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Garden (庭園(ガーデン)), also known as the Organization (組織) in the Trails of Cold Steel IV novel series Three & Nine, is a group of assassins active in Central and East Zemuria.

Membership and structure

The Garden is divided into four units. The overseers are equipped with artifacts. The subordinate members they employ are always paired to improve the success rate of their operations, and ensure potential traitors are reported or assassinated. Currently, all of the Overseers are deceased; it is unclear if there are any further members of the Garden active as of the ending of Kuro no Kiseki.

Garden of Swords

Overseer of the Garden of Swords (剣の庭園) was Emperor. He wielded the Monarch's Regalia artifact that enabled him to manipulate gravity in combat. He had three known subordinates:

  • Ace of Swords (Nadia's older brother, deceased)
  • Three of Swords (Swin Abel, defected)
  • Nine of Swords (Nadia Rayne, defected)

Garden of Thorns

Overseer of the Garden of Thorns (棘の庭園) was Melchior. His artifact was a method of endlessly creating bombs.

Garden of Aurum

Overseer of the Garden of Aurum (金の庭園[Note 1]) was Olympia. Her artifact was Ishtanti, a doll that assisted her in combat and absorbed all her emotions.

Garden of Rust

Overseer of the Garden of Rust (錆の庭園) was Arioch prior to his death. His artifact was a special halberd and suit of armor that bolstered his resilience, strength and lifespan.

Profile

Origins

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Following the destruction of the Order of the Moonlight Horse, one of its members, Ellroy Harwood, became the Fourth Anguis of the organization that destroyed the Order; Ouroboros. When the D∴G cult was exterminated not long afterwards, Harwood facilitated the remnants of the Order merging with the remnants of the Cult to form Garden. Despite his involvement in its creation, Harwood allowed the Garden to do as they pleased.[1]

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Trails of Cold Steel IV

Garden gathers children with special circumstances and trains them as assassins in a place called factories. After enrolling, their names are discarded and the mere mention of their real name will lead to severe punishment.

Members of the Organization can be divided as low-ranking and high-ranking members. Low-ranking members who graduate from the factories are given a name based on the minor arcana, hence Swin and Nadia being known as Three of Swords and Nine of Swords. They are bound by the Garden's strict rules requiring them to cooperate and requiring them to rat out their partner if they attempt to betray or escape the Organization. If two members are caught betraying the Organization, they are purged; however, if one of them exposes the other attempting to betray the Organization, then that person will be spared and granted freedom while the exposed person is purged.

Before the events of Three and Nine, Swin's (Three of Swords) partner was the Ace of Swords. When the two of them failed in an attempt to escape the Organization, the rules dictated that if one of them betrayed the other, that person would be spared. Ace made it look like he was betraying Swin, but in reality, he allowed Swin to kill him thinking he was defending himself against a traitor, because he didn't want Swin to feel the guilt of betraying a partner.

Within the next three years, Nadia, Ace's younger brother, became Swin's next partner. During the events of the book, Nadia is aware of the truth about Ace's "betrayal" of Swin who falsely thinks Nadia seeks to kill him in revenge. The two of them fool their Warden who is supervising them, the Emperor, into thinking Nadia is about to betray Swin, but this is all a ploy; thanks to Swin's sword properties and Nadia's analysis techniques, they are able to overcome the Emperor's gravity manipulation tactics and defeat him. They execute him before leaving the Organization for good.

Trails into Reverie

A Simulacrum of the Emperor wielding copies of the Monarch's Regalia serves as an obstacle to Swin, Nadia and their new allies during the events of the game.

Kuro no Kiseki

The known remaining Wardens of the Garden; Melchior, Olympia and Arioch; ally themselves with the Almata mafia group throughout the course of the game. Melchior is loyal to the leader Gerard Dantes, while Arioch and Olympia are working under a contract. They come into conflict with the Arkride Solutions Office multiple times.

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Melchior comes up with the idea of destroying the town of Creil and Gerard ends up going through with it's destruction. Following this, factions on both sides of the law including the Arkride Solutions Office, the Bracer Guild, the CID, Heiyue, Ikaruga, Marduk Company and Ouroboros all cooperate to take them down. In the ensuing conflict, all members of Almata including the cooperating Garden members are killed.

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

Trivia

  • There are 56 Minor Arcana cards. This would imply a limit on how many members there may be.
  • When the Emperor was confronted by Order of the Moonlight Horse member Sharon Kreuger, he remarked that he knew that Sharon was a member of the Moonlight Horse, and Sharon was surprised for him to be aware of this. This foreshadows the connection between Garden and Order of the Moonlight Horse.
  • As Garden was created by Ellroy Harwood, he may have decided to name the four groups after the suits of Minor Arcana to reflect the Ouroboros Enforcers, who are named after the Major Arcana.

References

Notes

  1. 金黄の園 is also used as alternative spelling in Kuro no Kiseki, Chapter 5: "White Night Carnival" (白夜のカルナヴァル).

Sources

  1. Kuro no Kiseki, Chapter 5: "White Night Carnival" (白夜のカルナヴァル).
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