashia is one of the divine servants tasked with overseeing Orience alongside Gala and Diva. Arecia follows the will of the Divine Pulse, and together with Gala (who serves Lindzei), strives to open Etro's gate that acts as barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead, the unseen realm. She set up the four Crystals in Orience to accomplish this task; because Arecia serves Pulse, the Crystals brand their l'Cie with the Pulse brand.
Orience is stuck in a spiral to facilitate the opening of the Gate. While Gala sacrifices the lives of everyone in Orience to try force the Gate open, Arecia's method is to find and foster a group of chosen souls that hold great power who would naturally ascend and open the Gate: Agito. She initially believed she would need 16 souls, but after a time discarded two—Tiz and Lean Joker—who become her aides, able to remember past spirals. In the novel of a past spiral, Final Fantasy Type-0: Change the World, Arecia notes that even if Machina Kunagiri forgets the events of this cycle, his soul will always remember his fear of loss and craving for power. To distance Machina and his friend Rem Tokimiya from Class Zero and prevent them from "weakening" the other 12, she made Rem frail so that Machina would choose her over the others in the next cycle.
Arecia heads Akademeia's Sorcery Division and oversees magic development, but also acts as a doctor within the school. She is one of the few people in Akademeia to know the secret of phantoma-based magic. No one knows when she came to the academy, and she is viewed as an archsorceress who can do the impossible. In the year 833, Arecia founded what would later become known as Class Zero from children whom she tutored personally, adopting them and conditioning them to see her as their mother.
When the Militesi Empire attacks Rubrum they deploy crystal jammers to cut the dominion forces from the Vermilion Bird Crystal, rendering them vulnerable. As Arecia's team of Agito Cadets circumvents the effect due to drawing their power from phantoma, it is deployed to deal with it. One of her students, Ace, requests a COMM be delivered to him for the mission, and asks for a dominion legionary named Izana Kunagiri to bring it. Arecia relays the information to the chancellor who approves the request.
Arecia's students infiltrate the Militesi structures and destroy the crystal jammer. They confront the White Tiger Secundus l'Cie Qun'mi Tru'e at the Akademeia Arena and destroy her magitek armor, the Dáinsleif, and the crystal jammer within. As power returns to the Vermilion Bird Crystal, Rubrum drives the Militesi forces out of Akademeia. As Arecia heads to speak with the chancellor news arrives that the empire has annihilated the Lorican Alliance with a new weapon of mass destruction, the Ultima Bomb. The Kingdom of Concordia's dragons begin patrolling the airspace for the kingdom and the dominion in preparation of another bomb, and the consortium rushes into a meeting over their next move.
Arecia arrives to the meeting late, and explains that the l'Cie who operated the crystal jammer has disappeared and the jammer thus remains inoperable. The cadetmaster, Miotsk Aufmachyt, asks if Rubrum's legionaries can be augmented with the same magiteknology that lets Arecia's cadets wield magic independent of the Crystal, but Arecia says the tek is top secret and it wouldn't be viable. She suggests the Agito Cadets be deployed to the war, her class among them. The chancellor approves Arecia's cadets being admitted to Akademeia as Class Zero, much to the disdain of the other classes who view Class Zero as different and getting an easy ride on Arecia's coattails. Two new members are admitted to the class, Machina Kunagiri and Rem Tokimiya. Arecia scorns the two, viewing them inferior to her hand-picked cadets, and asks Ace to conceal the truth about phantoma from the pair, saying the only thing Machina and Rem need to know is that it is the origin of their magic power.
Kurasame Susaya becomes Class Zero's commanding officer on Arecia's orders, much to the cadets' surprise who had expected Arecia in that role. Class Zero is deployed to retake the Rubrum Region from the empire, and after returning from a successful mission, Ace overhears Arecia arguing with the commandant in her office. The commandant, Suzuhisa Higato, wants to know why Izana was deployed, as he had perished in the capital liberation. Arecia brushes off the death of one soldier, and reminds the commandant she had the chancellor's support in heeding Ace's request. Ace, whose memories of Izana were removed by the Crystals, learns Izana was Machina's brother and becomes burdened by guilt, unable to recall why he had requested Izana's aid.
Arecia shows the cadets the Altocrystarium, a machine that empowers the cadets' magic in exchange for the phantoma they harvest from the battlefield. She keeps monitoring Rem's condition as she doesn't have much time left, informing her that her illness will cause her pain. Rem understands and asks Arecia to keep her illness a secret from Class Zero, especially Machina.
Later, as the Vermilion Bird l'Cie Lady Caetuna and Lord Zhuyu meet in the crystal chamber, the Vermilion Bird Crystal begins to shine. Arecia can feel the effect and states it all "happens all over again". Far away in the imperial capital of Ingram Queen Andoria of the Kingdom of Concordia invokes the Fabula Pact, a peace agreement made between the four peristylia of Orience that grants a short-lived ceasefire. During the peace talks Queen Andoria is assassinated and the blame is placed on Class Zero and the dominion for their supposed dissatisfaction with the truce conditions. As the chancellor and his entourage return to Akademeia post-haste as the war is to commence immediately, Class Zero cadets are left behind and escape Ingram with their lives while unable to contact the dominion.
The new king of Concordia allies with the empire who begin a joint military campaign to lay waste to Rubrum. Back in Akademeia the Consortium of Eight discusses the situation, the provost, cadetmaster and commandant ready to blame Class Zero, accusing them of running away instead of standing trial to clear the misunderstanding, and to have supposedly switched off their COMMs to not be reached. Arecia finds the accusations ridiculous, receiving the commandant's wrath. The chancellor brings up the Vermilion Bird Secundus l'Cie Lady Caetuna who wants to use Verboten Eidolon against the Militesi-Concordian coalition lest they try to invade Rubrum. Arecia visits the Vermilion Bird Crystal, pondering how time flies. Cater from Class Zero asks for a check up and Arecia invites her to the office. Cater is spooked by something Trey had told her about experiencing déjà vu, but Arecia assures that she is perfectly healthy.
Class Zero is deployed to the eastern front to battle the Concordian wyverns, and if the cadets fall against Shinryu Celestia, Arecia summons Bahamut ZERO to defeat her and save her children. The western front is falling back and Class Zero is recalled as reinforcements to destroy the empire's crystal jammer allowing for Lady Caetuna to summon Alexander to obliterate the Militesi forces. News of Rubrum's victory and Caetuna having entered crystal stasis arrive in Akademeia. Arecia meets with the chancellor, commenting her children made it out safely. The chancellor tells her Caetuna's sublimation means the Will of the Crystal has been served, and Arecia agrees, saying there is meaning in all things.
Rubrum conquers all of Orience and Tempus Finis begins. Arecia visits Class Zero one last time to tell the cadets that while everything before them was preordained, they are destined to make an ultimate decision. Her presence in Akademeia deters Gala and his Rursus Army from launching a full assault on the building, as after Zhuyu is forced into crystal stasis, Arecia stops the Rursus, interested if Class Zero will choose to become l'Cie in his stead.
After the cadets sacrifice themselves to defeat Gala's chosen servant, Arecia is on the point of resetting the spiral. A suggestion from Tiz and Joker convinces a curious Arecia to listen to the cadets' souls. Arecia learns Class Zero loves her, but the cadets made their own decision on how they met their end and do not wish to be revived. Arecia revives Machina and Rem, who had become l'Cie and entered crystal stasis, to learn the details of her former students. She restores the people's ability to remember their dead and leaves Orience forever, leaving her ultimate fate unknown. The spiral broken, Orience enters a new era as the light of the Crystals fades.
Arecia's eponymous theme is called "Arecia Al-Rashia".
Arecia appears in Final Fantasy Trading Card Game as Lightning-elemental Backup cards.
Arecia appears on a Triple Triad card in the version playable via Final Fantasy Portal App.
Behind the scenes
In Final Fantasy Type-0, Arecia is voiced by Atsuko Tanaka in the Japanese version. She shares her Japanese voice actress with Ultimecia from Dissidia Final Fantasy and Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, as well as Rosso from Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII-.
She is voiced by Eliza Jane Schneider in the English version.
Arecia, when translated into Arabic, means "Laid anchored" (أرسى الراسية, "Arasia al-Rasya") or may also be translated to mean "Laid on the Anchored."