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Divine Knights (騎神(きしん)), also known in the Japanese version as Deus-Excellion (デウス=エクセリオン), refers to a group of seven humanoid weapons that play an important role in Trails of Cold Steel I, II, III, and IV.

Background

Divine Knights are 7-arge tall,[1] knight-shaped dolls created by the Gnomes and Hexen Clan to seal away the Great One, the resultant of the fusion of the Sept-Terrions of Fire and Earth, around the time of the Great Collapse. The Kin of Earth prepared the seven vessels made of Zemurian Ore, while the Kin of Fire split the uncontrollable great power into seven fragments which were sealed into the vessels.

Throughout Erebonian history, the Knights are passed off as mythical figures. Records have suggested their existence throughout various eras whenever civil conflict erupts within the Empire. In Erebonian folklores, they were referred to as "Great Knights".[2]。Throughout Erebonia's shadow history, the Divine Knights continuously engaged in battle in preparation for the Rivalry of the Seven during the upcoming Great Twilight.

The Rivalries are rituals during which two Awakeners and their Divine Knights battle until the victorious Knight absorbs the power of the defeated Knight. The goal of these rituals is to gather the power of the Divine Knights in a single unit so that the Great One, from which their power originates, can manifest once again.[Note 1] In the collective memory of Erebonia, memories of battles that involve the Divine Knights were vague at best until they re-emerged during the October Campaign's civil war in S.1204.

Abilities

Divine Knights are powered by mana, capable of traveling by flight or moving through Spirit Paths and will automatically regenerate over time after being destroyed,[4] giving them extraordinary abilities compared to other humanoid weapons such as Panzer Soldats which are based on them. Their exact composition is unknown, suggested as being some kind of Zemurian Ore alloy, but exceptionally skilled mechanics, refereed to as 'meisters' by the Knights, are capable of performing maintenance on their frames. Divine Knights possess a sense of self and are capable of independent thought and conversing with humans.[5] For example, El-Prado was said to have been attracted to its Awakener's pride.

Although all Divine Knights possess aforementioned qualities, it is said there is a hierarchy among them. Excluding Ishmelga, it is said El-Prado and Argreion are particularly superior, followed by Testa-Rossa, which has become the host for the Vermillion Apocalypse, leaving Zector, Ordine, and Valimar, which are considered incomplete creations.[4] In addition, it is said that El-Prado produces an eternal radiance and Argreion inherited the traits of the vanished Argres.[4] Divine Knights have shown variation in the abilities they exhibit as well, with Valimar being the only Knight to display the secondary contractor system, Ordine possessing the 'Boost System', El-Prado's force field, and the 'Thousand Weapons' system used by Testa-Rossa.

Although they have some level of autonomy, they require a pilot known as an Awakener to guide them through battles and draw out their full potential. Anyone capable of overcoming a "trial of the shadow of the Great One" can become an Awakener, with two notable exceptions: Testa-Rossa, which can only be piloted by those from the Arnor bloodline, and Zector, for which a special final trial is required. Upon becoming an Awakener, the prerequisite operational knowledge is installed within the mind, although experience still plays a large role.

When a Divine Knights is destroyed in battle, it takes time for them to regenerate.[4] When the damage is significant, defeated Awakeners may wind up as imperfect spirits, Nosferatu.[4] The area in which Class VII fights Loa Erebonius in Trails of Cold Steel is a graveyard of fallen Divine Knights and their Awakeners.[4]Each blade represents a fallen Awakener or candidate.

Trails of Cold Steel

Unknown to the general populace, Divine Knights remain as largely a mystery that is gradually uncovered as Rean Schwarzer and Class VII explore the Old Schoolhouse. After clearing its trial, Loa Erebonius, in the Realm of the Great Shadow, Rean hears a voice and makes a contract with the first of the Divine Knights to be revealed, Valimar, the Ashen Knight. Valimar's appearance stumps most of those present, and it is not until the Noble Alliance begins its attack that Rean first calls upon its aid to combat the Panzer Soldats. Even without a weapon, Rean is victorious until a second knight, Ordine arrives, acting as the ace of the Alliance. Valimar, newly awakened and with an inexperienced pilot, is forced to withdraw.

Trails of Cold Steel II

By withdrawing, Valimar uses up a tremendous amount of its mana reserves and must regenerate before further usage. Rean uses Valimar's abilities to traverse the Spirit Path around the Eastern half of the empire whilst he searches for his friends. During this time, Rean accumulates vital experience fighting Soldats and the forces of the Noble Alliance. With the aid of G. Schmidt and the gathering of Zemurian Ore from Spirit Shrines around the Empire, a new tachi is created. Valimar and Ordine have a final showdown at the summit of the Infernal Castle whilst in the presence of a third knight, Testa-Rossa- a corrupted Knight cursed from its battle against Zoro-Agruga hundreds of years ago.

With Valimar victorious, Croire de Cayenne pushes Cedric Reise Arnor into the dormant Testa-Rossa, awakening the Vermillion Apocalypse which the two Knights must face together. Ordine is penetrated by the tail of the calamity, and its Awakener is slain, but Valimar is given the opening to destroy the Vermillion Knight.

Following these events, Rean becomes a hero of the Empire and utilizes hisKnight in various battles including defending against Calvardian troops and the Annexation of North Ambria.

Trails of Cold Steel III

Valimar is much more fluent in its communication abilities and Rean uses it most often to train his pupils in Soldat lessons. When Ouroboros start their operation to 'retake the Phantasmal Blaze Plan', Valimar is used to combat the Aion type II units deployed by them. On each field operation, a new ghostly apparition of a Divine Knight is revealed: Palatinate, Azure and Argent. Figures who should all rights be dead appear as their Awakeners and the Azure Knight in storage is revealed to be missing.

At the climax of the battle at the Gral of Erebos, Ouroboros and Giliath Osborne are successful in rejuvenating the Vermillion Knight, free of its curse. Valimar is summoned to combat the Nameless Holy Beast but is unsuccessful until Millium Orion sacrifices her life and sublimates into the Sword of the End, allowing a berserk, transformed Valimar to slay it. Cedric reawakens Testa-Rossa, whilst Ordine, Zector, and Argreion restrain Valimar. Osborne summons the sixth knight to be revealed, Ishmlega, and sends a pulse at Rean and Valimar.

Trails of Cold Steel IV

Class VII inadvertently discovers Rufus Albarea's attempts to awaken the Auric Knight in the Lake Elm Wetlands during their search for missing instructor Rean. Successful, El-Prado and Rufus make short work of Class VII's Soldats despite being newly awakened. With all seven Knights now active, and the Great Twilight in effect, the Rivalries can now begin, allowing Divine Knights to fuse after combat.

With the amount of power achievable from the Rivalries at its zenith with more conflict in the world, the date of the Great War is set beforehand to increase potential. However, Rean and Valimar are able to defeat Ordine, Zector and Argreion before this date at special grounds such as the Spirit Shrines. Zector is absorbed, Ordine is made into a vassal but Rufus intervenes in Argreion's absorption and steals its abilities.

On the day of the Great War, Rean successful defeats Testa-Rossa and the combined Auric and Argent Knights before facing off against the Ebon Knight and Osborne. An injured Black Alberich states that is is still too early before the final rivalry, but Osborne dismisses this, stating there is already more than enough conflict. Rean is victorious and takes in the power of all seven Knights, including the thoughtform of Ishmelga which he later expels and faces down with the help of many allies.

Following the cancellation of the Great Twilight and Ishmelga's defeat, the Divine Knights no longer exist in this world and vanish after activating the Sacrament Programs for Ark Rouge and Lost Zem: restoring Millium's soul to a body and preventing Crow's death.

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Trails into Reverie

Elysium's extremely potent calculation abilities allow it to manifest a version of Rean from a calculated timeline where he and Ishmelga merged and the Great one was successful recreated. This new 'Divine Knight of Zero' is exceptional powerful, possessing all of the Knights' abilities, including instant long range teleportation and the ability to attack spiritual forms. Its presence in the world allows the spirits of Ordine, Valimar, and El-Prado to temporarily cross over from the Beyond and inhabit the Soldat and Tyrfing frames in the final battle. Once Lapis Rosenberg pulls the plug on Elysium, Zoa-Gilstein is unable to continue existing and fades from existence. The Divine Knights once again disappear.

There we go, the end of spoilers. Thank you for your time!

List of Divine Knights

At present the following Divine Knights are known, sorted by the order of appearance:

Colour Name Awakener(s)
Introduction of Valimar in Cold Steel I
Ashen ヴァリマール
Valimar
Azure オルディーネ
Ordine
Testa-Rossa (Sen III).jpg
Vermillion テスタ=ロッサ
Testa-Rossa
Zector (Sen III).jpg
Palatinate ゼクトール
Zector
Algreion (Sen III).jpg
Argent アルグレオン
Argreion
Ishmelga (Sen III).jpg
Ebon イシュメルガ
Ishmelga
El-Prado - Introduction (Sen IV).jpg
Auric エル=プラドー
El-Prado

Gallery

References

Notes

  1. This may suggest the goal of the Rivalries is to bring the world to the state in which the two Sept-Terrions warred and which the Great One was created.[3]

Sources

  1. Sept Archive, p.114.
  2. Trails of Cold Steel, Erebonian Folklore/Volume 3.
  3. Sen no Kiseki Magazine, Volume 5: "Beyond the Truth"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Trails of Cold Steel IV, Finale: "Scattered Petals, Dying Flames", 09/01.
  5. Trails of Cold Steel IV, Act 2: "Guiding Starlight", 08/19.
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