Orience is comprised of four nations that until recently had coexisted peacefully, each in possession of a Crystal that grants them a unique power. The price is memory loss: l'Cie, humans chosen by the Crystals made immortal who can wield the Crystal's power and thus exert their Will in the world, lose most memory of who they were. When a Crystal deems its l'Cie's use over, he or she enters crystal stasis, their soul trapped in crystal.
Even those citizens of Orience who remain human are forced to forget those who have died, as the Crystals erase all memory of the dead from the living. It is generally viewed a blessing that allows mankind to push on without attachments to things that are inevitably lost, but many fear death and being forgotten forever.
Nations of OrienceEdit
Dominion of Rubrum has the Vermilion Bird Crystal that contains the power of magic. Its capital is Akademeia and its leader is Chancellor Khalia Chival VI. Akademeia trains Agito Cadets at the behest of the Vermilion Bird Crystal, children who train in the ways of magic and strive to become Agito. One's aptitude to magic wanes as they age, and thus Agito Cadets tend to be teenagers.
Milites Empire controls the White Tiger Crystal that contains the power of weapons. Its capital is Ingram and its leader is Marshal Cid Aulstyne who took command after the previous emperor disappeared. Cid uses the Crystal to develop advanced military teknology to conquer the other Crystal-Nations and gain control of their Crystals.
Lorican Alliance hosts the Black Tortoise Crystal that contains the power of the shield. Bestowed with the power of their Crystal, Loricans grow larger than the citizens of other nations, and usually clad themselves in protective armor that covers them head to toe. Its leader is King Gilgamesh Ashur.
Kingdom of Concordia is a matriarchal nation that has the Azure Dragon Crystal. The Crystal contains the power of the dragon with its ruler able to communicate with Soryu, a colossal dragon and a Primus l'Cie, said to be the manifestation of the Azure Dragon Crystal itself. Its capital is Mahamayuri and its leader is Queen Andoria Kaya Tranka Fam Forturio. Concordians are diminutive compared to the citizens of other nations and, with the power of the Azure Dragon Crystal, can gain the ability to communicate with and control monsters.
In Orience exists a legend of Agito, a messiah prophesied in ancient mythology to appear at the time of Tempus Finis, an apocalyptic calamity. The legend of the Agito written in the Nameless Tome speaks of sixteen "constellations" and posits the Sixteen will arrive in the world at a certain moment in human form to prevent Finis and "open the gateway." Nameless Tome itself is an ancient anthology of anonymous letters sent to the four peristylia long ago.
Orience is comprised of a large landmass with the four Crystal-Nations dividing the land in nigh equal amount. The Milites Empire to the west is the most cold and barren, but also includes an arid desert and valleys to the north of it. Lorican Alliance is mountainous with deep caverns and even a volcano. It is shielded by the mountain ranges from most sides. The east, ruled by Concordia, is lush with vegetation, but rainy and cloudy, its citizens electing to live above the perpetually wet ground in raised villages. The south, ruled by Rubrum, is of temperate climate with vast grassy plains.
Orience uses the RG Calendar which retains the Gregorian Calendar system, but months are renamed after elements and dates are written in Roman numerals. The calendar started from the year the Vermilion Bird Crystal was discovered, dubbed "Vermilion Dawn".
|The RG Calendar|
The spirals of historyEdit
Orience is part of a divine experiment to find the gate to afterlife. Arecia Al-Rashia, the archsorceress of the nation of Rubrum, is one of the divine servants tasked with overseeing Orience alongside Gala and Diva. She follows the will of the Divine Pulse, and together with Gala (who serves the god 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. The gate is said to only be found by the deceased who cross it on their way to the afterlife, and thus Arecia and Gala strive to use the souls of humans to locate it. The goddess Diva acts as a neutral observer, recording their actions and the events of Orience.
Orience is stuck in a spiral to facilitate the opening of the Gate. While Gala chooses to sacrifice the lives of everyone in Orience to create a mass of souls to try and force the Gate open, Arecia fosters a group of chosen souls that hold great power so they will naturally ascend and open the Gate of their own accord: the Agito.
The Crystals each appear to compete over birthing the Agito, and brand l'Cie to this end. Tempus Finis is invoked when one of Orience's four nations dominates the others, and thus the Crystals vie for power across the land. When one Crystal controls all of Orience, Gala tests the Crystals' l'Cie's worthiness of becoming Agito by raising Pandæmonium where the l'Cie head to take on the Judge's crucibles. If there is no Agito, Gala's Rursus Army destroys mankind to try and force the Gate open with the mass of newly-released souls. When that fails, the spiral revolves and the cycle of history is reset. Only Arecia, Gala, Diva, Orience's Crystals, and a few select individuals in Orience remember the previous spirals.
With each revolution the souls chosen for Agito grow stronger, Arecia hoping they would eventually reach a potential where they would find the gate. However, it appears one who becomes l'Cie cannot actually open the Gate and be Agito in this sense of the term, resulting in a staggering number of failed spirals, as leading up to the events of Final Fantasy Type-0, the spiral revolves 600,104,971 times.
The eldest record of Orience predates the discovery of the Crystals, the era known as the dark age. The oldest historic account is from 2000 years ago from an airship's logbook, the vessel one amid a fleet of dozens in the service of the "Federation." Many infer its primary purpose was military, as the log contains several accounts of combat with some manner of "sky-soldiers" in purported allegiance to the "Republic." The prevailing historical theory holds that these two composite states, Federation and Republic, partook in a battle to claim dominion over Orience.
It's been said that in these dark ages conquest was the only law, and the four sovereign nations each took it upon to create the mightiest army and waged the war to end all wars—the Ultima War.
The modern calendar started with the discovery of the Vermilion Bird Crystal. As the age of the Crystals began, the nations of Orience were built around the four peristylia. Vermilion Peristylium was the first, Akademeia being built around it as per the Will of the Vermilion Bird Crystal to train Agito Cadets who also protected the peristylium. Twenty-eight years after the Vermilion Dawn, the Black Tortoise Crystal was discovered by an industrious young Lorican named Urshanabi buried within the sinkhole upon whose precipice Loricans had settled. The boy became the Crystal's protector as its l'Cie, and the Black Peristylium—dedicated to the cultivation of Agito like that of the Vermilion Peristylium—arose shortly thereafter.
The loosely affiliated countries of Rubrum, Togoreth, Iscah, and Eibon were compelled to unify on Ven. XVII, 123 RG as their ideological principles brought them together for the common good. Akademeia was the political heart of this alliance, and when monsters came to lay siege to the peristylium, the Vermilion Bird l'Cie protected it. Following this incident Akademeia was established as the seat of power, and the dominion was born.
The White Tiger Crystal was discovered in the west and its l'Cie formed the Milites Empire by conquering the lands of Azurr and Cetme, establishing Ingram as the capital and the White Peristylium at its heart in 178 RG. Ever since its formation the empire and the alliance engaged in war, eventually leading in the invention and mass-production of magitek armor by the empire via the power of the White Tiger Crystal, while the alliance developed means of imbuing the Black Tortoise Crystal's powers in their armaments, the arms race spanning three wars.
The Blue Dragon Crystal governed the Kingdom of Dracobaltia, which was formed in 197. The power of the Blue Dragon Crystal waned after the Dracobaltians consumed its offerings—wyverns—for food, and the Azure Dragon Crystal appeared to replace it, the new Azure Dragon l'Cie banishing the Dracobaltians from the land and establishing the Kingdom of Concordia over the remains of the Dracobaltian kingdom in 273. The kingdom soon entered in a war against Rubrum that led to the development of Eidolons by the dominion.
Steeled through centuries of war, each Crystal-State had developed formidable fighting forces convincing each head-of-state that unifying Orience under one banner was possible, building momentum toward an all-out war that came to a head in 357. In addition to the arms race, the waning of the Crystals' power drove the four state leaders to expedite their war efforts. The Crystals were the source of all four nations' military strength, but extracting energy from them exacerbated their deterioration.
Fearing the weakening of the Crystals to be permanent, each nation sought to annihilate the others, culminating in the Great Orience War during which the Crystals began deteriorating even faster, as each state expended energy to replenish its weapons, armor, and magic, while each Crystal expended its power to defend itself through the creation of l'Cie. As the power of all four Crystals was waning, on Ventusmens IV in the year 359, the four nations ordered a ceasefire and began preparations for a peace treaty, which manifested as the Pax Codex drawn in 361. The codex prohibited the use of l'Cie in war, and outlined regulations for declaring war and capitulation, as well as humanitarian issues, such as treatment of POWs and civilians. In 448 RG, the Fabula Pact was drawn up between each of the four peristylia as a non-aggression pledge.
The imperial Marshal and engineering genius Cid Aulstyne simultaneously mobilizes the Militesi forces towards the capital of the Lorican Alliance and to invade the Dominion of Rubrum, while a special unit is dispatched directly to Akademeia to perform a sneak attack on the Vermilion Peristylium. The special unit is accompanied by the White Tiger Secundus l'Cie Qun'mi Tru'e, whose magitek armor is equipped with a prototype crystal jammer that disables enemy Crystals and thus renders Rubrum's legionaries powerless without their magic.
As the battle seems lost Class Zero appears—still able to use magic—and turns the tide of the battle. After a dominion legionary, Izana Kunagiri, is delivers a COMM to the cadets they liberate Akademeia by destroying the crystal jammers and driving Qun'mi away. Even if the dominion defends their capital all remaining regions are occupied by the empire, and news arrives the Lorican Alliance has been obliterated by an Ultima Bomb.
Impressed with the cadets' prowess and their ability to use magic independent of the Vermilion Bird Crystal, the administration has Class Zero enrolled in Akademeia with two new members. Unlike others, the cadets draw the power of magic from phantoma, the mystical life energy of all living beings. Only the Sorcery Division of Akademeia and Class Zero are privy to details about it, the cadets collecting phantoma on the battlefield from felled foes.
It is decided that Agito Cadets are to partake in the war effort to reclaim the areas conquered by the empire and the dominion reclaims their territory one town at a time with the passive support of the Kingdom of Concordia. During the battle to reclaim Togoreth the empire deploys the White Tiger Primus l'Cie Nimbus and the Vermilion Bird Crystal deploys its own Primus l'Cie, Lord Zhuyu. The ensuing battle obliterates Togoreth, leaving but a molten crater behind.
In truth, the empire has subjugated the White Tiger Crystal with a machine engineered by Cid Aulstyne, and thus enslaved its l'Cie who are unable to defy the marshal's orders. The empire is on a quest to subjugate the rest of Orience's Crystals, already having recovered the Black Tortoise Crystal from the ruins of Lorica. Cid posits that living under the Crystals' "guidance" is but a form of slavery and wills for Milites and its population to collectively become Agito and herald Orience to a new era.
The dominion receives intel of a new MA prototype designed to deploy the empire's Ultima Bomb to long-distance targets and Class Zero is dispatched to destroy it. A ceasefire is called mid-mission as Queen Andoria of Concordia invokes the Fabula Pact, an ancient peace agreement made between the nations' peristylia rather than their governments.
The Crystal-States' leaders meet in Ingram, the Militesi capital, for peace negotiations, but the queen is assassinated with Class Zero blamed for it. The chancellor and his entourage return to Rubrum safely, but the ceasefire is over and the war is to commence immediately, as the queen's successor, the King of Concordia, has allies with the empire against Rubrum. The Azure Dragon Crystal falls into imperial control, and only the Vermilion Bird Crystal of Rubrum remains. The chancellor informs the other consortium members that the Vermilion Bird Secundus l'Cie Caetuna wills to summon a Verboten Eidolon should the Militesi-Concordian coalition try to invade Rubrum.
The dominion splits its forces into two each side accompanied by a Vermilion Bird l'Cie for the battle against the far greater Militesi-Concordian coalition. Two l'Cie partaking in a war effort is nigh unheard of and many take it as a sign of Rubrum's, and thus the Vermilion Bird Crystal's, desperation. The dominion faces off against the royal army at Judecca, where Lord Zhuyu confronts the Azure Dragon Primus l'Cie Soryu and Class Zero bests the new Azure Dragon Secundus l'Cie Celestia.
Meanwhile at the Big Bridge, the forces of Rubrum struggle against the infinite waves of Militesi troops accompanied by a new prototype crystal jammer. Once the crystal jammer is destroyed by Class Zero that had been sent as reinforcements, Lady Caetuna summons Alexander that obliterates the Militesi army and brings victory to the dominion, but at a heavy cost: many cadets from Akademeia gave up their lives to complete the summoning, and Caetuna entered crystal stasis. The only imperial survivors are General Qator Bashtar whose MA's magic shield was fortified by a new White Tiger Secundus l'Cie, saving the duo from Alexander's Divine Light.
The dominion sets out to conquer Concordia and as Class Zero proves instrumental in many dominion victories. As Concordia surrenders, only Milites stands in Rubrum's way of uniting all of Orience under its banner. The final battle takes place in the Militesi capital where Class Zero encounters Qator Bashtar in his new and improved MA, Gabriel. A malfunctioning Ultima Bomb had been fitted into his MA without his knowledge by an imperial engineer who foresaw the imperial surrender and wanted to wipe out the remnants of Milites together with the invading troops. Not wanting to see Ingram destroyed, Qator pilots his MA into the atmosphere where the bomb detonates, saving the city but being caught in the blast himself. Cid Aulstyne watches the explosion light up the sky and realizes Bashtar has perished. He flees the capital and the White Peristylium falls.
Rubrum legionaries briefly celebrate their victory, but as the Vermilion Bird commands all of Orience Tempus Finis commences: the sky turns red and the ocean turns black, and a sanctuary rises from the ocean sending out magitek creatures known as Rursan Reavers who slaughter anyone on sight. The people fight back to no avail: whenever the Rursus are felled they are soon revived to continue their onslaught. Because the Rursus destroy phantoma, those hurt by them cannot be healed with magic. The only way to kill the Rursus is by harvesting their phantoma, something only Class Zero knows how to do; even Lord Zhuyu has fallen to the Rursus.
Class Zero returns to Akademeia to find it devastated by the Rursus. Central Command and the consortium are gone, leaving the class without orders. The cadets recall the legend of Agito and Tempus Finis, and learn Cid Aulstyne has headed to Pandæmonium—the temple that arose from the ocean near Akademia. The temple is where the Judge is said to reside to make the Final Decision on Orience's fate: if there is no Agito, the world will be destroyed. The cadets decide to head there to speak with the Judge rather than lay low and wait to be killed by the Rursus.
The cadets receive the help of Celestia in reaching Pandæmonium, as the Vermilion Bird has no l'Cie left. The cadets are guided by Cid's voice who places numerous crucibles on their path for the cadets to prove their worthiness of becoming Agito. The Vermilion Bird Crystal calls upon Class Zero, searching for new l'Cie, and the cadets can choose to become l'Cie or remain mortal. If the cadets choose to become l'Cie, they fail to save Orience and perish, Arecia deeming it yet another failed experiment, restarts the spiral and Orience and, eventually, Class Zero, are reborn in wait for a new Tempus Finis.
If Class Zero ignores the Crystal's plea, one of its members who was left behind due to illness Rem, is chosen in their stead. The Vermilion Bird sends her to Pandæmonium to intercept a White Tiger l'Cie it had sensed there—Machina—but their engagement ends with both entering crystal stasis.
Class Zero fails the final trial and Cid deems them unfit to become Agito and the cadets are stricken down. Greatly weakened, they push on regardless. Gala has chosen Cid to be the Judge, and though Cid abhors losing his humanity, he to his horror realizes he is no longer following his own will. He transforms into the Rursan Arbiter, challenging the damaged cadets to their final battle.
The now sublimated Machina and Rem lend their souls to the fallen Class Zero members who overwhelm the Rursan Arbiter by harvesting his phantoma. Tempus Finis is stalled but the cadets die of overexertion. Arecia is surprised at the outcome and at the behest of two "rejected" members of "the Sixteen" from previous cycles—Tiz and Joker—who now work for Arecia as observers, listens to the cadets' souls.
Arecia learns the class loves her but are satisfied with the decision they made in how they met their end, and do not want to be revived for another cycle. Arecia releases Machina and Rem from crystal stasis and abandons the project to find Etro's gate with the Agito, and departs from Orience to places unknown. The Crystals' light dims and the people regain their ability to remember the dead. Orience enters a new era, but without the Crystals mankind must learn to cope without their power.
- Northern Valley (北の峡谷, Kita no Kyōkoku?)
- Berith Desert (ベリト砂漠, Berito Sabaku?)
- Old Lorica Region (旧ロリカ地域, Kyū Rorika Chiki?)
- Jubanla Region (ユハンラ地方, Yuhanra Chihō?)
- Northern Togoreth Region (北トゴレス地方, Kita Togoresu Chihō?)
- Mahamayuri (王都マハマユリ, Ōto Mahamayuri?)
- Azurr District (アズール地区, Azūru Chiku?)
- Cetme District (セトメ地区, Setome Chiku?)
- Meroë Region (メロエ地方, Meroe Chihō?)
- Iscah Region (イスカ地方, Isuka Chihō?)
- Togoreth Region (トゴレス地方, Togoresu Chihō?)
- Rilochy Province (ライローキ州, Rairōki Shū?)
- West Nesher District (西ネシェル地区, Nishi Nesheru Chiku?)
- East Nesher District (東ネシェル地区, Higashi Nesheru Chiku?)
- Rubrum Region (ルブルム地方, Ruburumu Chihō?)
- Eibon Region (エイボン地方, Eibon Chihō?)
- Roshana Province (ローシャナ州, Rōshana Shū?)
- Veill Desolands (滅びしヴァイルの地, Horobishi Vairu no Chi?)
- Innsmouth Region (インスマ地方, Insuma Chihō?)
- Dragon Sanctuary (龍神の聖域, Ryūjin no Seiiki?)
- Pandæmonium (万魔殿, Banmaden?)
"The Earth Under Our Feet" (踏みしめる大地, Fumishimeru Daichi?, lit. Stepping Firmly on the Ground), an arrangement of "Chocobo!", acts as the overworld theme for Rubrum territory.
"Horror of the Abyss" (深淵の恐怖, Shin'en no Kyōfu?, lit. Fear of the Abyss) acts as the overworld theme for Lorica territory.
"Arms of Steel" (鋼の腕, Hagane no Ude?) acts as the overworld theme for Militesi territory.
"The Azure Spirit" (蒼き魂, Aoki Tamashii?, lit. Blue Soul) acts as the overworld theme for Concordia territory.
Orience appears as the background for the Field Music Sequence of "The Earth Under Our Feet".
- The four Crystals are named after the Japanese names of the four god animals representing the four cardinal directions in Chinese mythology, which have previously made appearances in Final Fantasy XI as Notorious Monsters, and in Final Fantasy XII as four bosses at the Pharos, albeit with different names.
- Some location names on the world map are written in Pulse writing.